What is the difference between a Social Influencer and a Thought Leader?

Social Influencer VS Thought Leader?

Right now, many people are talking about Influencers and thought leaders. But what is the difference? Below I have listed the main differences.

What is a Social Influencer?

1. A person that people follow2. A person that people usually follow because they may be famous, have money, are good looking or have the right title and so on 3. People may follow someone who mirrors their own behaviour and reinforces it4. Have a large audience, generally5. Their influence has some power6. They may choose to use their influence for good, or for sales, or additional influence, or generally something on the positive lighter side7. They may also be a thought leader, but not as common8. Activists may be social influencers9. Politicians, celebrities and salespeople may also be social influencers.

What is a Thought Leader?

1. A syringe of ideas2. Someone who is innovative3. Someone who can express their innovation4. Someone who makes others think in a new way5. Someone who inspires others to want to spread their own ideas6. Positive. Usually always seen as a positive thinker7. Can also be a social influencer8. Inspiring, motivating9. Seems to be rarer than social influencers.

So how can you use this for marketing purposes?

Either you decide to become an influencer or a thought leader to start spreading your message. If you work in B2C I would recommend focusing on becoming an influencer and if you work in B2B it is best to be a thought leader.

Hire an influencer or thought leader to spread your message

If you're not interested in trying to become an influencer or thought leader yourself, as a company you can use people who are today to spread your message through them. For example, Daniel Wellington has been very successful at this as they have used influencers to tell the story and showcase their watches.

What are the benefits of being a Thought Leader?

The great thing about becoming a Thought Leader in your industry is that you will be spreading lots of interesting and rewarding content to your customers and potential customers. This will lead to you becoming a "go to company" in your field. When you decide to start sharing knowledge through text and moving images, you will also get a better indexing on google which will lead to more traffic to your website.

In other words, there are only positive things about starting to share knowledge, thoughts and ideas :-)Good luck!


Philip Otter


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