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Leadership Great South Coast is an annual leadership program provided to 25 emerging leaders from within the business, community and government sectors.  I was invited to workshop the social media component of the program.

Alex presenting at the Great South Leadership Conference

Alex presenting at the Great South Leadership Conference

Social media is used increasingly within both a personal and professional capacity. It is important for emerging leaders to have an understanding of social media and its use as an interactive communication medium.

The workshop was held in Port Fairy. I discussed several social media tools, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and others.  Like any communication tool, each social media platform has its own strengths and demographics. LinkedIn, for example, is extremely useful in reaching professional networks, while Pinterest can work well for retail, fashion through the visual representation of content.

Social media is a communication platform that is used in a personal and professional capacity. It is possible to hide content but online privacy is not always guaranteed. It is always better to not share questionable content, rather than to risk it being found by employers or others. Inappropriate content  may adversely affect your reputation or that of your business or organisation.

The Port Fairy Community Services Centre

The Port Fairy Community Services Centre

Similarly, there is a need to manage a social media presence on an ongoing basis.  Social media needs to be kept up-to-date with new content, otherwise its effectiveness is hampered.  The Australian Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has recently ruled that an organisation is responsible for all content on its Facebook page, including items posted by other users.  The ruling was supported by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and requires organisations and businesses to actively manage and curate the content on their pages.

The lighthouse at Port Fairy on Griffiths Island

The lighthouse at Port Fairy on Griffiths Island

It is also important to have effective policies that can stimulate and manage discussion on social media. Organisations need to deal effectively with negative comments, taking the time to understand and transform negativity, while promptly removing offensive remarks.  Social media policies should be readily accessible to ensure that all contributors are clear on acceptable usage.

Port Fairy is an extremely picturesque town and it was fantastic to be able to share my social media experiences with aspiring leaders.

I was the first elected Councillor in Australia to utilise blogging along with social media as a communications tool. It is inspiring to be able to share this knowledge with emerging leaders.

 

Alex Makin

Author Alex Makin

In a career spanning over fifteen years, Alex has been instrumental in transforming, reinvigorating and growing the capacity of businesses and not-for-profit organisations. He is a visionary who understands the big picture. Alex's expertise is a Certified Practising Marketer and as Chair of the Victorian State Council of the Australian Marketing Institute. Alex is also an accomplished speaker, author and mentor and former Mayor and Councillor for the City of Maroondah.

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