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Social Media Marketing Strategy: An Introduction To Becoming A Thought Leader
The easiest way to view social media is like a three dimensional web, a vastly more complex version of the child’s game “cat’s cradle.”
On the outer shell of this web, you have “the audience” which is basically a large group of people who are interested in a specific topic, but have very little authority with their fellow network in that topic.
These people are interested because they followed or “friended” someone who is influential in the topic. Your social media marketing strategy is entirely dependent on this audience. These people are who you want to talk to- they are the buyers.
The next layer you have is “the speakers.” These are people who are influential and have an outspoken persona about a specific topic, but typically are only one voice among many. By engaging with these people, offering your two cents, and participating in the conversation, you become a speaker yourself.
The final layer is the place you truly want to be. This is the place where “the leaders” reside. They are the most influential people, with the most authority. These people are the ones that, just like in cat’s cradle, are the focal points that the entire network revolves around.
They may or may not be active participants in the conversation, but when they do speak their voice carries very far throughout the network, reaching the majority of the interested audience.
There is only one way to become a leader- provide good, high value content. This is probably the most difficult stage, but it is the one where you will see your online persona get more shares, links, mentions, likes (or Moz points) than you will ever be able to get via artificial means. This is an exponential chain reaction that is the result of a well thought out, very intentional social media campaign.
Find highly valuable sources of information about the topic online.
Use these nuggets of information to engage with speakers.
Engage in the conversation. (Whatever the speakers about a topic are saying, insert your persona’s opinion) Just a note: be careful with embroiling yourself in a controversy as it may bite you down the road.
Continue the above, progressively moving to engage speakers that are most influential in your industry. By engaging with them and speaking to them, you expose their entire audience to you and your company.
Continue steps 1-3 until your persona is a leader; you will know this when you begin to get more and more followers at an increasing rate.
By becoming a leader, the client becomes a highly respected source in the community, much like Moz, or distilled. People who are interested in the topic (like potential clients) are also going to hear whatever you say- which brings in leads, sales, and an increase to the client’s bottom line.