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10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow – Search Engine Journal

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Want to learn more about social media marketing?

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Or are you just looking for a little inspiration?

There are so many smart, influential, and helpful marketers sharing valuable insights and tips.

What follows is my recommended list of 10 social media marketing experts you should be following.

Top Social Media Marketing Influencers

1. Mark Schaeffer

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Mark Schaeffer is an extremely prominent voice in marketing. He is an author and a keynote speaker, and his latest book “Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins” has changed the way many marketing experts approach their job.

He writes about the importance of relationships and the sense of belonging in marketing turning to psychology and even sociology as the basis for his social media marketing analysis and predictions.

Where to follow: Follow Schaeffer on Twitter to get involved in deep discussions on the state of social media marketing and read his blog for eye-opening insights.

My favorite piece: There was a lot to choose from, but this blog post about the business value of social media engagement was a winner for me. Show it to your boss next time they ask what is it exactly you’re doing.

2. Marsha Collier

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media commerce, social customer service.

The author of a popular book series on marketing “for dummies”, Marsha Collier is a guru of ecommerce and customer service.

She can teach you how to sell on social media, how to solve your customers’ issues through Twitter and Facebook, and will update you on the hottest trends in tech along the way.

She appeared on “The View” and the “Today” Show, was named one of the top twenty iCitizens by Kelly Mooney in her book, “The Open Brand”.

Where to follow: You can catch her on Twitter and join #custserv chat. To learn more about news from Silicon Valley and beyond, follow #techradio on Periscope.

My favorite piece: This #techradio episode where she talks about Facebook’s “amazing” ability to show you the ad of a thing you just mentioned is really good.

3. Mari Smith

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Facebook marketing.

Need a hand to optimize your Facebook strategy?

The Queen of Facebook is here to help!

Mari Smith is such an amazing expert at all things Facebook that the social media network actually hired her to teach seminars as part of their official Boost Your Business series of live training events across the United States.

Smith is the person to follow to learn what’s happening with the platform, best contemporary practices, and growth hacks.

She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of “The New Relationship Marketing” and co-author of “Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.”

Where to follow: Well, the answer is obvious! Her Facebook page is a true gold mine. Besides, there are two Facebook Groups that you might want to join: to learn more about Lead Ads and the group for leading entrepreneurs.

My favorite piece: This “oldie-but-goodie” blog post will teach you what not to do on social media.

4. Mike Allton

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media growth hacks, social media tools.

Mike Allton is a social media blogger and brand evangelist for Agorapulse.

He is the founder of The Social Media Hat site and the Blogging Brute blog, where he writes about the newest social media trends, techniques, and growth hacks.

On his platforms, he shares tips about blogging, content marketing, and social media marketing.

His newsletters deserve a special shutout — I personally hate newsletters, but his emails are actual letters where he shares stories from his life that segue smoothly into social media strategy tips.

Where to follow: Allton’s Twitter is perfect for following the latest updates and news. Check out the Social Media Hat platform for social media strategy tips and tool reviews!

My favorite piece: There are lots of amazing insights I learned from Allton, but I have a soft spot for mixing pop culture with valuable tips, so this “Star Wars”-themed blog post on the best principle for social media marketing won my heart.

5. Madalyn Sklar

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Twitter marketing.

This is the person I’m always happy to see on my Twitter timeline – luckily, this is where she is most active!

Madalyn Sklar is a true Twitter rock star not just because she’s the best person to turn to when it comes to marketing on Twitter but also because with her tattoos she literally looks like one.

She was on social media even before there was such a thing: in the ’90s she became one of the founders of a forum for female musicians called GoGirlsMusic, which could be considered an early attempt at a niche social media network.

She went on to become a social media marketing expert who manages several Twitter chats and speaks at events around the world.

Where to follow: One more time, this question seems kind of redundant here but it’s a great opportunity to tell you about Twitter chats Sklar runs! #TwitterSmarter is for those that want to boost their Twitter skills, and #SocialRoi will help you overall. If you’re more of an audial learner, I suggest you check out the #TwitterSmarter podcast!

My favorite piece: This podcast episode on the future of vanity metrics will help you understand where Twitter and social media, in general, are heading.

6. Matt Navarra

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media news.

In my mind, Wong and Matt Navarra are the key persons in the social media news world (also joined by Josh Costine of the TechCrunch fame).

Navarra is a consultant and social media industry commentator with a fresh and sober perspective on social media trends.

He is also the founder and administrator of The Social Media Geek Out Facebook group with 13,000+ members.

In 2019, he launched a podcast where he interviews significant social media figures such as the inventor of hashtags and Pinterest’s director of Global Business Marketing.

Where to follow: His Twitter is where you can learn about the latest social media updates, but the real source of valuable information and exciting connections is The Social Media Geek Out group. This is my favorite place to geek out and ask silly questions about social media marketing!

My favorite piece: The first episode of the Geekout podcast where Navarra talks to the Director of Product Management of Twitter reveals what directions Twitter might take in the next few years.

7. Jane Manchun Wong

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media news, discovering new features.

If you work in social media, it’s impossible that you haven’t heard the name of Jane Manchun Wong. She is a reverse engineer queen behind most of the scoops regarding upcoming social media features.

If you want to know what’s the next big Instagram filter will be, what Facebook redesign will look like, and what features LinkedIn is adding next, she’s the one to follow.

Where to follow: Wong shares all of her findings on her Twitter (and retweets them once they are officially announced with a sassy countdown announcing how much time ago she discovered them). She also has a blog where she shares the most important updates.

My favorite piece: It’s quite hard to say which discovery is my favorite, so I choose her whole Twitter account. As an added benefit, Wong is funny and is not afraid to speak up, so seeing her tweets never gets boring.

8. Rachel Pedersen

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media strategy, social media growth hacks, social media management.

Rachel Pedersen was inspired to start sharing her social media marketing expertise with her own career.

She gave up a 9-to-5 job to become a freelance social media marketer and really wished she had a helpful community when she started out.

That’s why, once she gained experience, she decided to create this community for social media marketing beginners.

Her content will be extremely useful for freelancers or those who are thinking about becoming a freelancer – she shares tips on how to get first clients, organize your workday, negotiate contracts, and more.

Where to follow: Pedersen’s Facebook group is where I get the most value: here you can learn about social media marketing and help out other marketers.

My favorite piece: What I love the most are the video lessons she shares on Facebook. Here is one on managing TikTok – if you haven’t tried it yet, you will want to after this video.

9. Ian Cleary

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social media tools, social media strategy, content marketing.

Ian Cleary is the founder of RazorSocial, providing digital marketing advice to B2B companies. He is a social media expert and keynote speaker at many international events.

What distinguishes Cleary is his technical background: his career started in tech so social media tools are his main focus of interest.

Where to follow: Cleary’s LinkedIn is the best place to keep up with his writing and social media opinions. RazorSocial’s blog is where you should go for a social media marketing tool review – it’s one of the best places to learn about the pros and cons of the tools you are considering!

My favorite piece: Sometimes social media managers, especially those who are just starting out, are unaware of the technical aspect of marketing on social media. This blog post is a good rundown of them explaining the tech side of social media in a clear way.

10. Rand Fishkin

10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow10 Top Social Media Marketing Experts to Follow

Niche: Social data analysis, social media influencers.

Most of you will know Rand Fishkin as the founder of Moz, an SEO tool.

While he still shares his opinions about SEO, it’s his social media and digital marketing opinions I’m most interested in.

He talks a lot about the shortcuts and misconceptions we make in social media marketing and the use of social data – which is exactly my cup of tea.

Fishkin also writes about the life of modern professionals in the digital marketing space: networking, working in a startup, equality in tech, and so on.

Where to follow: Check out Sparktoro’s blog to read his in-depth takes on marketing and social data analysis and Fishkin’s Twitter to follow his thoughts on the industry.

My favorite piece: This presentation on the next era of marketing really changed my perception of the value of social media marketing (and taught me something about other areas of marketing as well).

Conclusion

I know. This list is subjective.

You probably won’t agree with all of my choices — but these are all people who teach, encourage, and entertain me.

Hopefully, you’ve discovered someone from my list who will help do the same for you – and become a better marketer in the process.

And maybe someday you’ll turn up on a similar list!

More Resources:


Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, December 2019

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Migrant worker battling cancer in urgent need of MSI

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Halifax, NS (December 6, 2022) – In a video released today, migrant worker Kerian Burnett speaks out about her ongoing struggle with cancer. While she is supposed to start cancer treatments soon, she has no health coverage in Nova Scotia.

Kerian is a 42 year-old woman from Jamaica. She is a mother of 6 and grandmother to 2 children. In April 2022, she came to work in Canada through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP). After 2 months of working on a strawberry farm, she fell sick and was unable to work. In September 2022, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer, which required two different surgeries. She was advised by her doctor to remain in Canada to undergo life-saving treatments.

In some provinces, migrant workers have access to public healthcare on arrival. In Nova Scotia, migrant workers must have a one-year work permit to be eligible for public healthcare (MSI). This means that SAWP workers are not eligible, because their contracts are only up to 8 months. They would only have access to private health insurance, which is tied to their employment.

Due to her illness, Kerian’s job ended and her private health insurance was terminated.

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Kerian is calling on Health Minister Michelle Thomson to provide MSI coverage to herself and other migrant workers in Nova Scotia.

“There are lots of Jamaicans here and other migrant workers here, which come here for work. Nobody wants to be sick, but eventually, you get sick. Now we are working for like $13.35/hour. There is no way if you get sick, and you have a bill at the hospital, how are we going to pay these bills? So, actually, I’m not really doing this for myself alone. I’m doing this for every farmworker that doesn’t have access to public healthcare here in Canada,” said Kerian in the video.

 

To date, a GoFundMe campaign in support of Kerian has raised over $9,000 of the $15,000 goal.

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Guelph drag queen sees all-ages shows targeted by social media campaigns

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A Guelph drag queen says their shows are being targeted by two Ontario-based social media campaigns, resulting in the cancellation of one event and the performer feeling uneasy about an upcoming show.

Last month, Crystal Quartz had a drag brunch organized at Kelseys Original Roadhouse in Burlington. But following threats made to the restaurant, management was forced to cancel, the restaurant confirmed to CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. Restaurant management couldn’t disclose information about these threats due to an ongoing police investigation.

Since then, a link to Quartz’s Dec. 11 all-ages brunch at a Boston Pizza in Hamilton was shared in a Facebook group, asking members to purchase tickets to sell out the event in a bid to prevent “sick parents” from bringing their kids.

These incidents come shortly after a mass shooting at a LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., that killed five people, and have left Quartz feeling unsafe.

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The drag queen posted an impassioned video on social media about the anti-LGBTQ threats that they, and other performers and promoters, have received.

Crystal Quartz is now raising funds to help enhance security at the shows. (Submitted by Crystal Quartz)

Guelph Police Services are investigating the alleged incidents Quartz brought up in the video.

In the meantime, Quartz told CBC News they’re raising funds for an ID scanner, self-defence classes and said that they’re looking into other security options.

“I want to get an ID scanner so that even if the people come in there, we know what their names are at least,” said Quartz.

‘It was absolutely terrifying’

Hamilton drag performer, Hexe Noire, was also confronted during a drag storytime last month at a public library in the city.

There were people protesting the event, but also counter-protesters  with a heavy police presence — something Noire hadn’t seen before.

“This is the first time in my drag career that I’ve been affected directly by this,” Noire, a cis woman, told CBC News. “It was absolutely terrifying.”

This wasn’t Hexe Noire’s first rodeo with storytime, she has done many other drag storytimes across Hamilton, including at Hamilton Public Library’s Binbrook branch on Nov. 14. (Aura Carreño Rosas/CBC)

Noire explained she received online threats as well.

“I’m a mother with four children who goes into the library dressed as a drag clown to teach children about diversity and that it’s ok to be different,” she said.

“Had I had a program such as this for myself as a young queer child, I would have flourished and I don’t understand what the issue with reading books to children is.”

Quartz said that this type of harassment is new as the LGBTQ community becomes more visible and more mainstream.

“Before we were hiding who we were, right? So now we’re being seen more and these people just, they don’t want anything to do with that,” Quartz said.

“And that’s fine. If you don’t like me, that’s cool. Just go on your merry way and I’ll go on mine, right?”

But this harassment isn’t just aimed at drag queens, according to K-W-based trans activist, Cait Glasson. The transgender community is being targeted too.

Activist Cait Glasson believes that education is key in combating transphobia. (Joe Pavia/CBC)

“They’re definitely well and truly emboldened, the transphobic people,” said Glasson. “They are very emboldened. I get threats on my Twitter with some regularity.”

“My personal belief is that the best way to fix it is education,” she said, stressing that understanding about the trans community comes from knowing someone who is trans.

A study done of LGBTQ people in Waterloo region in 2018 found that 10 per cent of those surveyed have experienced violence due to their sexual orientation; 26 per cent faced violence due to their gender identity.

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Heading Into 2023 Media And Tech Companies Are Tightening Their Belts

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Over the past few months, Disney, Paramount
PARA
Global, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast
CMCSA
and AMC Networks
AMCX
have all announced employment layoffs, hiring freezes and/or restructuring heading into 2023. Coming out of the pandemic the goal is to continue to grow revenue, reduce debt and increase market value. With viewers steadily migrating to streaming video, media companies have been looking for a moneymaking revenue model as the lucrative linear TV revenue model, that had generated billions for decades, is slowing down. With inflation and concerns about a slowing ad market, media companies, are looking to impress Wall Street as the media behavior of consumers continue to evolve.

These employee cutbacks are not limited to “traditional” media companies, such digital titans as Meta, Amazon
AMZN
, Alphabet, Microsoft
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and of course, Twitter have also been looking to drive down costs and grow revenue as the digital advertising slows and their market value declines.

Below is a breakout of some recent announcements on the belt tightening taking place across the media and tech industries.

AMC Networks: Ten years ago, AMC Networks was one of the most popular cable TV networks airing The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. Since then, the cable TV industry has been besieged by cord-cutting as viewers migrated to streaming video. In response AMC launched its own standalone streaming service AMC+. In the latest quarter, AMC+ reported a year-over-year increase in subscribers of 44% and now totals 11.1 million. Nonetheless, for the quarter, AMC’s net revenue dropped by 16% to $682 million with a decline of 10% in ad dollars for the quarter.

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AMC Networks Chairman James Dolan noted the revenue losses from cord cutting were not being offset by the gains from streaming. As a result, the Wall Street Journal reported AMC will lay off up to 20% of the estimated 1,000 total employees. Also, it was announced AMC CEO Christina Spade was stepping down after only three months at the helm.

Disney: In early November, Disney’s then CEO Bob Chapek announced cost-cuts (i.e., curtailing business trips unless absolutely necessary), a hiring freeze with potential layoffs. The announcement came in the aftermath of a disappointing quarterly earnings report with Disney’s stock price falling to a 52-week low. In the earnings report Disney noted their streaming services had lost $1.47 billion, more than double the loss from the previous year. Chapek maintained their streaming unit would be profitable by 2024. Ten days later Bob Iger, in a surprise announcement, returned as Disney’s CEO replacing his handpicked successor. Chapek had served as Disney’s CEO in February 2020 just prior to the start of the pandemic.

The 71-year-old Iger agreed to return as CEO for two more years and will look for another successor. Besides developing a new organization chart, Iger announced Disney’s hiring freeze would continue. The CEO will also place a priority on making Disney’s streaming unit profitability instead of focusing on subscriber growth. (In its latest earnings report Disney said that Disney+. Hulu and ESPN+ had 235.7 million global subscribers, up from 221 million in the previous quarter.)

Warner Bros. Discovery: When Discovery acquired Warner Media earlier this year, CEO David Zaslav shared with Wall Street plans to cut costs by $3 billion each year for the debt-ridden company. The merger approval came during a tenuous time, as investors were beginning to take a more hardened look at the revenue potential of streaming providers. In addition, Zaslav told investors the ad economy has been weaker than it was during the pandemic and the merger was messier than previously thought. As a result, the market value of Warner Bros. Discovery has been cut in half this year.

Since the merger Warner Bros. Discovery have undergone a sweeping series of layoffs. In August, 70 people were let go at HBO accounting for 14% of the entire staff. In October, the studio group Warner Bros. Television laid off 82 people which was 19% of the staff. Sports was impacted, in mid-November when an estimated 70 people, primarily at Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, were laid off. With the current NBA media rights contract expiring after the 2024-25 season and the possibility fees could triple, Zaslav has said they would stay disciplined when renewal negotiations begin, saying “We don’t need the NBA.”.

Most recently massive cuts were made at CNN with a reported 400 layoffs. While the direct-to-consumer CNN+ jettisoned within one month of launch, new CNN President Chris Licht announced further layoffs at the venerable news division. The layoffs were made across most CNN units from on-air talent to operations to CNN International. Among the CNN units hit hardest was Headline News which will no longer produce live content. Prior to the cutbacks CNN had a staff of between 4,000 and 4,500 workers.

Warner Bros. Discovery notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could cost upwards of $1.5 billion with cutbacks on content that were already approved and severance packages for employees laid off.

Comcast: In September, Comcast announced it was looking to cut $1 billion from its traditional TV networks entertainment division at NBCUniversal. The funding would be allocated to bolster other parts of Comcast’s portfolio such as streaming (with 15 million paid subscribers Peacock has room to grow).

The cutbacks would impact both staff members and programming budgets forcing the network to develop lower cost unscripted shows instead of more costly scripted programming. It’s been reported that 37 employees were laid off at E! Entertainment which was restructuring. NBCU has recently shuttered G4 cable network with 45 people losing their jobs. Additionally, Comcast has reportedly been offering retirement packages to long-time employees. Besides declining linear TV ratings, Comcast continues to be impacted by cord-cutting and broadband subscriber growth has been slowing.

Paramount Global: In November it was reported Paramount Global was cutting back on its ad sales department with fewer than 100 positions in New York and Los Angeles being eliminated. The media company has also made a number of organizational changes in recent months such as the scripted original division of Paramount+ becoming a part of Paramount TV studios resulting in a loss of jobs.

Roku, a streaming device, announced in mid- November they were planning to lay off 200 employees or about 5% of their 3.000 full-time workforce. The company cited the current financial conditions prevalent in the streaming industries and a sluggish ad economy. During its third quarter earnings report Roku executives told investors to expect a challenging fourth quarter.

Netflix

NFLX
: After reporting a decline in subscriber counts, Netflix earlier in the year announced layoffs. In May, 150 employees saw their position eliminated as well as a number of contractors and part-time workers. The following month Netflix followed up with 300 additional employers laid off. At that time Netflix had about 11,000 full-time workers worldwide.

Digital Media: Even digital media companies are pulling back in these uncertain economic times and sluggish earnings reports.

The mass layoffs at Twitter have been well documented, the micro-blogger site has downsized from 7,500 employees to fewer than 2,500 in just a few weeks.

In mid-November Amazon reportedly was going to lay off 10, 000 workers or roughly 3% of its 1.5 million global work force. Cutbacks will be more prevalent with devices such as Alexa.

In early November Meta announced 11,000 employees would be let go accounting or 14% of the entire workforce. The cutbacks were across all divisions and included Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Also, Meta decided to move out of their 250,000 square foot office in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards section. Meta has been focusing on the metaverse and has been incurring startup costs.

In August Snap announced a reduction in their workforce of 20% from what had been 6,400 employers. Snap said the company would be restructuring. The company has been struggling post-pandemic and its stock price had been down 80% since the first of the year.

In October Microsoft announced globally nearly 1,000 workers were to be let go. Similar to other tech companies, Microsoft has seen its stock price tumble this year. Globally, Microsoft has 221,000 employees.

More traditional media are also reporting cutbacks. Gannett
GCI.I
, the nation’s largest newspaper publisher, announced that 200 additional workers (6% of the workforce) would be laid off. Washington Post recently announced that after three decades they would no longer publish a Sunday print magazine, resulting in a loss of ten positions. The last issue will be on Christmas Day. With a cutback in revenue from sponsors, NPR is looking to cut $10 million in costs (3% of their budget), announcing they would severely curtail any hiring and would cut back on any discretionary spending. By doing so NPR is hoping to avoid layoffs. Vice Media announced they will lay off 2% of their staff or roughly 12 members in its sales, branded content, editorial in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Economic slowdowns and market valuations are transient and a hiring binge in media and tech companies could take place relatively soon as a workable business model evolves. Another silver lining is there are now thousands of experienced and talented workers now available for hire.

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