Creating Thought Leadership with Facebook

Thought leadership is just as much about influence as it is about authority. And if influence is measured by the reach of your intended communication, then there is no platform more effective than Facebook.

By the end of last year, Facebook had earned more than 1 billion monthly active profiles with over 680 million users on mobile, 42 million fan pages, and 9 million Facebook apps.

While Facebook has arguably lost some of its luster since going public last year, its relevance seems even more apparent now than it’s ever been.

As a thought leader, Facebook activity is absolutely critical in gaining a solid online following. Here’s just a few helpful hints on how you can turn status updates and fan pages into effective thought leadership strategy.

  • Share Because You Care – While it’s important to be able to post insightful and original content, it’s also effective to share influential articles, videos, and images on your field of specialization. Content curation is also a great thought leadership strategy.
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Niche – A common misperception with niche is that it’s small. But a more proactive approach would be to see niche as specialized. Remember, you can’t be a thought leader of everything. Your fans and followers will be looking for your opinion and insight on a particular field. Don’t spread yourself thin by talking about too many things. Stay focused and on topic.
  • Use Facebook to Leverage Your Other Online Entities – Facebook doesn’t exist in a vacuum, just like your audience. Your fans and followers will be using a host of other social media sites like Twitter and Google+. Tap into those to by cross posting status updates and other content on and off your fan page.
  • Make Insights Readily Available – Your value as a thought leader is measured by your actual thoughts. Because of this, make sure that your key insights are readily accessible on your Facebook fan page. Don’t create a barrier to your insights by requiring an opt-in or purchase. You’re not here to sell ideas. You’re here to share them.
  • Don’t Let Contests Run Your FB Page – Contests and give-aways are an effective way of gaining more fans, likes, and shares. But they’re also a great way to ruin your credibility as a thought leader. While the occassional raffle is always welcome, it should never take precedence over actual content.
  • Get Subscribers – Subscriptions are a relatively new feature in Facebook, but it’s proving to be an effective way of gaining traction for yourself or your company. Subscriptions allow people outside your network to follow your publicly posted updates, and is a great way to extend your reach.
  • Act and Interact – Like any social media outlet, don’t simply throw your posts to the wind. Be aware of comments, criticisms, and discussions on your page. Take the time to respond to and engage your community.

Despite Facebook’s overall reach, it isn’t the final word in online thought leadership. It’s simply a tool in gaining credibility and influence; albeit an important one. But in the end, it’s your actual thoughts, insights, and curation that will earn you a loyal following and a strong fanbase.

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