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    With 7,81,058 Twitter followers, Sean Gardner is dubbed the #1 Forbes Social Media Power Influencer and Top 50 Marketing Influencers. A keynote speaker, Huffington Post columnist and an Apple employee straight out of high school, we catch up with him before his talk at the Social Media Week in the city.

    What is your explosive Twitter following due to?
    So often, I see people sharing only their created content, or the content of people they are familiar with. But to grow and advance, you must move beyond your comfort zone and the usual names and reach out to new faces as well.

    What inspires and influence you? I am inspired by people who believe that success includes helping people. I love, live and breathe social business. But you make a lasting impact through service and giving. Everyone is an influencer in my opinion, because everyone has influence and can use it — be it positively or negatively.

    Which social media platform is most powerful and why?
    LinkedIn for both recruiters and potential clients. Its publishing feature is genius and has greatly advanced my career. I also like Google+ and Instagram.

    Twitteratis we should follow.
    I recommend: @jonharules, social media strategist; @RashaGoel, an international entertainment correspondent; @KostaPetrov, author, and founder, PWorld; @hgeronemus, a blogger and social good advocate; and @EvaKaili, a member of the Greek Parliament.
    Advice to those hoping to grow their online following.
    Follow the followers of someone in your field, especially one whose following is growing rapidly. It may not seem like a ‘social media best practice’, but if you think it’s ‘best’ for you, then practice it.

    India’s social media market.
    Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other companies are betting big on India as it has only just begun to scratch the surface.

    The future of social media.
    With the rise of Instagram and Pinterest, we can safely predict it will be more visual and personal.
    Your thoughts on ‘over sharing’.
    I typically post 20 to 30 times a day on Twitter. Some consider that ‘over-sharing’. It depends on how many times you can stay on a certain subject. Conversation about what constitutes ‘over-sharing’ is always quite fascinating.

    The highlight of your life.
    Going to speak at conferences, especially internationally. You get a chance to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds, and to see how that impacts what they think about particular platforms. And there is nothing like meeting people face to face, taking socialising offline and to the next level.

    What does the rest of 2015 hold?
    More conferences around the world, and, profiling more people. I love shining the spotlight on people who don’t normally get the attention, but are doing great work.

    This evening, 4.30 pm onwards at The Leela Palace. Details:
    socialmediaweek.org

    — Aakanksha Devi

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