When clients and peers see you sharing valuable information on social networks, they’ll see you as a thought leader. But it’s hard to find time to share effectively, so here’s how to do it.
Why you care
There are three reasons to filter information for the people in your social network:
- To demonstrate thought leadership – Sharing great content demonstrates your knowledge and subject matter expertise.
- To express your personal brand – What you choose to share and the commentary you add are some of the best (and easiest) ways to increase trust levels and engagement among your network.
- To maintain visibility – Every time you share something that people are interested in, you’ll appear at the top of that network’s feed.
Finding time for sharing content
You’re busy; I get it. But you’re probably already finding content.
You stay on top of key developments in your community and the economy. You read business books. You choose stories to read over others, and you think some of what you read is spot on, while other articles are pure drivel.
So, you’re already consuming and filtering. All that remains is to put a routine in place to conveniently share the best content you find.
Building a content-sharing routine
Make these content-finding habits part of your daily routine:
- Carve out time each day to catch up on industry news.
- Create a system for tracking the best content you find. You can copy links to a file or use online note-making tools.
- Pay attention to people in your network who are sharing great content, and share what they share.
- Use LinkedIn’s Pulse news topics or its homepage.
- Visit online publications and blogsites to find good articles to share. I try to avoid sharing content that has a paywall or requires a subscription. Sites such as BusinessInsider.com has great content, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both offer free content via blogs.
- If you read printed publications, consider reading the online or tablet versions so you can easily share articles.
- Set Google Alerts for keywords and then scan the incoming daily email looking for gems.
Once you find good content, here are suggestions for sharing it:
Get help – Use your staff resources or contract a consultant to create your social media strategy. Whomever you delegate to can also analyze your audience’s engagement and otherwise maintain your social media presence. But, you should filter content and engage people in your network yourself – you can’t outsource your own expertise.
Schedule sharing – A social media management tool can help you to schedule sharing. I use a tool called Buffer to share items multiple times a day on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook. A few times a week, I drop content into Buffer so I have a constantly updated stream.
Engage people –When people comment on what you share, it’s an opportunity to engage in discussion. If someone repeatedly comments on or re-shares your content, you can email or call them to get to know them better, or to discuss their interest in a particular topic.
A typical advisory practice is built on top of a cluster of relationships – with clients, sales prospects, peers, centres of influence, etc. Social content sharing, if artfully and consistently practiced, can be one of the most effective and efficient ways to stay in touch with and leverage your vast network of relationships.