2 Simple Ways to Become a Social Media Thought Leader and Build Your Following
Today I begin a new series about social media marketing. The goal is to help you become more adept at getting exposure for your business, or yourself for that matter. For this installment, I focus on general tips. As I get deeper into the series, I'll get specific to individual platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). These social media marketing tips can be used anywhere. Want to become a thought leader in your industry? Start (as I did) with these steps:
1. Be controversial. I like a good controversy. It gets people's blood flowing and compels them to respond. For example, the first blog post I ever wrote for this publication (which incidentally was the publication's first blog ever, back when it was Catalog Success) was titled, "Don't Start a Catalog." Telling people not to start a catalog in a blog post for a magazine that covered the catalog industry was a dramatic way to start my blog and set the tone for future posts (truth is, the article was actually about falling in love with the catalog business). In essence, don't shy away from tough topics. Use them to your advantage and build your social following as a thought leader in your field.
2. Wrap yourself around an issue. This is another great way to become a social media thought leader. You don't have to be a great writer to get social media attention. You can "own" another issue and make your mark. How? Find an article online that you have an opinion on and take a stand. Share and forward the article throughout the social mediasphere and voila, you're now associated with the issue, too. For instance, whenever the good folks at the U.S. Post Office decide to increase postage rates, my rant columns railing against the stupidity of the USPS tend to go viral and get plenty of comments.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.