Authority is a strange word. Strange because it brings such power, yet it is something that is not in your total control. When I say total - I mean you can influence but you can't determine it.
Authority is too often assumed. Authority is earned and no more so than on the web and within social media. In the past you could title yourself a thought leader or promote the thought leadership of your business...but not now. Well, you can say you have it.....however, the web now gives people the ability to test out that idea.
More than ever social media plays a part in developing thought leadership
- Thought leadership is about ideas. Social media allows you to give your ideas air....by blogging, by tweeting about your thoughts you are brick by brick (or tweet by tweet!) creating your thought leadership theater.
- Through creating great content, you encourage people to share and each share is like a sign of authority being given.
- Authority on the web comes from creating links - now some people may question that - however real life happens that way too...people on a daily basis rely on recommendations from friends, colleagues, their network.
- Thought leadership has an innate aspect - you are only showing leadership if you have followers.....social media allows you to demonstrate the 'following'.
- Many companies who I start to coach say two things - firstly that they are thought leaders in their area and then but what on earth am I going to tweet or blog about! Inside I smile because when you think about it, those two sentences just don't fit together! If you want to be considered a thought leader, you need to have ideas...you need to share those ideas and for them to be tested by other people.
Authority can be assumed or gamed but people will only judge you by your actions. Authority that stands the test of time and the scrutinisation....is one gained through respect - why not allow social media to help you develop that respect?