Posts Tagged ‘Blue Focus Marketing’
One of the most powerful impacts of social media is the way it has democratized brands. No longer is the brand, or corporate image, tightly controlled by a few senior executives, marketing communications specialists, and PR spokespersons. Every stakeholder in an enterprise—every customer, prospective customer, supplier, channel partner, employee, industry blogger, shareholder—has a voice. Those voices collectively shape the brand.
This reality can be scary as hell for brands, but it also creates new opportunities. Treating customers well produces an army of advocates, with far greater credibility and at far lower cost than traditional advertising. Invite bloggers to your company events, give them a peak “under the hood,” and the collective “media coverage” generated can be tremendous.
The most natural and knowledgeable group of brand ambassadors would seem though to be employees. They know the company’s products, people, policies and procedures from the inside. They (presumably) want the company to do well, as their livelihoods depend on its success. Those on the front lines, in areas like consulting and customer support, have a unique perspective and level of credibility. And collectively, particularly in large organizations, they can be a powerful amplifier of brand messages and values.
Yet companies big and small have struggled to capitalize on this potential. Asking employees to use social platforms on a brand’s behalf can easily feel awkward, or forced. Employees may not want to talk about the company on social media, or may not know how, or may want to expose too much, or may even use it in ways that damage the brand.
Of course, most organizations of any size now have social media policies in place; but these often only set the basic ground rules for discussing the company in social media (e.g., don’t discuss financial details, don’t disclose customer data, don’t talk about products in development). They don’t turn employees into effective and impactful brand advocates any more than merely knowing the traffic laws makes one an expert driver.
Into this milieu have stepped Cheryl and Mark Burgess with their book, The Social Employee: Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, and Cisco on Building a Social Culture. A must-read for any executive or manager who wants to understand how to unleash the social power of a properly trained, motivated and incentivized workforce, this book goes far beyond the do’s and don’ts of social media policy. The authors have gone inside some of the most respected brands to discover and reveal how these companies have made social media work by enabling and empowering their employees.
In today’s social online world, the linear model of brand engagement (awareness, interest, desire, action) is obsolete. Rather than being the end goal, the sale is often the beginning of the true relationship between customers and brands. It isn’t just the product that matters, but the entire customer experience with the product, with post-sale support, even with a company’s values, that shape the brand image in the social realm.
To introduce their concept of a non-linear model of customer engagement, the authors invoke the image of a Möbius strip: a geometric shape that is “somewhat unique in the physical world. While the Möbius strip appears to be a closed band like a bracelet, because of a twist in the band itself the object technically has only one side—although it appears to have two…
“We like the metaphor implied in this famous mathematical conundrum: here is an object that is easy to understand by experiencing it, but incredibly difficult to produce through attempts to quantify it. Such a riddle creates an unmistakable parallel with the nature of social employee engagement. Any brand can see the value of social of social collaboration once they’ve jumped into the fray, but it’s much more challenging to try to define the precise formula for why it works…Each of us behaves as an employee, brand, and customer—sometimes simultaneously—throughout the course of a single day.”
Later in the book’s opening section, the authors quote a McKinsey Quarterly article which argues that “senior leaders can harness social media to shape consumer decision making in a predictable way…(social media) is much more than simply another form of paid marketing, and it demands more too: a clear framework to help CEOs and other top executives evaluate investments in it, a plan for building support infrastructure, and performance management systems to help leaders smartly scale their social presence. Companies that have these three elements in place can create critical new brand assets (such as content from customers or insights from their feedback), open up new channels for interactions (Twitter-based customer service, Facebook news feeds), and completely reposition a brand through the way its employees interact with customers or other parties.”
Social media is fundamentally changing the nature of marketing, and employees are crucial to successfully navigating this transition. In the sections titled Employees Already Own Your Brand and Marketing is Everyone’s Job, the authors contend that “strong Business-to-Business (B2) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C) communication outside of the brand’s walls begins with strong internal employee collaboration…Because of the many new demands that social media has created for internal organization as well as B2B and B2C interactions, brands are quickly coming to the realization that the act of marketing is no longer just the responsibility of the marketing department…This isn’t to say that each member of each department has to be on the frontlines of branding, just that everybody should have a role in spreading the brand’s message.
“The only thing preventing organizations from connecting employees with the necessary information and resources to drive real change is the willingness to develop a proper infrastructure…Many companies simply don’t know how to handle the changes in the work styles and attitudes that are emerging within the workforce.”
And that is what sets up the core of this book: lessons the authors share from seven leading companies in how to harness the power of social employees. Among them:
- • IBM: let employees develop the company’s social media guidelines. “In trying to determine the best way to address questions regarding the proper protocols of a social business, IBM struck on a novel idea: rather than confining a small group of people to a conference room to hammer out social policy, why not take the question to the people? IBM quickly set up an open wiki accessible to the entire network that would allow IBMers to establish their own computing guidelines…The results of the wiki experiment were quickly adapted as the company’s official social media guidelines. According to (IBM executive Ethan) McCarty, everything is still holding up quite well. ‘IBMers treat it like their Magna Carta’…The guidelines, which McCarty affectionately refers to as IBM’s social media Woodstock, have become so renowned in the business world that hundreds of other organizations have contacted IBM seeking permission to adopt them as their own.”
- • Adobe: promote social media policies and best practices as “guardrails” for employees, not straightjackets. Adobe’s Corporate Social Media team knows it can’t control or dictate every social media interaction, so it has instead “adopted a policy of `influence without authority’ in order to spread the brand’s social message…Larger brands simply don’t have the resources to micromanage social adoption practices for an entire enterprise. `We had little to no authority over (other internal) teams to mandate change,” (Senior Director of Social Media and Public Relations Maria) Poveromo said. ‘So instead, we had to learn ways to encourage these stakeholders to see the value of working together.'”
- • Dell: use tools and structure to monitor and address the torrent of social media activity happening outside the brand’s direct sphere of influence. “Listening to over 25,000 conversations daily produced a wealth of data, but the brand has had to be creative in how it sorts and utilizes this information. In 2010, Dell established the Social Media Listening Command Center (SMLCC) Led by Maribel Sierra. The brand has since designed over 300 monitoring categories in order to aggregate information by product line, customer segments, and various business functions. The SMLCC is able to sort data by criteria such as location/geography, basic demographics, reach, sentiment, subject matter, and social platform. To accomplish this kind of sorting, the SMLCC team uses Saleforce’s Radian6 technology to assess and report on the trending social media topics related to Dell.”
There’s much more, from Cisco (representing leader authentically builds tremendous credibility); Southwest Airlines (founder Herb Kelleher: “If the employee comes first, then they’re happy…A motivated employee treats the customer well”); AT&T (use social media to humanize the brand: “A fundamental trait of the social age is the fact that people expect information to come from a trusted resource with a human face”); and Acxiom (create a social employee “PACT”—short for passion, accountability, creativity and teamwork).
While the book showcases examples and practices from large organizations, many of the lessons are applicable to companies of any size—such as the importance of executive involvement on social platforms on behalf of the brand.
I’m thrilled and honored to have worked with Cheryl Burgess for the past three years honoring the #Nifty50 top women and men on Twitter. Cheryl and Mark have written an outstanding book for any leader seeking a roadmap to building and optimizing employee engagement on behalf of the brand in social media. As legendary management guru Tom Peters said of the book, “Social media is wasted without social employees…my social business favorite books #1: The Social Employee.”
By Cheryl Burgess, originally published on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog
In 2011, I teamed up with Tom Pick (@TomPick) and his Webbiquity blog to unveil the first annual #Nifty50 Awards. Our goal in designing these awards was to honor the top 50 women and top 50 men in social media. In that first year, we cast a wide net, honoring those whom we felt actively engaged as brand ambassadors on Twitter day in day out, exchanging valuable information, and just generally being good, helpful people. Last year, we narrowed our focus to honor the top 50 men and top 50 women engaging on Twitter on behalf of the tech sector.
This year, we wanted to target a specific group once again, and so we agreed to honor the top bloggers, authors, PR specialists, and journalists on Twitter. After reviewing all of your wonderful nominations over the summer, it’s now time to unveil the winners!
Now that Tom and I have compiled our lists, the word that keeps popping into my head is “community.” This isn’t just a list of 50 men who work in isolation; these are people who share strong social bonds with each other, who would be just as happy to celebrate the success of one of their colleagues as they would be for themselves. These thought leaders understand that the greatest product of a good idea is more good ideas, and it’s great to see that their generosity and thought leadership in online communities is being recognized.
I’m happy to say that I have had the privilege of experiencing this generosity firsthand. As we were writing our book The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work – Success Lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, and Domo on building a Social Culture (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) (@SocialEmployee) late last year and early this year, we were honored to receive excellent contributions from people like Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar), David Armano, (@Armano) David C. Edelman (@DavidEdelman), and Kevin Randall (@kevinbrandall) —just to name a few. These wonderful wordsmiths truly enlivened our own content, and we couldn’t be happier to see them make this list.
So without further ado, here are the 2013 #Nifty50 Men! Feel free to celebrate their achievement by dropping them a line on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out the Webbiquity blog for the 2013 #Nifty50 Women!
Vala Afshar @ValaAfshar
David Armano @armano
Jonathan Becher @jbecher
Sander Biehn @sanderbiehn
Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
David Brier @davidbrier
Michael Brito @Britopian
Terry Brock @TerryBrock
Mark Burgess @mnburgess
Chris Carragher @cjcarragher
Dan Cristo @dancristo
Dino Dogan @dinodogan
Mike Edelhart @MikeEdelhart
David Edelman @davidedelman
Mark Fidelman @markfidelman
Sam Fiorella @samfiorella
Jez Frampton @jezframpton
Nis Frome @nisfrome
Sean Gardner @2morrowknight
Glen Gilmore @GlenGilmore
Andrew Grill @AndrewGrill
John Hagel @jhagel
Arik Hanson @arikhanson
Kent Huffman @KentHuffman
John L. Kennedy @johnlkennedy
Jure Klepic @jkcallas
Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
Simon Mainwaring @simonmainwaring
Billy Mitchell @billymitchell1
Jacob Morgan @jacobm
Tom Peters @tom_peters
Howard Pyle @howardpyle
Erik Qualman @equalman
Ajay Ramachandran @ajay
Andreas Ramos @Andreas_Ramos
Kevin Randall @KevinBrandall
Ron Ricci @RonRicciCisco
Tony Riches @tonyriches
Alex Romanovich @alexromanovich
Ted Rubin @TedRubin
Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
Dan Schawbel @DanSchawbel
Gary Schirr @ProfessorGary
Brian Slattery @BrianSlatts
Andy Smith @kabbenbock
Brian Solis @briansolis
Bill Strawderman @marketingbard
Todd Wilms @toddmwilms
Tony Zambito @TonyZambito
Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess) CEO and CMO of Blue Focus Marketing, author of The Social Employee – How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, published by McGraw-Hill, in summer 2013. She is a social branding consultant with expertise in social business and social media. She is an expert blogger for AT&T Networking Exchange on social media. Proud to be an invited contributor to the Wharton FOA’s Advertising 2020 Project. Active Member of the Wharton Advertising 2020 Contributor Community.
She was awarded Wharton Future of Advertising’s MVP and praised as a “brilliant strategic thinker in the social media space.” Huffington Post honored her as one of 40 global women “Passionistas” for her “great business expertise and timeless blog posts.” Also, Huffington Post “Top 100 Business, Leadership and Technology Twitter Accounts You Must Follow.”
She was featured in Fast Company and Business Insider. Invited speaker on “Expanding Your Social Influence” at the AT&T Networking Leaders Academy Annual Conference. She is a four-time winner of the Twitter Shorty Award in Marketing [The New York Times hails this as the Oscar of Twitter], named Top 75 Twitter Women, 2012 Top 100 Branding Experts on Twitter, and a 100 Top Marketer on Twitter. Cheryl is a syndicated blogger. She is the co-founder of #Nifty50 Top Twitter Women and #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men. Google+
Google+ (or Google Plus) is many different things, depending on who you ask. It’s the fastest-growing social network ever. It’s the tool Google will use to beat Facebook. It will fundamentally change SEO. It’s a pain in the arse because it’s yet another social network to join. It’s Google’s latest attempt at social media, and they finally got it right. It’s mostly a playground for engineers and marketers. It’s appealing, but too late. It’s “the linchpin of Google’s plan to own the entire internet” (see below for the source of that quote).
Most likely, it’s some combination of those things. What it’s clearly not, however, is a venue that businesses can afford to ignore.
So what do organizations need to know about Google’s latest foray into social media? How can they get the most out of it? What impact is it likely to have? What are Google’s future plans for the platform?
Learn all of that and more here in almost three dozen of the best Google+ reports, guides and insights of the past year.
Google Plus Tips, Tactics and How-To Guides
Getting Your Small Business Ready for Google+ by Blue Focus Marketing
Mark Burgess explains how small business can build trust and creatively use circles on Google+ (“This insight [that people prefer to share specific information with specific groups of friends or followers] led to the creation of Google+ circles, a major differentiator between Google+ and Facebook. Circles enable you to ‘narrowcast’ messages…Suddenly, Google+ can enable micro-targeting via circles.”).
Google+ Pro Tips Round-Up: Week 1 by Business Insider
Simon Laustsen provides a Google+ “cheat sheet” for getting started with the network, covering account setup, tagging, commenting, managing your circles, finding hangouts, rejecting spammers, inviting people and more.
How to Migrate from Facebook to Google+ by How-To Geek
Justin Garrison details tools that can be used “to migrate pictures, videos, and friends” from Facebook to Google+ (assuming you want to connect with the same people on Google+). He walks through the migration process, including helpful screenshots to illustrate each step.
Tad Chef details the most important considerations in optimizing your Google+ profile, from your profile image (“Make sure you use a bigger image than just the tiny thumb you’ll see elsewhere on Google+ (or) on your profile it will look awful. Google simply scales it up. It needs to be 200 x 200 pixels or bigger.”) to proper use of the “Other names” and “nicknames” fields.
HOW TO: Integrate Google+ Into Your WordPress Site by Mashable Tech
Kelli Shaver shows how to display your Google+ profile information on a WordPress site/blog, add the +1 button, and even use a Google+-inspired WordPress theme, with details about and illustrations of three examples.
Frequent best-of honoree Pam Dyer explores a bit of what’s behind the Google+ “project” then shares more than two dozen resources for getting started on and using the network, from using circles and hangouts to its impact on SEO, and from tips small businesses need to know to feature comparisons to Facebook.
There’s no need to wait for brand pages to do business communication on Google+ by Holtz Communication + Technology
The brilliant Shel Holtz explains how organizations can tap into the power of Google+ circles for content marketing, completely apart from brand pages, noting “I’m skeptical about brand pages, since research indicates most people connect with Facebook’s version only to learn about coupons, discounts and special offers.”
Google+ Tips, Tricks and Tidbits by The Search Agents
The Ultimate Google+ Cheat Sheet by HubSpot Blog
***** 5 STARS
Frequent best-of honoree Kipp Bodnar shares all the basics you need to know about Google+, from the social network’s unique vocabulary (hangouts, circles, sparks) to shortcuts, user demographics, configuring privacy settings and more.
Who to follow on Google Plus? Google+ Suggested Users
***** 5 STARS
In one of the first, if not THE first, Google+ directories, you can find people to follow and add to your circles across a broad range of topic areas from bloggers, journalists and tech entrepreneurs to scientists, filmmakers and foodies.
Google Plus Tips & Best Practices by webbROI
Amit Banerjee explains why you should sign up for yet another social network (“You use Gmail/Google Apps as your email provider, don’t you? You use Google as your search engine, Chrome as your browser, YouTube to watch videos, and Google Reader to read blogs. Plus, what about Google Maps, Google Translate and a plethora of other Google products?”), what’s behind circles and sharing attributes, how Google+ differs from Facebook (“No walls here!”) and more in this informative post.
12 Google+ Marketing Tips From the Pros by Social Media Examiner
Cindy King shares tips for getting the most out of Google+ from 12 social media pros, including Mari Smith (“Craft an eye-catching mini-bio for your hovercard”), Kristi Hines (on optimizing your profile), Debbie Hemley (on promoting your Google+ page) and Jeff Korhan (on how to create a suggested circles list).
5 Top Google+ Plugins by Kim Garst
Writing that “Having fun with any new kind of social media like Google+ means you get to make it your own, and playing with the different plugins available can help you do just that,” Kim Garst reviews five of her favorite Google+ plugins for the Chrome browser, such as Helper for Google+, a multi-purpose plugin with functionality for notifications, translation and bookmarking.
SEO and the Google +1 Button
Google Explores Re-Ranking Search Results Using +1 Button Data by Wired Magazine
Ryan Singel takes a close look at how Google may use +1 data in search result rankings, and shares some interesting observations: “Google would love to get at its (Facebook’s) data — the way that Bing is already — but the two companies go together like toothpaste and orange juice. Facebook will likely never let Google anywhere near its data stream, which meant that Google had to build in its own social network. But therein lies the rub. If Google’s search results become heavily dependent on social signals from Google+, then there’s going to be heavy pressure on the net’s websites to embed the Google+ button. And depending on where you work — say, Facebook or the Justice Department — that could look like Google is unfairly using its search engine might to boost its Facebook alternative.”
How to Implement Google +1 Button for Social Sharing by Search Engine People
Joydeep Deb explains how to add and customize a Google+1 sharing button on any website, as well as how to modify +Snippets “to customize the Title, Thumbnail Image and Description that appear when your content is shared.”
Google+ Brand Pages
Google+ Pages for Business: What You Need to Know by MediaPost Search Insider
Janet Driscoll Miller points out that the main reason for businesses to create yet another social profile page, this time on Google+, is that “Profiles help your brand SEO and help your online reputation management (ORM) efforts.” She then steps through the process of how to create one.
13 Cool Examples of Google+ Brand Pages by DreamGrow Social Media
Mart Prööm presents more than a dozen examples of cool, and pioneering, Google+ brand pages from companies like Pepsi, Toyota, Fox News, Yahoo! and Angry Birds. And that’s possibly the first time those five brands have been mentioned together in a single sentence.
This may be what Google+ is all about. Sam Diaz notes of brand pages that “On the surface, the new feature feels like Google’s version of Facebook fan pages, a place where companies, celebrities and other ‘brands’ can interact with their customers and followers by sharing news or engaging in discussions. But Google brings something extra, something that Facebook and Twitter can’t offer – the power of open Web search.”
Test Driving Google+ Brand Pages by iMedia Connection
The always insightful but socially oblivious Daniel Flamberg writes about what the Google+ platform is, what it means to marketers, how consumers are reacting (e.g. “Google+ has attracted almost 50 million users since launch (as of mid-November); 68% of Google+ users are men; The single biggest occupation is software engineer; Biggest company affiliations are IBM and Google; It looks like a technology-focused, early adopter crowd”) and predicts how professional marketers will react to the platform in the near term.
How to set up your Google+ Brand Page right by Biznology
Chris Abraham walks readers through the process of “setting up your brand page right away in the right way. If you follow these steps, you’ll be as well-placed as possible,” from selecting a category and uploading an image through adding friends and optimizing your profile.
10 Guaranteed Ways to Get More Google+ Page Followers by HubSpot Blog
Contending that “without an ample following, all the time and effort you put into your presence is ultimately a waste,” Pamela Vaughan provides 10 tactics to grow your following, such as promoting your Google+ page in other social networks, writing a blog post about your new page, and making yourself eligible for Direct Connect.
10 strategic benefits of Google+ brand pages by iMedia Connection
Tom Edwards examines the similarities and differences between Google+ and Facebook company pages, and the benefits of Google+ brand pages for businesses, including search integration (“Google currently owns 68 percent of search market share. The fact that the Google +1 icon is now a part of every Google search result shows a glimpse of the level of integration Google has in store for users and brands alike”), using circles for audience segmentation, hangouts, and social gaming among others.
How to Create a Google+ Business Page by Practical eCommerce
Paul Chaney outlines how to create, use, and build a following for your Google+ business page. He concludes that “The features for Google+ business pages fall short of those available on Facebook, not the least of which is the ability to add custom apps. Google likely will add more features in time. Until then, the social network may serve as a second-tier channel through which you can build some brand equity and…improve search returns.”
11 Best Practices for Your Google+ Brand Page by Sexy Social Media
An excellent post outlining “ten things you should keep in mind when putting up your Google+ Business Page” such as looking at what’s working (and what’s not) for major brands already there; crafting a creative (and keyword rich, for web presence optimization purposes) tagline; and being “chatty, but never spammy.”
Google’s Holiday Gift to You: Google+ Adds Multiple Page Administrators Capability by MediaPost Search Insider
Janet Driscoll Miller (again) reports on Google’s decision to enable pages to have multiple administrators, why this functionality is important (e.g., “Allow multiple individuals to make updates…(and) Maintain personal account security”), and how to invite others to be administrators.
Google Plus Strategy, News and Commentary
What You Should Know About Google+ (Plus) by WP Blog Talk
Rob Cubbon reviews the basics of Google’s latest attempt at a social network, starting with Circles (a feature that sets Google+ apart from most other networks) and posting (along with helpful shortcuts) and moving through hangouts, the +1 button, privacy, Google’s philosophy behind Plus, and new features likely to be added in the not-too-distant future.
Google+ Creates Data Gold Mine For Advertisers by MediaPost Online Media Daily
Laurie Sullivan outlines the value of Google+ for advertisers (“‘”For advertisers, one of the biggest benefits from Google+ will become the user data they don’t have access to from Facebook,'” according to Debra Aho Williamson), the network’s rapid growth (“Google+ has become became the fastest-growing social site — hitting nearly 25 million visitors worldwide as of July 24, just four weeks after launch…It took MySpace 23 months, Twitter 33 months; and Facebook 37 months”) and its user demographics (“About 63% of Google+ users are male, compared with 37% female…the highest percentage of users falls between the ages of 25 and 34″).
Stop Calling Google+ a Facebook Killer by iMedia Connection
Jon Elvekrog expounds upon the unique strengths and drawbacks of Google+ as a social network, its benefits to brands and advertisers, and why he believes it is much more likely to coexist with Twitter and Facebook than to supplant either one.
Social Relevance: Google+’s Algorithmic Implications On Networks by MediaPost Search Insider
Rob Garner counters skeptics, demonstrating how Google+ may help the search giant not just catch up to but leapfrog Facebook and Twitter, who, Garner believes, are far behind “in terms of applying algorithmic relevancy to the social experience.” He recommends that organizations treat Google+ as a “primary top-tier social network” and notes the importance of creating content and sharing it through Google+ for search success.
Google+ – Too little, too late by Inside a Marketing Mind
Gareth Case likes Google+ and understands its appeal, he just thinks that Google may have “missed the boat… By about 5 years” in terms of building a viable social network. His post includes an excellent graphic illustrating the distribution of social media traffic across the major networks.
Can Google+ succeed among the common people? by iMedia Connection
Alejandro Rivas-Micoud reports on results of a focus group test with Facebook users in various age groups test-driving Google Plus and providing feedback. These users liked the concept of circles, but found other aspects of Google’s social network confusing, and weren’t sure it offered any compelling differentiation or reason to switch from Facebook. The conclusion was that “simply improving upon the Facebook experience is probably not enough. Instead, to gain a meaningful market position…Google+ (needs) to either carve out a specific, complementary niche to Facebook” or just be flat-out better.
What Brands Need To Know About Google+ AdWords Social Extensions by Search Engine Land
Kelly Gillease explains what social extensions are, why they matter (“The main advantage for in-house marketers implementing the new Social Extension is to boost their +1 counts all around, AdWords ads and Google+ pages will receive boosts from each other’s increasing +1’s”), how they impact AdWords ads, and what companies need to do to complete the verification process with Google.
9 Facts About Google+ You Need To Know by Agile Marketing
Jim Ewel presents “9 facts about Google+ that may help convince you that you need to add Google+ to your social media marketing in 2012,” among them that Google+ will affect search results, that it helps people to find your business, and that activities there are easy to track.
How Google+ Is Changing the Web, Even Though No One Wants It To by HubSpot Blog
Kipp Bodnar (again) contends that “Google+ isn’t about changing social networking. Google+ is the linchpin of Google’s plan to own the entire internet. The company with the platform that can give internet users EVERYTHING they want will win. This is why you’ve seen Facebook partnering with music providers, launching its own email service, and allowing users to make images and updates public to improve Facebook Search. These two internet giants are locked into the early stages of the business equivalent of a death match.” The logic is hard to argue with, but Google’s strength has always been that it’s not a walled garden (like Facebook now, or AOL before it). Going down that path would leave a clear opening for someone to become what Google was on its way to becoming before it decided it just wanted to be the next Facebook.
Note: This post, a joint effort between Cheryl Burgess and me, originally appeared on the Blue Focus Marketing Blog last month.
Today, Tom Pick (@TomPick), Online Marketing Executive at KC Associates, who blogs at his award winning B2B Webbiquity, and I (@ckburgess – Blue Focus Marketing @BlueFocus360) present 50 remarkable men on our 2011 #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men list. These men are indeed using Twitter to rewire and reorient the Web. But, by no means, is this list complete.
Tom contacted me a few weeks ago with this idea and we’ve been working collaboratively on this project ever since. So, as promised in Tom Pick’s blog, “2011 #Nifty50 Top Twitter Women”, in honor of mothers, our 2011 #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men now honors fathers. Just in time for Father’s Day, as we’re pretty certain that every man on this list is a dad, has a dad, knows someone who’s a dad, or some combination thereof.
It takes a community to build a community
So much of building a community requires understanding people and engaging with them. Experts tell us the number one networking tip is to help others and they’ll return the favor — large or small. Adding explicit or implicit promises to a relationship up front can kill it before it starts. Perhaps our focus should be to gain credibility and trust — then work to build an enduring, meaningful relationship.
Now you may wonder, “How do we build a community?” According to Tom Grant, Ph.D, Senior Analyst at Forrester (@TomGrantForr) “You don’t build a community. You expand it.” He said, “Few communities appear ex nihilo at the behest of a technology vendor.”
Should there be an ROI on relationships?
Mother Teresa, a great innovator on relationships said, “Love does not measure; it just gives”. Twitter, not unlike Mother Teresa’s virtues of love, is a delicate ecosystem of real people. Some experts may want to rethink their advice and look deeper into the real meaning of relationships.
Social Networking: Like Falling In Love
Adam L. Penenberg’s (@Penenberg) Fast Company article: “Social Networking Affects Brains Like Falling in Love” examines research by neuroeconomist Paul Zak that suggests social networking triggers the release of the generosity-trust chemical in our brains: Oxytocin (known as the cuddle chemical). This should be a wake-up call for companies’ content on pursuing outbound marketing initiatives.
“Twitter isn’t just changing how we communicate — it is changing how we innovate…It’s revolutionary because it brings 21st Century DNA roaring raucously to life”, stated Umair Haque (@umairh) Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. What’s most interesting is that Umair made this statement in June, 2009 when Twitter had recorded approximately 2.5 million tweets per day. Today, Twitter posts 50 million tweets per day.
Umair went on to say in his post “The business of business is to create value — and that’s why Twitter’s not playing the tired, old game of value extraction. It is trying, instead, to create a more authentic kind of value — and to do that, you need ideals. Twitter pursues its ideals — democracy, peace, equity — with the quiet intensity of a true revolutionary.” Since 2009, we have seen revolutionary wars and unspeakable natural disasters. Umair is not only an innovative thinker but a man with astounding vision.
Ecosystems Rewiring: Real Relationships and Feelings
Twitter has become one of the most participatory public mediums in history and continues to grow exponentially as ecosystems of real people rewire with real relationships and feelings.
Now, along with Tom Pick (@TomPick) and myself, we would like to introduce the recipients of the 2011 #Nifty50 Top Twitter Men Award.
Sean Gardner – @2morrowknight
Humanitarian and co-creator of the #TwitterPowerhouses Series, and #TwitterCharityFacts. Blogger for Huffington Post and @op_editorial, Marketer, Do-Gooder, Master Surfer! Sean was also a #MMChat guest, sponsored by @TheSocialCMO
Adam Vincenzini – @adamvincenzini
Dan Higgins – @AdScientist
A digital and advertising strategist, Dan is passionate about new technologies and creativity. Currently, he is a Medical Officer in the @USArmy in Kandadar. His “first love” is advertising and when he returns home, he will be looking for a job on Madison Ave. Couldn’t name all of our favorite #Nifty50 creative guys, but we think Dan represents all of them for us. Dan had sent me a long list of his recommendations for #Nifty50. He thinks we’ve picked one name from his list, but what he doesn’t realize is that we’ve picked Dan to represent all the Mad Men. Dan, Madison Ave is waiting for you when you get home! |Dan’s LinkedIn Profile | Dan’s Tweets – On May 12, 2011 Dan tweeted this: @CarlRWarner @ckburgess I am officially an Army Medical Captain! |Dan is not always able to tweet b/c of responsibilities or out on missions…but here are a couple more of my favorite tweets from Dan sent on 5/21@AdScientist: ‘What is beautiful about social media are the relationships that can be built/started, conversations shared.’|Another special tweet he sent 5/21 @ckburgess I can’t wait to get home from Afghanistan to buy his book, #WeFirst, and not just follow his twitter and blog. @SimonMainwaring NEW POST by Cathy Waters @cathywaters May 19th Blog – Dan is the Man: Advice on Finding Marketing Jobs in the Digital Age
Marty Weintraub – @aimclear
Marty Weintraub is president of aimClear, an Internet-focused Advertising Agency. His company provides traditional & social pay-per-click (PPC) management, natural search optimization (SEO), social media/feed marketing (SMO) and online reputation management (ORM) services to national clients. An avid search marketing blogger, he’s written extensively for SearchEngineWatch, SearchEngineLand, SEORoundTable and others. His popular “home” publication is aimClear Blog. Marty’s an international speaker at Search Engine Strategies (SES), Search Marketing Expo, SEMpdx and PubCon conferences. A musician by trade, Marty is well known for recording dolphins, wolves, loons, water environments and setting them to global acoustic music.
Alex Romanovich – @alexromanovich
Founder of Social2B, social media marketing integrators and consultancies, with emphasis on Enterprise and B2B Social Media, SEO and SMM, and defining metrics and measurement systems, aligning traditional metrics with social media metrics. CMO at EuroSpaClub International. Advisory Board Member at The CMO Club. Contributor to the Social Media Marketing Magazine – B2B Column. Consults major corporations on social media strategies, reputation management strategies, risk management strategies, and social media growth and scalability in manufacturing, healthcare, IT service, technology, publishing, and CPG industry segments. Consulted on social media and reputation management strategy with Dow, Hearst, IBM, Time/Life, & Barnes&Noble. Founder of Social2B Labs – a new and emerging social media accelerator for companies and innovators targeting Enterprise and B2B solutions.
Andreas Ramos – @Andreas_Ramos
Andreas Ramos is the Director of Strategy for Acxiom Corporation and lives in Palo Alto, CA. He is an industry expert in the areas of SEO, interactive and digital technologies and author of Search Engine Marketing and several more books. He co-founded two Silicon Valley search engine marketing agencies and is a frequent speaker at search marketing conferences. Andreas’ blog includes a great list of favorite words and meanings from multiple languages. One example, the word: Aware. This is a Japanese noun, pronounced ah-WAH-reh, which means a sudden, brief awareness of the brevity and fragility of existence, such as a glimpse of a herd of deer running softly through a forest or noticing the sheen of moisture in a woman’s eyes. His blog also includes a beautifully written personal account of the night the Berlin Wall fell.
Andres Silva A. – @andressilvaa
Marketing Professor at Universidad Andrés Bello and DuocUc. SMM, Consultant and Speaker. CEO at SMMChile and CM at Ingelab ltda. Andres is a social media expert. Ranked No. 1 Marketing Professors in the world by @SMMmagazine. Andres is always recommending his favorite tweeps and blogs, but now we’re recommending that you read Andres’s blogs at marketinghighcompetition.blogspot.com and blogmarketingchile.com and follow him. Andres’ insights and knowledge inspires not only his students, but everyone that follows him.
Arik Hanson – @arikhanson
Arik is the principal at PR firm ACH Communications, a digital PR consultant, blogger, co-founder of HAPPO, and (along with #Nifty50 award recipient Missy Berggren) co-founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference – #mnblogconf
Aaron Lee – @AskAaronLee
Aaron Lee or more known as Ask Aaron Lee (@askaaronlee) on twitter is your average Joe but with an extra-large social media addiction. Competitive by Nature, Positive Minded, Marketing Student & part time social media manager.
Billy Mitchell – @Billymitchell1
Billy Mitchell is a partner and senior creative director at MLT Creative, an Atlanta-based B2B marketing agency. As a B2B marketing specialist, Billy is a recognized expert in B2B inbound marketing, and is very active on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. He is also the curator of the top two B2B marketing lists on Twitter, and his lists are number one on both Listorious and Mashable. He contributes regularly to the B2B Ideas@Work blog for MLT Creative.
Michael Brenner – @BrennerMichael
Michael Brenner is a Sr. Director of Global Marketing for SAP. He is the author of B2B Marketing Insider, a contributor for the SAP OnDemand blog and also a co-founder of social news site Business2Community.com. Michael has been working in marketing and sales for over 17 years in various roles where he uses customer insights to drive sales, ROI and customer loyalty through effective sales and marketing strategies. Michael believes that companies need to become more social, and that marketers need to stop focusing on just their activities and put the customer first. Follow Michael on Twitter @BrennerMichael and Facebook.
Christopher Burgess – @burgessct
Christopher Burgess – Senior Security Advisor at Cisco; co-author of Secrets Stolen, Fortunes Lost; writes on Online Safety, Hunger and Human Trafficking on his personal blog, Burgessct.com, while also professionally blogging in both Huffington Post and Cisco Security Blog addressing social network/media security & privacy issues touching our personal and professional lives. Christopher is an often sought speaker, who addresses the unsavory side of social media not touched by many.
Chuck Martin – @chuckmartin1
Chuck is Director of the Center for Media Research, MediaPost Communications, a NY Times Business best-selling author, CEO of Mobile Future Institute and mobile advocate. He’s brand manager of the Mobile Insider Summit and a frequent speaker nationally on mobile and mobile marketing. His newest book is The Third Screen (Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile).
Danny Brown – @DannyBrown
Co-founder and partner at Bonsai Interactive Marketing. Speaker at TEDx and is regularly quoted in publications and news media, including Marketing Magazine, Canadian Marketing Association, Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company and City News Toronto. Award-winning marketing and social media blogger. Founder of 12for12k.org.
David Aaker – @DavidAaker
David Aaker is Vice-Chairman of Prophet, Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley, the creator of the Aaker Model™ and a recognized authority on brands. David has published 15 books and his latest is Brand Relevance. On David’s blog you will find more information on Brand Relevance as well as all his other books he has published. In addition, David’s blog provides the reader with a steady-stream of thought-provoking marketing content.
Jason DeRusha – @DeRushaJ
A reporter and anchor for CBS affiliate WCCO TV in Minneapolis (the top-rated newscast in the Twin Cities); Jason hosts the station’s popular “Good Question” segment. He’s also active in social media and was named as one of the Twin Cities Top Titans in Social Media in 2009.
Eric Fletcher – @ericfletcher
Eric is the CMO at McGlinchey Stafford, a business law firm with nine offices in the U.S. He is a Communication and Marketing veteran, with a career that spans radio and television broadcasting, agency partnership, film & video production, and professional services consulting. His personal blog focuses on strategic marketing, communication and values in today’s market. In addition, Eric writes a column for SMM Magazine, and contributes as part of the “Crew” at The Social CMO Blog.
Blair Semenoff – @Flipbooks
If you ‘ask’ @AskAaronLee about Blair he would probably say that Blair is one of the 50 Most ReTweeted Twitter Users of All Time. But Blair isn’t just a cool guy that everyone loves to RT, he’s a “Twitter Psychologist” & “Viral Marketing Scientist”. He is currently creating a global social media agency & is searching for funding.
Frank Strong – @Frank_Strong
Frank is a PR & marketing guy full-time, infantry officer part-time, Pats fan all the time, political news junkie anytime. Visit Frank’s blog, The Sword and the Script, a blog that studies the application of marketing, PR and social media.
Glen Gilmore, Esq. – @GlenGilmore
Glen is a power user on Twitter with over 100,000 followers. He is an attorney, social media best practices strategist and adjunct professor at Rutgers University. Principal of Gilmore Business Network, a NJ-based social media consulting firm, and also a practicing attorney. He is the senior social media marketing advisor to Memphis-based Howell Marketing (@HowellMarketing) and to Harrisburg-based Deeter Gallaher Group (@AnneDGallaher) public relations and marketing firms with clients ranging from Fortune 500 to small businesses and non-profits. Glen served as mayor in Hamilton, NJ, during the 2001 anthrax attacks when the regional postal facility located in the community received and distributed anthrax-tainted letters. Gilmore was featured in TIME magazine for having established an emergency treatment clinic to care for more than 1,000 postal workers who had been exposed to the potentially-deadly anthrax substance.
Holger Schulze – @HolgerSchulze
Based in Washington, DC, Holger is director of marketing for information security vendor SafeNet. He is the founder and manager of two highly successful and active groups on LinkedIn, the 20,000-member B2B Technology Marketing Community and the 78,000-member Information Security Community.
Jeff Ashcroft – @JeffAshcroft
Supply chain expert and social networking pro Jeff Ashcroft is a key thought leader in many fields including retail, supply chain & disruptive technologies. Jeff is the true social media visionary who created The Social CMO, a blog that brings 35 senior marketing minds together and is now one of the Ad Age Power 150 Marketing sites. Jeff also founded & hosts #MMchat one of the most popular tweetchats every Monday at 8 pm EST. That is why @theSocialCMO is aka @JeffAshcroft.
Jeff Bullas – @jeffbullas
Jeff Bullas is a Chief Digital Evangelist with a passion to make a dent in the digital universe. Jeff makes social media and digital marketing simple without the gobbledygook. Visit Jeff’s blog, www.jeffbullas.com for fresh social media insights.
Joseph Zuccaro – @joezuc
Joe is a B2B Marketing consigliore and president of marketing automation services provider Allinio. Joe is the brainchild of B2B Twitterer of the Year Awards, @b2btoty debuted over two years ago. In keeping with Twitter’s crowd-sourcing spirit, the @B2BTOTY awards are based on votes from thousands of Twitter users and on each B2B creator’s Twitter strategy. Enjoy reading Joe’s blog.
Ken Banks – @KenBanks
Publisher, Ken Banks, is a seasoned online and offline publisher and is the Twitter power source for his blog @SocialNetDaily. Ken’s blog and tweets are social media news you can use. Ken understands the growing intersection of social media and business. He is listed as the 16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter in the Huffington Post. He is an inspiration to his followers.
Kent Huffman – @KentHuffman
Kent is the CMO at BearCom Wireless as well as the Founder and Co-Publisher of Social Media Marketing Magazine (@SMMmagazine) and a published author. He serves in advisory roles for the CMO Council and @TheSocialCMO. He is the publisher of The Top Professors on Twitter, The Top Authors on Twitter and The Top CMO’s on Twitter. Kent spearheaded the creation of BearCom’s company blog, BearCom Bulletin at Blog.BearCom.com. The blog will be formally hosted by BearCom’s virtual Chief Technology Officer, Meg A. Hertz, the mild-mannered tech geek who, when needed, morphs into superhero Wireless Woman. Kent is releasing the fifth issue of @SMMmagazine, and recently talked to SplashCast host Renay San Miguel about the magazine.
Kevin Randall – @KevinBrandall
On Twitter, Kevin (@KevinBrandall) brands himself simply: “All-Brand guy at Fast Company.” That’s an understatement. When Kevin broke news on politicians using neuromarketing, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post and GOOD Magazine followed. When not writing for Fast Company, Kevin develops strategies at Moveo to turn client businesses into fast brands. Google invited Kevin to lecture their marketing executives—after they ‘Googled’ the term “B2B Branding“. Check out Kevin’s recent Fast Company project, Face the Nation: How Sensory Logic Sees Secrets In Candidates’ Mugs. And speaking of presidential faces, Kevin is quoted in a Forbes story on Trump’s brand value. Having worked previously at Interbrand to build brand value for name-brand companies, Kevin is also an accomplished ‘Naming guy’. So picking Kevin here was just good, nifty branding. BTW: Kevin is a fellow member of the #LeBronians team “drafted” by Robert Rose (@Robert_Rose) in FollowFriday & Who’s The Lebron In Your Strategy –Maybe It’s You.
Lee Odden – @leeodden
Lee is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing. He is one of 25 online marketing experts featured in “Online Marketing Heroes” published by Wiley and has been frequently cited for his search & social media marketing expertise by The Economist and Fortune Magazine. He’s an active thought leader in the search marketing industry. Lee has contributed to top industry publications such as Mashable, iMedia Connection and Yahoo Search Marketing Blog. A sought after search marketing, social media & PR industry speaker, Lee has keynoted Online Marketing Summit, Social Media Junction and Search Exchange on the intersection of Search, Social Media and Content Marketing.
Epirot Ludvik Nekaj – @LPlus
Epi is a pioneer in the crowdsourcing ad model, and Founder & CEO of Ludvik + Partners @LAdvertising in NYC. Under Epi’s leadership, his agency has landed several clients in B2B and B2C to personal branding services for high caliber CEO’s like John Basil Georges and QR Code ad campaigns like Tissot Watches. Today, Ludvik + Partners is one of New York’s hottest boutique ad agencies built 100% on the crowdsourcing model. FYI: Never forget the first time I met Epi. It was at the Twitter Shorty Awards (NYC) in 2010. In the midst of a maddening crowd, Epi appeared with his quick smile and offered me my first Twittertini to congratulate me, it was a moment I’ll never forget. Prior to that night we were Twitter pals, but since then we’ve become good friends. In case you would like to attend a couple cool events on June 7th, during Internet Week NYC (June 6th – 13th, 2011), here are two discount codes for you: “Using LBS to Boost Your Biz + WE FIRST Book by Simon Mainwaring” 15% Discount Code: #LBSBoost and Crowdsourcing AD Biz + WE FIRST Book by Simon Mainwaring 15% Discount Code: #CrowdAdBiz .
Mack Collier – @MackCollier
Mack Collier is a strategist, trainer and speaker who specializes in helping companies better connect with its customers via social media. His motto: “Don’t focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate.” Mack founded and moderates #Blogchat, the largest Twitter Chat on the Internet. His goal is to help clients create those connections with their customers, and nurture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line. Mack is a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs and his writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including MSNBC.com, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe. Mack has presented at some of the top social media conferences including SXSW and Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer.
Mark Ragan – @MarkRaganCEO
Publisher of PR Daily and PR Daily Europe, the only daily news portals designed specifically for corporate communicators. Mark’s domain, Ragan.com also addresses Healthcare Marketing and Communications News and conducts a distinguished series of conferences to the communication and social media world. Mark personally drives his many conferences on communications and social media.
Mark Schaefer – @markwschaefer
Mark is a talented marketing consultant and adjunct professor for Rutgers University in New Jersey and has seven patents. Mark blogs at businessesgrow.com and is the author of The Tao of Twitter. He is also a recognized Twitter Top 10 Marketing Professor.
Mark Burgess – @mnburgess
Mark is an experienced digital marketer, social brand strategist, speaker, blogger and educator. He is co-founder of Blue Focus Marketing, a social branding consultancy that helps brands realize the benefits of social media marketing. Utilizing an innovative model, delivers customized on-site social media workshops. He is also the co-author of Ad Agencies Winning New Business 360, which has sold in 25 + countries worldwide; based on a proprietary strategic blueprint with emphasis on social media. Mark has been quoted in the WSJ and The New York Times. Mark’s career spans marketing, advertising, and professional services consulting. Mark led the PwC Global Web team. At McCann, headed the flagship L’Oreal and Sears accounts. Mark is a Twitter Top 40 Marketing Professor. Mark teaches Executive MBA and MBA marketing and advertising courses. He has won two EFFIEs for marketing excellence and DMA ECHO Awards.
Mike Volpe – @mvolpe
Mike is the CMO at HubSpot in Boston, a marketing software company. According to Brian Halligan (@bhalligan), “Mike has built a scalable, inbound lead generation machine for HubSpot,” Brian stated that Mike, “played a critical role in growing our customer base from a dozen beta customers to over 4,500 in four years. Last month alone we got 38,000 new, inbound leads to feed to our sales team. That’s inbound marketing in action.” Volpe is also credited with using inbound marketing to create a top marketing software industry brand that has won more than 30 industry awards, been featured in over 20 business and marketing books, and boasts one of the largest online communities of any SaaS company. Mike hosts an award winning weekly live marketing video podcast HubSpot TV. He was featured in a Harvard Business School case study “HubSpot: Marketing and Web 2.0“. He enjoys talking about marketing, appears frequently as a marketing speaker and blogs at blog.hubspot.com. Mike enjoys golf and playing recreational ice hockey and is a fan of the Patriots and Red Sox. Check out @TomPick’s blog at Webbiquity on what he learned from Mike’s HubSpot Webinar.
Patrick Strother – @PatrickStrother
Strother Communications Group since 1992. Teaches PR at the University of Minnesota. Digital Marketing, Higher Ed, Sports, Art, Public Affairs and loves playing the Guitar. He’s a Twitter Top Marketing Professor.
Philip Hotchkiss – @PhilipHotchkiss
Philip is a very passionate writer. 3x startup guy, advisor, board member. Past adventures CPO @Klout, CEO at Talkingpoint, president @MarketWatch, founder/chairman/CEO at BigCharts Philip’s. Not sure how many children Philip has nor all of their accomplishments, but I do know he’s very proud of his 8 year old son playing classical piano. On May 22nd, Philip tweeted his talented, classical pianist son’s YouTube debut on his GatorKeys channel playing Kabalevsky Etude in A minor No. 27 Op. 3. It’s moments like these that makes communities feel like family.
Philip Letts – @philipletts
Philip’s passion in life is crowdsourcing. He is an entrepreneur and head of blur Group, a creative services exchange where businesses and brands source marketing and creative campaigns from a crowd of experienced professionals. Although his Twitter profile proclaims he is “crap at surfing” that may because a) there’s no surf in the UK or b) he is too busy making waves in an industry vying for dominance over Madison Avenue.
Gary Schirr – @ProfessorGary
Gary Schirr is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Radford University in Virginia. His research passions are innovation and co-creation. Prior to joining academia, Gary worked for a Wall Street firm in Chicago and Singapore and as CMO for a succession of online startup firms. Now a third-career marketing professor, his interests also include service innovation, social media marketing, cross-cultural marketing and, entrepreneurship. Gary has the distinction of being ranked #3 in the world among Twitter Top Marketing Professors. Gary blogs at Service Co-Creation. He recently received a grant to develop a hybrid SMM course for RU, crediting his twitter and blog community which cooperated to crowdsource his grant application.
Scott Galloway – @profgalloway
Scott Galloway is Professor of Brand Strategy @ NYU, Founder of L2 Think Tank, Red Envelope, Prophet Brand Strategy and Firebrand Partners. Scott’s L2 think tank helps brands navigate the changing marketing landscape through events, research and advisory services.
Robert Rose – @Robert_Rose
Rob is the Founder and Chief Troublemaker at Big Blue Moose. Rob excels at innovating creative and technical content marketing strategies for his clients. He’s the Strategist in Residence and brand advisor for the Content Marketing Institute, a featured writer and guest blogger for the online magazine iMedia Connection. He is a frequent keynote speaker, guest blogger and brand advisor, and co-author of the book “Enterprise 2.0: How Technology, E-Commerce and Web 2.0 Are Transforming Business Virtually”. Rob is a research fellow with Coburn Ventures, a community of experts discussing and innovating current trends in Technology and investing. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Software Division, and was a founding member of the Executive Council on Software-as-a-Service. In our opinion, Rob’s most “notable” achievement and in keeping with Rob’s title, “Chief Troublemaker”, was his creation of #LeBronians team FollowFriday & Who’s The Lebron In Your Strategy? — Maybe It’s You.
Simon Mainwaring – @simonmainwaring
Simon Mainwaring is founder of We First, a social branding consulting firm that helps companies use social media to build communities, profits and positive impact. His new book We First comes out in June explaining how brands and consumers use social media to build a better world. He is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, Worldwide Creative Director on Motorola for Ogilvy, Fast Company blogger, international speaker, AdAge Power 150 member, contributes to Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine and Mashable and is a self-proclaimed “idea geek”. He blogs at http://simonmainwaring.com/and is committed to supporting a We First community of brands, non-profits and consumers using social technology to scale positive social change.
Steve Akins – @SteveAkinsSEO
On Twitter , Steve is known as a guy who is super friendly. He’s always quick to engage with you when you show up in Twitter chat. In real life, he is a SEO, developer, entrepreneur, struggling poet, gastronome, explorer from Chicago. Steve will be launching a new website soon. Can’t wait Steve!
Steve McKee – @SteveMcKee
Steve McKee is the president and co-founder of McKee Wallwork Cleveland; a full service integrated marketing firm that Advertising Age recently recognized as one of ten top small agencies in America and that has twice been awarded the American Marketing Association’s EFFIE Award for marketing effectiveness. He’s the author of When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You’re Stuck and What to Do About It; writes a monthly advertising advice column for BusinessWeek.com, and has been published or quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, Adweek, Investor’s Business Daily and the Los Angeles Times, as well as in dozens of newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S.. Steve has appeared on CNBC, ESPNII, CNNfn, Bloomberg TV and network television affiliates in more than two dozen cities across America and is a popular corporate speaker. Steve also blogs at Stalled, Stuck or Stale: The Blog for Brands That Don’t Have It All Together.
Steve Farnsworth – @Steveology
Steve is a senior corp comm practitioner and has worked with Apple, Mitsubishi, Philips, and THX. He consults with TV producers, documentary film makers, and authors on building audiences for their projects by using social media. Steve is currently the Chief Digital Strategist at Jolt Social Media. Steve also delivers on-site training and workshops designed to help his clients and their employees effectively integrate new school marketing with their traditional mix to increase brand loyalty and shorten the sale’s cycles. He is a director with the Silicon Valley Brand Forum, and regularly blogs and speaks on organizational adopting of social communications. As @Steveology on Twitter, he is nationally ranked in the top 5 for public relations, inbound marketing, and branding.
Steve Woodruff – @swoodruff
Steve refers to himself as the Connection Agent. He creates Opportunity Networks – communities of people committed to supporting one another, learning from one another, and opening up doors of opportunity for personal and professional advancement through trusted referrals. Two business networks — Impactiviti and the Connection Agency — have been launched. Steve is also the co-founder (with #Nifty50 Woman @LisaPetrilli) of #LeadershipChat, a growing community on Twitter born out of #SOBConf.
Ted Rubin – @TedRubin
Many people in the social media world know Ted Rubin for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. On May 1st Ted announced leaving OpenSky and accepting the position of Chief Social Marketing Officer at Collective Bias, a company he has worked closely with for two years since meeting the Founder, John Andrews, through the blogging community and whose Advisory Board he joined a few months ago. Ted is on the Advisory Board of CollectiveBias, OpenSky, and SheSpeaks, is a Social Marketing and Engagement Advisor to Big Fuel Communications, and a Social Marketing Strategist and Brand Evangelist for Zuberance, a company that identifies, mobilizes, and tracks Brand Advocates. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter and has one of the deepest networks of any marketer in the social arena. ROR is the basis of his philosophy…It’s All About Relationships!
Olivier Blanchard – @thebrandbuilder
Olivier helps companies develop, build, integrate, manage and measure Social Media Programs. He also helps companies manage their reputations online and offline, and establish leadership in their markets. His Twitter profile tells us: “Pray that I never become your competitor’s secret weapon.” Check out his blog. Also, highly recommend his book, The Social Media ROI.
Tony Karrer – @tonykarrer
Tony Karrer is considered one of the top technologists in the e-Learning space. He is an experienced CTO and his work in social media, e-Learning and Performance Support has won awards and has led him into engagements at many Fortune 500 firms. Tony is a frequent speaker at industry and academic events. Tony blogs at Social CTO.
Trey Pennington – @treypennington
Trey is all about delivering your brand story. Trey’s motto: “DON’T just tweet! Transform your marketing with STORIES. Story gets attention. Story gets SHARED”. Trey is a marketing pro, speaker, author, and dreamer. If you’re not connected to Trey either on Facebook, Twitter or haven’t met Trey IRL, then you’re missing a lot. Check out his blog to learn more about this amazing guy. You won’t be disappointed.
Umair Haque – @umairh
Umair is Director of the Havas Media Lab and author of The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business. He also founded Bubblegeneration, an agenda-setting advisory boutique that shaped strategies across media and consumer industries. Umar is not only an innovative thinker but a man with astounding vision.
If you have missed the#Nifty50 Top Twitter Women, click here.
COMING …Two Blogs You Don’t Want to Miss – COMING in June!
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Few phenomena have ever spread as far and grown as rapidly as social media; obviously, this has tapped into something essential to our nature. What is it? The answer may come from the email marketing field. According to a recent study by email service provider Aweber, four simple words virtually guaranteed to get an email opened are: “You are not alone.”
That is what has driven social media adoption. From freedom seekers living under oppressive regimes connecting with each other and with people around the world who support them, to individuals with uncommon viewpoints or highly specialized professional interests connected with the like-minded anywhere on the globe, social media is about not being alone. It’s a way to find and form relationships with others who share our particular interests and passions, whether down the street or on other continents; interesting people with whom there has been no practical way to engage before.
Talking recently with Cheryl Burgess (@ckburgess)—partner and CMO at Blue Focus Marketing, a B2B social branding consultancy firm in Bridgewater, New Jersey; 2011 & 2010 winner of the Twitter Shorty Awards in Marketing; and author of the Blue Focus Marketing Blog—we were both struck by how many of the same people we know through social media (and we both learned about some interesting new people to follow as well). Many of these were other B2B marketers, but others were social media experts, journalists, PR professionals, or just plain fascinating personalities.
Cheryl and I thought it would be a great idea to collaborate on this special social media project—and so the process began for creating the 2011 #Nifty50 List of Top Twitter Women. We decided to recognize and share the names of some of these noteworthy individuals with our respective readers and followers, starting today with 50 remarkable women (just in time for Mother’s Day, as we’re pretty certain that every woman on this list either is a mom, has a mom, knows someone who’s a mom, or some combination thereof).
One source of inspiration was Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women by Diana Adams (@adamsconsulting) and Amy D. Howell (@HowellMarketing), a list on which Cheryl was honored. Though it’s a remarkable list, to keep ours distinct we haven’t duplicated any of Diana and Amy’s picks.
Next month, we are following up with our list of 50 men, just in time for Father’s Day. This list will be posted on Cheryl Burgess’ Blue Focus Marketing Blog. Whatever your role in social media, we hope you find this list valuable in expanding your knowledge and your network.
Jennifer is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at the Stanford Graduate School or Business, and author of The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change.
Diana is a USC grad now based in Atlanta. She heads up Adams Consulting Group, a technical services firm specializing in Apple Macintosh desktops, servers and laptops. Diana writes for BitRebels.com and InkRebels.com, and as noted above, her post on Twitter’s Top 75 Badass Women was one source of inspiration for this #Nifty50 list. She’s smart, personable, sometimes controversial and never dull.
Hailing from San Antonio, Alicia is founder and CEO of Sanera, a professional development and training firm for sales and business leaders. She describes herself as a “small business coach, speaker, corporate trainer, blogger, singer, lover of life, dreams, family and God.” Alicia is a warm and outgoing social media pro and creator of March Marketing Madness.
Allison lives in the New York City area and works with the Marketing team at Google to explore the changing face of media, mobile and consumer behavior, drive new thinking internally, and communicate Google’s visionary concepts to wider audiences.
Ambal is co-founder of ClickDocuments, based in Silicon Valley. She’s an entrepreneur, marketer, blogger, and alum of Wharton and Purdue. Her Connect the Docs blog—frequently featured on the B2B Marketing Zone—is a platform for her own thought leadership content as well as frequently solicited insights from other B2B bloggers.
Director of Sales for @klout. Though fairly new to Twitter, Amber is active and highly engaging, and her following is likely to grow quickly. A USC grad, Amber’s past includes stints at Hulu, Yahoo!, and the E! Entertainment Network.
Amy serves as social media editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press as well as the Features/Travel editor for the newspaper. She’s an informative and prolific Twitterer, and active in Twin Cities social media.
A B2B marketer, strategist, writer and Author of eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. Friend, mentor, and source of inspiration. Also an expatriate Minnesotan now living in southern California (we miss her, but can’t blame her).
Interactive Minnesotan skilled in web strategy, conversion rate optimization (CRO), e-commerce, SEO, social media, QR codes (she knows a lot about QR codes), design, UX, analytics and inbound marketing. Angie is also a Search Engine Watch columnist and speaks at national events including SMX, SES, and OMS.
Expert Community Manager with the Focus Expert Network, a network of thousands of leading business and technology experts who answer questions and post thought leadership content. Becky is also an MBA Candidate at San Francisco State University with a strong appetite for Social Media and Marketing.
Jenara is an Asia-based filmmaker, organic farmer, and freelance journalist for Fast Company magazine and CNNGo, as well as a Harvard and Berkeley grad. She’s interviewed the famous and not-so-famous from high fashion superstars to up-and-coming designers to UN leaders, literary giants, cashmere producers, and royal mistresses, and her work has also appeared in TIME, BlackBook Magazine, and NextBillion.
Brooklyn-based Maria calls herself an “interestingness curator and semi-secret geek obsessed with design, storytelling and TED.” She’s also the editor of Brain Pickings and writes regularly for Wired UK magazine, The Atlantic and Design Observer.
Connie is the Community Strategist for the Alterian (formerly Techrigy) SM2 social media monitoring platform. She’s been named by Forbes.com as one of 20 top Women Social Media & Marketing Bloggers. Connie recently migrated from the frozen tundra of northern Minnesota to much balmier climate of Minneapolis.
Diedre is the president of Mango! Marketing, author of PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR, an adjunct professor in the New York city area, and co-founder of #PRStudChat.
Deb is a journalist-turned-PR pro. She’s president of Strategic Objectives, an award-winning PR agency in Toronto. And she’s energetic and inspirational on Twitter.
Eileen has more than 14 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications. As @eileenobrien she moderates the #SocPharm tweetchat on Wednesdays at 8 pm EST which discusses pharma marketing and social media.
Oregon-based Ekaterina is a corporate social media strategist as well as a “speaker, connector (and) passionate marketer.” She’s also a frequent guest-poster who’s written bookmarkable pieces like 9 Ways to Sell Social Media to the Boss.
Ellen Hoenig Carlson
Based in New Jersey, Ellen is focused on simplifying consumer and healthcare marketing for “elegant solutions in a complex world.” Though she writes mainly on pharma-related subjects, her blog topics also include branding, family, fundraising, innovation, leadership, and Twitter.
Ellen writes for Fast Company magazine and helps run the 30 Second MBA site.
Connecticut-based Elise is active in social media, an enterprise technology sales and business development pro who is passionate about inside sales and sales strategy. She’s a fellow member of the #Lebronians team “drafted” by Robert Rose in FollowFriday & Who’s The Lebron In Your Strategy – Maybe It’s You.
CMO with Siegel + Gale, a brand strategy, customer experience and design consulting agency in New York.
CEO of Chicago PR agency Arment Dietrich, author of spinsucks.com, Vistage member, author, speaker, communicator and writer of amazingly entertaining and insightful rants like Get Rich Quick! Lose Weight Tomorrow!.
Based in New York City, Gretchen is the best-selling author of The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, the account of the year she spent test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. On her blog, she shares her insights to help readers create their own happiness projects.
Heidi is a fascinating marketer who shares practical advice about marketing and life from New York, NY.
Minnesota social media rock star, Business Development Director at Pixel Farm Digital, founder of the annual Twin Cities Top 10 Titans in Social Media awards, talk show regular on myTalk 107.1, and never boring.
Karen heads Reciprocate LLC, a small business marketing consultancy in Minneapolis. She’s an expert in social media marketing (particularly LinkedIn optimization), a small business advocate, trainer, speaker and coach. She’s active in local community and business organizations as well as social media.
Katie reports on technology and pop-culture for one of the world’s greatest newspapers—the Wall Street Journal—and is the author of If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter’s Notebook.
Eve Mayer Orsburn
Eve is the author of Social Media for the CEO: The Why and ROI of Social Media for the CEO of Today and Tomorrow and CEO of Social Media Delivered, a firm that helps companies leverage LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook & blogs. And yes, she really knows LinkedIn.
Based in Chicago, Lisa is CEO of C-Level Strategies Inc, CEO Connection Co-Chair, Leadership & Executive Marketing Consultant, and #LeadershipChat co-Founder. Like Elise Segar and Cheryl Burgess, Lisa is a star of the #Lebronians team.
Liz is the founder of SOBCon, a brand strategist and leadership trainer based in Chicago. She’s also an insightful, prolific and generous social media presence.
Officially, an expert in inbound marketing, online visibility and personal branding, via social media, SEO and SEM. Also big on green business marketing. Unofficially – friendly, smart, and writer of many highly bookmarkable blog posts.
Lucretia M. Pruitt
Living in and tweeting from beautiful Denver, Lucretia refers to herself as a “random muse, speaker, ex-CIS Professor, social media devotee, geek, mom, wife, & insomniac.” Lucretia is a highly engaging and sophisticated observer of technology developments.
Digital PR Specialist for the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, Lisa describes herself as “a gal constantly awed by the intricacies of human behavior. Love my family, peeps, dogs, film, food and learning.”
Mari (like Ferrari) describes herself as a “passionate leader of social media, relationship marketing and Facebook mastery,” but most of us know her as the ultimate guru-ess of Facebook marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day. Formerly Canadian, now living in San Diego (nicer weather, but even worse taxes).
A phenomenally busy yet amazingly prolific blogger, Missy is a marketing pro at healthcare network Allina, co-founder of the Minnesota Blogger Conference, and is also active social media as the MarketingMama.
Idea generator, b2b marketing professional, creative director, process engineer and writer at MLT Creative in Atlanta, as well as a mother, friend, sister, daughter, diabetic, crocheter and jazz fan. She’s also really nice.
Sally is a scientist with Icarus Consultants in New Jersey, a pharmaceutical / biotechnology-focused marketing strategy firm. She blogs about marketing strategy, market research, science, oncology, hematology and immunology.
Working and tweeting from New York, Michelle is a creative director, brand strategist, and author of The BrandForward Blog. She spends her time exploring the future of advertising, social media, and emerging technologies and just being pretty cool.
A staff writer for the New York Times, Jennifer writes about the use of technology and social media in politics, government, and real life.
Susan Kang Nam
Splitting her time between New York, Andover (MA) and elsewhere, the dynamic Susan Kang Nam is founder of Cebisu Research Inc., a member of Andover’s Harvard Club, founder of Boston-based career club Salty Legs, “an entrepreneur, former recruiter and non-profit advocate who grew up in Asia (Korea, Japan) and US (Hawaii, California, New Jersey, NYC) and since 1994…using the world wide web exploring different platforms to engage in various of conversations”—and a classical pianist.
Prolific Twitterer, Bostonite, CEO and founder of the oneforty social business software hub, as well as co-author of Twitter For Dummies.
Rebel has been a marketing and business consulting for more than 20 years, is a popular speaker and author of Defy Gravity. She’s also a self-described “spiritual seeker, horse crazy, ski freak, and animal lovin’ nature gal.”
Based in Boston, Rebecca is a singing Inbound Marketer with all-in-one marketing software platform developer HubSpot. She’s also a founder of a cappella group Common Sound. And yes, she is a rock star.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Harvard Business School Professor, author of SuperCorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation, Profits, Growth, and Social Good – a look at how a new generation of values-driven businesses do well by doing good, and a living legend in the world of business strategy.
A social media communications manager for PR/social media monitoring provider Vocus in Washington DC, Stacey runs the popular monthly #prwebchat on Twitter. She is a former model, auxiliary member in the U.S. Air Force, and a self-proclaimed “SEO nerd” who loves NASCAR, steak and rock n’ roll. Definitely one of the most awesome and unique bios in social media.
CEO of Small Business Trends, an online small biz community reaching over 250,000 each month. Anita tweets from Cleveland, Ohio, the hometown of rock n’ roll.
Liana ‘Li’ Evans
Liana describes herself as “an online marketing geek girl who loves all things social media.” She’s a top expert in social media and SEO, and the author of Social Media Marketing.
Wendy is a blogger and digital marketer focused on the pharmaceutical industry. She’s an executive vice president at at Intouch Solutions, a marketing agency serving the pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, and similarly regulated industries.
Based in Trumbull, CT, Wendy is an award-winning PR and marketing communications executive who helps B2B companies become well-known brands, and a truly engaging social media personality.
Watch next month (close to Father’s Day) for the Nifty 50 Men of Twitter for 2011.