Using Social Media to Position Yourself as Thought Leader for Executives

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, we're first going to define the concept of a thought leader. Then you'll learn about some of the ways an executive can use social media to obtain this influential role.


As an executive, you're thought of as a leader for many reasons. Your title, demeanor, past actions, ideas, and so on can all make it clear what your position is.

But are you a thought leader? What does this even mean?

In this lesson, we're going to identify who thought leaders are, as well as, the way by which you can become one.

Who is a Thought Leader?

A thought leader is an individual that others recognize as an expert in their field. Thought leaders are the go-to sources for trusted information and opinions. Thought leaders may be inspirational, innovative, and are able to turn ideas into reality.

Many thought leaders use social media to communicate with their followers; executives can also use this in order to position themselves as thought leaders, too.

How to Become a Thought Leader

How so? Let's go over some examples of how this can be achieved.

  • Be original. Don't write or say what already has been said. People are looking for innovators. For instance, if you are seeking to become a thought leader in the world of finance, you might offer new ideas about the markets. Where is oil going, when, and why? Tell us something new we can use!
  • Be passionate. Love what you do. Showcase how much you love finance by writing about it on a blog or Twitter, making podcasts about a financial topic, and even uploading videos to YouTube on something, like an important conference you went to, and what that taught you, (and thus can teach your audience).
  • Be honest. Remember that thought leaders are trustworthy individuals. Say and showcase what you believe in and, if necessary, provide evidence of your claims. If you're passionate about finance, stick to that, don't try and become a thought leader in peanut farming. People will catch on that you don't care pretty quickly.
  • Don't be afraid to get help. Yes, you're an executive, but being humble and admitting you don't know everything, is part of thought leadership. Thought leaders know their limits and know when to get help from someone who understands certain subjects better than they do. If you know retirement planning in and out, but don't know the next thing about options, it's time, to be honest and get help.
  • Time. It takes a long time to become a thought leader, so commit to becoming an expert, and showcasing it consistently on social media, via posts, photos, and videos.
  • Engage. Don't just post a tweet, upload a video, or write a blog post. Engage with your audience. Give them advice if they ask for it. Answer a question if they have one.

An Example

Let's go over a more general example that captures all of this. Let's say you're an executive at a retirement planning firm. You want to become a thought leader and so open up a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube account, and start a blog.

You write lots of content, make videos, and create posts over and over again because you are passionate about the topic. As you do this over a long period of time, people will start to notice. But you're stuck. Your audience never grows beyond a few handful individuals.

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