1. Blogging - A well thought out blog is a great way to build thought leadership, and even may raise brand awareness with the right content.
2. Pinning - More sites like this are destined for the web in the near future. Learn to pin strategically and reap the benefits in the form of increased organic traffic.
3. Brand Management - Social media does a lot of things well, but one of the greatest aspects of the social explosion is brand management. Your brand can engage with current and potential customers on both a macro and micro level in a way that effectively manages your brand, its public awareness and how it is perceived across multiple demographic samples.
4. Content Curation - A secondary approach to thought leadership building is content curation. Sometimes wrongly confused with content aggregation, curation involves finding the best content on the web and syndicating it on your own blog. This positions you as a thoughtful industry leader.
5. Forums - Since social media is conversational, forums are one of the few better ways to engage with potential customers. Use forums to gain feedback from your prospects by talking to them. It’s also one of the best social networks.
6. Crowdsourcing - Get your customers involved at the ground level. Crowdsourcing has the uncanny ability to transform apathetic customers into brand advocates overnight.
7. Meetups - Meetups serve as just another means to position yourself as a thought leader. Though, instead of through a blog post, you can deliver your ideas in person. Studies have shown that classic human interactions are more valued as it genuinely conveys more sincerity as opposed to behind-the-screen digital interactions.
8. Microblogging - Share your knowledge, and even showcase your brand through social media microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr in real-time, constantly updating your followers and giving them the latest feed on things they value.
9. Presentation Sharing - Sites like Slideshare let you effortlessly share presentation slides with the world. Yep, this is just another way to show off your industry knowledge but in a more visually aesthetic manner, so use this platform wisely.
10. Review Sites - Review sites are a blessing and a curse. You will get great, indifferent and even bad reviews. Learn to use review sites to refine your business processes by focusing on what you’re doing well, solving customer problems to lessen negative remarks and finding opportunistic ways to attract and captivate prospective clients.
11. Social Networking - Applications, fan pages, company personality profiles, social media sites etc – there’s virtually no end in sight to the ways you can use social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest for your benefit.
12. Wikis - Use wiki sites to build a knowledgebase for customers and colleagues to engage with your brand. If you have noticed, almost every website that is linked to Wikipedia can be found on the first result page of Google.
13. Podcasts - Yet another knowledge sharing tool that positions you as a thought leader. You can treat this as a “multimedia” whitepaper to share your brand or product information be it in audio, video or pdf format.
14. Photosharing - Use photosharing sites to keep your loyal customers and prospects abreast of all the great things your brand is up to. Everyone likes visual content as it paints a thousand words.
15. Online Video - Some web marketers throw around terms like “viral video” way too easily. Viral video is only “viral” if it’s shared. Create great online videos that inspire YouTube and Vimeo users to play fast and loose with the “share” button.
16. Widgets - Place social media widgets on your blogs, landing pages and website homepage. The idea is to make people aware of your social presence on every turn.
17. Email Marketing - Email marketing is social. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Incorporate your social networking tools into every email blast you send out.
18. Sponsorships/Partnerships - Build partnerships with like-minded companies, and have them sponsor your brand on social media pages. Leverage their brand to accrue new customers.
19. Staffing - Use your staff. Chances are that you’ve hired smart people with great ideas and hidden entrepreneurial talent. If you’re doing great work, your employees will be more than happy to talk up your brand on a blog or social media profile.
20. Interactive Advertising - Keeping customers engaged is a daily battle for any company. Building interactive games, virtual worlds and other fun tools will go a long way to keep your customers coming back for more.
21. Social Media Marketing Public Relations - The media can either be your greatest ally or a thorn in your side. If you play your social media marketing cards right, and give news outlets stories they can actually use, they will always keep coming back to you for more stories and insight about your industry.