It’s that time of year again for the conference extravaganza known as Social Media Marketing World. Each year I pull together a list of influential voices that are engaging on social networks around the topic social media marketing. My goal? To help showcase speakers for people in the industry to learn from and follow.
Why are these people influential? That’s a great question. I would answer with, “Why is anyone influential?”. Because they have specific expertise that they share publicly, consistently and in a way that improves the knowledge, skills and perspectives of those who follow them.
Influence is not only popularity. Influence is the ability to affect action.
When I started out in my digital marketing career, it was thanks to connecting with some generous people that had a lot more experience than me that I was able to overcome introversion and reluctance to write and become an international keynote speaker, author and blogger with over 1.4 million words written so far. What I have learned about influence is that it is not self-assigned.
Influence is earned by being helpful, effective and relevant as well as having reach. Influence is also earned by mentoring those who are coming up in the industry. While working with influencers transfers influence by association, helping others become influential is when earned influence really skyrockets.
In this year’s list of Social Media Marketing Influencers there are many people who demonstrate this kind of helpfulness and I am encouraging those influencers as well as our community of readers to nominate up and coming social media marketing leaders. You can find more details on that at the end of the post.
About the Methodology for this List:
Specific Scope: Rather than scan the entire social web, the starting data set for this list is having been named as a speaker for the SMMW18 conference. Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner do an amazing job of hand picking speakers for this conference and this list is an extension of their research and expertise into finding, qualifying and recruiting over 180 social media marketing speakers.
IRM Platform Assisted: Ranking of the people in this list leverages data and algorithms from Traackr, an influencer relationship marketing platform. Unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list considers many more data sources than just Twitter. To provide a better sample across the web, Traackr ranking can include citations and links from data sources such as blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.
Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, this list leverages a combination of data points including:
- Relevance – A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Signals for relevance include keyword mentions, keyword diversity, content production rate, freshness of content and other contextual measures. In this case, it was “social media marketing” as well as 10+ derivative phrases.
- Resonance – A score of how impactful the influencer is with their audience. Resonance measures engagement activity that occurs as a result of publishing (mostly social) content.
- Reach – A score derived by the reach algorithm that takes into account followers, fans, subscribers, visitors and other audience metrics. Remember, this is more than just Twitter.
- Audience – Overall social audience size
Each of these signal sources are factored into the algorithmic ranking for identified influencers with a focus on topical relevance, resonance of message with the audience and then audience reach. The result is a combination of broad based influencers as well as individuals with a very specific focus and very high resonance and relevance scores. What I like about pulling this list together is seeing a number of new faces as well as as a variety of disciplines and specialties represented.
This list of 50 industry experts speaking at Social Media Marketing World is worth checking out as you plan which presentations to see, who to follow online and who to meet.
If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the speaker list on the SMMW18 conference schedule page.
What about non-digital influence?
I think this is a great question because not everyone that is influential (especially in the B2B world) spends as much time tweeting, blogging and posting Instagram photos as many of the influencers listed above do. And yet they are highly influential.
For example, here are several more speakers that are pretty influential to me, even though they are not on the list above: Amisha Gandhi (client), Beverly Jackson, Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, Konnie Alex (client), LaSandra Brill, Shannon Paul, Tim Washer, and Ursula Ringham to name a few.
Suffice it to say, I think when you are deciding on which influencers to work with, it’s important to get out of the digital bubble and consider offline-specific influencers as well – especially in B2B.
Big Questions About Influencer Lists & Influencer Marketing:
- How do you find the right influencers?
- What do you collaborate with them on?
- How do you measure influencer marketing performance?
- Are there processes and formulas for success?
These are some of the most common topics that come up through my agency’s influencer content marketing consulting with brands like Dell, SAP, LinkedIn, 3M and even mid-market companies like DivvyHQ or Cherwell Software. I’ll be tackling these questions and more in my presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2018. Here are the details:
How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation
Thursday, March 1st at 4:10pm Room: 32AB
Content marketing and influencer marketing are hot topics for marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. But how do you find the right influencers? What kind of content should you collaborate on? How do you best measure influencer and content success? Join Lee Odden to learn from his experience working with brands big and small to develop efficient and effective formulas for influencer content success.
I hope to see you there!
NOMINATE YOUR PEERS!
I know some folks are feeling left out and others would have added other social media marketing speakers to this list. Lists are exclusive by nature, but I think it would be amazing for the experts on this list as well as our readers would nominate up and coming industry social media marketing pros that are consistently providing useful expertise, leadership and engaging with their communities.
Please leave full name, title, company and Twitter handle (or other social profile) of your nominee in the comments. I will follow this list up with a People’s Choice style list of Rising Social Media Stars after the conference.
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