There are many different ways to create success on social media. If you’re reading our blog, you are likely trying to create a niche for yourself as a thought leader. You have probably also either followed or read about brands that are successful in social. You may have even considered trying to crack their code for your channels. That’s not the best path for thought leader social media success.

Brands are after attention, even negative attention, which can often lift a brand on social media. Take Wendy’s, for instance. It’s not a warm, fuzzy account to follow. If anything, the account becomes snarkier everyday, with an active strategy around attacking its competitors with often pointed, and some might say mean-spirited, humor.

A thought leader, on the other hand, needs to inform, inspire, and even entertain in a professional and positive manner. Your social strategy is quite different from a brand strategy. The goal of a thought leader is to become the top social destination for people interested in information, inspiration, and thought leadership around your area of expertise. In some ways, you become an aggregator of powerful thinking. That means sharing your own content, and it means sharing great content from other people.

When I share this approach, I often hear: “why would I share someone else’s content?”

The answer is simple: social media is about creating conversations. Think of it as a round-table, not a bully pulpit for your work — at least, not if you want to be successful.  Sharing other’s work that aligns with your thinking, and sharing work that you consider thought-provoking, is a value to your followers. You want your content to always offer value.

The next question I get is: “how do I find content to share?” 

There are a few ways to find create third-party curated content, and a few tools that can be very helpful. Here are some we recommend.

Your Social Feeds

This is the least predictable source for content, but it can deliver some real gems. As you scroll through your personal or professional feeds, you’ll see great articles pop up. Grab the link and save it in your spreadsheet, or share it immediately to your professional profiles if the articles are especially timely.

Google Alerts

Google allows you to set up alerts around your name, a competitor’s name, keywords, and more. When those words are mentioned in an article, you’ll receive an email. Just be careful: if you use very general keywords, you’ll be inundated with updates with little value. We recommend keeping an ongoing alert around your name and your book’s title primarily. Learn more here.


This tool has a free article search (with some limits) that allows you to look for news coverage on specific keywords and topics. I use this tool regularly to locate curated content. I’ll set aside some time each day to search around certain keywords and put the links in my content library for future use. I’ve found great articles that I didn’t unearth using the same keywords in a Google news search. Try it here.


This tool helps you set up RSS feeds around keywords, blogs URL’s, and specific topics. Additionally, Feedly allows you to mark content to read later and allows you to organize content into boards, eliminating the need for a spreadsheet. You can create up to 100 feeds with the free edition. Set it up here.

Dedicating an hour a week, or a few minutes a morning, will help you create a library of strong third-party content. This approach will deepen your thought leadership, but streamline the amount of time you need to dedicate to delivering value to your audiences. And isn’t that what we’re all seeking— more value and less time commitment?

Which tool are you going to try?