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The author

Epiphany Search

The popularity and strength of social media is changing the model of marketing, communications and more specifically the world of search marketing. Therefore the importance of utilising social media for your business is growing ever more important and so used correctly, social networks can be an invaluable platform for companies and organisations, allowing them to interact with their target audience and create an everyday relationship with them.

With more than 150 million people engaging with facebook on external websites every month, executives from all Fortune 500 companies having profiles on LinkedIn and Twitter receiving over 180 million unique visits each month I think it’s fair to say the power of social media is continuing to grow and it’s something that all businesses need to harness. The release of “The Social Network” has got me thinking about the people behind the platforms. Who are the men (would say and/or women but it is a woefully male orientated world – so far!) behind these social platforms. Here are the most powerful faces behind five of the biggest social media platforms: 1.    Jack Dorsey – the face behind Twitter, came up with the idea in August 2006. It was a long time coming and since its launch its growth has been meteoric with 105 million users as of April 2010 and 300,000 new accounts being added every day. However whilst a powerful social tool its business worth is still debated with the actual value of Twitter still being heavily debated, with reports that it is in fact still a loss making model.  In the meantime, the value that Twitter provides to companies, in giving them a strong arena to engage with their target audience is undeniable. 2.    Dennis Crowley – started Foursquare in March 2009 with his partner Naveen Selvaurai, within a year it had acquired 1 million users. Part social network part friend finder part game, Foursquare is a very simple platform. A business is listed on Foursquare, when a user arrives at the destination they ‘check in’ and it alerts your Twitter and Facebook contacts of your location. As Foursquare hit 5 million users this week I think this face is one to keep watching. 3.    Reid Hoffman – is on this list for his role in starting LinkedIn but his social media credentials started much earlier than this, he started his first firm SocialNet in 1997 so a real trend setter! LinkedIn was created in 2003 and quickly gained respect being used by a number of high powered professionals (as I mentioned earlier executives from all Fortune 500 companies have profiles on LinkedIn!). Reid Hoffman has proved his social media worth with LinkedIn and his many other ventures – in fact his power is so that many people even attribute the term ‘Web 2.0’ to him! 4.     David Karp – the youngest on the list, Karp was only 21 when he founded Tumblr in 2007. Similar to Twitter in style, Tumblr is a microblogging site but with a much stronger focus on mixed media, with users creating online journals using photos, videos, music and text. With 7.2million users, 2 million posts and 15,000 new users per day, Tumblr is very much the new kid on the block and definitely one to watch – as its founder David Karp. 5.    Mark Zuckerberg - Of course topping the list is the now infamous Mark Zuckerberg. At 26 he is worth an estimated $6.9 bn and has topped this year’s Vanity Fair’s list of the most influential people of the information age! And with the 600 million user mark expected to be hit in early 2011 it looks as though his influence is going to continue to grow…