The question is not how you make a difference with thought leadership on LinkedIn, but how you make thought leadership different on LinkedIn.
Everyone already knows about the role of thought leadership on social media platforms. But not everybody knows how to do it right.
Thought leadership isn’t always about educating, or voicing your opinion on every ongoing issue in the industry. It can be a blend of inspiring, impactful and influential content that you share on your social media; content that enhances your brand persona and helps the community gather around you.
Let's jump straight into what thought leadership is and take a look at a few thought leadership strategies for LinkedIn to benefit your business in the long run.
Thought Leadership on Social Media
Thought leadership is a way of showcasing your brand as an expert in the industry by providing useful insights or addressing relevant issues in an engaging, and thought-provoking way. It is a content marketing strategy that focuses on creating content that caters to your customers' needs and interests.
Thought leadership is about being positively vocal about matters concerning your niche thereby providing your LinkedIn community with valuable information that could positively influence their actions, attitudes or thought processes.
When you build your presence as a thought leader in your community, people perceive your brand as more reliable and trustworthy and are more likely to spend their hard-earned money on your products.
Thought leadership can be beneficial to a brand by increasing its brand value and the product demand in the market - for a budding entrepreneur to make his audience aware of his product/service, or simply for a marketer to establish his authority among his consumers.
The story of Akshat Shrivastava is a sterling example for leveraging thought leadership for brand building and establishing brand loyalty. A mentor at UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Akshat is a teacher by passion, a successful entrepreneur and management consultant by choice, and a social media influencer by practice. An MBA graduate from INSEAD, Singapore, Akshat is popular on social media with his highly engaging videos offering management and educational consulting as well as career development coaching.
He regularly posts videos that vary from stock market analysis, and case studies on different startups like Zomato, Zerodha, etc, to social media posts on career development abroad. Akshat started publishing YouTube videos not so long back. From his initial videos in August 2020, the strategic planner and senior consultant has earned at present 700K YouTube subscribers along with 50K followers on Instagram.
Akshat’s compelling videos have helped him gain credibility as an industry expert in financial management and investment.
Leading on LinkedIn
Authentic content that illustrates the individual’s/brand’s insight and expertise on a specific topic with the right audience and at the right time can go a long way in pushing your brand to the league as an influencer.
With platforms like LinkedIn, thought leadership can shapeshift to productive collaboration with peers or fellow influencers and sharing of ideas, knowledge and expertise. You may ask a question, throw in a scenario and encourage your community to respond, share their views and opinion.
Thought leadership strategies for LinkedIn
While acing your strategies on LinkedIn there are a few basics that you need to set right before beginning to post content.
Here are some of the ways which will help you bloom into a thought leader in your industry on the LinkedIn platform:
1. Optimise your profile:
Creating an account on Linkedin, and starting to stuff it with posts is not sufficient. Your account must pop up in the searches of your target audience and for that, you must optimize your LinkedIn profile with an updated profile picture and a background image that clearly states your brand message. You also need a headline composed of accurate keywords that represent your specific industry.
Also, for the About section try to clearly state what you do while placing yourself as an expert and how you help your consumers.
Further, remember to fill the work and academic experience section in a detailed manner to boost your credibility.
2. Conform to the needs and expectations of your audience:
If you wish to succeed as a thought leader and simultaneously improve your company's marketing on different social media platforms, you should not overlook this strategy:
Identify your customers’ needs and pain points.
What kind of content do they like? What hour of the day is their engagement the maximum? What words and phrases resonate most with them, and every such detail.
What are the most frequently asked questions and what types of posts get the maximum response and shares?
When you make your content focused on your customers, they engage with your brand and develop confidence in you, and thus in turn become more inclined to purchase your product/service.
3. Create genuine, unique content that engages your audience
It is about building relationships with your audience. So any mundane, “for-the-sake-of” content wouldn't work if you are planning to be a leader on social media. Give something fresh, and original so they can trust you.
Talk like someone real, human. Someone who understands the pain points and can relate with theirs.
Your posts could vary from blog posts to product launches, and from behind-the-scenes videos to a hurdle you overcame. Make them feel like the family who is witnessing your progress every day.
Try out a diverse palette of content like videos, text, photos, infographics, and with time, figure out what your target audience engages the most with. Try to solve your consumer's problems in the best possible way by posting valuable content daily.
You can use Linkedin's feature of live video for conducting weekly live shows to address your audience's queries specific to your industry.
4. Network, and more network
A thought leader is a strong as well as influential communicator. So to become one, connect with other thought leaders in your industry. This way you will not only increase your follower count but also get an opportunity to upskill and learn from the content of your fellow leaders.
Moreover, It's a great way for budding entrepreneurs to get their name out and make the target audience aware of what their company offers help with.
Remember, the bigger and stronger your network is, the more probability of your followers converting into a prospect. So, spend a regular time - at least for 15-30 minutes - daily on networking.
5. Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn offers a feature to its users to join any group of their interest. Here they may find a vast pool of knowledge, a variety of free resources along with ongoing, constructive conversation on the topics of the industry that groups belong to.
It is another effective way to expand your network by connecting with your followers.
Besides networking, you can leverage Linkedin groups to create and share blog posts, and articles related to your area of expertise.
If you want to establish your thought leadership on social media, then you need to be aware that this process demands patience with planned actions in the right direction. Post valuable content that aligns with your target audience, solve their problems by engaging them regularly and emphasize your expertise now and then.
It's vital to carry forward your actions as a thought leader, without sounding promotional or boisterous and reflecting sincere commitment to help your consumers or audience.