Drew Williams | @DrewWillyums As perhaps the fastest-growing aspect of our culture, and more importantly of our business culture, social media is beneficial for everyone to know about and participate in these days. Whether your business has a specific public relations specialist or a department that manages its social media presence, or if you outsource to a company like Social Media Delivered, it’s becoming more apparent that the longer you wait to hop on the hype train, the harder it’s going to be for you to get on and understand the fast-paced environment. In this post, I’m going to list the top five people that you should follow to learn the ins and outs of social networking — people you should consider having speak to your company or at an event to provide the information you want and need.
1. Eve Mayer — OK, maybe I’m a little biased. But here is what she has accomplished in a very short amount of time: gained over 100,000 followers on social media; written three books; been praised by Forbes, CNN, Mashable, Huffington Post and more as one of the top influencers in social media; spoken in cities all over the world for universities and companies such as Cisco, Vistage and Microsoft; been ranked by Klout as the second-most influential person on LinkedIn behind only LinkedIn itself; and started her own successful company doing what she loves as the owner and CEO. Other than Eve Mayer, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better speaker for your company or someone to follow to learn the principles of social media. Eve is one of the top Dallas social media speakers and she's available for speaking engagements, just visit her speaker website.
2. Sean Gardner — Gardner, who uses the handle @2morrowknight, is year in and year out ranked as the most influential person in the world in regards to social media. He most notably is a blogger for Huffington Post, but has also been featured on CNN, PBS, FOX, Fast Company, BuzzFeed and more. Perhaps you’re familiar with the growing trend of posting inspirational quotes to Instagram and Twitter. You can largely thank Gardner for that. Gardner has much influence on social media and never disappoints as a speaker.
3. Brian Solis — Solis is a digital analyst who now specializes in social media. He is principal analyst at Altimeter Group and has more of a business background than in social media, but he is quickly gaining recognition for his newfound expertise, mainly due to his fantastic infographics. The Conversation Prism, The Brandsphere, The Twitterverse, Social Marketing Compass and Behaviorgraphics all helped validate the fact that he knows exactly what he’s talking about, and eventually landed him a spot on TED Talks. He has been a keynote speaker at many events and will definitely be able to drop some knowledge should you choose to invite him to speak at your event.
4. Gary Vaynerchuk — Vaynerchuk rose to prominence starting in 2006 with a YouTube channel devoted to wine reviews. Since then, he has become a social media icon and ambassador, amassing over one million followers on Twitter. He now owns his own company, VaynerMedia, and his own wine store, so it’s safe to say his career has been a success. But what places him near the top of the list as an awesome speaker is his ability to do just that: speak. He still has a YouTube channel and also has a podcast, and it is very apparent that he knows how to structure his thoughts and words in an intriguing and entertaining way.
5. Jessica Northey — Northey stands out because she isn’t like the influencers mentioned above. Unlike them, she doesn’t focus on all aspects of business or social media — she has a niche. Northey only posts things on Twitter and Google+ that relate to country music, and yet she has over 600,000 followers. In that regard, she could be a very useful speaker for companies who also have their own niche for which they are trying to spread social awareness, and you could learn a lot just by following her posts.
Are there any speakers that you would add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!