Aristotle once said, “He who cannot be a good follower cannot be a good leader.”
While I can’t say he was referencing Twitter, the wise philosopher certainly knew what he was talking about. In the age of new media, following is an increasingly overt component of leadership. Leading companies take advantage of Facebook, myspace, Twitter and the like, to follow the conversation about their brand and business opportunities and engage with stakeholders in transparent and courageous dialogue resulting in mutual gain.
But who should you follow? It depends on your target audiences and needs. For companies promoting corporate philanthropic programs, a few ideas on who to follow and why are below.
Nonprofit Partners: Learn what they’re doing, who they’re working with and how you can help. Don’t forget to encourage them to promote your program using new media.
Employees: Connect with your employees online and outside of work to create internal and external program ambassadors, solicit feedback on the program and identify volunteer opportunities.
Customers: Gauge consumer interest in your cause of choice, monitor for program commentary, and spread awareness by activating consumers virally online.
Issue Leaders: Stay abreast of the latest trends from the mouths of the movers and shakers; identify opportunities to engage and collaborate on the next big idea.
Issue Competitors: Keep track of the newest programs other companies are implementing that impact your issue, discover best practices and apply them to ensure your program becomes the best.
Convening Organizations: Learn about upcoming conferences and events and program promotion opportunities and identify the value of participating.
- Jillian Wilson Martin, Senior Account Executive