Social media has gone from being a pastime to a necessary component of any brand and business. To build up your stockpile of social media knowledge, you need to stay informed of the latest news and trends by reading the best blogs in the business. You already know about the “famous” social media blogs – but what about those logs that consistently publish good information but just haven’t been exposed to the same traffic? Similar to my list last year of top social media blogs to follow in 2011, I wanted to update that list with 10 more blogs who I think deserve more recognition and your follow in 2012.
As in 2011, I tried to find those to recommend you follow that were not yet in the Top 50 of the AdAge Power 150 of top marketing blogs as well as those that were focused on social media and had consistently high quality. As a rule, I also did not include any blogs that I recommended you follow in 2011. With that, I’d like to share with you my picks for the top social media blogs to follow in 2012. Enjoy!
Conversation Agent - This blog, authored and maintained by veteran marketing strategist Valeria Maltoni, gives us various insights into digital marketing, communications and brand strategies. A recognized leader in her field with 20 years of real-world business experience under her belt, she helps veterans and new entrepreneurs alike take advantage of the growing social media space in their marketing efforts. Valeria is also a truly engaging participant in social media and the founder of the #KaizenBlog Twitter chat. Recommended blog post: Blending Personal and Business on Facebook.
Social Media B2B - Social Media B2B serves as a relevant news source and discussion site on how social media impacts B2B companies. Through expert advice from site publisher Kip Bodnar, who is also Inbound Marketing Manager at Hubspot, and managing editor Jeffery L. Cohen as well as other recognized leaders in the field, Social Media B2B is your virtual classroom and business school online for a hot topic that should see a renaissance of activity in 2012: B2B social media marketing. Recommended blog post: 10 Rules for Epic B2B Blogging.
Beth’s Blog - Readers of my blog should already be familiar with the work of Beth Kanter, as her co-authored The Networked Nonprofit book made my best social media books of 2010 list. Beth’s personal website is one of the go-to blogs for nonprofits. She was recently recognized by being a recipient of the inaugural Pepsico Women’s Inspiration Award. For those involved in social causes or those employed by nonprofit organizations, this blog can serve as your indispensable guide to harnessing social media in furthering your advocacy. Read Beth’s blog for inspiration and guides on how to reach out to wider audiences through social media, network building, and relationship marketing best practices. Recommended blog post: Facebook Changes for Organization Pages: Focus on Results
Awaken Your Superhero - I’ve already spoken praise for Christopher Penn, the man behind this site and an extremely valuable newsletter, in my post on Top LinkedIn Open Networkers and Connectors to Follow in 2011. Chris portrays himself as being a bridge – a connector between differing fields, professions and ideas in order to help both sides understand each other. “I can speak and sling code, but I’m not an IT professional. I can design campaign strategies and write copy, but I’m not a marketing professional. Where I provide value is in helping IT understand marketing and vice versa,” he shares. Penn states that we all have social media superpowers. He hopes that this blog will help in your journey of discovering your own powers and harnessing it to better yourself and those around you. Recommended blog post: How to Get Started with Google+ pages for Business.
ConverStations - Mike Sansone believes that blogs are “Conversation Stations”. He dubs himself a “Conversation Condutor”, guiding companies in building their own business sites. He coaches small businesses and solopreneurs in using blogs and social media not only as platforms for conversations, but also as a vehicle for linking with customers and forging lasting relationships. The subjects covered in ConverStations are valuable roadmaps for navigating the social media highway. Recommended blog post: 4 Social Elements and the Talk-nology Empowering web.
Jaffe Juice - Joseph Jaffe is the first one that I remember hearing the quote “Social Media is a Commitment, Not a Campaign” from. From a once a week op-ed column online, Joseph Jaffe’s site Jaffe Juice has evolved into a no-holds barred site tackling new marketing, advertising and creativity. Offering rich interviews with top-notch leaders in the field and insightful commentary from new-media thinkers and doers, the site fosters healthy discussions on the issues that face social media today. Recommended blog post: Photos as Sales Drivers
SocialWayne.com - One of the most sought-after advisers in his field, entrepreneur and tech journalist Wayne Sutton has helped countless individuals, startups and businesses achieve success by harnessing the power of communicating through the social web. Through his blog, ranked as one of the 50 best technology and social media blogs in the world, readers get to partake of his valuable know-how and business intelligence to their advantage. Recommended blog post: 29 of your top social media questions answered on Quora
Smedio - Backed by a diverse team of experts with extensive experience across various disciplines, Smedio is the new media and social web guide designed for marketing professionals. With its aim of continuously defining the business value of new media and the social web, it supplies readers with the social rocket fuel they need to help their businesses reach new heights in 2012 and beyond. Recommended blog posts: How to Save a Dying Business with Social Media
Heidi Cohen - Heidi Cohen’s blog provides marketing insights–grounded both in digital and direct marketing–that provides readers with the competitive edge for making it big in their respective industries. She provides practical tips and relevant case studies gathered from her 20 years of experience and expertise as a renown marketing professional. Recommended blog post: Twitter Marketing: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Returns .
Ask Aaron Lee - If you have been on Twitter and are interested in social media, you’ve surely seen the handle @AskAaronLee appear in your news feed on several occasions. Aaron has contributed to this website through his 3 Alternative Ways to Find Great Content to Share on Twitter post, and he has become a good friend of mine over the years. He also has an excellent blog. Geared towards small businesses, Aaron sets out to give businesses a human dimension and to professionalize people through social. As co-founder of apparel company Leneys, Lee has a keen understanding of the workings of small and medium enterprises and what it takes for them to survive in the ever-changing business landscape – and I expect 2012 to be a breakout year both for his company and his blog. Recommended blog post: 8 ways to humanize your business on social media.
As always, there is some subjectivity in how I chose the above blogs , but I hope that it helps you discover new content to follow in 2012.
Are there any other social media bloggers that you think deserve recognition in 2012? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks!