The Internet and in particular social media have empowered thousands, perhaps millions, to start their own businesses. One outcome of the social media movement is how easily people become “thought leaders” or topical influencers.
As a result, we have many paper tigers running about, almost indistinguishable from the ones with real teeth with one singular exception: Results.
When content and personal branding techniques online quack and act like ducks, many readers are quick to believe. Yet results are not necessarily associated to the voices, creating a problem. Because we have hit a saturation point, more businesses are becoming discerning in their choices of vendors, digging deeper than what’s published on a blog post or LinkedIn group.
As time continues and social becomes a place overburdened with branded marketing content and voices, differentiation requires more. Pundits are a dime a dozen these days, real businesspeople are not.
“Far more commonly, [futurists are] weird people with weird ideas and practices, and are objects of ridicule,” Bruce Sterling
True thought leadership helps people — on and offline — understand the near future, the far future, and often the evolving now. Thought leaders are futurists, people who serve as modern oracles that can help businesses, organizations and societies adapt to the unknown. They break new ground and help us understand how change will impact us, technologically or sociologically.
You see blogs titled like this periodically, and they get tons of attention from top online voices. Invariably, the post is how to promote one’s self as a thought leader, not actually how to offer valuable thought. And that’s a damn shame because while this will certainly vault someone to the level of modern pundit, it rarely achieves the desired effect of producing true thought leadership. So how do you become a real thought leader?
Read More »How to Become a Thought Leader
Another example: Last December’s dissecting of Apple’s rigid social media policy that bars any meaningful discussion of the company by employees. There was no great shocker here given the company’s approach to product development and public blogs that leak Apple product news. Yet, the company was painted black and evil for it.
OK. Apple just reported $13 billion of profit last quarter, its best quarter ever. Meanwhile, its more social media friendly competition never get close to performing on this level.
Let’s be clear. Marketing is not about pleasing social media aficionados. It should deliver ROI or outcomes that boost a company’s bottom line.
If you have not played with runaway hit mobile social network Instagram, you should. Yes, it’s become known as a utility for iPhone users to send pictures to Facebook and Twitter, but make no bones about it, Instagram is its… Read More »How Instagram Restored My Faith in Social Networking
Pundit: A person who gives opinions in an authoritative manner usually through the mass media Wonk: A person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field We as a culture have moved from doers to talkers, and even… Read More »The New American Dream: Be a Pundit or Wonk