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How to become an industry expert by USING social media

It’s not enough to declare your expertise on social networks — you need to demonstrate it, regardless of the industry you work in.

Working in marketing over the past decade – I’ve seen a lot of companies try to position themselves as an ‘Approachable expert’ (show of hands). It sounds great, but too often it turns into ‘know it all’ because brands have to say everything themselves, or ‘expert of the obvious’ because brands hedge themselves by only talking about things at the very highest level.

This can be combated in simple ways. You just need to spend a little bit of time each week networking within your industry on social networks:
    • Share content from influencers. Follow influencers. Engage with influencers.
    • Find other experts and follow them. Like them. Share some of their stuff. Engage them in conversation. Be ‘seen’ having conversations. Share links to any piece of good content that is relevant you can – even from competitors if it makes sense to do so. Answer questions. Go out on a limb to the extent you can. (regulated industries need to be VERY aware of what can be done).
    • Participate in weekly Twitter-based chats related to your industry, profession, and interests. Visit TweetChat to learn about Twitter chats and participate in real-time conversations with your peers. (Some of my favorites chats related to social media include #mmchat, #blogchat, #smchat, #kloutchat, and #linkedinchat)
    • Create good content. Blog. Blog regularly. Start a group on Facebook or Linkedin. Keep it general enough so that its more about the industry than it is just about your company. Unless, of course, your company attracts that many fans. Start a twitter chat.
    • Provide Answers on LinkedIn. Do it well and LinkedIn will designate you as an expert.
    • Discuss on industry-related topics enough and Klout will designate you as an expert.
    • Consider leveraging the private accounts you, employees, distributors, and others have to spread the word.
    • Many people work hard to separate their personal life from their professional life. I’m not convinced that that approach works anymore. It’s too fragmented and impractical.
Social media isn’t just a place to syndicate content. Getting noticed is more about being active and being helpful than it is about being seen.

Bragging Rights

Growing up, I remember watching “The World of Commander McBragg” cartoons as part of the Bullwinkle show. In each episode, the Commander would buttonhole a hapless member of his gentleman’s club, and proceed to relate some story filled with unlikelihoods and outright impossibilities, always concluding with a hairbreadth escape. Reminds me of many industry experts that talk a good game, but spend most of their time on the bench, or the sidelines.
Recent columns by Troy Janisch
Troy Janisch, Publisher of Social Meteor,is a digital marketing professional and social media enthusiast. Troy is Marketing Director at Sentry Insurance. Like a good social media program, is all about content. It’s not a consulting company or marketing agency.

The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. WTN accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

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