10 Mar Cultivating a Motivational Social Media Presence
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people have always turned to successful leaders to guide, motivate, and inspire them. Social media is an effective channel for executives to become a trusted leader to a large audience, particularly in these times of remote communication.
Michele Romanow, the co-founder of lending firm Clearbanc, has dedicated her social media presence towards inspiring others. She also won the title of Best Leader on Instagram for the 2020 CSuite Digital Leadership Awards, the criteria of which required business leaders to have an engaged following and an overall mastery of Instagram by using compelling visuals to tell a story about their business, values, and leadership style. In this article, we’ll be looking at how Romanow’s Instagram and Twitter presence led to this award win!
An Inspirational Instagram
Michele Romanow’s Instagram account has 55.9K followers. Her Instagram mixes personal, day-to-day posts with more professional-focused, motivational posts.
Executives should be wary that, at times, inspirational content may come across as generic. However, Romanow is sure to add a unique spin to her content by drawing on her own experiences. She also practices transparency by outlining the shortcomings and barriers she has faced throughout her professional career. For instance, in the video below, she discusses the failures she has experienced, and encourages others to embrace failure as a necessary part of the journey to success. By showing vulnerability through posts like this, Romanow humanizes herself (and by proxy, her brand) which helps her come across as a humble and grounded leader. Followers are more likely to engage with a leader who puts forth an honest and approachable vibe, as opposed to one who is overly corporate or buttoned up, as they may come across as cold or detached.
Her Instagram feed is also visually diverse, as she makes use of all of the platform’s formats like images, videos, Live videos, IGTVs, Stories, and Highlights. Romanow has even created her own branded hashtag (#michtips) and makes use of other Instagram-specific initiatives like giveaways, which shows her attentiveness to the platform’s best practices and features. Romanow also heavily relies on video, which is an effective choice since video formats tend to garner the most audience engagement. Executives don’t always have to include professionally shot videos on social media; in fact, lower quality videos are well-received by users since they don’t seem overly curated and therefore come across as more authentic.
Romanow also frequently repurposes her original Twitter content into Instagram graphics. Executives who do this can save time on content creation and immortalize their own quotes in a more widely shareable format.
Romanow isn’t afraid to use humor in her posts, and even goes so far to include images or GIFs of herself in meme format (as seen in the post below). Incorporating humor keeps her content fresh, eye-catching, and enticing for younger audiences, who tend to resonate with this type of humor.
Overall, Romanow positions herself as an authentic guide to help others to succeed in life. Through her motivational content, her Instagram feed is a reliable source for her followers to find positive reinforcement, which simultaneously builds a positive reputation for herself.
A Thought Leadership Angle on Twitter
Romanow’s Twitter account, which has 23.7K followers, includes more company-related and promotional content than her Instagram does. Her content is more catered towards other leaders and entrepreneurs, as this is the primary demographic for her company, Clearbanc. That said, Romanow still injects a motivational tone into her posts. For example, in the Twitter thread example below, Romanow’s opening tweet appeals to the reader’s emotions. It then continues in a more promotional style to highlight a company effort. Executives, content that is structured like this helps customers feel like their well-being is being prioritized above all else, which has become an increasingly valued factor throughout the pandemic.
It’s great if you have “friends and family” who can write you a $10-50k check but most brilliant entrepreneurs don’t run in those circles and don’t have a rich, successful uncle or aunt who can provide capital and guidance to avoid the pitfalls of early startup life.
— Michele Romanow (@MicheleRomanow) February 25, 2021
Below is an example of how Romanow uses Twitter to offer valuable tips for other leaders and entrepreneurs:
The 3 skills you need to win in 2021 are:
1. Leadership competency in crisis
2. Data literacy to make fast, smart decisions
3. Understanding the macroeconomy and the actions of human behaviour
— Michele Romanow (@MicheleRomanow) February 15, 2021
Where Romanow’s Instagram account is very image-heavy, her Twitter is primarily composed of text-only tweets. She primarily provides original thoughts which feature tidbits of professional wisdom, and are angled towards helping others find success. Romanow also frequently encourages user engagement (as seen below), which is an effective way for leaders to let their followers know they are listening and helps to build a comprehensive, meaningful social media community. Twitter is also an ideal space to put forth short and eye-catching text due to strict character limits, which Romanow accomplishes by writing concise and straightforward tweets.
To all female founders, share with me your founder story for an opportunity to be in our next international campaign. The @clearbanc team is working on something really exciting and I would love to include some incredible female founders here.
— Michele Romanow (@MicheleRomanow) February 2, 2021
Areas for Improvement
Though Romanow’s social media presence on Instagram and Twitter are strong, one area for improvement on Instagram is to improve the readability of her Story Highlight icons. At the moment, the text is hard to read, which may be off-putting to users or make them less compelled to click on or understand each Highlight’s purpose. Highlights can be used to take users on a quick, efficient journey on a specific topic, so each icon’s readability should be a priority. Additionally, while Romanow does share some third-party content on her Twitter feed, she primarily only features links to content that directly mentions her company. While this is an effective way to draw attention to media mentions, including more third-party content from reputable sources can help to build her reputation as an industry expert.
Overall, Romanow appears to be very social media savvy. She posts consistently across all her platforms, understands each platform’s best practices, and makes use of all the various formats they have to offer. She uses her channels to effectively inspire followers, both on a professional and personal level, and engage in open conversations with them while simultaneously lifting up her own brand.
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