This week’s #SMXChat guest is Jeremy Waite. Jeremy’s recent blog post ‘Just Because You’re a CEO Doesn’t Make You A Thought Leader’ inspires our discussion.

Social networks have changed how we communicate, and brands that embrace social engagement are learning more each day that there is value in participating in the conversation. Because, as most of us know, it’s going on whether the brand is participating or not. While we all probably agree that being here is worthwhile, there is still no single ‘social networking guide to success’ that we can reference for the answers – but there are a few truths (not an exhaustive list):

Being part of conversations is key. That is, the broadcast model is passé

Content and context are critical to engagement. So while really good head- and taglines are great, you better deliver the goods once you get the clicks.

Authority and (dare we say it?) thought-leadership lend credibility that draws audience.

It is our third point here that drives our conversation this week.

Q1) Does social participation by authoritative sources (thought leaders) result in increased audience engagement?

Q2) Do social networks really provide a ‘level field’ for other sources (regular folks) to gain credibility? 

Q3) Should companies/brands rely only on high-profile social ‘stars’ for engagement?

Q4) How can companies/brands help everyone in the organization gain recognition for contributions?

Q5) Does a collective social presence, say of many minor stars, out-reach one or two major ones?


Bonus Q6) What are some key elements of social conversations that companies/brands should encourage? (see word cloud)

Image credit: @eksays with guest @jeremywaite and Charlie Southwell. Pondering thought leadership.