Social Media Experts and Influencers, to Follow in 2018

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Social media is a maze, difficult but much more to explore! Nowadays, specifically, it is a huge platform for a massive use, from very basic communications and entertainment to creating heavy allowance marketing campaigns for business. Just one click and, online setup is here to serve. Social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have reached a point where these platforms are just not for casual use or in association with people to just get connected to a large number of people but also professionals for whom they might be the only platform to run their businesses. Leave the number of apps, integrations, and add-ons aside, by just figuring out which network you should ’invest in’ is a striker itself. What if you could ask today’s most influential online marketers one question: “What social media tool is your all-time, desert-island, can’t-live-without favorite?” Well this the most important question to be asked, and answers are of even more importance. Social Champ brought these specialists on board sharing their experiences about the favorite tool with us.

1   JEFF BULLAS

Jeff Bullas, shining gem among social media influencers and was ranked 7th out of top 100 social media influencers in 2015. He is a digital entrepreneur, a marketing blogger, keynote speaker, digital strategist and bestselling author. Jeffbullas.com website receives over 5 million visitors a year. With the motive to, “Inspire and educate entrepreneurs to grow their business in a digital world” he mentioned Socailoomph, Buzzsumo as his favorite social media tools.

While he further says, “Sumo is a hybrid tool that’s a bit like a Swiss Army knife. It’s helped me thrive and survive in the wilds of the digital world by creating social-sharing buttons – onsite, SMS, Flipboard, and WhatsApp – and tracking my social counts on blog posts. The feature I really love is its Welcome Mat: a pop-up that captures emails. In less than 12 months, it’s collected over 40,000 email subscribers.”

2   MACK COLLIER

Mack Collier is a social media strategist, trainer and speaker located in Alabama that specializes in helping companies better connect with its customers via social media and digital marketing channels. He is a highly sought-after speaker on social media and customer-engagement topics and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including “South By Southwest Interactive, Blog World and New Media Expo, Marketing Profs’ B2B Forum, Content Marketing World, and Social Media Tourism Symposium.  Furthermore, Mack has spoken and trained on-site with companies such as Delphi, BazaarVoice, Dell, Utica National Insurance Group” and many more. He stated automation as a definite role player for social marketing, which should own a better quality to facilitate the audience as well.

3   RAND FISHKIN

Rand Fishkin goes by the ludicrous title, Wizard of Moz. He’s founder and former CEO of SEO software startup Moz, host of Whiteboard Friday, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, co-founder of Inbound.org, and serves on the board of the presentation software firm, Haiku Deck. Rand’s currently writing a book for Penguin/Random House on the ups and downs of startup culture, due out in 2018. In his minuscule spare time, he loves to travel with his wife, author Geraldine DeRuiter and read about their adventures in her books and blog. Geraldine and Rand are also small investors in Backstage Capital and TechStars Seattle.

“Next to BuzzSumo – and without sounding biased – my favorite tool is Moz’s own Fresh Web Explorer. It’s great for setting up mention alerts as well as finding content to share socially through keyword notifications. The mention authority feature works directly with Moz’s page and domain authority metrics and helps sort through all the noise you normally get with catch-all monitoring tools.”

4   ANN HANDLEY

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms nowadays, yet favorite one also owning a marvellous name behind it. ‘Ann Handley’ is the chief content officer of MarketingProfs, the author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Ridiculously Good Content (Wiley, 2014), and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules (Wiley, 2012). Ann co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary. Her words about favorite tool are so clear,

Instagram is my favorite social network because of its social storytelling simplicity. From fun personal accounts – like Small Chalk and Adam Padilla – to corporate brands, it connects more immediately and deeply with people than any other platform. I still haven’t forgiven them for introducing an algorithm. (Chronological was so much more in line with the ethos of the platform.) But I can’t quit you, Insta.”

5   CLIFF OBRECHT

Photo editor and designing apps are demanded to be best at first, Canva comes on the list of quintessential ones having marvellous name Cliff Obrecht behind it. Cliff is the founder and COO Canva, Australia’s largest yearbook company and CEO at Fusion Yearbooks are his achievements so far. He made his startup ‘Canva’, co-founded by Melanie Perkins, a global multi-million dollar business by the end of 2014. He is ranked as the owners of one of the richest businesses in Australia today, along with more than 10,000,000 users across 179 countries, these young and talented minds hail from Sydney.

6   JOE PULIZZI

Joe Pulizzi is a dazzling name in the founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing that includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the Content Marketing World. He is the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must-Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine and winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Councils. For his favorite tool, he expresses his passion in words as,

“Right now in my career, I use social media as almost a pure response vehicle. And I won’t start any new social media apps, platforms, or tools until I’m 100% committed to it. My goal with Twitter (my favorite) is to keep in touch and communicate my appreciation to those people that support me. Once I built an audience on those platforms, my goals and execution changed.”

7   MARI SMITH

“Native video is the top reaching post type on Facebook and gets three times the engagement of link posts and two times that of photo posts. I love using Animoto’s gorgeous templates, themes, and stock music. Its new marketing builder tool also makes it super-duper easy to add text overlays – vital for sound-off auto-play videos in the Facebook News Feed because 80% of video ads on Facebook are watched with the sound off.” Words by Mari Smith is one of the world’s leading social media thought leaders and number 4 “Top Social Media Power Influencer” by Forbes. She is Facebook’s designated “Small Business and Facebook Marketing Expert”. In Dun & Bradstreet Credibility’s she is among top ten most influential small business people on Twitter.

8   NEAL SCHAFFER

Neal Schaffer is a notable name in Top 50 Social media influencers for two years in a row. He is the creator of Advertising Age’s Top 100 Global Marketing Blog, Windmill Networking (recently rebranded as Maximize Social Business), and a global speaker on social media. As a leading social media strategist, Neal has created huge counts of social media strategies, coached implementation, and helped train dozens of companies, from startups and small businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises and even a Grammy Award-winning musician. Neal has previously written two award-winning books on LinkedIn. Well, for the ‘eClincher’, his marvellous creativity, words are:

“eClincher is a comprehensive social media dashboard along with the lines of a Hootsuite, but it offers some unique functionality. The feature that I most love is auto post with queues. Basically, it’s a killer feature for companies who have lots of evergreen content and want to share it on a periodic basis across a wide variety of social networks. You can choose to post from your queue as often or as little as you’d like and stop sharing on a certain date, which is perfect if you are promoting an event.”

9   MURRAY NEWLANDS

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, business advisor, and a columnist at ‘Inc.com’ and ‘Entrepreneur.com’. He also runs San Francisco-based PR agency Influence People and is the author of “How to Get PR for Your Startup: Traction” and founder of Oktopost.

“Most B2B companies on social media are missing a huge opportunity. Staff, customers, and clients won’t post positive comments unless they love you. Beyond that, you have to get proactive and make sharing easy. Oktopost’s amplify and collaborate features are built to do exactly that: internally and externally. But love has to be the foundation.” His words for Oktospot.

10 LEE ODDEN

Lee Odden is CEO at ‘TopRank Marketing – Digital Marketing Strategist’, comes on the list of top-ranked online influencers and digital marketers. His interest in online marketing drew me to a start-up PR agency, Misukanis & Rodgers initially. After few years of introducing an SEO service called TopRank to the PR agency became the company: TopRank Marketing and I became the CEO.  He is the author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing (Wiley) and have been a blogging for over 13 years at ‘toprankblog.com’ and public speaker as well.

‘Founded in 2001 by Susan Misukanis and Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing is an internationally recognized digital marketing agency based in Minneapolis that helps top brands increase sales, grow communities and boost industry influence.’

 

11 MICHAEL STELZNER

Michael Stelzner is a well-known social media influencer and ranked in Top 50 of 2017, currently striking the notable functions at “ Social Media Examiner & Social Media Marketing World”,  is host at ‘Social Media Marketing podcast’ and author of ‘Launch & Writing White Papers; committed Christian’.

He manifested his points for Social media tool as “Right now, I’m excited about Huzza because it lets me broadcast a live, weekly show that features up to six guests at one time … and simulcast it to Facebook. The platform provides real-time interaction, screen sharing, and more. I think one of Huzza’s most valuable features lets users subscribe to your show. Now your followers won’t ever miss an opportunity to tune in!”

12 JOHN RAMPTON

John Rampton a prominent name, is ranked at second position among online influencers and named a marketing expert, is an entrepreneur, an investor, an online marketing expert, and a startup enthusiast. He is the founder of online payment company Due. Brand24’s dashboard is a great accomplishment under his leadership, for which he says

“I really like Brand24’s dashboard to see every person that’s mentioned my brand on social media. I can then go and respond individually. This enables my brand to be on top of the good, the bad, and the amazing customers that are sharing feedback. You can even monitor your competition and take advantage of the potential customers out there that need your help!”

13 ROSS SIMMONDS

Ross Simmonds a remarkable name in digital media strategy, has worked with both startups and Fortune 500 brands. He is also the co-founder of Crate, a content curation tool, and Hustle & Grind, an online store for entrepreneurs. Ross has worked with brands ranging from fortune 100 co’s to startups. About ‘Vennagage’ he describes,

“My favorite tool is Venngage. As someone who really likes experimenting with the potential of visual content and visual communication, having access to an infographics tool that is so easy to use speeds up my visual output. Whether you are creating graphics for social, SlideShare, or a presentation, Venngage is super versatile and intuitive.”’

 

14 GUY KAWASAKI

Silicon Valley venture capitalist, author and speaker Guy Kawasaki is known for giving great advice for company leaders, entrepreneurs and anyone interested in innovation.Guy possesses an extensive knowledge of innovation, entrepreneurship, social media, and marketing. He aligns with companies and causes that empower people, foster democracy, and make the world a meritocracy. In addition to his work at Canva, he is a writer (thirteen books), speaker, Mercedes brand ambassador and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Social Champ is the tool that I use the most for my social media efforts. It’s the cleanest and most efficient tool that I’ve found.”

15 BEN CHESTNUT

Ben Chestnut is the CEO and co-founder of MailChimp; an Atlanta-based email marketing service that has been around for fourteen years and has more than 8 million customers and small businesses, who send out a whopping 15 billion emails each month.

A brain that automatically helps you find and connect with your audience so you can build your brand and sell more stuff. Activating your MailChimp brain is free and not so difficult. It is one of most powerful automation that handle the marketing stuff so you can focus on the rest of your business.

16 MICHAEL BRENNER

Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, who has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. He is recognized as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Michael shares his passion for Followerwonk and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact.

“Twitter remains my primary social media platform. But alone, Twitter’s unmanageable. That’s why I use ‘Followerwonk’ to understand who my audience is when they are most likely to engage and to find followers who overlap with similar social profiles and influencers. Theirs analyze feature – which integrates with Buffer – tells you exactly when to post your most important updates for exposure.”

17 SHANE BARKER

Shane Barker is a digital strategist that specializes in SEO, Growth Hacking and Internet Marketing. Shane has a proven track record in developing and executing long-term online digital marketing strategies and social media campaigns, one of the last startups’ ventures that he founded was valued at over 25 million dollars in less than 2 years. He owns specialties in Internet Marketing, Start-Up Businesses, Entrepreneurial Education, Business Development, Digital Marketer, SEO, Consulting Lead Generation and Social Media. He has a passion for giving back to the community.

“Quuu is a hand-curated and content-promotion platform. I use the promotion side to distribute everything. Each article is reviewed by a real person before it is approved because the goal is to promote only the highest quality content. Once the article gets the green light, Quuu adds it to its huge distribution network, which is cool, as I can then see the amount of shares and clicks for each article.”

18 GLEN GILLMORE

A strategic consultant in digital marketing, Glen Gilmore has ranked as a Forbes Top 20 “Social Media Power Influencer” two years in a row and is recognized as a top influencer in Social Business, Content Marketing, AR and The Internet of Things. He is the author of “Social Media Law for Business” and contributing author to “Strategic Digital Marketing,” Gilmore provides consultations and customized training to members of the Fortune 500.  He has command over Digital Marketing, Emerging Technology and Crisis Communications as the subject.

“At the risk of following Joe Pulizzi, Twitter is also my favorite tool. However, I use it a bit differently than most by creating niche accounts to share and hone my evolving passions while creating community and influence – @TravelEsquire, @FinancialSM, @HealthcareSMM, @SocialMediaLaw1, @ChinaDigitalBiz, etc. Then I build Twitter lists to track key opinion leaders and the competition.”

19 DONNA MORTIZ

Donna Mortiz a Digital Content Strategist with a passion for visual storytelling & founder of the award-winning blog, ‘Socially Sorted’. She was awarded for Socially Sorted Best Business Blog in Australia 2014 and consistently listed among the top 50 social media influencers worldwide + sought-after for comment and advice on tech tools & digital content. She is contributor to sites such as Entrepreneur Magazine and a writer and trainer for Social Media Examiner, who was described as “The Ultimate Visual Marketer” by Amy Porterfield (Social Media Strategist)

Her specialities in the field include Digital Content Strategy, Content Strategy, Visual Storytelling, Visual Marketing, Social Media Speaker & Trainer, Social media; Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and SlideShare.

20 LILACH BULLOCK

Lilach Bullock is based in the UK and was recently listed on Forbes as one of the top 20 women power influencers.  She runs a very successful digital agency, is a keynote speaker and is regularly quoted online in Forbes, Sunday Times, Social Media Today and BBC Radio.  Her books have achieved number 1 status on Amazon for small business marketing and entrepreneurship.

21 BRIAN DEEN

“Click to Tweet gives your readers an immediate and easy way to share your content by creating one-click boxes of preloaded Tweets, hashtags, and mentions. Blog integration is super non-technical and they even have a Click to Tweet generator you can use to add links to emails and PDFs. More opportunities to share equals more shares. It’s that simple. I recently used it in this post and got 20% more tweets than my average.”

22 MATTHEW TORREN

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor, and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com and co-founder of Canva. He stated few words for the remarkable photo editing and designing app,

“Canva is a very handy browser-based design tool that makes it super straightforward for non-designers like me to create impressive images. Visual content has become so important for social media posts to help tell the story of your post and content. I’ve noticed that my visual content gets about 23% more clicks vs. non-visual. I love the fact that I can optimize the size for whatever social platform I need to use the design for.”

23 SHAYLA PRICE

Shyala Price is a remarkable content marketer, who is content strategy specialist, influencer marketing, public r Dan is the award-winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter In the world in 2016 by Onalytica. Dan is a contributor to a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute, and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. He is also a keen speaker and has spoken at events across the UK for a variety of organizations including NatWest and The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Dan has a passion for helping others learn how to get to grips with Digital Marketing and is obsessed with providing value for his community. His success hasn’t gone unnoticed by other influencers, he was recently featured on Chris Ducker’s Podcast and has been listed as a top Influencer by Content Marketing Institute.

Social media marketing, conversion marketing, email automation, email campaign, marketing automation specialist and the name behind famous Social media handling tool ‘Bit.ly Shayla Price says about her favorite tool,

“Bit.ly is a must-have tool for your social media stack. The platform does more than just shorten links. You can use it to track links, measure performance from your campaigns, and learn which channels bring in the most traffic. I use Bit.ly to monitor the daily activity of all my marketing and growth efforts along with most of my clients so I can attribute and track my efforts.”_ 

24 DANIEL KNOWLTON

Dan is the award-winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter In the world in 2016 by Onalytica and has been listed as a top Influencer by Content Marketing Institute. Dan is a contributor to a variety of principal marketing publications including Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. For his incredible idea ‘Sendible’ he says,

“I’ve been a big Buffer fan for the last two-plus years. But Sendible has converted me because it incorporates more than five other tools I was using into one: from social scheduling (on steroids) to social-listening alerts, automated posting from an RSS feed, a built-in CRM, automatically recycling your chosen posts so that your content never runs out and loads more.”

25 SCOTT STATEN

Scott Staten is founder of ‘Unmarketing’, owns a creative and exceptional mind that has hit idea of ‘Ripl’, social media marketing tool for small business for which he says,

“At the risk of being a curmudgeon, I don’t really have any favorite tools because I don’t use many. But I’m enjoying trying out Ripl right now. Visual content evokes emotion. And Ripl is the easiest tool that goes beyond static images and lets you create animated visuals to post on your channel of choice.”

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About Author

Hey, this is Sharmeen Arshad, currently community manager at Social Champ. I'm a student of Mass Communications at the University of Karachi. With lots of background in journalism and writing, I also found myself keen on social media marketing. Well, writing, reading, traveling, music, arts, and literature are my little passions except for professional interests. You're welcomed to contact me at sharmeen@socialchamp.io

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