Last week I presented a session on thought leadership and social media to Tasmanian Leaders congress. The room was full of leaders from within the state’s businesses, government and not for profit sectors and one of the most popular questions was, “how do I know which social media platform to use?”
The simple answer is use the platform that works for you and where you know your target audience is, but I’ll go into a bit more detail in this article.
Thought leaders are influencers in their field, as well as being on top of industry trends. Social media is a great tool when establishing yourself personally and professionally online because you can share the expertise you have in your industry, which leads to conversations, relationships and, eventually, business.
So where does thought leadership fit into this? Social media for thought leadership isn’t about pushing marketing messages, it’s about sharing quality content that your networks find valuable and, hopefully, they will share with their networks.
There are many social media platforms you can use to promote your business, with the most popular being Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but the easiest to build your profile as a thought leader is blogging.
Don’t forget to be you when using social media for business. Be genuine and don’t do the hard sell when establishing your credentials, and your customers/clients will appreciate getting to know you and your business. Interact with others on their on their preferred social media platforms and build relationships. If people can see you add value to their network, it will flow from there.
Here’s my list of tips:
• Establish exactly who you want to reach
• Find the platforms your clients/customers and potential clients/customers use and connect with them there
• Think carefully about what you include in your social media profiles and keep them on brand across all the platforms you use – get someone else to check they are present you in the right light
• Use a good head shot. This is not the time to show off your quirky side
• Promote your social media links everywhere, including your website, blog, email signature, forum signatures, business cards and letterhead
• Use your blog to extend the relationships you create via social media
• Add value to your networks and be helpful
• Ask questions of your networks to promote engagement, but also answer questions
• Make anything you share online easy to reshare and link to so your brand can be extended.
If you want to see the slides from this presentation, I have uploaded them to SlideShare.