“I have a dream” (Martin Luther King, Jr, August 1963).
Without reservation, those four words inspired thousands of people and changed social history forever.
Today we can look back at the characteristics which made Martin Luther King Jr so influential and apply them to business practices on social media in a modern age. There are some fantastic parallels between how he shared his beliefs and grew his following through nothing more than passion for his dream and word-of-mouth. Let’s have a look at some ways you can achieve a similar effect for your brand on social media.
Nobody would have turned up to MLK Jr’s speeches if he had nothing to say, or if he was simply regurgitating old ideas. People felt there was something to gain from listening to him, and they went out of their way to find and talk about his content. Why? Because it was unique, interesting, and presented in a way that got people talking.
This should be the ultimate goal of your social media content: Make it new, interesting, and shareable. If you are talking about an old issue, tackle it from a new angle, or think about it from someone else’s perspective, and always relate it back to what you or your brand’s own stance on the subject.
2. The “Dream”
Think about the people you follow on social media… I’m sure you would be able to identify what each person stands for in their particular field. Martin Luther King had a “dream” which he made explicitly clear every time he addressed the public. It’s this type of vision that attracted like-minded people to his cause, and something that we should all strive for with our own brands, personal and business.
Knowing your product and business inside out as well as having an unwavering and knowing belief in its benefits and quality will help you develop your own dream. Your belief doesn’t have to be as grandiose as Martin Luther King’s, but incorporating your corporate vision into your social media content will help people identify with your brand.
As in any area in business, to get to where you need to go you need dogged determination and focus. What’s the plan? Does your business have a detailed social media strategy which includes achievable goals? If there’s one thing that Martin Luther King Jr had no shortage of, it’s focus. He had an absolute commitment to his dream and never wavered from his beliefs.
The same holds true for your business’s social media presence as well. Growing a large and committed following for your brand is a marathon effort and requires the focus of your whole team to commit to your social media strategy. Given that social media is all about the interaction of people, gathering feedback on your strategy from your team members will likely produce some remarkable insights as well as solidifying the direction in which you’re headed.
There’s one main reason why over 300,000 people marched toward the Lincoln Memorial in 1963: to hear what Martin Luther King had to say. This was in an age without any platforms for user-generated content like Twitter and Facebook — this event was promoted purely through natural word-of-mouth and conversations.
This is the kind of influence any business owner or social media user would love to have. So how do you get it? It’s a natural by-product of all the above characteristics. Influence is such an intangible metric, but if you can generate good content which promotes your vision, stay focused on your plan, stand for your dream and drive your market forward, then influence will come naturally.
Martin Luther King Jr would have been a fantastic icon in today’s social media environment. He lived an unselfish life, all of his content was produced for a greater cause, and he had unwavering focus on his beliefs and goals. By establishing himself he was able to become one of the most influential figures in modern history with a large and diverse following.
Today’s businesses can do the same. The result of implementing the above strategies into your brand’s social media presence will be a growing band of followers and increased influence of your profile both on and offline. This will align your social content with your business goals, helping social media to play a larger part in generating leads and increasing revenue for your company.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Can you see yourself using any of these strategies for your own business? Or can you think of any other attributes of Martin Luther King Jr that you could incorporate into your social media strategy? Let us know in the comments below.