Welcome to Mo’s Letter, a weekly publication by Dr Mo about social media, business strategy, and career development. Today’s post is about thought leadership.
Thought leadership makes for great social media content, and a sizeable organization can generate ample content. From marketing and finance to product and HR, each departmental leader within your organization can create relevant, evergreen content to establish thought leadership.
Startups can also benefit from having their founder(s) and team members creating relevant content for social. In today’s letter, I’m going to walk you through how to achieve this.
How to create thought leadership content
Let’s say you’re the social media manager of a large bank called FMB – First Monetary Bank (I know, I know).
On FMB’s social media platforms, you’d have your usual “base content” running year-round. These are posts that educate, motivate, entertain, and inform, plus a few sales posts to drive action. But you could also tap your company’s leaders for brand- and industry-related content. For example:
- The marketing manager can talk about the new ways people compare banks. Perhaps a recent survey showed that people check out a bank’s Facebook comments to determine responsiveness, so FMB has invested in a robust community management team to handle complaints. Possible formats: podcast, vlog, infographics.
- The home loans manager can give their perspective on the best ways to manage your spending, so you don’t miss your mortgage payments. They can base this information on quarterly payment reports the department receives. Possible formats: podcast, vlog, infographics.
- The finance head can give a broader view of the stock market aimed at individual and institutional investors. They can discuss how revenues have risen or fallen over the past quarter. Possible formats: podcast, vlog, infographics.
- The HR manager can give tips on how to launch a career in banking. They can include things like what your CV should have, the traits you should possess, and the different departments you can work in. Possible formats: vlog, photos of current staff members.
- The facilities manager can talk about how FMB is making banking easier through branch upgrades. Perhaps the bank is adding more self-service terminals to new branches, or protecting customers from COVID-19 exposure through virus-zapping doorways. Possible formats: videos, photos.
- The sponsorships manager can give regular updates on which local initiatives FMB is funding, what they’re aiming to achieve, and the progress they’ve made so far. Possible formats: videos, photos.
And so on. Brainstorm with your company’s leaders to come up with relevant topics.
Your company’s leaders can plan out their topics ahead, especially where content is not predicated on current events. In some cases, like with the HR manager, they could record, edit and design everything in one go. They can then schedule this content in advance. These perspectives can be published weekly, monthly or quarterly. If FMB already produces a monthly newsletter, it can simply repurpose that content for social media.
The key here is to think of your company’s leaders as an editorial board, crystallizing their work into actionable insights. Writing monthly articles also builds better leaders through literary reflection.
Formats and platforms
Depending on the available budget, these monthly posts can be recorded, transcribed or designed – ideally all three. Set up a tripod and a camera (a DSLR or iPhone) and record the manager speaking. If you’ve got the budget for it, spring for a production company to shoot and edit something more polished for you.
Then, transcribe the edited footage using a writing and transcription service like Grammar & Flow. Design key points into infographics sized for social and publish the content to appropriate platforms depending on the topic. For example, COVID-19 content can be posted to Facebook and Instagram, while career-related content can go on LinkedIn. Track engagement to see what works.
Tapping company leaders for thought leadership content isn’t expensive. Company managers already release this information in the form of reports and memos. All you have to do is repackage it for social media. In the end, having your executives communicating with the public is a great way to humanize your brand.
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Mohammed Shehu, Ph.D. writes on marketing, content, and tech for fast-growing B2B clients. You can find him online @shehuphd everywhere.