In today’s world, we have followers.

“Followers? On social media?” Well, kind of.

With Facebook topping out to be king of all virtual communication, those who have a Facebook page crave to see their followers increase one by one.

With each “like” and “follow” comes a sense of gratification, acceptance, and belonging. RadiumOne claims social media usage is a dopamine gold mine. “Every time we post, share, ‘like,’ comment or send an invitation online, we are creating an expectation,” according to the study. “We feel a sense of belonging and advance our concept of self through sharing.” No wonder we enjoy this thing called “social media” so much.

To be a leader, you need followers. Whether that is one or millions, it takes two parties to tango.

Let’s look at the definition of “leader” from
Lead·er /ˈlēdər/ noun
1.the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.
“the leader of a protest group”
Synonyms: chief, head, principal;
2. the principal player in a music group.

Obviously, we’re not talking about music, so we’ll look at number one. Who is your favorite Activist? Politician? Service Leader? Communities are filled with leaders of all types who commit themselves to their agendas with the goal of making a purposeful impact on society. Who is your favorite LinkedIn Influencer? Facebook Public Figure? YouTube Beauty Guru? We all know how videos, photos and status updates influence others. Social media influencers might post what they’re eating and then snap their #OOTD to make sure their followers stay engaged and so others are encouraged to follow them (maybe not those topics specifically). Followers may think “Rome was built in a day”, but successful content needs to be approached tactically to gain traction.

Let’s look at what I consider your normal, restless millennial. According to Lucky Attitude, we’re extremely civic-oriented, conscious and entrepreneurs. With entrepreneurship and drive comes a need for that fabulous Facebook page we’ve all been waiting for.
As startups rise, and our patience for politics fall, we feel a constant need to change the world. “Followers” make it easy to do so. With three easy clicks, you can establish your name, your brand, and what you stand for. Whether yourself, a service or a product, each has a purpose for others. You are influencing (and leading) a group of people which you would call your “audience”.

A major component of being a leader is communication. Social media makes it that much easier. With the benefit of the internet, social media allows us to expose ourselves to the largest audience possible. With the ability to create a following, you are seizing the opportunity to lead your audience. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram allows us to engage and interpret information in multitudes of ways allowing us to communicate to others about what we care about most.

But, you don’t need followers to be a leader. Becoming a leader takes a lot of courage, wit, and bravery. Starting with zero followers is a bold move, but a good move in fact. A great leader utilizes their resources effectively and efficiently.

Find your mission and let social media help fuel your leadership endeavors.