Dear Entrepreneur, Are You Social Media Literate?

80% of the CEOs of the world’s biggest company is social media literate. A huge leap from 2010’s 36%.”
Harvard Business Review, 2015

With the current state of today’s social media, decision makers need to go beyond “following” the current, they need to be able to have the right paradigm to differentiate, thrive & survive on Social Media.

What exactly is social media literacy?

It’s not your usual literacy equals to awareness kind of literacy. You should look at the bigger picture, not because you “understand” how social media works, that would automatically make you a social media literate person (or organization).

On a non-professional capacity, social media literacy translates to you being the creator, curator, and distributor.

The bulk of work is wrapped in content creation because it requires having the skillset to “know what you need to say when and where.” The content you create can either encourage dialogue, establish your thought leadership or engage your target audience creatively. The channels for distribution is an industry and market-based decision that you need to make. Where is your market and which industry do you belong to? The academe engages in scholastic conversation, so if you are from this space, you are looking at lengthy, fact based content. If you are product consumable by millennials, you better be on Twitter & Instagram. And the C-levels with all their glorious business lingo thrives on LinkedIn most of the time.

What makes curation important? Minus creation you will literally blow your content creator’s mind to kingdom come – if not yours. The beauty of creation is that you get to bring together relevant content created by your followers, and those you follow. Making sure that you are focused on your domain expertise, there are a lot of existing content that you can curate. For every curated content, make sure you add your own voice in the form of insights and short commentaries.

The last component that would complete creation and curation is distribution. Your social media literacy depends on having all these in the right place. The message you craft either from your own creation or curated creation needs to be discovered by your target audience. That is where finding the right distribution channel is essential.

If you are on the C-level, you would need to make sure that your people are social media literate by keeping these components in place. In a communication standpoint, information is accessible via multitouch, multipoint channels. Because of this, decision makers need to measure and tweak as needed.

Your social media voice.

The greatest measure of your social media literacy is your consistency in your brand message. What are you saying and why are you saying such things? It’s not easy to master this, but you need to start a lifestyle of authenticity, make yourself or your brand vulnerable, make sure you are in touch with reality if there are challenges talk about it if there is chaos transform it into longer conversations.

Are you ready?

A quick visit to the content you have right now, the messaging that you are using and current mindset of your team will save you a lot of time in the future.

Social media literacy is not just an added bonus in today’s business environment – it is a must.