Andrea Learned

The award-winning Living Change podcast: Listen and follow now wherever you get your podcasts!

Social Leadership As Business Development

photo of mobile phone in hand, reflecting colors

Business development at your fingertips. Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

Too often I have conversations with people who think that investing time in developing their digital leadership platform is a distraction. While they can see it, sort of, as an add-on to a marketing or public relations effort, that isn’t compelling enough. They’ve already got plenty of things to do in that area. But, there are so many ways that developing your own leadership platform alongside your organization’s can be a critical business development tool.

While you should never “hard sell” on your platforms, you can and should deliver a steady drumbeat of who you are, what matters to you, and what you value (cheering on the whole industry, sharing new research, being a curator and resource) via your tweets of LinkedIn posts. But, this may be the biggest secret (oddly): being on these platforms intentional gives you the capability to monitor keywords and tags, which delivers a bounty of competitive insight and clues about how to get media coverage.

Everyone knows that business development is not an overnight pursuit, but a long term, possibly years long, relationship building one. If you had a way to stay in virtual touch, add value to the broader conversations and reflect your brand positively – even in teeny moments – steadily over time, why wouldn’t you?

There’s an advertising adage, “The Rule of 7”  , about how your target audience needs to hear/see your message that many times for it to soak in. Leveraging your social media leadership platform as one or two of those seven messages, for example, means people will absorb much about the brand in an even wider variety of ways. They might not ever be able to articulate it, but they’ll think: “I’m not sure why I choose to work with or buy from X brand, it just ‘feels’ like I can trust them.”

Quiet message, well received and ready to activate on your strategic terms.

And, while this Mashable piece suggests you use social media as an additional business development touch point, I think it should be seen – and VALUED – as much more integral than that. It’s an under the radar way to multiply messages. It puts your leadership and your company’s collective wisdom at the center of it’s industry conversations. And all, without tooting some huge horn or painting your brand in a loud, obnoxious neon green.  (Not that you would.)

YOU, being on Twitter and LinkedIn consistently (but not frantically!), can be a huge differentiator, and a subtle but powerful, brand message amplifier.


For those in sustainability, climate action and social impact worlds especially, THIS is my expertise and passion. I’d love to work with you.