What does it mean to have influence?
Do we really grasp the impact of having true influence?
This article talks about the main reasons that most seek out the “INFLUENCER” ‘title’ on social media and beyond:
Fame motive makes people want to be stars. It seems that, as ordinary users, our time on social media is spent on those who have thirst for popularity; those who are seeking more followers, likes, and comments and trying their best to get ahead of their competitors; those who work very hard to stand out from the crowd. They are called social media influencers.
For the sake of getting to the ‘heart’ of things, I would like to open the “chest” of social media and humanity as it currently stands. Our society within social media has become quite focused on numbers…followers…likes…etc. There has got to be more to social media than that, right?
Let’s break it down and have look at the definition of the word, influence.
>> the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Now, let’s look at the words CHARACTER, DEVELOPMENT, & BEHAVIOR.
>> the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
>> the process of developing or being developed.
>> a specified state of growth or advancement.
>> a new and refined product or idea.
>> an event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.
>> the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially toward others.
Here is the big problem I see with the above excerpt. It’s ALL based on EGO. There is nothing in that explanation that points to the audience itself. What about the audience? The word INFLUENCER in itself points to the IMPACT one has on OTHERS, and yet the goal of the majority of influencers is the sole purpose of self-promotion and popularity. I am not saying you can never post another selfie. I post them…I get it. My goal with this post is grander than the topic of selfies. Stay with me.
This has been on my mind for a long time, and I have struggled with how to reconcile our society’s mindset as a whole around social media and the “influence” that we have on each other…micro and macro.
Let’s talk numbers.
Considering the impact that what we do/say has on others, let’s talk about numbers. Every ONE counts in our audience. Well, at least they are supposed to count.
Many people on social media have become obsessed with the “number of followers” they have…not necessarily the value of the audience or the content that the followers (no matter how many there are) consume.
When I am working with a client who expresses their desire for “more followers,” I often ask…
“How are you taking care of the followers that you DO have?”
“What value are you giving them that would make those individuals want to engage, and further share your content with others?”
There is (ideally) a person behind every single social media account following you. Those are people…with jobs, families, friends, interests, concerns, passions, beliefs…and their own circle of influence.
All of the sudden, all those people who are following you are put into one physical room…all facing a stage that you are scheduled to stand on and give a keynote. The message you give will either change their lives for the better or for the worse.
What would you say?
What would you present visually?
How would you inspire?
How would you communicate your message?
How would your keynote make them feel?
Is your presentation memorable or forgettable?
Would that audience leave that presentation motivated to tell others about it positively or embarrassed that they showed up in the first place?
What would they say to others about their experience after they left?
Would they invite others to your next keynote?
Would they come back for more…on purpose?
The answers to these questions should help drive how we behave on social…how we influence.
Using the above scenario in consideration of numbers, what if the size of the in-person audience was 50 people? 1,000 people? 10,000 people? 1 million people?
At what point is your ability to take care of that size audience more than you can manage emotionally, physically, financially?
Are you taking care of your 0-100 followers well?
Are they receiving value?
Are they being nurtured by your influence?
If they all (or most) became customers overnight, would you be able to handle the workflow?
If honoring others is our priority, are we serving our EXISTING audience well?
I never recommend my clients to “buy followers.” Why? Because we want real people to serve. We want to help real people. Often “buying followers” means buying a number. That number is not real. Those accounts will not engage like you are wanting and needing. They will not be true members of your tribe.
I personally don’t have a massive Instagram following, and I am completely happy with that. My goals are different than others. I want every single “follower” to be someone who has CHOSEN to take part in the community that my message attracts and supports. It’s incredibly important to me. I want to serve them all at my best and within my capabilities. I want to grow it at the pace that I can serve them well…always.
One of the #1 reasons businesses fail is they are not ready for the success they have. If we are in this for the “Infinite Game,” as Simon Sinek would put it, then we all must work diligently to build a strong foundation…even on social media.
Growth with constant consideration of each step is where sustainability thrives.
Honor your audience.
Support your audience.
Respect your audience.
Bring value to your audience.
Help your audience thrive.
These are the ways to grow with authenticity and integrity…and your future self will thank you!