DNA of a Social Media Influencer

The DNA of a Social Media Influencer: how to win in the world of social media with your ideas

Long before the advent of social media and social media influencer, Steve Jobs recruited evangelists to enlist developers for the Macintosh Operating System. The Chief Evangelist for Macintosh was Guy Kawasaki, now world famous entrepreneur, venture capitalist, best selling author, speaker and of course, social media influencer.

People with passion can change the world for the better.” – Steve Jobs

What was an evangelist then is an influencer today. Below I have tried to dissect the characteristics that make for a good influencer, without glamorizing the concept. Who is or is not an influencer changes very dynamically as it is impossible to influence someone without getting influenced in the process. User-generated, crowdsourced and democratic platforms give birth everyday to unsung and unknown stars.

Here are eight characteristics that distinguish a social media influencer:

An agent of positive change

Social media influencer wants to make a positive difference in the world. Like the guys in garage who create a new product to make the world a better place. They recognize that the world needs more positivity, more creativity, more humanity.

An original researcher of ideas

Information is being generated today faster than ever in the history of mankind. It is difficult to distinguish signal from noise; light from heat. An influencer’s responsibility is to research and bring to surface ideas that can make the biggest impact.

Spots an idea ahead of others, has the courage to stand alone

In the constant triage, research, connecting with people, tracking a sources of half-clues and tell-tale signs, influencers often spot ideas ahead of time. Things that are just appearing on the anvil and will grow with time. Influencers have an innate ability to tell the idea that has potential.

Is willing to be influenced

Reciprocity is the currency of influence. Brilliance is more commonplace than we think. Social media shows that most people converge towards the positive, the witty, the funny and the good. Sometimes fake news and negativity gains prominence but we rise above. Social media influencers, therefore, are willing to be influenced.

Is a connector of dots – possibilities, people, platforms

Social media influencer plays in the big realm of open platforms. They have today exploited the true potential of open networking, free exchange of thoughts across the boundaries of physical world, countries, cultures and companies.

Is data-driven and not a fanatical advocate

Social media provides a platform where it is easy to voice an opinion, build a following and promote an agenda. The world is gravitating towards ideas that combine beautiful art with solid science and data.

Takes in complexity, breathes out simplicity

Influencers take in tremendous amounts of data and breathe out simple messages. They are master storytellers, expert messagers, banking on making ideas memorable.

Articulates with clarity, and on point

Social media influencer builds on the cycle of:

Idea > Influence > Mindset > Action

Influencers spread information that helps people take decisions and action. Counter perspectives are brought together in a unique way, urging the recipient to take action.


Social Media Influencer

iSharad - Leadership and Career Success

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Sharad Verma is currently HR Head (CHRO) for Sears Holdings India.

Sharad’s blog on leadership, talent and innovation is available at www.iSharad.com. Sharad has been named one of the Top 20 Social Media HR Influencers by SHRM, featured as one of the Best HR Heads in India and his column featured in the top 5 most read career advice on Star career website.

A graduate of the prestigious XLRI, Sharad has more than two decades of HR experience. He has previously been Global Head – Human Resources for Polaris Consulting & Services Ltd, Director, Human Resources for SunGard Global Technology, Head of Human Resources for Berkadia (subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway), Monster.com, and The Bank of New York Mellon India.

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