Social Trends in 2018: Thought Leadership

Social media is transforming the communications business. Companies large and small are investing heavily in social platforms and content curation as the industry keeps a close eye on the emerging trends that have the potential to change the landscape completely. Here at Tunheim, we are doing the same. We believe digital strategy and social know-how require up-to-date knowledge of the evolving trends that are constantly changing the digital world. In this short series we have captured some of the simple, yet influential social trends that your business should be implementing in 2018.

In this article, we take a look at how social media and digital strategy are transforming thought leadership.

Thought leadership is key in the new digital age. Millennials rely almost exclusively on the recommendations and endorsements of their friends or influencers that they trust. Gone are the days of high budget celebrity promotion as the focus shifts to real life people with a loyal following.

  • Peer Reviews: Think Amazon. When you go to purchase a product, it’s common to look at the comment section. If people share poor reviews of a product, you are more likely to click away. If people say it is the best product they have ever used, you’re more inclined to purchase it. The truth is, reviews are incredibly important for your brand. Gather the positive reviews and comments that already exist in relation to your product or service (from social media, past clients) and use them. Ask customers to leave a review on social pages, Yelp, and other external sites. A review of a friend has the ability to make or break a sale, and people are taking to the internet to find out what products are worthy of their time and money.
  • Micro Endorsers: We all want to trust someone who looks, acts and purchases like us. If someone is sharing interesting, authentic, compelling content, but only has 2,000 followers on Instagram, that does not stop you from trusting what they have to say. Brands that don’t have the budget to invest in celebrities or top-tier influencers can focus on micro endorsements from real people and the loyal following they establish. This can save money and time for your brand, and your audience will trust the endorsement.
  • Employee Advocacy: There’s little that can be more damaging to a brand then the distrust and disengagement of employees. Your employees should be the first advocate of your brand. If the people doing the work don’t believe in the product or service, it can be nearly impossible to convince a group of people without any knowledge of the same brand to believe in it. Creating a business and a culture that employees are proud of is all-too important. Content shared on their social pages, personal conversations, and even sales pitches can extend the brand beyond profits and into the realm of becoming a trusted, beloved brand.
  • C-Suite Advocacy: This is two sides of the same coin. It is necessary and important for upper level management to understand the benefits of social media and digital engagement. In 2018, an online presence is a necessity and should be treated as such by the leaders in your company. Public perception is cultivated and created online and the key to a successful brand image is to have a uniform online presence. If your CEO doesn’t have a LinkedIn page or your business has yet to break into the social media sphere, it’s time.

Social media offers a whole new medium to reach and engage with your most important stakeholders. Thought leadership is changing and social trends are leading the charge. Invest in simple innovations for your business to ensure you are taking advantage of all that social media has to offer. Interested in learning about other social trends that are transforming industry landscape? Check out the two other articles in this series; Social Trends in 2018: Communication Changes and Social Trends in 2018: Content Formatting to learn more.

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