15 Top New Social Media Blogs to Follow in 2011

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Blogs are awesome.  I assume you agree with this because you’re reading my blog as well.  A lot of you may have started becoming avid readers and to follow blogs, like myself, with the advent of social media.  In the last two years I have seen some social media blogs become famous while others, despite still publishing great content, haven’t gotten the recognition that they deserve.  I always engage in debates with other bloggers as to why some get more popular than others, but I’ll leave that topic for another blog post…

If you’re looking for new voices to follow in the world of social media blogs in 2011, I have compiled a list of those bloggers that I hope will have a breakout year in terms of recognition this year.  You may already be avid readers of some of these blogs, but I have gone out of my way to find great social media-related blogs that are NOT popular according to these guidelines:

  1. NOT in the top 50 of the AdAge Power 150
  2. NOT in the top 50,000 worldwide Internet ranking according to Alexa.com
  3. NOT having over 50,000 Twitter followers

What I have found are 15 blogs with truly unique voices that cover a wide range of social media-related topics.  I hope you’ll check some of these blogs out and expand your knowledge of social media into the future through diversity of voice.  And please excuse the title because although some of these blogs have been published for more than 5 years and thus are not necessarily “new,” my hope is that you will discover new ones you might not have known about.

Blogs I recommend to follow are listed below in their AdAge ranking in ascending order as of the time of writing this post.

1. Scott Monty : The Social Media Marketing Blog – Yes, I was also surprised that this now household name in the realm of social media marketing, Scott Monty, was not higher up in the rankings.  For those newbies, Scott heads up social media over at that American car company called Ford.  His blog posts come from someone at the front line of managing corporate social strategy, and thus offer great perspective on the latest happenings in social media marketing backed by recent data or events.  A good example is his recent post on corporate blogging We’ll Always Have Blogging.

2. Olivier Blanchard : The BrandBuilder Blog – Olivier blogs about branding with a great deal of social media mixed in.  He is as much a straight-shooter as his blog posts are insightful.  And he is a man on a mission to change the social media industry for good.  Check out an excerpt from his recent blog post A Simple Question to get a taste of what he’s about:

If I cannot somehow find a way to make a dent in the monuments to bullshit, stupidity and utter ineptitude currently dominating the social media “thought leadership” space in the next year, if I cannot convince digital agencies, big brands and their recruiting firms to favor competence over incompetence and actual results over spin, I will go find something else to do, and watch – from afar – this whole inbred guru-driven experiment burn into the glorious pile of rubble it was destined to be from the start.

His blog posts, like Stating the Obvious, are the kind that will drive you to want to comment even if you don’t have time to do so.  Powerful blog to watch, and heed, in 2011.

3. Gini Dietrich : Spin Sucks – You gotta love the name of this blog.  And Gini’s writing is not much different: In your face, critical, but with a sprinkling of humor that always keeps the reader at the edge of their seat.  Gini comes from the world of PR, so her posts on the intersection of public relations and social media are her gems.  Check out PR Pros: Stop Treating Bloggers Like Second-Class Media for a taste of her unique brand of medicine.

4. Jacob Morgan : Social Media Globetrotter – I had a chance to meet Jacob in real life at a Cool Twitter Conference we both presented at in San Francisco and have been following him ever since.  He is one of the leaders in the emerging field of social CRM.  Check out his post on The Many Faces of Social CRM for his advice on the subject.

5. Mark Schaefer : {Grow} – Mark and I actually recently met on Twitter and realized that 1) we were probably long-lost cousins and 2) each of us were spelling our name wrong.  It was actually a nonprofit link to the United Way that got the conversation started, but I have been impressed with not only this amazing Slideshare presentation of his speech on social media for non-profits that he shared with me shortly thereafter, but also his posts like this one that challenge our thinking about social media head on: Three new SM myths that MUST STOP NOW.  I can’t wait to see what blog posts Mark creates for us in 2011!

6. Todd Defren : PR-Squared – Todd is both a thought leader in the realm of public relations (he created the “social media newsroom“) as well as social media (he co-founded the Social Media Club).  His blog posts tend to be short, sweet, and to the point, but he is always bang on with his analysis and advice.  Check out this post which I have been thinking about blogging about as well with the same conclusion as Todd: How Many Twitter Handles?

7. Jay Deragon : The Relationship Economy – Jay provides an intellectual approach to look at social media through the perspective of social technology disrupting business.  Always insightful, my favorite post of his covers a similar topic to when I blogged about 5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Really a Social Media Strategy: Social Strategists Aren’t Thinking Strategically!

8. Ari Herzog – If you read my tweets or blog comments you’ll see that Ari is no stranger to my content and vice-versa.  But have you discovered Ari yet?  While Ari blogs about social media marketing strategy, he is also a publicly elected official in Massachusetts and is a thought leader on the topic of social media for government.  Always engaging and critical where need be, Ari blogs directly from the heart, as if each blog post is truly a conversation he is having with us.  He beat me to the punch on this recent blog post of his: Why I Deleted My FourSquare Account.  I deleted mine, too, Ari.

9. Dan Zarrella – Hopefully Dan’s name will ring a bell to you, but if it doesn’t you might know him as the “Social Media Scientist” who works at Hubspot.  Dan takes a scientific, data-centric, and analytical approach to analyzing social media that is uniquely insightful.  Dan recently shared his Top 6 SM Science Presentations which you should definitely check out.

10. Francisco Rosales : Social Mouths – Francisco has emerged out of my native base of Southern California as one of our leading social media bloggers.  His posts are always extremely practical and filled with lots of visuals to help out those who are at all levels of understanding vis a vis social marketing.  The conversational tone of his posts is also refreshing.  Check out one of his recent popular posts here: How To Build Your Facebook Landing Page (If You’re Not A Programmer).

11. Dave Fleet – Dave has been blogging since we were all in social media diapers in 2005, so he is not by any means “new.”  You may have already seen his numerous blogs regarding Corporate Social Media Policies.  He is also one of the most under-appreciated bloggers on social media that provides unique perspective from the realm of communications and public relations.  I think you’ll find his writing style both extremely personable and refreshing.  Check his post on Facebook Strategies: Content over Creative for a great example of his work.

12. Amber Naslund & Tamsen S. McMahon : Brass Tack Thinking – You probably know Amber for her role as Vice President of Social Strategy over at Radian6.  What you might not know is that she has been blogging with her communications strategist peer Tamsen for almost 3 years now.  Professional and analytical in prose, their blog posts add an insightful much-needed human aspect to our understanding of the social web.  A recent blog post that resonated with me: Is This Real Life? In Defense of Our Virtual Connections.

13. B. L. Ochman : What’s Next Blog – This blog covers a wide range of social media topics with a definite Internet Marketing angle.  What I like about BL’s writing is that it is extremely personable, and she often shares case studies both from the reported media as well as her own life to illustrate her points.  Check out her recent Social CRM – Thank you Ben & Jerry’s: a brand that’s social, for real, (and MediaTemple, for trying) to get the gist of her style.

14. Kyle Lacy – Kyle has a great blog with postings that cover a wide range of subjects similar to my own blog.  He has some great posts on LinkedIn and personal branding in addition to the usual social marketing repertoire.  He also is host to some great guest bloggers.  Start with 21 Ways to Build Trust and Sales Leads in SM for a taste of his advice.

15. Joe Pulizzi : Junta42: Content Marketing Revolution – I had a chance to hear and meet Joe at an Online Marketing Summit last year (make sure you catch him at the Blogging Success Summit 2011!) where he started his workshop by saying he was not a social media expert and asking those who were to raise their hands.  Instantly I knew that Joe was different, down-to-earth, and for real.  More importantly, Joe has been the most consistent evangelizer for the strategic importance of content marketing and even founded an organization dedicated to our greater understanding of this important topic: Content Marketing Institute.  There’s no better place to start learning about Joe and content marketing than at his recent Top 5 Content Marketing Posts of 2010 entry.

Now it’s your turn: Any other “under-the-radar” blogger that you would add to this list for us to follow?  Please chime in by commenting and sharing a link with us!  Just make sure that they fall within my guidelines and they provide a unique and insightful voice on our understanding of the social web.  Thanks!

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer


Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness & @socialtoolssmmt | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker
Where’s the Ecommerce Conversation on Social? (Infographic) http://t.co/3GfHItswZJ via @SocialTimes - 3 hours ago
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  1. says

    Wow! i am honored to be in this stellar company. and i agree that blogs are awesome. 140 characters are wonderful for briefing on longer pieces IMO. The people on this list are some of my biggest hero bloggers!
    Thank you so much!

  2. says

    Did you hear the RSS button proudly displayed on the right side of the location bar in Firefox browsers will be hidden by default in Firefox 4? Chrome is also getting rid of the RSS button. See http://camendesign.com/blog/rss_is_dying for background which plays an important part for bloggers.

    It is for this reason, with the rise of Facebook as a news and opinion source, that you humble me with inclusion in this great list of folks. Most of the names I know, some are new to me. Blogging is not dead and RSS should not die because a company thinks it should. There are wonderful people blogging.

    • says

      Are you serious Ari? That would be a shame…but I use Google Reader, anyway, so it won’t have a big impact on me personally but I can see how it can have negative affects.

      I agree that there are wonderful people blogging, and this post was an ode to them. You deserved to be on here, and I look forward to seeing what 2011 holds for you!

  3. says

    Thanks Neil for this accurate and insightful list. I appreciate the diligent work you put into it and for my inclusion. I look forward to thanking you in person over a cold beer. Schaefer beer, of course. : )

  4. says

    Hey Neal, thanks for including SocialMouths in your list and for the kind words. I just realized we are so close, I’m at the end of L.A. County, very close to Brea. We should get together sometime.

    Have a great day!

  5. says

    Great list Neal. I was already following almost everyone on Twitter (nice to meet Jay Deragon) but was surprised at the blogs not in my reader; so corrected. For and under-the-radar social media blog, check out http://smbcollective.com/ the new small-medium-business collective, with posts from Jayme Soulati, Neicole Crepeau and Jon Buscall.

  6. says

    Holy crap, Neal! Thank you!! I 100 percent agree with your list and would add: Danny Brown, Joey Strawn, Nitty Griddy (Ingrid Abboud), and Jim Connolly. And thanks for the intro to Jacob, Jay and Francisco. I didn’t have them on my radar but do now!

    • says

      Holy crap Gini, thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear you made a few new acquaintances in the process 😉 I definitely would have added Danny Brown but he was in the AdAge Top 50 at the time so he was already “above the radar.” I’ll definitely check out your other 3 suggestions…thank you for them!

    • says

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks for stopping by…what a coincidence! Yes, I see where our lists overlapped, and many on yours that weren’t on mine were either 1) already in the AdAge Top 50 or 2) I didn’t feel they were extremely relevant for social media. Although I do have some PR folks on my list, I was aiming for a more broader list of social media bloggers.

      Either way I tweeted about your blog post and think it’s a great resource. Thanks again for posting the link to share with everyone!

  7. says

    Awesome list, Neal! I am seriously ashamed to say that I hadn’t heard of anyone on the list. That alone made the post extremely valuable since most people tout the same “social media gurus” that have been around for the last few years.

    Thanks for the great information and insight. You are amazing.

  8. says

    Think I’ll check out that post about treating us bloggers as 2nd class.

    In 8 years of blogging I’ve learned that sometimes no matters how good, & unique, your blog is, if you don’t have the time, resources, knowledge, or connections, even the better known bloggers in your own niche don’t take you seriously.

    I began what was possibly the earliest bike blog in the US, in 2003, but even after industry types finally figured out blogs might be worth their time, a few years later, this didn’t affect me in any way.

    I ended the blog a few months ago, but no-one noticed.

    On the other hand my unique cat blog, begun a year ago, shows potential, and while I’ve still had little attention paid it by more popular ones in my niche, or from shelters, retailers, activists, and the like, it has its fans.

    My problem has been that when I try to get shelters, and retailers interested, they show a serious ignorance of what a blog is, or that there is a critter blogging niche.

  9. says

    Wow, this terrific & timely! I’m just getting my blogging boots on, so I’m looking forward to perusing this list, and then following, reading, and learning.I wrote my first article on the 3 R’s of Business Tweets (or how to interest your followers), and I hope to tweet about it this coming week. [Link Has Been Deleted by Webmaster]Kind thanks for this post!

  10. RL COMM l Social Media Expert says

    Thanks for the great information;”15 Top New Social Media Blogs to Follow in 2011″. You need to have many skills in social media to be socially successful in real life. You need to establish a respect and presence before you will earn respect, authority, and the ability to succeed

  11. says

     Thanks Neal for sharing  this list . You need to acknowledge other articles related to social media  on the web.  
    Finally, focus on creating buzz worthy posts .  After all, social media is all
    about creating a network , communication and sharing information among your friends and fans :)

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