By Erica Velander and Amber Hamilton
Business professionals know LinkedIn is a go-to social media platform for job searching, researching prospective employees, networking, and finding innovative articles in your field. In addition to these uses, LinkedIn is one of the best places to build thought leadership and grow your personal brand.
Thought leaders express ideas and thoughts that demonstrate their expertise in their field. Business leaders and executives can become thought leaders by engaging their B2B communities by sharing stories, advice, and information to foster relationships and spark conversations.
Why does thought leadership matter? Most importantly, it’s a critical method for establishing trust.
The Edelman-LinkedIn 2019 B2B Thought Leadership Impact Study found that more than half of decision-makers cite thought leadership as an important way to vet organizations. That same study in 2022 revealed that B2B decision-makers view thought leadership as one of the most effective tools an organization can use to demonstrate its value to customers during a tough economy.
Making thought leadership an executive-level priority will help boost business performance and expand opportunities — both for the individual and the company.
Here are a few tips on how to establish yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn :
Look for your niche
Take the time to find the other thought leaders in your space on LinkedIn and learn about what they're discussing. Look out for hashtags in your field and see who is posting them. After you determine who the leaders are in your niche, find out where there is room for discussion. Is there a thought-provoking topic that no one else is addressing? Fill that void.
Engage with three to five posts per week
After you know who the thought leaders are in your space, engage with them. Maintaining high levels of social media participation leads to stronger relationships, paving the way for greater prospects for growth and development.
1. Comment on breaking news
2. Congratulate a colleague
3. Ask another thought leader a question
4. Like a thought-provoking article in your field
Post original content three to five times a week
Remaining active provides opportunities to reach, build, and maintain a relationship with followers and industry stakeholders – furthering the perception of a reliable, credible source. Newsfeed posts should:
1. Feature your work
2. Share industry news
3. Highlight accomplishments
4. Offer unique perspectives on trending topics
Connect with 5-10 new people or groups a week
Take the time to connect with others in your field. New connections will drive more opportunities to develop new content, help to position you as a thought leader and expand your network.
In addition to connecting with individuals, you should also join LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups are forums where like-minded individuals have conversations and share ideas. Groups are an excellent space to build new connections and demonstrate your expertise.