In the social media age we're all obsessed with creating content that's supposed to be engaging, get new followers and make us 'Thought Leaders' with Hashtag attached. Where is the Passion and Inspiration behind much of the content we find on Social Media?

In fact, I am guilty of it myself. I scour Twitter to know what the latest 'On-line Conversation' is about this, that and the other. Big Data maps out the ‘Customer Journey’ we are all supposed to take in the pursuit of some product or service we are told we cannot live without.  New algorithms are developed to continually outsmart our own thinking and to keep SEO Experts and Web Developers in eternal business.  But what about the real people behind the volumes of content that is created and posted every single minute of the day? 

Taking the example of well-known Thought Leaders, their posting is generally not limited to a set of prescribed Hashtags.  The most successful social media accounts of Business Gurus and well-known Thought Leaders provide daily inspiration with insight into what they are passionate about.  Characters like Elon Musk and Richard Branson serve as leading examples by sharing what makes them the human beings they are and what they are passionate about.

Writing from the Heart

Common to all successful Influencers and Thought Leaders is their ability to communicate with emotional intelligence in a way that connects them with the public.  Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is more talked about for the causes he supports than his professional activities because he includes his audience on his life’s journey.  Content is King these days, therefore any personal branding campaign needs to present a cohesive and compelling story with a point.  Many global business leaders pursue their philanthropic causes with the power of blogging and social media engagement.  Who does not know Leonardo DiCaprio for his campaigning on environmental issues as well as his acting achievements.  His address to the UN was powerful and reached millions around the globe and was widely reported on social media, in the press and international news channels.  His message to preserve the planet was loud and clear as the main cause close to his heart and therefore uppermost on his mind.

Be Clear on Your Message

We always advise our clients to show their true persona on social media and to be clear on the image they wish to portray of themselves.  A professional network like LinkedIn is not the place to share one’s personal strives and journey.  Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram allow users to create business accounts that are separate from their personal profiles.  Unless you are in show-business, nobody wants to see endless selfies and reams of posts about meaningless moments.  Less is always more.

More books, fewer blogs

We all like blogs because they’re easy to digest, and we can come and go as we please and read from start to finish in a few minutes. We are also inherently reactive people, and blogs allow us to communicate and discuss with others immediately.  Books, however, contain scores of ideas not being dealt with in the blogosphere, and I guarantee if you take a weekend to read a book from start to finish, you’ll be full of writing material for weeks. Take notes, “react” with yourself as you read, and pick up a book instead of only depending on Google Reader.

Listen to Music

To be a motivated and inspired writer, listen to music – there’s something about the “right” song that can have you from feeling brain-dead with writers block to painting masterpieces like Michelangelo.  Musicians are artists who usually order the track listings intentionally. Albums tell a story, they paint a picture; and isn’t that what we want to do as writers with our blogs?

Read Articles outside your Niche

If you write about social media, are you only reading inside the echo chamber? Doing this exclusively becomes mind numbing. The best writers are those who can spot the intersection between different topics to reach a wider audience. Keep an eye on what people are doing, but push yourself to break away and set the trends. Simply become more proactive in everything you do.

Unplug and Disconnect to Connect

With Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Reader, Email, Instant Messaging, and so on – there is a virtually limitless number of distractions out there. When I need to really focus and I want to put out my very best writing, I force myself to unplug. It is AMAZING what you can accomplish when you take time to unplug and “become one” with your writing. Set a specific day every week when you can disconnect and take time for yourself.

Be Patient

Writing a masterpiece isn’t going to happen overnight. Bloggers get burned out because they start strong and then fizzle when the world doesn’t beat an immediate path to them. Above all, a strong community grounded in quality content takes time to develop, but as long as you are passionate about writing, the rest falls into place. Focus intently on creating exceptional content and reach out to others to share, and great things do indeed happen.

What would you encourage the rest of us to do to maximise our writing potential and find inspiration?