Extend the reach of pillar assets with powerful social media strategies

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When launching a new pillar asset with thought leadership, a common objective is to maximize reach as much as possible—a job where internal and external influencers or connectors are essential to leveraging. This template is about making it as easy as possible for people with great channels to maximize the impact of promotion posts by reading up on one page before wordsmithing.

Purpose of this template

This template describes four bases to cover to make it easy for influencers and connectors to write a powerful LinkedIn post with the potential to reach far beyond your existing networks. Without this, you leave it up to influencers to guess story angles and hashtags and miss out on the opportunity to leverage influential stakeholders. 

The team promoting a pillar asset should undertake to craft this one-pager to make it easy for identified individuals with large social media networks to promote the assets in their channels. The required job focus on clarity of messages for broader audiences, great hashtags, and a solid group of references in each post. 

Plan for 3-5 hours of work with the lead author of the pillar assets and your SEO team to reach a solid quality level for this one-pager 

Up to five key messages to build around 

Identifying the three to five best story angles in a pillar asset is complex and time-consuming unless you have been part of the creative team. Here is an opportunity to sit down with the lead author and find the nuggets of information and story angles to leverage in promotion posts. Part of the job is to find and agree on the most critical messages, and the other half is to formulate them in words a broader audience will understand.

By doing this once, you secure consistent use of the best leveraging points as part of activating a pillar asset. By selecting 3-5 points, you give each promoter of an asset a few powerful messages to choose from so that all posts will be slightly different. When working with multiple influencers and connectors, you don’t want all to come across as sharing a standard corporate script. 

Five hashtags where conversations take place 

Using hashtags on social media allows you to connect your pillar assets to existing conversations and establish new ones. Five hashtags is a good ambition level for most posts, divided into four with existing traction and possibly one new that you want to build up. 

To find the best hashtags, you can start with a gross list of the keywords and expressions that identify your pillar asset. This gross list represents the analysis base you use in the next step. A good analysis could cover 

  • Analyzing how expressions perform in search with google trends, you can compare a few similar options and pick the one scoring best. 
  • For LinkedIn, you can test different hashtags and find the ones with large follower groups. 
  • For Twitter, you can test your candidates in tools like hashtagify.me to find the best ones. 

Once you have tested the candidates, you pick the five best ones. Consider using different ones on Twitter and LinkedIn, where LinkedIn hashtags often are longer descriptive names, and Twitter is shorter and more of an acronym type. Limit new unknown hashtags to one as it is costly and time-consuming to build momentum around new hashtags. 

Internal subject matter experts and social media connectors 

The internal names you are interested in are of two types: the contributors who have contributed to writing the pillar assets and those who can help accelerate an asset’s reach. 

Including the lead author and subject matter experts give recognition to the ones doing the heavy lifting and adds credibility to the asset. Including the authors in all posts also give them immediate feedback on the engagement their assets create. Expect a big spread in social media presence and reach in this group. 

When you look among your staff for names that can help drive acceleration, you can look into three main groups: 

  • Executives with a stake in the pillar asset you have created that also have an active social media presence are great for reaching senior audiences. Their networks often connect with senior-level customers, industry analysts, and trade media.
  • Subject matter experts with a stake in the pillar asset are great for reaching a broader audience in the middle of stakeholder organizations. 
  • Your company might also have a few super-connectors with extensive social media networks across the whole scope of your business. 

Add a few names in each group to this part of your guide. 2-3 executives, 2-3 super-connectors, and a handful of SMEs are more than sufficient. A quick and dirty test on if a given name will add value is if they have cleaned up their Linkedin URL and if they have a Twitter handle. If one or both is not in place, they are likely too passive to support your campaign. 

External influencers and opinion makers 

The final step is working with external opinion makers and thought leaders in the field you are trying to influence. These are two broad types to look for: 

  • Influencers and super connectors would add significant reach if promoted in their networks as a paid initiative. 
  • Well-respected names in your industry add reach when engaging with a post (making it visible to their network) or add credibility if you earn a great comment. 

These names are the hardest to identify. Ask your subject matter experts in a field whom they listen to on social channels. Scrutinize reports over influential executives and thought leaders for a given market segment. This part is a high-effort, high-impact piece of the equation. Influencers and super-connectors are often pay-for-play channels. To earn a comment from credible and well-respected names, you have built a relationship with them over a long period, to the point where they can give you credit without ending up in problems.

Putting these ideas to work 

This template allows you to bring together insights needed for successful promotion in social channels. Putting it together is half the job, and the second half is about getting people with strong social networks excited about using it as a base for their posts. Good luck exploring both elements in your efforts to increase the reach of your best through leadership assets. 

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