6 Ways to Build Thought Leadership Using Social MediaTraditional marketing tactics are no longer as effective as they used to be. Decision-makers and consumers are constantly turning to genuine and authentic voices when it comes to making purchase decisions. This is where thought leadership comes in - a content marketing tool that lets you establish authority in your niche, enhance credibility, and build trust. It involves sharing your unique point of view and delivering value while growing your brand in the process. As per the 2019 Edelman-LinkedIn B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study, there was an 8-point increase in the amount of weekly reading by decision-makers over the last year proving the growing consumption of such content. Social media happens to be one of the most effective mediums when it comes to demonstrating thought leadership because it serves as the direct channel between you and your audience, enabling you to initiate conversations, offer valuable insights, and engage with them. Here’s how you can leverage social media channels to build thought leadership.
1. Understand Your Target AudienceRemember, thought leadership is not about you, it’s about your audience. In order to appeal to them, you need to first identify your target audience, know what interests them, what their pain points are, the social media platforms they’re on and the kind of content formats that resonate with them. Spend quality time researching your audience which will help you focus on creating in-depth and relevant content that will make you (and your company) stand out.
2. Create A Professional Social Media ProfileAs a thought leader, you represent your brand and everything it stands for. The first thing your potential audience sees is your social media profile. From your headline and profile picture to the summary and use of rich media to strengthen your expertise - your social media profile should add to your credibility and give people a reason to take you seriously. So, make sure you create a power-packed profile and constantly update it to remain relevant. It’s also a good idea to insert your email address to make it easier for people to contact you.
3. Post Quality Content RegularlyIt’s not enough to post once in a month and disappear. Thought leaders are not built in a day. It takes consistent efforts to become worthy of being a thought leader. Make it a point to post quality content regularly that hooks your audience and engage with the comments you receive. You need to be active on social media to build a strong community of loyalists. Whether it’s posting once a week or bi-weekly, create a content calendar to plan and schedule your posts. This will help you stay more consistent and strengthen your online presence.
4. Join Relevant Groups And Participate In DiscussionsLinkedIn and Facebook groups give you access to like-minded individuals. Joining the right groups and utilizing them effectively to share perspectives, answer questions and network can help you reach your potential audience. Start with identifying a couple of groups that are related to your industry/niche and where your audience is likely to be. Focus on quality and not quantity - you rather be active on 4-5 groups instead of joining several groups and not being active on any. Apart from sharing your insightful articles, do make it a point to participate in relevant discussions and get people to take notice of you. Just the way a content calendar helps you post regularly, it’s a good idea to set an alarm and put aside 10-15 minutes every day to participate in the groups you’re part of.
5. Network With Industry Leaders And InfluencersAs a thought leader, you need to constantly be updated on the latest trends and work on expanding your knowledge base. What better way to do that than network with other industry leaders and influencers? This helps you strengthen relations, expand your community, build credibility and take note of new perspectives. That’s not all, you can also look at co-creating content with influencers in your industry to amplify your voice and boost visibility. An example of a B2B brand that did this is Cherwell Software, an IT service management company. They collaborated with 15 IT leaders to create blog posts, an eBook and content for social media. The eBook received 170% more views than their other assets.
6. Answer Questions Related To Your Niche On QuoraThe best part about Quora is that people are actively looking for answers on that platform. This gives you the opportunity to establish your expertise by answering their questions and addressing their challenges. However, it’s important to remember that there is no place for half-baked, run-of-the-mill answers here. Your answers have to be in-depth and insightful - that’s the only way you can differentiate yourself, create awareness and generate leads for your business. Here’s an example of a Quora answer by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk - it’s practical, to the point and meaningful. Now you know - thought leadership content is not just a “buzzword”. It’s powerful and it matters like never before, especially if you’re a B2B company. So, include it in your content marketing strategy and leverage it to create awareness, drive traffic, and generate leads. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About The AuthorAdela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Antara Agarwal is a full time marketing consultant at Outgrow. She can be found packing her bags for her next trip, often to the mountains. And in one of those bags you will always find a half finished book she’s been struggling with for months.