Dec 14, 2008

Social Media Power Users And Influencers

Posted by Adam Singer in Popular, Social Media, Web Influencers

A major aim of The Future Buzz (as seen in the tag line at the top of this blog) is helping you create buzz on the web. If you’re reading this, certainly one of your goals is to become a power user of social media or high profile blogger, and/or learn how to bend the network to your advantage.

As such, it is prudent to learn what others have done/are doing successfully at the edge. Studying how social media power users (or influencers, same thing) create and share information, ideas and trends with the world and their interactions with their carefully built networks is vital to becoming one yourself.

Influencers matter — especially on the web

Influencers are the glue that make much of social media stick together and cause content to cross-pollinate at high rates.

Social media power users can help make or break a new blog. They can help make or break a marketing campaign. They can focus the lens of attention to that new product you just designed and share it with their other influential friends, creating cumulative awareness over time.

Keep in mind, however, that no popular person on the web will even remotely consider your idea in the first place unless it is special and relevant - they are bombarded with press releases, pitches and emails daily. In fact, they may even publicly hang you for the world to see if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

Watching, networking and building positive and mutually beneficial relationships with influencers is vital for bloggers, web entrepreneurs, PR pros and marketers

It is important for marketers to get a glimpse for what those at the edge are doing, as in many cases it is a great source of inspiration for their own campaigns. Social media power users are the hyper-connectors of the Internet, and really help spread good ideas far and wide. They are the ones who can reach people in the deep pockets of that graph at the top of this post.

Watching how they spread information, and what kind of information they spread successfully is something each and every marketer should be doing. Good ideas transcend platforms.

Why I am making this a series, and not a definitive list in one long post
The initial idea for this post was simply to list 50 or so power users and a quick sentence on each.

As I thought through the idea further, I realized this would be far more valuable to you if I broke the list up into parts, and gave you a quick snapshot of each influencer.
I’m hoping if interest builds, that this will become an exciting category at The Future Buzz and I will feature several power users/influencers weekly (or bi-weekly) as an ongoing series.

Also, I will not just feature the ultra-high level, obvious people that everyone talks about and already knows. Perhaps of greater value, I will try and tell the stories of those who are up-and-coming, or influencing the web in more subtle, but still highly relevant ways. Hopefully we’ll get a good mix of everyone across networks and niches.

Okay, you get the idea.
Let’s get into the first 5 power users/influencers in this series (this is in no particular order, and each series will only list around 5 at a time):

1) Matt Dickman

Blog: Techno// (topics: mobile, emerging media, marketing and PR).

Twitter: @MattDickman

Matt in brief: Matt Dickman is Vice President, Digital Marketing at Fleishman-Hillard in Cleveland, Ohio. Simultaneously a great presenter and a creative marketer, Matt is one of the most insightful people I have spoken with in the marketing industry. He also thinks Google is stalking him (seriously, read it).

What makes Matt an influencer: If you follow Techno//Marketer, you would know Matt is way ahead of the curve in digital and mobile marketing. He goes above and beyond by not only presenting in-depth articles and case studies on his blog, but also eBooks, SlideShare presentations and video blog entries all centered around forward-thinking marketing. I know Matt isn’t big on rankings (and he’ll prob kill me for doing this), but he made it really easy for me to display his “obligatory rankings” as he calls them from his blog here, as they are quite impressive (as of 9/23/08):

Best way to connect with Matt: subscribe to Techno//Marketer

2) Muhammad Saleem (better known as msaleem)


Twitter: @msaleem

msaleem in brief: Muhammad Saleem, or msaleem as he is probably best known, is a social media power user well-known among several web 2.0 communities, most prominently Digg. He’s contributed exceptional content to such popular blogs as ProBlogger, TechCrunch, and Read Write Web to name just a few (read: Collaborative Filtering: The Lifeblood Of The Social Web for a glimpse into his writing. I’m a big fan of that article in particular). He also heads the social media marketing division of Advantage Consulting Services (ACS) and consults companies on social media strategy.

What makes msaleem an influencer: Really I could say a lot of things here - Muhammad contributes so much to the web. Those in the know already know what his biggest claim to fame is - he is one of the most powerful users on digg and it would be remiss of me not to mention that here. msaleem is far more than this though, I do not want to pigeon hole him to one network when he’s a thought-leader on the web and has a remarkable eye for great content.

Just in case you haven’t seen, however, here are msaleem’s unbelievable digg stats:

Best way to connect with Muhammad: add him as a friend on Digg

3) Eric Friedman

Blog: Marketing.FM (topics: the intersection of marketing and technology).

Twitter: @EricFriedman

Eric in brief: Eric Friedman is currently a team member of Union Square Ventures in New York, a Venture Capital firm that invests in young companies that use IT in creative ways to create high-growth business opportunities in media, marketing, financial services and other areas (check out their impressive portfolio). Eric not only has a keen eye for killer startups, he also is the author and managing partner of Marketing.FM, a blog which covers the intersection of marketing and technology.

What makes Eric an influencer: Having a strong background in both marketing and IT, Eric covers the marketing industry from the unique perspective of both a tech and marketing guru.

This is what makes him equally qualified for his position with the VC firm, and able to write an on-the-edge marketing blog. Besides being a fantastic writer, having a strong following in the social web and on his blog, Eric is the brains behind the Marketing and Advertising feedburner network, where he successfully brought together a significant group of popular marketing and advertising bloggers in one feed.

Best way to connect with Eric: subscribe to Marketing.FM

4) Daniel Scocco


Twitter: @danielscocco

Daniel in brief: Daniel Scocco has lived and studied in several places around the world, including Italy, Chile and Brazil. After receiving a degree in International Economics and working for a year within a multinational company, he decided to quit and pursue entrepreneurial projects on the Internet. He eventually built his highly-popular blogging network, the “Daily” network.

What makes Daniel and influencer: Daniel’s blogs have become a vital resource for bloggers everywhere, and he personally goes the extra mile to help new and upcoming bloggers. He has a passion for blogging that is contagious. Daniel also has created a blogging network, which was so impressive to me I used it in a previous case study on building a blogging network.

Daniel is both a writer and avid “blogtrepreneur“. His network generates over 400,000 monthly impressions, with more than 25,000 RSS subscribers. The audience is composed of bloggers, webmasters, online marketers and web entrepreneurs. He effectively influences the influencers.

Best way to connect with Daniel: subscribe to DailyBlogTips

5) John Boitnott

Twitter: @ttlFantastic

John in brief: John is a web producer with NBC 11 in San Fransisco and has worked in TV News since 1994. He also has worked as a freelance writer at KNTV in San Jose and KGO, KRON and KPIX in San Francisco.

What makes John an influencer: Did you see my post: NBC11 in California Experiences The Digg Effect? Well, John is the one to credit for this. He knows how to create compelling content for social media and how to properly get it into the popular channels to be shared around the web. And, he knows how to seriously drive sustained traffic to a .com. John is successfully bringing a traditional media agency forward into the social web - a skill highly sought after by many media organizations.
Best way to connect with John: friend him on Digg

Next week…Social Media Power Users And Influencers: Part 2

For the first round of this series, I reached out to just a few people and got some great feedback about my desire to share a small part their stories with my readers (I hope you’ll take the next step and subscribe to their content).

But I want to hear from all the social media rockstars, not just the ones I already interact with.

Know someone I should feature here? Want to get featured here? Great. Just submit the following to me and I will consider for this recurring post:

Title the Subject: Submit

Name, your picture and your blog’s logo (links are fine)

Blog URL (include stats/numbers if you’d like)

Twitter feed (I will substitute FriendFeed here if you’d prefer)

Brief description of yourself

At least one tangible example of what makes you an influencer

(Disclaimer: If chosen, I will edit what you submit, if only to fit the tone of this blog. I may also go through your blog and pull out certain content that helps tell your story.)

Talk soon,
Frank Tocco--Marketing Mentor
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