How To Build Your Authority on Social Media

Building your authority on Social - Zealous Social

Written by Kalleigh O'Togher

Kalleigh is the founder and CEO of Zealous Social.  Her expertise in marketing comes from 15 years of serving mid-size businesses in the trades, services and retail industries.

September 28, 2020

There are Four (4) Media Types to Use to Build Your Authority on Social Media

We have to accept the fact that content is the digital currency right now. To establish your authority, you obviously have to be the best in your field and show it.

There’s a process for everything, including building your authority. No exceptions. 

The first step is to do a lot of research and study in your field that you want to build authority over. This will mean you need to dedicate a lot of time towards that goal.

For instance, I’ve built my authority in growth marketing. I had to work in the field and take as many courses as I could in the different aspects I wanted to build my authority over ie: website design, PPC ads, Social Media, etc. I had to practice consistently and put in the time in that field to get knowledgeable. You don’t want someone who states they are an authority but the reality is they are a beginner that just started and has no real practical skills. It will show quickly and damage your reputation. 

This process is not something you do once and don’t ever do again. You need to consistently put the time in to keep up with the latest skills and techniques. Trends and requirements change quickly. From when I started in marketing to today, trends have changed multiple times. If I didn’t keep up I would no longer be an authority in my field. This is a lifelong commitment if you’re really serious. Or at least while you are in that field.

Now that we have our skills and experience we need to share that and start building our authority so others know it as well. 

Building Authority on Social Media

Building authority on social media.

We all know that Social Media is an important platform for building our authority for our business but where do you start, what do you post and where do you find the time to do it?

Social media is all about building relationships. In order to do that, we have to build our authority and brand presence on social sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Your potential customers have to be able to find you, and not just through your website. 

Don’t confuse authority with expertise. You already have expertise in your business – you know your products or services and how to deliver them to your customers. You have to build authority – be the go to person in your field – that has the answers your potential customers are looking for.

To start you need to identify which social platform you’re going to concentrate on. Where are your customers? Are they on Facebook or LinkedIn? Once you know which platforms you’re going to post on, now you need to make a plan on what to post.

Expertise + Authority

Take the time to really look at how you can prove your expertise and authority. Use a table like the one shown and list in each section all the evidence and social proof you can think of for both your expertise and your authority. Take your time with this, and really dig into all the ways your expertise and authority can be known, understood and quantified. You need to list everything from your education, media mentions, client testimonials and your own personal reflections.

A table to list how you currently show proof of your expertise and authority.

Take a good look at the results you come up with. Which column has more? Generally our expertise column has more since we are the “experts” in our business and chosen field. 

What do you need to do to fill out the authority column? Make a plan to work on that. 

  • Do you post on your social accounts consistently?
  • Do you write blogs and share them on your website & social accounts?
  • Do you need to do some guest appearances on podcasts?
  • Guest writing on some media sites? 
  • Do you need to run some Facebook, Google or Pinterest Ads?

Four Types of Media – The Definition

Authority building – In order to build your authority effectively you need to use all four types of media.

The four types of Media are:

  1. Owned Platforms you “control”. By this we mean that all the content you post is yours – you own it. This would be your website, blogs, email list, videos,  testimonials/reviews, webinars, courses, white papers (Pdf’s) and podcasts.
  2. Shared – Social media channels you don’t OWN. You use them to distribute your content like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

*Note: If you do a FB Live, it’s shared media because it’s recorded on Facebook itself, which you don’t own. Once you download that video to your computer, now you own it (owned media) and you can share it wherever you like. 

  1. Paid – Exposure/visibility you pay for with Facebook, Google or Pinterest Ads to build your brand’s reach. 
  2. Earned You receive media coverage from podcasts, magazines or known industry leaders. You build word-of-mouth (organic) followers that trust you. This creates a long-term, loyal audience/fan base.

Leveraging all four of these media types is how you gain visibility!

Visibility –  is about being seen and getting you/your brand known. 

Authority building and visibility only work with a proper strategy, commitment and focus!

Authority is built with optimized, shareable and engaging content. You build authority in the places where these 4 types of media intersect. This is called media or digital convergence.

“Technological convergence, also known as digital convergence, is the tendency for technologies that were originally unrelated to become more closely integrated and even unified as they develop and advance.”  Wikipedia

One thing I will say is never rely on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. I’m not saying don’t use them – they are great for growing your visibility and authority by having people respond and share your posts. The problem we’ve all seen is that Facebook and other social platforms can change the rules tomorrow (which they’ve previously done) and this could affect your owned media so don’t rely on them exclusively. 

Your Four Media Types – What do you have?

Make a list of all the ways you currently use and engage with the four types of media. You should be keeping track of these. If you’re not, then start now. Determine what media types you have less of. Make a plan. What do you need to do to build more of that media type?

A table to list the four types of media you currently have for building your authority.

Convergent Media

Next we’ll take a look at when convergent media overlaps the above media types!

Convergent media is the overlapping of different media types with the results each build.

For each overlapping conversion media, figure out actions you could take to bridge the two together. 

Owned to Shared Convergent Media:

This is based on building relationships. How do you do that?  Here are some examples:

  • Engaging with people who liked & posted on your social media posts
  • Start conversations on Facebook or LinkedIn Groups
  • Join in on conversations already happening in online or in-person places (groups, meetups, local events)
  • Answering questions in online forums (Quora or Reddit)
  • Commenting (not just liking) on people’s Instagram photos and stories
  • Sharing, tagging, referring other people’s posts
  • Participate in a Twitter Chat
  • Engagement (commenting, messaging) on FB, IG, Twitter, LI
  • Engagement (commenting, messaging) in groups (FB, LI) or forums (Quora, Slack, Reddit)

Shared to Paid Convergent Media:

  • Begin running FB, Google or Pinterest Ads, focusing on lead generation
  • Consider all the ways that you can amplify your content for audience growth, boosting engagement and gaining views.
  • Retarget people so you can show them the right content at the right time.
  • Use affiliates to promote your products/services.
  • Run giveaways or contests, etc.

Note: Ensure you’ve installed the Google Tag, Pinterest Tag and FB Pixel on your website for tracking purposes.

Paid to Earned Convergent Media:

  • Likes, comments, shares, etc. on your blogs and social accounts.
  • A post you make on social media goes viral – WooHoo!
  • Partnerships and collaborations gain you attention when you:
    • Write guest blog posts
    • Being a guest on podcasts
    • Host or Co-host a webinar, workshop, in-person or Live event
    • Being a presenter or speaker at a conference or event.

Read: How to Use Social Media in Your Business

It’s Time to Commit

Now that you know about the 4 types of media and their convergents how are you going to implement that for the next 30 days?

Building professional relationships, in-person or online, takes effort and commitment!  Too many people say “They don’t have time.” They do but they have to make a conscious effort to put aside a certain amount of time each week to commit to it. 

You don’t gain authority by doing nothing and hoping for the best. It takes hard work, consistency and dedication.

Here’s an example of my current schedule:

Social Posts

I spend each weekend planning out, writing and finding the graphics for my social media posts. I schedule them to get posted out to my social channels through my social media program. I use Content Studio but you can use Buffer, Hootsuite or directly through Facebook’s creator studio

I’ve created a year’s worth of post ideas (that I sell to my clients) but I prefer to do a week at a time. I know I can commit that weekly. If I have a week that is lighter and I have more time then I’ll plan out a month’s worth. But my commitment is always a minimum of a week’s worth. 

*Tip: If you’re not getting any responses to your posts try going into your account each day and be the first to comment on your own post. I’ve found that a lot of people don’t want to be the first to comment so if you’ve already commented they feel more comfortable adding their own.

Blog Writing

I also dedicate time on the weekend to write my blogs for the week so they are ready to go (formatted, spell checked, graphics included). I post them to my website and social channels on weekday mornings while I’m having my first coffee, before I start my day.

*Note: For post ideas, if your blog has several sections or points made, take each of those and turn them into short social posts. For example, if my blog has 5 sections I take each section and turn it into 5 days of posts. We do this for clients. It works great.

Building Relationships

I commit an hour every weekday morning and another hour later in the day to comment, respond and build my relationships on social media.

Wrapping Up

You don’t have to follow my schedule but it gives you an idea how to structure the time you need to commit to building your authority. It won’t happen overnight but the key is consistency.

The other point I want to stress is don’t ignore anyone. If someone comments on your blog, social post or a comment you made in a group, make sure you respond. 

If you need help building your authority and visibility, reach out. We’re here to help.

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