Today, success on social media is linked to the overall success of a business and so marketers need to do much more than simply exist on social media platforms. The answer to this is social media listening – a marketing strategy that enables businesses to monitor, respond to, and analyse online mentions about themselves in particular and the industry in general. These insights can be used to address complaints, improve products, and customise services. Because without knowing what people actually feel about your brand or service, you are just shooting in the dark with your promotional activities. Furthermore, it can help create thought leadership.
What is thought leadership?
A thought leader is quite a broad term in the current day, and even a young person with enough passion and knowledge about a cause or subject can be considered a thought leader. Popularity is another major factor in the digital space when it comes to converting a regular person into a thought leader, and such individuals can also be termed as influencers. For example, one tweet by Elon Musk had the power to drop the price of Bitcoin, even though he is not from the finance or cryptocurrency industry. This shows how influential thought leaders can be across industries.
When a person or brand wants to be recognised as a thought leader, they want to be known as a leading, reliable authority in that space who is a source for authentic and unique insights. However, for that it is not enough to just possess the requisite knowledge. You need to be able to share it with the world. As thought leader, author, and psychologist Adam Grant says, “Creating knowledge for the purpose of sharing it is thought leadership.”
Using social listening to build thought leadership
Here are five ways to build thought leadership through social listening:
Find different types of digital opportunities
More often than not, it’s seen that people who have considerable experience in a particular industry are not very active in the digital universe. The process of being established as a thought leader involves various stages as well as finding the right digital opportunities, and a professional agency can guide you the best. Being a Social Media Intelligence company, Germin8 can help you here. With customised and optimised solutions, Germin8 bridges the gap between industry experts who have the knowledge and their limited online visibility, due to which they are not known as thought leaders. The ad hoc services include assisting in developing the perfect LinkedIn profile and being active on it to share industry insights and their vast knowledge.
Identify your target audience
Knowing your audience using social media listening can help in strategizing your entire marketing campaign. Understand what interests your target audience, what inspires them to follow your brand, the content formats that appeals to them, and also what they do not like about the company and its content.
Provide quality content depending on the nature of the opportunity
When you understand your audience, it gives you an opportunity to make an impact in thought leadership with relevant and quality content. Top-notch content in various formats shared on a regular basis helps social media users identify your content and associate the brand with it. This makes you stand out as an impartial and knowledgeable thought leader in the space.
Find market insights and connect to industry leaders, influencers, etc.
Being a thought leader involves keeping abreast of the latest developments and trends in the field. Using social listening to do this helps you feel the pulse about customers’ opinions and concerns in order to derive important market insights. Moreover, this enables you to identify and connect with other important leaders and influencers in the industry. With this you will not only learn new perspectives, but also open up opportunities for collaboration to co-create diverse thought leadership content.
Proactively participate in conversations involving your peers/competition
A thought leader needs to be regularly active on digital platforms so that people take notice. You can also keep an eye on what the competition is doing and what audiences are saying about them. Use the market insight you have collected through social listening to take action and proactively engage with the online community, which includes your peers as well as competitors. Drive interesting discussions related to the business, respond to consumers, and share original research. This shows that you take your business seriously, care about sharing unique information, and thus can be trusted as an authority in the industry.
To sum up, thought leadership is about how you want to be perceived by everyone, including your customers and competitors. And among the many ways to find thought leadership opportunities, social media listening is a vital one.
Germin8 can help you build a sound thought leadership strategy taking into account the industry you are in and the leaders you want to benchmark with. Schedule a call with one of our customer success managers to learn in detail!