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.Image:sacsconsult.com.au
Think of how you can make yourself stand out in your industry by sharing something new, different or insightful about the trends for your audience. It might be through writing a white paper and then sharing the link to where people can download it, but it might also be sharing a series of blog posts on how new legislation affects Tasmanian businesses, sharing an infographic you have produced or telling your networks about a webinar you are planning on a hot topic. You could also be challenging existing beliefs or notions, and shedding new light on the topics with statistics or new research. Whatever your method/s of sharing your expertise, the main point to remember is that social media is about having conversations online and driving engagement with your 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. Blog about your area of expertise, making sure your blog covers the same ideas as your USP (unique selling proposition), but use it to cement you as the expert on that topic. Remember, each platform has slightly different audiences and you have to craft your message differently for each - you can’t broadcast the same message to everyone. And broadcasting doesn’t work either because you are sharing, talking and building a relationship.Image: social-media-optimization.com
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.Image:eventinars.com
Best known for driving the Tasmania hashtag, Discover Tasmania is a great example of how you can take your niche and own it on Twitter. The team behind the profile uses the following tools:Sharing images of ionic Tasmanian scenesPosting updates and images about Tasmanian businessesHighlighting tourist destinationsThings to do around the state for locals and touristsResharing media coverage about TasmaniaRetweeting those mentioning TasmaniaCompetitions
When bushfires hit our state earlier this year people were scrambling for information about where was affected, which areas were in the bushfire line, where they could go and who they could ask for help. Everything was moving at such a fast pace that traditional media couldn't keep up and social media became the quick source of information. UTAS PhD student Mel Irons wanted to help and set up this Facebook which became an information hub for anything to do with the fires. Initially it started as a place to post supplies, accommodation etc but became much more as she manned it constantly during the crisis. Mel has since been asked to consult on how social media can be used by emergency services and he has been featured in the media and asked to speak as an expert on social media communications in crises.
LinkedIn is more than just a site where you can post your CV, LinkedIn offers many other opportunities to promote your expertise, if that’s where your customers/clients are:Post interesting research, articles, blogs, interviews etcFollow other thought leaders and share their content with your networkJoin groups related to your industry and post discussion points and questions, plus answer other's questionsUse the Slideshare app to share PowerPoint presentationsSearch for contacts in the companies you want to work with and connect with them or ask a mutual friend to connect youUse TripIt to see when your contacts are traveling near you/or you are traveling near them and set up meetings.
Twitter allows potential customers to follow you, read what you tweet, check out the links you post, talk to others about you and see who you interact with. Twitter also helps you to stay current with events. The more valuable followers find your content, the more you will be retweeted and the more followers you will gain, which builds your popularity. Other ways to use Twitter for thought leadership:Use hashtags with the key words in your industry so people outside your networks can find your contentTweet the latest blog you have written to drive customers/clients to your siteAttend Tweetups in your areaConduct polls and questions for fast answers and raw market researchTweet what you are reading to show your network what interests youUpload product/business photosUse a widget to publish tweets on your websiteMonitor your brand via Twitter’s in-built search tool to see what others aresaying. This might be to answer a question on your area, or to respond to a statement about your brandInvite people to retweet and share your tweets.
Like using Twitter to build relationships and establish your credibility, Facebook business pages and groups are also a great way to build a loyal community who will help spread the word for you. These messages have the potential to go viral, which could be very powerful. And also like Twitter, when a Facebook user makes a comment, posts a photo, or sets up a group, everyone in their network is automatically notified. This means if one of your ‘likers’ comments on a new product you posted on your Facebook page, your brand is exposed to their entire network (as long as your security settings are right), which could be hundreds or thousands of people. Other ways to use Facebook for thought leadership include:Share unique information, such as a new product before it’s official launch, with your page likersSet up a group, like a mastermind or VIP customers group, to chat with customers/clients, post information, launch products, conduct research or upload product photosPost links to interesting articles, webinars, videos, podcasts etc that will interest your audienceNetwork your blog so it appears on your page once you’ve posted it.
I spoke briefly about blogging before, but i wanted to come back to it because its so important. Have you noticed how many of the world's the top thought leaders blog? Think Richard Branson, Naomi Simson and Seth Godin. Millions of people read their words daily. A well-written blog that covers the most important topics in your industry is a vital tool to establish your credibility, but also shows your customers/clients they are dealing its an industry expert. And it helps when people search online too, which we all do now. Once you've established your own blog, the perfect extension is guest blogging on other people's blogs. Seek out other industry thought leaders and share your experience with their networks. This adds further legitimacy to your claim as a leader in your industry.Image: Spiceupyourblog.com
As with everything in life, things don't go swimmingly all the time. So what happens when you've worked really hard to establish yourself as the thought leader in your industry on your favourite social media platform, and someone is working equally hard to tear you down? We call these people trolls, and there are ways to deal with them without dropping to their level. If you've already built a smart community around you, they will probably take on the troll on your behalf. But if you don't have a community powerful enough around you, I have some other tips for you:Privacy - before you go too far down the social media road, familiarise yourself with and use the privacy controls for each of the platforms you useListen - if the troll is really a customer who is complaining, listen to what they are saying. they may be just trying to be heard, or they might have a valid pointIgnore - if the sole purpose is for attention or to make you defensive, just ignore it. You are not obliged to intact with them and your time is worth so much more than pandering to a small-minded personBlock - if they persist and become completely unreasonable you can block the troll. And that's ok to do.Image: delimiter.com.au
Dove's campaign from earlier this year has become the most watched video ad of all time, and the third most shared ad of all time. It's been viewed more than 114 million times in 25 countries across Dove's YouTube channels. The ad shows a forensic artist drawing women who describe themselves and then drawing the same woman, but using a description from one of the other participants and the differences are striking. This ad appealed not just to it's target market, women, but also to men, the media and even other brands. Why do you think it worked so well?Dove is already established as a celebrator of real beauty based on previous campaignsIt evoked an emotional reaction in viewers that made them want to share itIt deals with something relatable.
This was 24-hour online sale was promoted as the sale that stops a nation, with a huge push for weeks beforehand but it turned into a huge failure when the Click Frenzy website crashed as millions of people logged on at once. The sale was an attempt by Australia's online retailers to beat overseas sellers pre-Christmas but failed dismally. The associated Facebook page became the place where people expressed their anger against the brands involved. The excited twitter hashtags #clickfrenzy turned to #clickfail What was the result of this failure?Online retailers associated with Click Frenzy all suffered a dint to their reputationAn expectation was created through a huge publicity campaign and then not metBusinesses involved will have to work hard to win back customers.Image: sbs.com.au
Social Media for Leaders
Social Media for Leaders
With Johanna Baker-Dowdell
July 28, 2013
Why use social media for thought
How can you stand out in your
• Share great content about industry trends
• Think new, different, insightful or even
• Find the right content tool/s for you
What happens if things go bad?
Case study: Dover Real Beauty
Case study: Click Frenzy
Take home points
• Who do you want to reach?
• Find the right platforms
• Get your profile right
• Use a good head shot
• Promote your social media links
• Use your blog to extend relationships
• Add value and be helpful
• Ask questions, answer questions
• Make it easy to reshare your content
Connect with Strawberry
• Web: www.strawberrycommunications.com.au
• Phone: 0477 000 170
• Twitter: @JohannaBD or @bizbabyonboard
• Facebook: StrawberryCommunications
• LinkedIn: johannabakerdowdell
• Google+: Johanna Baker-Dowdell
• Blog: Strawberry Communications Blog, Business &
Baby on Board