The Top Five Social Media Thought Leaders

Thought leaders are entities that are recognized by peers of having innovative ideas. Often, thought leaders publish articles, blog posts and whitepapers on trends and influencing an industry.  Have a look at the following crowdsourced list with my pick of the top five.

It started by this question from a member in the Social Media Strategies for Business Linkedin group: Today’s top Thought Leaders of Social Media? Out of the fifteen thought leaders mentioned on WindmillNetworking by Neal Schaeffer, I selected my top five from it:

Brian Solis  

Brian is the prolific author of Engage!, The End of Business As Usual, and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations. More importantly, though, he is someone who is always pushing the ball forward on our understanding of social media, and provides new and unique insight with every speech.

Charlene Li

Charlene is the founder of the above mentioned Altimeter Group and is also the co-author of one of the historically groundbreaking books on social media: Groundswell. Her more recent book, Open Leadership, is also a highly recommended read.

I concur with Neal Schaffer’s recommendations, both are fantastic and give a good grasp of how social technologies can be implemented and is affecting business.

The following person cannot miss out the top five.

Seth Godin

Although Seth is known more for being a general marketing guru, I’ve already blogged at length at what Seth Godin taught me about social media marketing. Seth leads while everyone else follows. Seth has written a plethora of books, but I would start by reading what I believe to be his classic 3: Tribes, Purple Cow, and Permission Marketing.

Seth always has these crisp and clear blogs that makes you think about marketing and new developments.

The following person is very authentic and showed great ways to build a big business.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk is probably the one person on this list that has more chutzpah than Mark Zuckerberg. The guy famous for the quote, “What’s the ROI of your mom?” Gary is one of the most successful entrepreneurs who utilized social media as a main platform to propel his business with Wine Library TV. The author of the classics The Thank You Economy and Crush It!, Gary is also one of the most engaged people on Twitter – and speakers – that you will ever meet. When Gary talks, people listen!

Last but not least:

Lee Odden

Lee is best known for his Top Rank Blog but also became an author with the release of his recent book Optimize, which looks at the intersection of social media marketing, search engine optimization, and content marketing.

The intersection between social marketing, SEO and content marketing is becoming more and more important, Lee guides you.