Top 4 Social Media Relationship Marketers that You Should Follow

It’s the time of year where the interwebs is fraught with the “Best of Last Year” and “Trends for Next Year” articles (I’ve deliberately left out the actual numbers in case this gets repurposed next year). But, next year brings some very consistent themes to social media marketing that I see on everybody’s wish or worry list — time, the changing landscape, ROI. So, in the interest of saving you time and getting the most value for keeping up on the shifting social sands and building communities, we’ve picked the top 4 people (because 3 is too common and 5 takes too much time) you should follow. Either via their blogs, books, social media channels or picking conferences to attend for the year, these people provide valuable information.

And while my last name is contained within the famous (infamous?) accounting firm, I assure you there wasn’t any specific criteria or secret voting procedure. Additionally, these people may or may not even know we exist, but we can assure you there were no gift basket exchanges this way or that way. These people were picked for the simple reasons that we believe social media marketing is evolving into two distinct spaces — the paid/broadcast space and the relationship space where people matter, sharing becomes the new viral and social word-of-mouth and brand advocacy are recognized as essential. We believe in the relationship space and built our platform as a toolkit for brands to thrive in this space, so we think these are good folk to keep on your digital rolodex.

1) Ted Rubin — Ted believes in relationship so much, he trademarked a phrase around it. Ted brings a business-focused holistic view to the relationship, which in the search for ROI makes his insight valuable. Find him at @tedrubin as well as many other social outposts.

2) Bryan Kramer — Bryan @bryankramer wrote the book on Human to Human marketing, aptly titled Human to Human #H2H, which we see as the core of what this whole crazy social thing is about. A TED speaker and contributor at amongst others.

3) Jeff Barrett — The CEO of Status Creative touts that brand loyalty is about creating a community and creating experiences around that idea to build community. We like that idea. Jeff @BarrettAll also writes for Hootsuite.

4) Spike Jones — The author of Brains on Fire is a leading authority on all things word-of-mouth. If you’re looking to build a community, the book is a tremendous guide on principles on building real advocates. Spike @SpikeJones will also be a keynote speaker at the upcoming High Five Conference in February.

While there are plenty of other deserving people to be added to the list, in both the interest of brevity and the fact nobody knew it was a contest, I hope all of you find these people add knowledge to your day.