Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of digital marketing that utilises social networking sites as a marketing tool to gain traffic or brand attention. One of the main goals of SMM is to produce content that users will share through their social networks, to help a brand increase exposure and broaden their customer reach. Some social networks include information about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in, these insights can help marketers target relevant prospects and run micro-targeted campaigns.
Social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for brands to implement marketing campaigns. Increased communication by brands fosters brand awareness and often improves customer service. Through social networks brands can keep in touch with individuals, often instilling a feeling of loyalty among followers and potential customers.
WHAT ARE THE EXPERTS SAYING?
We reached out to some of the top influencers on our list to ask them for their views on social media marketing. We spoke to Jeff Bullas (#1), Lee Odden (#2), Neal Schaffer (#3), Michael Stelzner (#5), Pam Moore (#7), Ian Cleary (#8), Rebekah Radice (#9), Andrew Hutchinson (#10), Glen Gilmore (#11), Sam Hurley (#12), Donna Moritz (#13) and Susanna Gebauer (#16). Be sure to follow them to stay up to date on the best content and resources on social media marketing.
“Social networks have been with us for just over a decade but it feels like forever. They have humanized technology and the web. Then the smart phone was added to the mix. Social and mobile were the perfect storm. Today we are captivated and captured by both of these technologies. They are impacting how we work, socialize and play. So what are the top social media marketing trends today and how are they playing out for us as entrepreneurs and as passionate and complicated humans. There are 3 that are emerging as the new social media marketing trends.
- Live streaming – YouTube was a sensation in 2004. That technology allowed us to record, upload and view but 12 years later the mobile phone has become a broadcasting device that allows you to capture the live moment. Not recorded and sanitized with editing but raw live footage. Facebook Live, Periscope and Meerkat are part of this new play.
- Chatbots – Chatbots are a conversational agent that is designed to simulate intelligent conversation without a human being present. In the artificial intelligence era it’s all about embedding human smarts in machines. Facebook chatbots are one application of this revolution, as they rapidly gain popularity and provide a new tool for marketers to leverage. These chatbots are the incorporation of automatic chatbots within Facebook Messenger.
- Artificial intelligence – The rise of the robots has been predicted since we watched HAL in “Space Odyssey 2001” in what was another world in 1968. In the decades since we have seen the emergence of the personal computer, the internet, social networks and the mobile smart phone. The intersection of these technologies is changing entertainment, business and our lives. The last 2 are obsessive technologies that have made 7 billion of us publishers. We are now all video creators, selfie photo producers and writers that share by the billions every hour. The result? A content explosion. As the data volume has increased exponentially, the scale of the noise means that making sense of it needs artificial intelligence and machines with big powerful processors. Where is this artificial intelligence being used that maybe you don’t even notice on your favorite social media networks?
- Tagging of friends on Facebook with facial recognition
- Deep learning technology that is woven into Facebook’s suggestions, Newsfeed algorithms and trending topics
- LinkedIn uses “AI” to provide better job matching between business and candidate
- Pinterest uses the intelligence of the robots to boost image recognition and search”.
You can read more about the top 10 trends >>> Here“
“Marketing trends have come and gone but social media continues to grow as a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives. It’s amazing to realize that soon there will be a generation that won’t know what it was ever like without social media. In addition to the impact on commerce both offline and online, social media is democratizing marketing and influence. More than ever, consumers are empowered to publish, attract communities of likeminded people and develop the kind of influence that brands are losing with traditional advertising. Companies that tap into that influence through collaboration with niche and famous social influencers alike are creating powerful competitive advantages. In a world of information overload and lessening trust in brand communications, what could be more valuable for marketing than increased trust, credibility and influence?”
“As content becomes a commodity and purely organic efforts in social become harder to achieve measurable results with, brands will become increasingly focused on Paid Social and Leveraging the Other. Paid Social assures that your message gets seen by your target audience, but the building of highly tuned and hyper-targeted custom audiences will be key to ensure that the audience with the most potential affinity will see and engage with the ads – thus making Paid Social ad spend all the more effective. Brands are still in what I would call the early stages of Leveraging the Other, which is about leveraging the power of other people’s networks in social media for your brand’s benefit. This would include not just Influencer Marketing but also Employee Advocacy as well as Brand Advocacy programs. I believe that brands will begin to see more and more effective value in Brand Advocacy programs as we enter the age of the micro-influencer and begin to question the ROI of many Influencer Marketing programs that were done as simple “one-night stands” without much lasting value to the brand.”
“It’s scary times for the social media marketer . Slipping away are the days of organic reach. Creeping in are algorithms. And right behind them are legions of sales people seeking ad dollars with the promise of reach.”
“Smart and savvy digital marketers today know that they must do more than chase shiny objects or focus on only follower counts. They must dig deeper into data and analytics than just looking at clicks, likes, views and listens. They must get in the head of their customer and be certain that their strategies and plans for digital and social marketing are delivering real value. They must know what their customer wants and serve it up to them digitally in the most human, inspiring and empowering way possible so that they can not only organically attract their target customer but keep them connected and engaged with their brand. The social ecosystem is getting noisier by the minute and strategies that once worked are no longer working. Smart marketers know how to combine paid, owned and earned media. They know how to leverage co-created content, work effectively with industry influencers. The leaders know that visual marketing, video and short form content is not just a trend but must be embedded in their DNA. They must not shy away from ROI but instead embrace it, chase it and learn to be 100% accountable for aligning social and digital marketing with their business goals and objectives to drive the highest ROI possible.”
“Social Media Marketing is going to continue to change how a brand interacts with their audience because the reality is that people want to communicate with people not brands. I think that brands will struggle to build audiences and keep up with this fast moving industry. They will focus more of their attention on identifying relevant influencers that have access to the audience that they want. So watch out for further growth in the importance of influencers.”
“Social media is a propellant, supporting any successful content marketing strategy. It’s used to drive traffic and attract attention to a product or service. It’s a relationship builder and a brand connector. It elevates awareness and encourages interaction. It establishes authority and lends credibility to any business — no matter the vertical. But with 1 in every 5 minutes of digital media time spent on social media, standing out is harder than ever. The key to success today and in our ever-evolving landscape is simple: Stay focused. Know what you want to get out of social media. Be clear in your expectations. Create specific and targeted goals that are company aligned. When you know the “what,” the “how” becomes effortless.”
“Social media marketing is such a fast evolving field – what’s best practice one day can be counter-productive the next. It’s exciting to see where the industry is headed, how we’re evolving to more indicative, business-relevant metrics and goals, and how we can use this new medium to listen, learn and connect in new ways.”
“Social media marketing, the great disrupter, is itself being disrupted by newer technologies testing the talents and imagination of marketers and brands. With the Internet of Things providing real-time data at every touch point, with artificial intelligence being able to read emotions better than the best poker player, with AR and VR coming of age, great marketers will need to be technologists as much as they are artists and psychologists. The rabbit hole of social media marketing has gotten much deeper thanks to emerging tech. Emerging tech shouldn’t cloud the constant of connecting with consumers in ways that are personal and powerful. Good content and engagement still trump glitzy tech -but don’t miss the seismic shift in platforms new tech will bring.”
“Social Media has never been more thrilling. And for business? I truly believe we have reached the golden age of social marketing – it has speedily risen from the perception of a supplementary, promotional add-on to an essential component of any brand. It’s been wonderful to experience this transition through my own growth in the industry. Despite the sheer force of Social Media, I still feel many underestimate its value or fail to harness its power: ironically, I refer to networking itself! I’ve found the potential to generate B2B custom and create loyal communities – through Twitter especially – is absolutely remarkable when expressing the right attitude. Personal branding is a must, even if you run a company-branded business. My advice for those looking to build a personal brand is to initially hone your energy into 3 social networks only – focus your time efficiently and just do what you enjoy. Be yourself and build a solid circle of relationships around that. As we head into 2017, I see Influencer Marketing continuing to explode as brands further attempt to get heard above the noise. Consequently, influencer costs will soar as value does the same. Social advertising prices will follow a similar trend. Chat bots and Artificial Intelligence will become widespread. Augmented and Virtual Reality will literally add new dimensions to our social marketing methods. Private Social Media platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp will proceed to evolve as they grow – in particular, their controversial competitor ‘Google Allo’ is one to watch. Privacy concerns will intensify as the robots begin to alleviate our hectic schedules… Are you prepared for the future?”
“What I love about social media marketing is that neither the biggest budget nor the biggest brand necessarily has the biggest success. Freelancers, small businesses, and big brands: all can use social media, they can all win. What you really need for success in social media is a willingness to learn and constantly adapt to changes and new opportunities. The social media landscape is not static; it grows, evolves and adapts and often that is a huge advantage for smaller entities where decisions can be made on the spur of the moment. Persistence, creativity, and engagement are what will make the difference in the end. The Social Ms (our blog and company) is a great example for this: Back in 2014 we had to give up our brand exploreB2B and start anew. Now we are here.”
We were interested in seeing which topics were spoken of the most in the context of social media marketing, so we analysed tweets and blogs from the top 100 influencers and brands between 1st January – 26th September 2016 and counted the number of times various topics were mentioned to create a topic share of voice:
The most popular topic mentioned in tweets and blogs by the top social media marketers is Content Martketing with a 19% share of voice, illustrating the importance of writing good quality content when marketing your brand on social media. Twitter is the 2nd most popular topic with 16% share of voice, showing us that the Twitter is still a very popular channel among social media marketers. Digital Marketing received a 12% share of voice followed by Facebook and SEO both with 11%. Branding received a 9% share of voice among the social media marketing influencers followed by conversations around Strategy, Tools and LinkedIn which received 7%, 6% and 5% respectively. Finally Email Marketing was the 10th most popular topic with a 4% share of Voice. Other topics that were also mentioned but did not make the top 10 included Analytics, Advertising, Influnecer Marketing, Growth hacking, Planning, PPC, Word Press, Platform, Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Organic, Personalisation, Live Streaming and Chatbots.
MAPPING THE COMMUNITY
We were very interested in seeing which brands and individuals were leading the discussion around social media marketing, so we analysed over 367K tweets from mentioning the key words: “social media marketing” OR SMM. We then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter. What we discovered was a very engaged community, with much discussion between individuals and brands. Below you can see a network map of the online conversation with number one individual Jeff Bullas at the centre. This map was created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM). Be sure to click on the map to enjoy the full size network diagram in greater detail.
Below you can see another network map created with our Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM) showing the number 1 brand Social media Examiner at the centre and all the conversations to and from the influencers in their field. If you are interested in learning more about identifying, managing and engaging with influencers click here to get in touch!
TOP 100 INDIVIDUALS
We looked at all the individuals engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top influencers in social media marketing. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the full report by clicking the download button below.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Company||Influencer Score|
|1||@jeffbullas||Jeff Bullas||Jeffbullas.com Pty Ltd||100|
|2||@leeodden||Lee Odden||TopRank Marketing||61.34|
|3||@NealSchaffer||Neal Schaffer||Maximize Your Social||43.38|
|4||@markwschaefer||Mark Schaefer||Schaefer Marketing Solutions||42.98|
|5||@Mike_Stelzner||Michael A. Stelzner||Social Media Examiner||40.57|
|6||@kimgarst||Kim Garst||Boom! Social||34.99|
|7||@PamMktgNut||Pam Moore||Marketing Nutz||33.47|
|9||@RebekahRadice||Rebekah Radice||Post Planner||32.46|
|10||@adhutchinson||Andrew Hutchinson||Social Media Today||28.34|
|11||@GlenGilmore||Glen Gilmore #SocBiz||Gilmore Business Network||27.54|
|12||@Sam___Hurley||Sam Hurley ➤➤➤➤➤➤➤➤➤||OPTIM-EYEZ||20.14|
|13||@SociallySorted||Donna Moritz||Socially Sorted||19.49|
|16||@dreckbaerfrau||Susanna Gebauer||The Social Marketers||17.86|
|17||@markfidelman||Mark Fidelman||Fanatics Media||17.64|
|19||@MarshaCollier||Marsha Collier||The Collier Company||16.52|
|20||@MelonieDodaro||Melonie Dodaro||Top Dog Social Media||16.34|
|21||@BrettRelander||Brett Relander||Launch & Hustle||14.95|
|22||@BrianHonigman||Brian Honigman||Honigman Media||14.63|
|23||@alphabetsuccess||Tim Fargo||Social Jukebox||14.12|
|25||@TerriBauman||Terri Bauman||Private Social Media Manager||13.74|
|26||@PegFitzpatrick||Peg Fitzpatrick ✨||Guy Kawasaki||13.7|
|27||@JackKosakowski1||Jack Kosakowski||Creation Agency||12.94|
|29||@pamdyer||Pam Dyer||Agile Alliance||12.73|
|31||@MassimoPetrucci||Massimo Petrucci||Banca Popolare di Spoleto S.p.A.||12.06|
|33||@ronsela||Ron Sela||Ron Sela||11.9|
|34||@lilachbullock||Lilach Bullock||Lilach Bullock||11.73|
|35||@ShellyKramer||Shelly Kramer||Futurum Research + Analysis||11.53|
|37||@Steveology||Steve Farnsworth||The @Steveology Group||11.42|
|38||@JuntaeDeLane||Juntae DeLane||University of Southern California||10.85|
|39||@MarkRaganCEO||Mark Ragan||Ragan Communications||10.84|
|40||@danielnewmanUV||Daniel Newman||Futurum Research + Analysis||10.57|
|41||@BerriePelser||Berrie Pelser ☄||Ber|Art Visual Design VOF||10.54|
|42||@CarlosGil83||Carlos Gil||BMC Software||10.5|
|43||@zaibatsu||Reg Saddler||Difference Theory||10.43|
|44||@MarjiJSherman||Marji J. Sherman||Cancer Treatment Centers of America||10.18|
|47||@SusanGilbert||Susan Gilbert||Online Promotion Success||9.76|
|49||@jasoncreation||Jason Sibley||Creation Agency||9.23|
|50||@exodusanalytics||Robert Jones||Exodus Digital Marketing||9.1|
TOP 100 BRANDS
We also looked at all the brands engaging on Twitter to bring you a list of the top brands talking about social media marketing. Below is the top 50, if you want to see who ranks from 50-100 be sure to download the report to get the full top 100 list, and see who are most the influential brands in social media marketing.
|Rank||Twitter Handle||Name||Influencer Score|
|4||@socialmedia2day||Social Media Today||67.45|
|9||@B2Community||Business 2 Community||26.73|
|15||@TheSocialMs||The Social Marketers||20.12|
|31||@GrowthHackerPro||Growth Hacker Pro||9.35|
|33||@ExploreWeb2dot0||Web’s Eye View||8.75|
|40||@huxodm||Huxo Digital Media||8.08|
|41||@MSocialBusiness||Max. Social Business||7.82|
|42||@SocialMessage||Virtual Social Media||7.74|
|48||@MySocialPoint||My Social Point||7.22|
At Onalytica we love building these lists and want to give back to our loyal readers as much as we can. If you’re interested in other topics (such as Virtual Reality, Digital Health, Digital Marketing) be sure to have a gander on our blog or why not propose some topics to us on twitter? We also build some very cool software to manage all of these influencers. Get a free demo today by clicking the button below!
Are you influential in a certain topic area? Do you want to be more influential in new areas? We have launched a new global community of 100K+ social influencers and we’d love for you to join! Community is aimed at those who want to grow their influence and raise their profile among the people that matter.
What are the key benefits of joining community?
- Increased visibility with relevant brands
- Insights into your social profile
- Suggested key influencers to connect with
- Opportunity to grow your influence
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then why not spare 2 minutes to join Community for free?
Disclaimer: As ever with these lists, it must be stressed that the ranking is by no means a definitive measurement of influence, as there is no such thing. The brands and individuals listed are undoubtedly influential when it comes to driving discussion around social media marketing.
The PageRank based methodology we use to extract influencers on a particular topic takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives. These calculations also take into account a user’s relevance (number of tweets on topic), reach (number of followers) and reference (how often they appear in Twitter lists). If you want to learn more, please read our article that outlines influencer identification.