Magnifying Thought Leadership through Social Media

  of Wildfire Interactive recently posted an article  on ClickZA called Socializing Thought Leadership

The reality of social media is that most companies will never have a million fans. The notion of how many Facebook fans you have. What that notion misses the key point that social media is not about how many people connect to your Facebook page, but how many people talk about you positively and share your content.

The question is how to get people to incorporate your brand and content into their social and real-world dialogues and purchasing decisions.

In thought leadership, the share (the act of someone emailing or posting your materials to social sites) is far more valuable than a Facebook “like.” Mr. Gold states:

When people share your content they are a) endorsing it and b) weaving it into the very fabric of the web…Your social media marketing success starts to be realized via organic search. People search on terms related to your content and your content pops in results on other companies’ sites. This is social success realized through search!

Two Ways to Make Your Social Media Thought Leadership Take Off

Gold makes the following recommendations to help you with your social media thought leadership programs:

  1. Socially enable your content
  2. Implement best practices to the production of your thought leadership materials

1. Socially Enable Your Content

Once you have produced great content, announce and celebrate the share. Make people who promote your materials look smart.


2. Implement Thought Leadership Material Best Practices

You need to develop a set of guiding principles and best practices to increase the value, power, viral distribution potential, and success of we try your thought leadership materials.  Gold emphasizes that content has to be lightweight – easy to produce, consume, share, and republish. He provides these content development tactics:

  • Lightweight, quick, and easy:
    • Is this a 20-page white paper or study no one will read, or is it a “lightweight” checklist, guide, chart, or infographic that someone can absorb in an instant?
    • Lightweight content is easy to create, consume, and share!
  • Valuable, interesting, and educational:
    • Is this something that a) is truly valuable and b) really teaches someone?
    • I always say, “teach someone something valuable and your brand will stick in their brain forever.”
    • Will people want to print this out to post on their wall or bulletin board or take it to a meeting?
  • Simple:
    • If your materials are too hard to understand for your target audience, they won’t learn anything and they won’t remember it, share it, or value it.
    • The mark of a true expert is not just a person who understands everything about a topic, but a person who can explain that topic to others so they understand.
    • True thought leaders take complex subjects and make them simple.
  • Portable, sharable, and printable:
    • Can the materials be easily shared via email, social media, and more?
    • Can it be easily printed on a single 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper?
    • Can it easily be a printed piece, displayed online as a graphic, put on a PowerPoint slide, and turned into a PDF?
  • Optimized for SEO:
    • Do you have a good landing page that is optimized for Google and the other major search properties?
    • As mentioned above, do you have share buttons prominently placed as big, noisy calls to action?
    • Again, if people cannot find the materials, what good are they?
  • Campaign-ready:
    • Can the benefit of what people will learn be communicated in an instant via email, word of mouth, paid search, banners, in print, outdoor, etc.?
  • Repeatable:
    • Can you create different versions and update the asset for years to come?
    • Version 1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.0, 2.1, etc.