Several years back, LinkedIn asked me to pen a blog on the perspectives of using social media and an outreach medium as a security practitioner. The blog was titled, “Why LinkedIn is an Indispensable Medium for Security Professionals,” and it garnered much attention. The theme of my writing was that LinkedIn had become part of the fabric of how I (and a majority of my security world peers) communicate, operate and conduct business.
I noted in my blog that in my world of cybersecurity/security and working with federal government agencies and private sector companies that LinkedIn had become a great resource. I had found that the security oriented LinkedIn groups facilitated open discussions that involve current and ex-NSA/DoD/DHS (and law enforcement) professionals who use the platforms regularly. By following and interacting with pertinent posts, I gained the latest news on topics such as cybersecurity technologies, threats, policies and trends from a variety of expert sources with exceptional insights.
I also highlighted that LinkedIn proved invaluable for marketing. As a subject matter expert, public speaker, government relations and marketing executive, I have worked with the C-Suites and boards of several security related companies and organizations. I elaborated on how social mediums help brand products and/or services and that for marketing, messaging on LinkedIn is immediate, perpetual and cost-effective, and that Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can also be useful for outreach and branding, depending on your target audiences.
What rang true then, rings even more true now. Social media, especially LinkedIn, has become a preferred forum for interaction. The Covid19 epidemic catalyzed that trend and we all were forced to operate virtually out of the office for months. Digital communication had already been trending. Digital is the way of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and everyone and everything is becoming more connected by the day. Our smartphones have evolved into extensions of our work element and communications, whether they be business oriented or for social purposes, are routinely dome with a text or post.
Indeed, in 2022, the way of doing business has changed, the new paradigm is that digital outreach, marketing, branding and thought leadership are integral to success. To borrow a phrase coined by the Canadian communication theorist Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message.” The move away from business lunches, live events and meetings (although I still see them as valuable) have propelled digital platforms into becoming the main fulcrum for communications and branding. Those social platforms have especially impacted components of business development, sales, government relations and marketing.
Platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram have now become a daily means for sharing content, building networks and reaching targeted markets. Thought leadership on meaningful topics is of timely interest to everyone and the use of subject matter experts and influencers has become a primary means for brand amplification via articles, blogs, podcasts and online events.
To be successful in an increasingly digital world, companies, new & old, large & small, need to be more visible and get recognized for their unique capabilities on social media platforms. This is especially important for those companies who have products or services in the areas of cybersecurity, homeland security and emerging technologies.
There are a lot of security threats overwhelming both industry and government. There is also a lot of competition and marketing noise used in campaigns to try to sell those products. Companies are seeking quality and interesting content that highlights their expertise and helps enable them to be able to connect with peers and clients. I recommend that companies explore strategies that use influencers and thought leaders who can augment company marketing and sales efforts by bringing credibility.
It’s Not Generational
In the new emerging digital business ecosystem, it is much easier for someone to respond to a LinkedIn email while working remotely. They can view profiles on their social networks, both business and personal time and see the value of responding to a particular outreach communication or meeting request. Among younger people in the workforce, sometimes this is just about the only way they communicate.
In addition, other social media aspects of digital marketing and brand amplification are that it can be very cost-effective and repetitive. While I value and still read print, in digital, a good written message, video or graphic can have a long shelf life and be shared widely across various social media platforms.
I would not change any of the proclamations I made when I first published my LinkedIn marketing blog. If anything, I would add to it to reflect the growing power of digital platforms in commerce, as I am doing with this article. Concisely said, in today’s emerging technological world, promoting thought leadership is not only a brand amplifier but also the new digital currency for business success.