Social Media

Honestly, it's time to encourage, enlighten and inspire your followers, instead of taking photos of your lunch or letting them know you're at Starbucks. (Pixabay)

While there is more to life than simply growing your social media following, the impact you can have on followers is enormous. So whether you have 5 or 500,000 social media followers, there's an important secret I've learned. I'm not a social media expert, but in my experience, one of the biggest reasons people follow you on social media is:

They want to know what it's like to be you.

Simple as that. Particularly if you're a leader, most people can't just call you up and meet over coffee. But when you reveal the inside story of your life, it's a similar experience. Honestly, it's time to encourage, enlighten and inspire your followers, instead of taking photos of your lunch or letting them know you're at Starbucks.

In other words, tell me the real story about your challenges, obstacles, frustrations and victories. Give me an insider's look at your job. For instance, if you're a pastor, tell me about your struggles developing a new sermon series. If you're a speaker, tell me about your jitters backstage before you speak. If you're a salesperson, tell me about the techniques that made you a success. If you're a teacher, tell me about your hardest cases and how you overcame them.

Social media users hear surface stories all day long. What we're looking for is insight. It's not about bragging but about sharing things that only you know. Strategies, tactics and techniques you've experienced the hard way. The secrets of your successes—and your failures.

Most people aren't interested in shallow opinions, unformed thoughts or glib motivational quotes. What they're looking for is the inside story—the story only you can tell.

An internationally known writer and speaker, Phil Cooke has produced media programming in nearly 50 countries around the world.

This article originally appeared at

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