In today’s digital age, thought leadership on social media can be a powerful tool for building business opportunities and making strategic connections. Similar to social influencers, social media thought leaders invest in developing their personal brand and finding unique ways to influence and captivate their audience. However, the focus for thought leaders is on establishing themselves as experts with precise knowledge tied to a particular industry or topic of interest, as opposed to lifestyle-oriented influence. Through a strategic approach to social media and content marketing, aspiring thought leaders can build a loyal following and become valuable resources for others in their industry.
Importance of Being a Thought Leader on Social Media
The benefits of positioning yourself as a thought leader on social media are clear. According to a study by LinkedIn, companies with executives who are active on social media are perceived as 60 percent more credible, 50 percent more likely to attract top talent and 47 percent more likely to have their company discovered and products or services purchased over other industry leaders. LinkedIn also found that executives who engage in thought leadership on social media can connect with buyers on a deeper level with 63 percent stating this type of content provides “proof that an organization genuinely understands or can solve specific business challenges”.
As social media continues to play an increasingly important role in business, thought leaders are becoming an essential asset for building connections and opportunities.
Steps to Promoting Thought Leadership on Social Media
When establishing yourself as a thought leader on social media, it’s crucial to have a well-thought out strategy in place. Here are a few steps to consider when developing and executing thought leadership strategies for social media platforms:
- Define your personal and company goals.
- Identify the social media platforms that align with your goals and target audience (LinkedIn and Twitter are great starting points for B2B thought leadership!).
- Develop a content marketing strategy that provides value to your audience and reinforces your personal brand and company goals.
- Use relevant hashtags, share industry insights and highlight your experience and accomplishments.
- Engage with your audience through authentic and transparent interaction.
- Track your social metrics and adjust your strategy when needed to optimize performance.
By being authentic, transparent and consistent in their social media presence, thought leaders can quickly build trust and loyalty with their audience while simultaneously driving positive outcomes for their company.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, is a prime example of a thought leader who has used social media to elevate both his personal brand and the corporate Microsoft brand. His authentic and empathetic content has helped position Microsoft as a company that is not just focused on technology, but also on empowering people and organizations to achieve more.
Measuring the Impact of Your Thought Leadership Strategy
Measuring the impact of thought leadership efforts is essential when establishing and maintaining a successful social media strategy and presence. By tracking metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth and website traffic, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your content and adjust your strategy accordingly.
However, it’s just as important to consider the quality of engagements. Are your followers actively participating in conversations and sharing your content with their networks? Are you attracting the attention of other thought leaders in your industry? Qualitative measures are just as insightful as quantitative metrics, as they provide a more nuanced understanding of the impact of your thought leadership strategy.
But always remember – social media thought leadership is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort and dedication.
Social media offers executives and subject matter experts an opportunity to establish themselves as thought leaders and elevate their company’s brand and reputation. By following the steps outlined above and consistently sharing valuable insights and expertise, you can build a loyal following, drive business objectives and generate leads for your organization.
At W2 Communications, we help our clients tell their stories and position themselves as social media thought leaders. Want to learn more? Contact our team today!