As an entrepreneur you can use social media platforms to position yourself as a thought leader and if it’s done effectively, you can earn potential customers’ trust and eventually convert leads into sales.
Thought leadership can start with something as simple offering resourceful content on your blog or social media, says entrepreneur Mariza Halliday.
Halliday is co-founder of digital marketing company Driven Social and an award-winning South African blogger. She says she uses her social media to educate her followers on what services she provides and has in return secured clients this way.
We spoke to Halliday about how one can position themselves as a trusted thought leader.
Halliday says anyone can easily begin positioning themselves as a thought leader by creating digital content either on a blog or on social media.
“It is important to make sure you’re positively contributing to relevant industry conversations via social media.”
She explains that to “positively contribute to relevant industry conversations” it’s a good idea to join all groups that are relevant to your industry. “Small business groups, social media management groups, freelance groups…. questions pop up all the time. Contribute to the conversation.”
If you’re in a Facebook group, for example, Halliday suggests that you ask and answer questions, share advice, network and communicate with other like-minded individuals. “Post free resources… and just be a rad human being.”
Halliday says there are so many (platforms to post on). “Small business groups on Facebook, discussions on Twitter and LinkedIn (are examples).
“There are an immense amount of resources that can help you up your social media game, for example, Hootsuite to automatically schedule posts, or Planoly to plan your Instagram grid and create a more cohesive feed.”
Halliday adds: “Attend networking opportunities regularly, and make the most of those opportunities by shaking a lot of hands and getting your name out there. Most importantly, add value without expectation.”
Halliday warns: “If people are worried about the [impact of] algorithms and their social media channels growing at a snails pace now, I have bad news for them, 2019 is going to see a war on the bots, with various social media channels already implementing ways to get rid of bots and third party accounts.
“Quality over quantity is going to be important, and we will see a massive shift towards more ‘real’ and ‘relatable’ content,” she says.
“Just pumping out a lot of social media posts in order to beat the algorithm and gain traction will not do it anymore, you will need to be posting quality content in order to engage your audience.
“It is better to post quality content every second or third day than posting mediocre content every single day – with quality content that your readers find value in or the need to engage with, you will have much more success.”
Lastly, she says, when it comes to content it depends on the platform. “If your blog is for your business, you should feed people with enough information to entice and excite them.” She suggests that you share how you have helped other clients and give prime examples on your blog.
“Share opinion pieces relevant to industry changes, and collaborate with other like-minded individuals,” she suggests.