Social Media 101: The Best Platforms to Establish Yourself As a Leader


A leader is wanted
Photo credit: La ciudad visible

The “A Listers” on the social web got where they are by building an effective social footprint that tells the story of who they are, where they came from and most importantly, where they are going.

People follow them wherever they go. What they say matters.

What the social web has a lot of room for is quality leaders who can contribute to the best practices that are shaping the social web.

Don’t let that scare you. The technology is cool; but that’s not what’s driving the medium. People drive it.

People’s stories, expertise, insights, vision, and knowledge that’s shared daily is why people are showing up everyday and participating in the conversation.

They’re either learning or teaching - one of the two. Playing doesn’t count for professionals and business owners : )

They’re blazing the trail by doing, building, helping, creating, and taking others with them on this wild ride called “The Social Web.”

Here are the main platforms that they’re accomplishing this with:

Blog - I can’t name one social media personality who has risen to top of the game that doesn’t blog. Can you?

They’ve established a home base for their work and you can learn everything you wanted to know about them on their blog. They leverage their social networks (below) to share their work with the world.

Twitter – This is a great place to network to reach relevant communities of professionals and like-minded people who will share your work with the community. It’s a bit easier to get started on this platform with a 140 character limit!

Facebook – with nearly 900 million people populating the network, there’s no doubt that professionals and business owners have a profile here. It’s a bit more relaxed, as this is a place for family and friends; but that’s what makes it great for business networking and getting to know people in your industry who matter.

Linkedin - If you’re a professional or business owner, this is the best platform to network with people you can help or people you can hire.

Google+ - They’ve finally got social right and the platform is gaining huge numbers in adoption and usage by the day. It’s the early adopters playground and being first to the party has great advantages for professionals and business owners.

There are many others, but if you want to know what to do right now to get started building yourself as a relevant resource and leader in your industry, forget the rest and focus on these - they are by far the most important social platforms to get busy with.

Okay, so I’m sure there are opinions on this, please advise the community in the comment section below – cheers!

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Category : Blog &Social Media

  • Srinivas Rao


    I’d like to present a view point that people might not have considered. These are the platforms that everybody has built their presence on. But there are other platforms like Pinterest, Slideshare, etc that people have not tapped into nearly as much and could be early adopters of. Show up early, show up often and you reap the rewards.  

    • Mark Harai

      Yes, there are certainly others Srini – - is Pinterest kicking it or what??

      But again, for those business owners who are just starting out, I would stick with the ones I’ve mentioned above. These, in my opinion, are the very best platforms to initially secure your first 1,000 readers.

      I talked with Greg today and he sends his best to you : )

  • Life, for instance

    This is a great snapshot of social media Mark.I use these five to some degree and it’s about all I can handle. I considered getting into Pinterest but I don’t see that I’d have the time. As it is, I’m limiting my browsing time on G+ and spending more of that time on Facebook, which I’ve recently come to like a lot (since the new Timeline, though I’ve not put any baby photos up there, so don’t bother looking.;-)
    Leaders tell ” the story of who they are, where they came from and most importantly, where they are going.” I think that sums it up nicely. Tell it on the blog, share it on Twitter and Linked In and G+ and interact on FB and on other blogs. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. For now ;-)

    • Mark Harai

      I love your energy, focus and drive Lori. I’m going to have to draft in your slipstream : )

      Thanks for visiting miss!

  • Rhia Roberts

    As always I feel I benefit from your wisdom. Thank you.

    • Mark Harai

      So happy you’ve have found them useful Rhia – be sure to leave some of your pearls of wisdom here too if you’d like in the future – we can all benefit and learn from each other : )

  • Gavin Ryan

    Hi Mark,
    I love your energy in your posts. I have found my blog fun and a excellent way to express myself.I also use twitter and I am buliding out into linkedin and google+ over the next few months.
    Looking forward to catching up soon!

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Gavin, and back at you sir. I like to surround myself with a positive people – because that does it for me. 

      I’m a builder. I’m a visionary like you and most of the community we associate with. I’m here to accomplish things, to help folks out and to be part of an awesome community that impacts and changes the world. Every great business that’s been built in times past or our future has been and will be the result of positive progressive people who exchange ideas, collaborate on projects, support their fellow entrepreneurs and make things happen. 

      Thanks for stopping by and I’m looking forward to our Skype call!

    • Mark Harai

      By the way, I tried to subscribe to your blog, but you don’t have an option to subscribe via email RSS. I don’t use a reader, I prefer email – about 50% of my subscribers do so via email, just FYI…

      It’s a simple add through your feedburner account, so if you decide to add this feature, let me know so I can sub up and support your efforts sir : )


  • Anonymous

    Hey Mark,

    Great breakdown of the “social web”. You’re right, people need to use more than one tool to succeed and get a following online. Social Media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can complement a good blog. I’m not too sure about Google + and I think Google are pushing it too much. Because people with Gmail accounts are more or less forced to sign up, the number of users is high but the actual engagement is currently very low. 

    Speak soon,

    P.S. Thanks for the “Klout”!

    • Mark Harai

      Yes, that is a good point with Google+ Robert – - I’m just not sure you want to count them down and out just yet… They are at least doing some things right with social this time around and now that they are including +1′s in their algorithm/ search results, it could be the advantage business owners are looking for. 

      It will be interesting to watch how the platform performs throughout 2012. If it does well and continues to grow like it has, it could be a big advantage for those who are participating on the network early on. 

      Cheers Robert!

  • Judy Dunn

    Hey, Mark. Not only a good “how” post but a good “why” one as well. I am not as huge a fan of Facebook as I was when I started. Too many scams hackers and  quite a bit of false information on it, it seems.  I’m on Google+ but was thinking about amping up my presence there. I’m beginning to like it. By the way, not sure I’m following you on Twitter. Need to click on that shiny button of yours and find out.  : )

    • Mark Harai

      Hi Judy – it’s funny, but I feel like we’re old friends!

      We share so many of the same awesome friends and we never talk!

      A lot can be communicated through listening. You’re one sharp cookie and a brilliant teacher… I listen and learn from you all of the time. 

      Thank you : )

      Sorry to be an admitted lurker!

      We are and have been connected for a long time my dear, so you can let the shiny button be – LOL!


  • Hajra

    Hey Mark,

    This is the steps to bettering yourself all rolled into one! I would definitely agree. There are many mediums but these are the prime focus these days. Pinterest seems to be catching on and many people have written posts about how they are using it to get results. 

    But yes, to make your mark; (yes, I played around your name! ) one has to use these in a good combinations and to their advantage!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Mark Harai

      I see you Hajra – you’d almost have to be blind to not see you somewhere on the web  these days miss : )

      You’re doing a brilliant job at positioning yourself as a knowledgeable, capable leader in the social media space… Its a pleasure to be inspired by you everyday.

      Cheers to you!

  • BarbChamberlain

    I’d add Quora to the list of platforms to consider engaging in. You can pose or answer questions in a very targeted way, tailoring your bio to each space in which you have expertise, then use Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to share the link to the answer for amplification. Best of all, you don’t have to be there daily the way you do with Twitter.

    LinkedIn’s Q&A and Groups have some of the same functionality as Quora for discussions and sharing expertise. I recommend those often to younger professionals seeking to establish some credibility if they don’t feel they can sustain a blog. I’ve seen too many blogs started and abandoned–only people with decent writing skills and stellar follow-through should start a blog.

    • Mark Harai

      Barb, I need to listen to you! I actually put up a profile right around the time they launched. 

      Back. I’m connected to nearly 1,000 people on Quora and would have to bet that they are a pretty targeted bunch. 

      Hmm, maybe we can hop on a Skype call for 10 – 15 minutes and exchange our best tips?

      If so let me know, either way, I appreciate you stopping by and putting a bug in my ear!

      Have a great weekend miss…

  • Billy Delaney

    Hey Mark!
    Nice stuff. Glad to read your posts again. How are you?
    I’ll be back, and looking for more.

    • Mark Harai

      Hey Billy, its good to see you. I’ll be visiting your place too! 

      Let me know when you’re relaunch is done – I’m happy to support your efforts sir : )

      • Billy Delaney

        I am finishing up the writing editing of my first product, an e-book about marketing for small business owners and independent professionals, or single business owners.
        I have a site to finish up, including illustrations, ecommerce and all that. So! plenty to do. 
        I am planning of this being done by April 27th as I am speaking for 10 minutes at SoSlam…Phew! 
        I will gladly let you know and look for any of your valueable advice that is offered. Billy

        • Mark Harai

          Wow, sounds exciting Billy!

          I look forward to hearing more about your project soon!

          April 27th is right around the corner : )

          Speaking gig to boot, that’s awesome!

  • Jens P. Berget

    Hi Mark,

    It’s important to just get started. I started out without any goal at all. I just started blogging, and that’s what I suggest to people. I find blogging to be “my home” online, and it’s important to have someplace to invite people, and make it comfortable for them. A place they’ll find the real you. There are so many things happening on the social media platforms, and there are a few words and images here and there, that’s why I find the blog so much more interesting and the central hub of all communication online :)

    But, it’s important that they’re on the most popular social media platforms as well. I completely agree with you (as always) :)

    • Mark Harai

      I agree Jens – I think blogging could be a wonderful experience for all who just get started. You’ve certainly come a long way my friend.

      I love how you ‘see’ your blog – - “I find blogging to be “my home” online, and it’s important to have someplace to invite people, and make it comfortable for them.”

      That is cool and it’s also why you’re message is spreading and traffic is growing. It’s not about “what’s in it for me,” it’s all about connecting and serving up value to others. That’s what the best of the best consistently do with their blogging efforts.

      Brilliant Jens!

  • Ricardo Bueno

    My blog is my primary vehicle for establishing thought-leadership and connecting with an audience. Twitter comes next… Everything else, as time permits :-) 

    • Mark Harai

      Your blog is the single most important social platform you can build on Ricardo : )

      You own it, you control it, it’s your home.

      All of the other social platforms are great tools for accessing eyeballs and driving traffic back to home base!

      Cheers sir!

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