Are you one of the Forbes Top 50 social media power influencers of 2013? If you’re not, you probably want to be! What is the secret to having hundreds of thousands hang on to your every word and match your next action? I haven’t discovered the complete thing yet (hence not there myself ;)). But I can let you in on one small bit of it.
Haydn Shaughnessy himself mentioned that leaders this year were more motivational. This is also something I observed over the past year. Many social media influencers I follow and admire tweet a lot of inspirational messages – call them quotes or words of great men if you will. Some even post these across different networks. This is in addition to all the other content they create, talks they give, books they write and big clients they manage.
Why do they take the time to share what Greek philosophers, dead presidents and world leaders, poets and writers or modern day business moguls said about something?
Motivation theories abound. Every individual is driven by some need. Some hanker for a Ferrari, some want to belong or be recognized, some want to wield power – you get the idea. Most of us find it tough to stay inspired every minute of every day. It follows that we appreciate someone who pushes us to better ourselves, cheers us and virtually holds our hand when needed.
If you look up to someone for advice on one thing, chances are you will get to trust them and eventually also seek their opinion on other topics.
A great leader is able to recognize what is important to someone and works to encourage and stimulate his/her bands of followers. In social media, the followers can be in thousands, and the challenge is to reach them in the limited time they might be actually reading their Twitter or Facebook feeds or LinkedIn updates from their network.
Social media influencers seem to have an endless supply of these quotes, and the surprising thing is, I have hardly ever read the same quote from a person across several months. How do they come up with this steady stream of famous words from a wide variety of people ? As daunting as it sounds, it is not impossible.
I have done some research and compiled some simple sources anyone can use to come up with their own handy collection of inspirational quotes. Wherever you live in the world, and whatever formal education you were privy to or not, these are some guaranteed ways to build your own sources.
1. Books on Quotes
Enter any bookstore, whether Barnes and Noble or Crossword or any corner store in your neck of the woods, there is sure to be a section on inspirational quotes. Your local thrift store might yield some gems at penny prices. Don’t forget garage sales, jumble sales or flea markets.
Stock a few books and you will have a go-to source for a long time.
2. Newspapers and magazines
Almost every newspaper publishes a quote for the day. How about tweeting that every day? In addition, many news articles quote leaders on current news items. Note down anything that makes an impression on you. File them by topic and you can build your own collection of quotes.
Business magazines often have a section of quotes from top business leaders. There are interviews, special features etc. where a person talks about their experiences. Pick something that clicks with you.
3. Online websites dedicated to quotes
Do a Google search for ‘quotes’ and you will come across many sites like Brainy Quotes or Quote Garden. You can search on quotes by topic or author or even latest trends. Choose what you like and just ignore the rest.
4. Trunks in the attic
If you’re a pack rat like me, you may have some treasures you don’t know about. Look for those long forgotten year books, scrap books, diaries, college magazines etc. hidden away in your basement or attic. Who knows what words of wisdom someone may have written for you several years ago? For example, the title of this paragraph is actually inspired by a poem my friend wrote many years ago and that was published in our club magazine at that time.
5. Museums and Monuments
Yes. You read that right! Have you noticed how many museums, shops attached to national monuments, or other tourist places often have some printed material for sale? I remember picking up a book on Mahatma Gandhi’s quotes at a monument when we vacationed in New Delhi several years ago. Visit DC’s Mall area and you have your pick of museums and memorials. They will have material for sale or many times as a free giveaway.
Mix up all the above sources and you will have an eclectic quotes collection of your own on a wide range of topics. So will posting these quotes get you hundreds of followers overnight? I think not. But your followers will gradually start noticing and might share with their own network. This can widen your reach beyond your network and earn you more fans. Taking you one step closer to being a social media influencer.
Rome was not built in a day. One thing I can surely say about anyone that’s made it to the top is that they put in a lot of sweat equity – both intellectual and physical. And while fulfilling their dream, they took the time to inspire other people to keep their dreams alive.
What do you think about the various sources I have put together? Are you planning to include motivational messages as part of your repertoire of social media updates? If yes, I want to know why. And if no, I still want to know. So leave a comment below to get this discussion started.