Thought Leaders Definitely Worth Following on Twitter

We enjoy spreading the love far and wide across the Twittersphere! Twitter’s a great place to rub shoulders with greatness, and we’re proud to be connected to such an inspiring bunch of marketing thought leaders who consistently post useful, insightful and cutting-edge stuff.

We’d like to take a moment to introduce you to a few of these thought leaders. Are you in any way plugged in to the world of digital marketing, content and social media? If so, we think you’ll find them really high-value people to have in your daily Twitter feed.

And those marketing thought leaders are:

Brian Solis, 278K followers – Digital Analyst, Speaker and Author of several books, including X: The Experience When Business Meets Design

Why do you think people follow you?

I give away everything I learn in the hopes that it not only helps others but also creates a shared movement toward something bigger than any one person. That’s been the case since the 90s. I don’t look at followers. Instead, I rely on and invest in community. It’s probably why I’m not famous like others. But that’s okay because I never set out to have followers.

What do you think sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

There are thought leaders and then there are those who are exceptional at personal branding. There’s a difference. I was once asked what it took to be a thought leader; I answered, simply to have ideas or a perspective that are not only different but also provocative, inspiring, motivating or actionable. Being a thought leader is a title others give you, you earn it. It’s not something you bestow upon yourself.

Neal Schaffer, 173K followers – Consultant, Author, Professor & Agency CEO – ‎Maximize Your Social

Why do you think people follow you?

I think people follow me for two main reasons: because I provide impartial and valuable information that is targeted, and because I actually respond when people reach out to me!

What do you think sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

A thought leader is someone who defines the conversation. They are the introducers of new concepts and ideas which in turn provide us with breakthrough insight.
Jay Baer, 232K followers – Marketing Consultant, Speaker and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Youtility

Why do you think people follow you?

I think people follow me because I’m largely hype-free. I have been in digital marketing for almost 25 years, and I think people find that I’m a straight shooter. And more specifically, I’m consistent. I’ve written blog posts every week for nearly a decade. I’ve done a weekly podcast for almost six years. Social media too!

What do you think sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

On the second question, I’d say thought leaders are the people who have ideas or information that other people run with. Chris Brogan once said, “you need to give your ideas handles” and I’d say thought leaders do that particularly well. There are a lot of people who may be smarter that a thought leader, but thought leaders are typically better at merchandising their ideas.

Daniel Newman, 46.5K followers – Principal Analyst at FuturumXYZ, Speaker, Author of Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy

Why do you think people follow you?

I set out to educate and inspire within the communities that I spend time. People have different reasons for following people. I don’t try to understand them all. What I do try to do is make sure those that choose to follow and engage with me find value in what I share and the conversations that we have both online and off.

What do you think sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

This could easily be a book, but in short, real thought leadership is about adding something to the conversation that the readers and consumers of your content find useful. There are many curators out there as well as many posing as thought leaders. When I share content, and / or create it, I always seek to do more than just report what is going on. I want to add to the conversation; provide context, guidance or something the reader can act upon.

Sam Hurley, 162K followers – Founder at OPTIM-EYEZ

Why do you think people follow you?

People enjoy interaction — I provide that to everybody who comes my way, no matter how many followers either of us have.

What do you think sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

I believe true thought leaders don’t follow the crowd. True leaders forge their own path, one that hasn’t yet been explored — only to experience it and share the knowledge from that experience with others. Not only do thought leaders have the courage to take risks, they are able to confidently inspire those around them, which takes similar audacity.

Paul Taylor, 20.2K followers – Innovation Coach with Bromford and BromfordLab

Why do you think people follow you?

What a great question! I have no idea why people follow me! When I started using social media professionally I looked at people who were challenging but positive and engaging, and I tried to draw inspiration from them. I like people who have something to say and take a position, so I’d like to think some of that has rubbed off on me.

What sets thought leaders apart from the rest?

For me thought leadership is more than just sharing your opinions. It’s about actively listening and responding to what communities are saying. Also, it’s about using digital technologies to source new ideas and to push the debate further. And being known for putting opinions out there and provoking debate.

I don’t think anyone can define themselves as a thought leader – it’s something bestowed by others. A good indicator is whether people you’ve never met come to you for advice on the strength of your online presence. Or whether people tell you they value the resources and information you share.

Thanks everyone for speaking with us and taking part. Who are the thought leaders that you follow? Let’s build up a really good list of inspiring marketing thought leaders that we can share with others. Add some names in the comments!

Who is VKN Digital?

Vivienne Neale is a digital marketer and director of VKN Digital, which is a digital marketing agency in Hertfordshire, UK. We aim to help SMEs overcome marketing hurdles and create compelling digital content that drives results. If your website needs a refresh, new content, a rebrand, some general housekeeping – or perhaps you’re looking to build a new one from scratch – please get in touch via our contact page for a free Skype consultation. We can also help with SEO, design and social media.

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