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Your Digital FootPrint: what happens when social media meets thought leadership?

23 May 2011

In an age of social media transparency, your brand has never been more exposed. 

Because of social media penetration into our living rooms, bars, bedrooms, and offices, we're unfortunately all in media - whether you like it or not. 

Being an unwilling participant might suck, but in many ways you're more suspicious if you cannot be found on the web, than if you can be found. 

The rules of the game of social media and thought leadership is that you want to be found, and you want to be found for the type of thought leading content that you create. 

Stalin once said: 'Trust is good, but control is better'. Today, controlling your brand and its market perception is near-impossible - just ask BP, Vodafone, Nestle or Domino's Pizza. However, curating a conversation that positions your personal or organisational leadership brand favourably is possible, and it is up to you to monitor and curate that conversation. 

Google and Bing now both incorporate social analytics into its search engine algorithms, which means that search is becoming more social, and which means that no longer is your personal brand merely based on your professional behaviours, it's also increasingly being flavoured by your social conversations and behaviours - just ask Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Lindsay Lohan, Pippa Middleton and Russell Brand. 

And if you don't contribute to the conversation, well ... other people will. Talent today is attracted by organisational brands, but they will leave a manager. And it that manager is you, well they are likely to ensure that the twittersphere hears about you. 

Leading well and treating people with respect is no longer just the right thing to do morally, but it is also critical for your brand perception - both personally, professionally and organisationally.

So how do you start curating a positive brand conversation?

Here are a few ways to do this constructively (I recommend you check these with your organisation's netiquette and social media policies to ensure that you're aligned).

Start thinking about yourself as a thought leading PR agency and take the following steps to creating awesome content that gets found:

  1. Start a blog which includes your name in the web address and write about interesting stuff that engages people 
  2. Share that blog with your professional and social networks - ask your organisation to endorse it and see if you can align it with corporate objectives to boost two brands at the same time
  3. Start giving thought leading public speeches and upload your presentations on or
  4. Create your own YouTube Video Channel and become your organisations' organisational rockstar and leading thinker
  5. Build your professional network on Linkedin and make sure you get endorsed by colleagues, managers and clients

A Social Media and Thought Leadership Marketing Manual


While you do that, it is also important that you keep an active log on your digital footprint by checking the social media risk involved with your thought leadership and personal leadership brand.

Three quick resources for you to check your brand status online:

  1. Google yourself and check what comes up. Are you curating the conversations at least on the first couple of pages of Google or are other people's comments and content appearing above your curated sites like your Linkedin page?
  2. If you're on Twitter, check this grading tool to measure how effective your twitter channel is - . If you're not on Twitter yet, register your name at least ... before someone else does it for you!
  3. Make sure that you set-up a daily Google alert to ensure that you're aware when other people are talking about you on the web.

Please share this article with friends, clients and colleagues who might benefit from this take on social media and thought leadership.

If you want to check out the Thinque Tank Channel on Youtube for more information on social media and thought leadership, you can do so here.


Social Media and Thought Leadership Thinque Tank


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