To position themselves as thought leaders, many individuals are harnessing the power of social media platforms. Since there is minimal cost involved and returns are high, social media marketing has gained the reputation of being a solid strategy to take your business to new heights.
Who Is A Thought Leader?
A thought leader is an individual who drives discussions, creates conversations and assists in the evolution of their industry. Some people feel that thought leaders are those who are at the very top of a firm while others believe that thought leaders exist at all levels, i.e. from local to global.
Similar to influencers, thought leaders are considered as authorities in their niche or industry. Competitors, customers, and business partners depend on them for inspiration and information. In order to be considered a thought leader, it is necessary to have expertise in the field and have outstanding leadership qualities.
Is It Necessary To Be A Thought Leader?
Savvy and experienced thought leaders are creating professional brands as well as implementing thought leadership tactics. This positions them and their firm as leaders and gives valuable resources to audiences.
So, by establishing yourself as a thought leader, you can attract new opportunities, advance your career and bring value to your business.
Building Thought Leadership
Mentioned below are some steps you can follow to create thought leadership using social media tools:
1. Define Your Audience And Your Message
One of the most important aspects of social media marketing is to understand your target audience. As a thought leader, you need to be aware of what their interests are and how they are using the Internet. Keep in mind that each person will have different social habits. The social media habits of a retired car racer will be entirely different from that of a young IT professional.
The positioning strategy and messages a thought leader selects need to capture the attention of audiences. Here, you need to compare the various social media platforms and analyse how they differ based on the kind of outreach you want. For example, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram might be crucial for professional photographers, but for a manager of a confectionary shop, it will be a bit too much.
Study websites where your current and potential customers spend their time and observe their interactions. This is important especially when you are going to engage with them in conversations.
2. Effective Communication
The key to building an audience of any kind is communication. You need to communicate the values and ideas of your company succinctly or hire a professional to do it for you. It is also necessary for a thought leader to experiment with various media formats like videos, articles, and infographics.
Furthermore, you must create content which can highlight your expertise and promote it through social media.
3. Provide Value To Your Audience Through Exclusive Offers
As a thought leader, you must present yourself as an expert on issues that interest your online community. As a part of this, it is necessary to provide exclusive content to your audience. In order to position yourself as the go-to individual in the space, it is important to provide immediate value to your audience. Plus, you can provide various touchpoints, so that are engaged with your messages.
To ensure that you render the most value to followers, try to follow these basic tactics –
- Provide exceptional gated content like e-books, whitepapers, and other useful tools which can be downloaded from your blogs.
- Give special offers to readers and visitors who subscribe to your updates and content through your website.
- Engage your VIP clients with high-touch services like mastermind groups, coaching sessions, and various networking events. No doubt, they are the best referral sources and advocates for your business.
- Try to partner with relevant firms and brands to create unique offerings for your audience. You can also get new followers through this process.
4. Be Responsive And Transparent
Transparency is a fundamental quality needed when engaging with individuals on social media. People do not appreciate spam, so sending promotional and marketing messages can distance them from your brand.
As a thought leader, try to be real and genuine while you are engaging with people on social media. You need to react and behave pretty much like how you would treat friends and customers in a social setting or store. If an individual posts negative comments about your services and products, react promptly and in a professional manner. Try to settle the issue without drawing attention to it.
This kind of speedy responsiveness will display your commitment to keeping customers happy and improve their experience with your brand.
5. Always Stay Grounded
No matter how much social media glory and fame you achieve, do not let it go to your head. If you get enamoured by the attention and the celebrity status bestowed upon you, you may start to make mistakes.
Be grounded and stay focussed on being a thought leader rather than an online celebrity. It is easy to get carried away, but look at social media solely as a tool to achieve your career goals.
Becoming an influencer, expert and a thought leader is not easy, but there are major benefits involved. With thought leadership comes profits, recognition, and career success.