Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Steps to Build Thought Leadership Through Social Media

So you have a company and want to start using social media as a way to build brand awareness and acquire customers. One of the most effective social media strategies to achieve this is by developing strong thought leadership.

The Thought Leadership Goal

Become the trusted source of great content for your target audience.

Traditionally VS The Now


Traditionally people used to turn to newspapers, magazines, or trade journals to get insights into their industry, a hobby, a specific interest, or subject matter they care about.

The Now

Now people are turning to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, YouTube channels to gather insights into things they care about. This is where your thought leadership social media strategy comes in.

So how do you do that? Below are 5 steps to help you set this up:


5 Steps to Building Building Thought Leadership

Step 1: Target Audience (First & Most Important Step)

Do you know your target audience? I know this sounds simple, but you must be able to answer yes to this question before you begin your social media marketing strategy. If you know this you can confidently move on step 2

Step 2: Does Your Target Audience Use Social Media?

You have to answer this question also. I am all for social media, but there might be some cases where the target audience does not use or hang out on social media channels. If that is the case you might want to reconsider your social media strategy. If they do, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Become the Trusted Source

What insights and knowledge does your target audience want to learn daily? If you have done the research on your target audience, this will be pretty easy. By knowing what they care about, everything you post through social media should be targeted at helping your target audience learn the latest and greatest of what they care about. Be patient one tweet or Facebook post is not going to automatically do this. You have to move to step 4.

Step 4: Be Consistent

Be consistent, what more can I say. You need to develop a constant rhythm by which you deliver your content through social media.

Step 5: Measure Success

So how do your determine the business impact of your thought leadership social media strategy. Is it driving business forward? Here are a few companies who can help you track and measure your social media success.

Top Social Media Measurement Software Companies

Sprout Social

Real-World Example of a Social Media Thought Leadership Strategy

Here is an example of what we have done at my company to drive thought leadership through social media strategies and it is working. We can track business opportunities and closed business directly contributed to our social media strategy and it has huge ROI.

Talking Work


Talking work is a micro website that we developed for our target audience. Talking Work hosts daily blog posts, weekly podcasts, and expert advice for our target audience (project managers who are trained or accidental).

You can check out Talking Work by clicking here

We had a fun time putting together this Talking Work podcast teaser

Following the five steps above will ensure you set up a strong thought leadership social media strategy and reap the reward—new customers who trust your voice.

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