How to Create a Thought Leadership Strategy For Social Media


If you’d like to raise your profile as an expert and thought leader in your field, one of the best ways to do that is on social media – especially LinkedIn and Twitter, and especially if you have built large networks on the platforms.

Why? Simple: People are on both of those networks looking for information. Continually provide it, and you’ll get noticed.

Here are seven things you can do to create a comprehensive thought leadership strategy for social media:

Join conversations

If you do only one thing, join the conversations that are happening about your area of expertise.

On LinkedIn, that means joining one or two active Groups, checking in every day, adding thoughtful comments to discussions, and starting your own discussions. It also means sharing blog posts in their entirety so they show up in people’s news feeds.

On Twitter, that means following hashtags, retweeting information you find with a brief remark about why it’s important to read, replying to tweets, and using appropriate hashtags in your tweets.

Think first, act second

If you get into a heated debate, read misleading information about something you know inside and out, or are tempted to comment on politics or religion (unless that is your industry!), think first and act second. Everyone on social media will thank you.

Share industry news – and your POV

Let’s say you’re a restaurant consultant, and the local health department just issued new guidelines regarding food handling. Share the news in a tweet or post on LinkedIn, and be sure to include your point-of-view.

For example: Is this good or bad for the industry? How will it impact restaurant owners, managers, chefs, etc.? How can restaurants easily integrate these new guidelines into their day-to-day operations?

Connect with influencers outside your industry

Conventional wisdom says it’s smart to connect with influencers inside your industry – and conventional wisdom is right. But how about connecting with influencers outside of your industry? When you’re recognized as an expert outside of your industry, you’ve officially arrived.

You can find influencers on LinkedIn and Twitter. Follow them, interact with them, and generally get on their radar.

Add more meat to your LinkedIn profile

Is your LinkedIn profile as strong as it can be? Make sure it highlights and quantifies all of your accomplishments, not just your skills, roles, or responsibilities. And make sure your summary tells an engaging story to pull people in.

Curate content

Follow the top bloggers and publications in your industry, and routinely share the best articles that you find. This will save you tons of time (no need to constantly create new content) while keeping you top-of-mind and in the conversation.

Commit to daily communication

Wow, that was a loud collective groan! I know, it does seem like a lot to visit and be active on LinkedIn and Twitter every day, but that’s where you get the best results. Remember, you don’t have to create new content every day!

What have you done to raise your profile using social media?