Top 12 Social Media Leaders

When it comes to improving your social networking skills on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, and YouTube, to name but a few, there are many resources on and offline to choose from.

Some people you casually follow, whereas you might hang on every word of others. Due to the myriad of options when it comes to learning more about social media, it can be difficult to know whose expertise to follow. So we decided to toss the social media quandary to our contributors and asked –

Who is your ONE TOP PICK when it comes to social media resource leaders, AND what is the ONE BEST STRATEGY you have learned from this person that has translated into a BIG ROI for your business?

Some names will be familiar, while others may not have even blipped onto your radar yet. Take time to examine who was recommended and why, and we’d love to have you share your top pick below too. I think that our first contributor and a woman I consider a social media expert in her own right, Lauren MacEwen, explained it beautifully — we can all seek out information from the experts regardless of the topic, but we must also think critically when it comes to our business decisions and become thought leaders in our own right. Enjoy!

1. A Mosaic Of Social Media

I can’t just pick one, because for me there is more than one. Chris Brogan ( has been big. Brian Clark ( has been instrumental. Scott Ginsberg ( has been inspirational. As have “The EQ Edge” by Dr. Howard Book (

I have taken what I learned from these thought leaders and created a mosaic understanding of strategy and technique. No one person has the key. No one person knows it all. We have leaders and mentors that guide us, but personal critical thought applied to what we have learned is the ultimate thought leader.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

2. Maximize Your Networking Efforts On LinkedIn

My pick is Christine Gallagher ( I began my venture into the world of social media with Christine in early 2009. The most important thing that I learned during her course was how not to waste time on social media. Late last year, Christine hosted a call about the benefits of LinkedIn. I wasn’t using LinkedIn very much then, but Christine’s teleseminar was the “wake-up call” that I needed to get me going. Since then, I have gained an affiliate partner for my upcoming product launch, been invited to do a radio interview, and gotten numerous connections to contribute to articles that I have written because of my interaction with individuals and groups there. LinkedIn has done infinitely more for advancing my solopreneurship than has Twitter. Thanks Christine!

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

3. I Can Count On Solid Strategy From Denise Wakeman

I have studied with and followed many social media experts, and my list of people to learn from is long. If I had to pick one, I’d encourage you to check out Denise Wakeman. She has a number of sites, but you can start here:

Denise delivers solid strategies for how to integrate your online marketing (rather than focusing on one technique.) In addition to being a great trainer, she is also a great coordinator. The guest posts that she shares are fabulous.

Denise helped me start blogging back in 2007. One of my favorite tips from her was that I needed to start commenting and building relationships with others in my industry. This one strategy has helped me build great relationships and programs for my audience.

Thanks to Stephanie LH Calahan of Calahan Solutions, Inc.

4. The Toiletpaper Entrepreneur

The one person whose every word I hang on is Mike Michalowicz ( He is the social media and marketing guru. I learn so much from his blogs, videos, his on and offline presences. He is the best at what he does. He is my top pick. The one strategy that I’ve learned from him is to be consistent and inventive in your marketing.

Thanks to Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

5. Extreme ROI.

By far the most knowledgeable & rock-solid social media leader for me is Extreme John of John provides more value and take-away in the world of social media than any other I’ve come across. He also is the most savvy business person I know and admire.

I’ve followed John via all the major social media outlets; however, I think Facebook is where I get the most value from him. He has excellent engagement with his followers and always delivers above and beyond. Twitter is a very close second. John’s story is unique and one that truly inspires; as well, he’s very kind and accessible.

Thanks to Elena Patrice of WebsitesGiveBack

6. Smile And Action!

Whether you’re ready or not, you must do video. But how do you get started? Run to Ruth Sherman at, where you will easily and quickly be ready for showtime! I was very resistant to creating videos, especially given my content. Thankfully Ruth helped me see the light, and now I have 11 videos on my YouTube channel and looking forward to creating more. Ruth has a warm, engaging, and encouraging style – and she knows how to help you present your best – no matter what equipment you have. The most important thing I learned from Ruth: JUST DO IT!

Thanks to Andrea Lyons of Bring Back Desire LLC

7. My Top Pick? Tony Hsieh, CEO – Zappos

When I want to learn how to do something new or improve something I’m already doing in my business, I always seek out “real” business people who are doing it successfully – versus finding a “guru” or self-proclaimed expert who’s doing more teaching than they are doing.

So my top mentor for social media is Tony Hsieh, CEO of

When he does so much RIGHT it’s hard to pick just one strategy. But since I have to, it is this: Using Twitter, Tony has figured out how to make you feel like you’re one of his personal friends in 140 characters or less.

I can’t say I’ve mastered this. What I can say is I’ve landed clients who found me on social media who say they reached out because who I was “resonated” with them and they felt like I understood them because I was just being myself.

Thanks to Angelique Rewers of The Corporate Agent

8. Shankman Shells Out Exposure

Our top pick when it comes to a social media resource leader is Peter Shankman. He is the creator HARO (Help A Reporter Out – It’s a great service that provides companies many opportunities to become sources for an array of media outlets. We actually hired someone to run all of our public relations duties and that person receives commission every time we get mentioned in a blog, article, magazine, or broadcast. Recently, we have gotten into such magazines as Inc. and Entrepreneur magazine. These mentions provide links to our website and great information about our service.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of

9. The Dragonfly Effect

The Dragonfly Effect ( is my go to resource for nonprofit social media strategy. Their Stanford case studies are remarkable.

The best strategy they have offered our business is their ‘four-winged’ approach: focus on our goal; grab attention; engage others and take action. We’ve only just begun to engage. Having a strategic concept to help us take off is our ROI.

Thanks to Sheryl Hill of ClearCause

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your top picks for social media leaders! We hope to hear from you again.

If you enjoyed this post, and would like to join our regular QofTW contributors email notification list simply Click Here. If you have a question that you would like to see addressed on my blog please leave it in the comments below, and your topic might be featured on an upcoming post.

Thanks for reading!


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  1. Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you Shannon for the inclusion! What a great list! I’m going to check all these out (some I already know and love!). I hope people check out EJ too – wonderful!!

    Have a faboo day!!

    Much kindness,


    • Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Dr. Reece, this is a great post and Elena, I couldn’t agree with you more about Extreme John. I’ve been following him for 2 years and engaging with him on Twitter and his blog. He’s top notch.

      Thanks for all the recommendations Dr. Reece!

      • Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:58 am | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Ilene! So happy to know that you enjoyed the post. 🙂 Since there are so many people telling me that they have learned great strategies from Extreme John I will have to take a closer look. Shannon

  2. Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Nice to see and hear social media valued by like-minded successful entrepreneurs. Thank you!

    • Posted September 19, 2011 at 8:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Sheryl! So grateful to have your top pick Dragonfly Effect in the mix, as this is a business that is new to me. There are so many to choose from that I have really come to value strong recommendations when making my selections. 🙂

One Trackback

  1. […] Once in a while I run across a mention of me on someone else’s blog or in an article on social media and it never fails to flatter me. It’s something like internet fame and it still leaves me puzzled to think that other people pay that much attention to what I am up to in the world of social networking. Recently I ran across another article mentioning me on Dr. Shannon Reece’s blog: Strategies & Tactics For Women. […]

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