THE iMARKETING CAFE

Gary Vaynerchuk - Vayner MediaSocial media has been amazingly effective for personal branding. If you aspire to become a thought leader in your field or if you are an author, consultant or a professional service provider – personal branding is very important to achieve high personal growth because the market place is crowded. If you cannot stand apart, you can never achieve high growth – you’ll remain average.

Apart from genuine thought leaders, authors, consultants, professionals out there, social media platforms have presence of many who label themselves as ‘experts’ who are actually pseudo-experts who keep trying to sell their half-baked skills. They make the already crowded market place even more crowded.

You need to stand apart in the crowded market place if you want establish yourself as a personal brand and even after reaching the top, you’ll be competing with the best in class – so, you need to carve a niche for yourself – ultimate personal branding is all about that.

Audience

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Live video streaming has recently become a rage across the world like never before – thanks to periscope for generating interest in live video streaming among the general public – earlier live streaming platforms ( mostly paid ) had been used by only specific groups for business meetings or events. The Twitter-owned periscope provides free service and has gained immense popularity compared to any other live video streaming platforms which were launched in the past, thus live video streaming has become a popular web activity among the general public like never before.

As Live video streaming has been becoming a popular web activity, Facebook and YouTube too joined the party by launching Facebook Live and YouTube Connect respectively ( Though YouTube Live was launched way back it was not accessible to the general public till recently ).

Are you passionate about social media? Are you someone who keeps tabs on social media trends? Do you strive to learn something new about social media every day? Do you dream of becoming a social media thought leader someday? If yes, then this awesome list of social media experts is for you.

They are some of the most sought after social media thought leaders in the world. They consult with hundreds of businesses around the world. Millions of people look up to them and follow their advice when it comes to social media marketing.

If you are a social media enthusiast, following these experts will immensely help you to deepen your knowledge. Follow them on Twitter – get practical tips and gain valuable insights.

Question and Answer

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They are some of the most sought after social media thought leaders in the world. They are widely-recognized and are greatly influential on social media. We thought it would be fun to test their intelligence ;) and ofcourse, we knew that the views and insights shared by these experts would be useful to our readers.

We approached these experts and requested them to contribute to this post – everyone had to respond to one social media question sent by us. As expected, we received some amazingly interesting and thought-provoking answers.

Many companies in the boring industries are not active on social media. The big myth that discourages them is that their customers are not social and it’s hard to get them to actively engage on social media.

Contrary to popular belief, businesses of all shapes and sizes can unleash the advantages of social media. In fact, there are thousands of those in boring industries already using it to great effect.

If you’re looking for a way to engage with potential and current customers, raise brand awareness, and increase traffic to your website, the millions of active users on social media could be just the ticket. All it takes is time, energy and some creativity.

Consider these sectors that are currently pulling out all the stops on social media…

In 2010 I wrote a post titled ‘Is social media a revolution or hype‘ in which I had mentioned about the large scale use of social media platforms and tools by marketers in the future. If you observe today, the social media landscape has dramatically changed over the past 2-3 years. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have been busy innovating and introducing new features in order to retain and grow their user base. Competition has intensified with the arrival of Google+ and Pinterest. Pinterest surprisingly has gained immense popularity in no time. It drove thousands of ecommerce businesses around the world to make a presence on the platform; thanks to its millions of users, majority of them who visit the site for shopping inspiration. Pinterest has successfully established itself as a great ecommerce platform and has also been posing a serious threat to Facebook’s ecommerce ambitions. Google+ on the other hand has been steadily growing and has become an inevitable choice for marketers as it gets integrated to the Google’s search infrastructure. Other social platforms like Blogs, forums, discussion boards, video sites, slide sharing sites, Q & A sites, Photo sharing sites etc too continue to attract massive traffic and they have also become centers of large scale discussions and social engagements.

Should CEO be the public face of the company? The answer is yes. World famous former CEOs Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Jack Welch had all been the face of their respective companies. People recognized them and that immensely helped them to add value to the companies they led.

He says “if you get your face and your name out there enough; people will start to recognize you”. Being visible helps you a lot of in terms of brand promotion, awareness, recall and more. This widely recognized, flamboyant CEO can literally do anything to grab attention and be in the lime light. He has thrown himself off tall buildings, hung off bridges and chopper, taken deep sea drives, and has had tea on the top of a hot-air balloon. He once drove tanks into Times Square and fired at the coke’s signboard (a publicity stunt which was part of the promotional campaign during the launch of Virgin cola). Yes, it’s none another than Sir Richard Branson, best known as the founder, CEO and chairman of Virgin Group of more than 400 companies. (Excerpts and references from Like a Virgin and Cult )

Pinterest and Facebook

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Facebook – ‘the social network of the century’ as I always put it, has seen phenomenal growth since its inception despite facing tough competition over the years. In the mean time couple of social platforms have risen and fallen, many attempts have been made till date. Nothing could hinder the growth of this social networking giant, not even Google+ which many expected will finish Facebook. International Business Times came up with an article claiming Google+ will gobble up both Facebook and Twitter. Time and again Facebook has proven that it has a lot of growth potential and keeps growing unstoppably. Need more proof? It recently crossed 1 billion-user mark. That’s the reason why I call it ‘the social network of the century’ ( If you are interested to trace the past growth of Facebook or would like to know more about it’s growing influence you can read one my previous articles here ). 

Social Media Formula

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I wrote a post long back in 2010 about social media, quite a long post discussing the growing popularity of social media and how it’s not a fad or hype. The post also discusses the potential of social media as a marketing tool. Since then the popularity of social platforms has grown tremendously and continues to, and the growth rate of user base has been phenomenal. Social media has always been a fascinating term for marketers, as the social platforms provide a great opportunity for them to study and understand their target audience and facilitate to connect with them. So, due to the series of developments, the recently emerged branch of marketing i.e social media marketing has gained prominence within a short period of time. This fascinating branch of marketing initiated so much of debates and discussions resulting in thousands of articles, books, ebooks, summits, seminars, videos, communities, whitepapers and what more, a whole new industry has emerged giving birth to thousands of social media companies or agencies around the world and already existing major marketing companies and even big corporate houses have created social media divisions to be a part of this so called revolution.

Attention:

Kavin Paulson, editor-in-chief of The iMarketing Café, is the author of this post ‘Is Social Media a Revolution or Hype?’ This post was submitted to various reputable article sites on 11 June 2010 and was published on different dates during the month of June 2010, since then the article has been re-published on various blogs and websites ( edited and unedited ). Some sites where this post was originally submitted, have removed this article for unknown reasons, but the article is still live on few other sites. Due to the popularity and ageless relevance of the post and to prevent this good article getting vanished from the web, The iMarketing Café team decided to republish this post here. Below this post, you can find links to the source sites where this post was originally submitted / published.

Note: It’s a two year old post, so the facts and figures might have changed till now, though ideas and thoughts remain the same and interestingly most of the predictions have become true today.