Guess who’s on the Social Media Index?

Personally, this could be analogous to a software company finally getting listed on the NASDAQ! He he… The Social Media Index is a listing of the Top 30 Social Media influencers on the planet and I’m stoked that I find a mention on that list, particularly since it validates the very evolution of my career path this past year – part evangelist, part community and social media marketer.

I’m sure we’ve all read and consumed various listings such as the Technorati 100, Viral Garden’s Top Marketing Blogs, ToddAnd’s Power Index 150, recently crafted Peter Kim‘s Top Marketer Blogs, and I could go on. All these listings attempt to capture the true influence of a blog on the collective mindset of an enraptured blog audience, which is a sliver of mainstream media (may I add). However the one common factor across all these listings are the individuals who power them and in today’s fractioned mindset, capturing influence is of primary importance, especially among marketers.

So, it’s no wonder that when David from Edelman decided to track influence across different social media services (from LinkedIn to Blogs and Facebook), the majority of the Top 30 social media influencers were marketers. I find myself sandwiched between Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim and Shel Holtz’s blog. I also find myself in the company of friends Jeremiah, Jeremy (who interestingly has a post on his social media consumption) and a slew of others. Nice.

Check out the entire post where David Brain (President and CEO, Edelman Europe) describes the rationale behind the research.

Below is a snapshot of the top 20 social media evangelists. Head over to the post for the entire list. After the jump, check out why I think this could actually redefine marketers!?

One of the major reasons I totally dig the philosophy behind the ranking is the following:

So what does this last list mean? The overwhelming majority of new entrants to this more ‘pure’ Social Media Index are individuals which is probably not surprising given that corporates or even collectives don’t really use Twitter or Facebook . . . people do.

Now, that’s the very essence of evangelism, which insists on the worth of people and their honest word-of-mouth opinion. For e.g. on LinkedIn, I recommend my colleagues and former co-workers, which can then be shared with those on my professional network. Likewise, on Facebook, there are apps such as CNET’s new MyTech app, which allows you to rate technology products (i just rated my GPS, Blackberry, camera, etc…)! This is organic marketing where I’m announcing to my professional and social network that I believe, have tried and will recommend the following. That’s the difference between evangelism and marketing or a sales pitch.

Let’s take another example, I was able to respond quickly to Steve Rubel’s issues and customer concerns about LinkedIn (I’m the community evangelist there). How? By being on Twitter and reading my twitter feed via Google Reader! Read all about it here.

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  1. Mario Sundar

    Hi Jason,

    Yes, I think CNET’s MyTech App is kind a like the movie app Flixster, where it allows you to display your current interests in gadgets and that’s pretty cool. What it does is it fosters evangelism as opposed to marketing or selling a product.

    I look forward to further cool stuff like the MyTech App from your team.

  2. Joe Gillespie

    Mario congrats, and thanks for the plug on CNET’s MY Tech app.

    Your point about about the difference between evangelism and marketing is spot on.

    In many ways, this is what product placement should be about. Brand as an “ingredient” that provides a contextually relevant service, i.e. immediate benefit to an invidual or whole community.

    A pretty elegant way to introduce or reintroduce yourself. Hopefully, as the relationship between content and services continues to blur we will see more of this.

  3. Mario Sundar

    Hey, thanks, man.

    I learnt from the best 😉

  4. Jeremiah Owyang

    Don’t act surprised my friend, you deserve it and many of us watch how you’ve evangelized your company and social media tools.

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