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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  November 22, 2016

Roles Thought Leaders Play on Social Media

Roles Thought Leaders Play on Social Media

As thought leaders, it isn’t enough to throw out your ideas and wait for others to respond. Your brand is being formed with every post you make. Instead of just ranting, get strategic. Here are my three favorite roles to play on social media:

• Interpreter: When you find a newsmaker or social issue post, do more than take a position. (Everybody does that.) Use the uproar to answer the hidden “why” behind the reaction. Use any issue that grabs headlines (climate change, police violence, etc.) Your goal: Expand the understanding. The result: You look smart and above the fray.


Listen: Vickie explains her strategy on how to become the interpreter on platforms such as Facebook.


• Facilitator/moderator: Asking great questions, and watching what happens next is a great strategy. But don’t stop there. Good facilitators create rules of engagement with consequences. Example: “This is a sincere question, so no flames please. I’ll delete any trash-talking posts here. … “

• Cheerleader: Look for places to share good news and give kudos. Why? Because everyone likes a celebration. When you share good news, you humanize your work. You show you are more than your business. When you share good news by giving kudos, you also share opportunities for folks to return the favor.

When you pick a role, you keep your communication style consistent. That consistency becomes the story folks tell about you. Save the rants for face-to-face happy hours. (That’s what wine is for.)


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.