June 27, 2018

Growing your network as a thought leader

Our social media marketing manager Michael Gregoris explains how to use your personal brand to build your network and create greater impact – just in time for Social Media Day.

Michael Gregoris

Michael is Ceridian's social media marketing manager, where he is responsible for all of Ceridian's social platforms, from audience growth to content performance. He has a strict "no tweeting and driving" policy.

Becoming a thought leader isn’t a quick and easy process and there is no clear cut path to success. Arguably, the most common – and frustrating – obstacle to overcome is growing your network. Here are a few strategies on how to take your thought leadership impact to the next level.

Grow your network

Expand your content strategy

To get more followers and increase traction, create content that provides solutions to challenges in your industry. They key is that sharing content isn’t just about promoting yourself. If you’re going to publish something, be it a blog, infographic or video, make sure it provides value as a resource that helps your peers in some way.

Content that shares personal experience, or provides real-life learnings, has much more impact and is read more often. While you don’t need to have your own blog, there are many ways to develop a body of work and reach wider audiences. Contribute to your company’s blog, for example, or pitch stories to industry publications.

Engage with your followers

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a good reminder. Being a thought leader is a two-way relationship. You don’t exist on social platforms only to collect likes, comments and accolades from others. Engage with your followers – respond to their comments, or comment on their own content as well.

Measure your performance

As with any initiative, you can’t gauge progress or success without setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and measuring the effectiveness of your activities. Here are a few simple KPIs to monitor every few weeks:

  • Month-over-month audience/follower growth
  • Average number  of engagements per post (total number of engagements  divided by total number of posts)
  • Traffic to your content (measured in sessions)

If your numbers are going up, then your content strategy is working. If they’re not, consider the type of content you’re sharing, for example, or the actions you’re taking to connect with others in your network.

 

To stand out from the noise in our always-on world, you need to be creative – and sharing a unique perspective as a thought leader is a great way to do that. For HR leaders in particular, distinguishing your voice in the marketplace creates opportunities not only for yourself, but also for your organization.

As a thought leader, you play a role in strengthening your organization’s culture internally and externally, while adding value from a business perspective as you expand your company’s reach.

Check out my previous post, Build your brand: the first step to becoming a thought leader, for how to get started.

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