Mari Smith is one of the world’s foremost experts on using Social Media as a marketing channel. She is author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Fast Company describes Mari as, “A veritable engine of personal branding, a relationship marketing whiz and the Pied Piper of the Online World.” Forbes named Mari as one of the top ten Social Media Influencers, and Dun & Bradstreet Credibility named Mari one of the top ten Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter.

Mari Smith’s background includes over ten years in the fields of relationships, marketing and Internet technology, making social media her ideal arena. As a veteran in the genre, she travels the United States and internationally to provide sage social media keynotes and in-depth training to entrepreneurs and corporations. She frequently shares the stage with notable leaders and celebrities.

Mari Smith and her team have mentored countless social media departments and individual social media professionals in a variety of specializations. Tens of thousands have gone through the ‘Mari Smith’ intense social media training over the past several years.

With her popular blog at MariSmith.com, and her large, loyal following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus, Mari is considered one of the top resources and thought leaders in the world of marketing. She regularly appears in media locally and nationally in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Forbes, Fortune, Chicago Tribune, and Success Magazine.

On a personal note, Mari left high school at age 15 and became a lifetime student of personal and professional growth. Mari is Scottish-Canadian; she was born in Canada then lived in Scotland for two decades before moving to San Diego, California in 1999.

Mari is a natural born networker; her motto is “relationships first, business second.” She has been deeply immersed in the world of online marketing since 1999 and has run her own business as an internet marketing consultant and business coach since then. In 2007, a friend introduced her to Facebook and it was love at first site. For the first time ever, Mari saw the potential of having a common platform through which anyone could connect with anyone – the middlemen had been removed. With no gatekeepers, we could reach out and begin relationships with prospects, influencers, even celebrities. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest provide savvy businesses and brands unlimited opportunities to build rock-solid relationships and “social equity” that turn into increased sales.

If Mari could  could share one best practice about using social media to grow a business, it would be: “Always focus on relationships first – people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. This goes for businesses of all sizes. When fans receive a response to their social media posts on Facebook pages and on Twitter, they are much more likely to go on to make purchasing decisions.”

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Vishal Pindoriya

Vishal Pindoriya is a social media enthusiast, strategist and writer. He lives in London, England and is particularly interested in the proliferation of social media around the world.

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