Social media influencing is big business, and by 2022 it’s estimated the industry will be worth $15 billion. But who influences the influencers? Or, more importantly, who are the influencers you need to follow if you’re a social media professional?
We’re not talking about the social media influencers you’ve become so accustomed to seeing in the mainstream. Instead, we’re focusing on the ones who provide leading industry insights. So, read on and discover the top social media influencers you, as a marketing professional, need to know right now.
1) Gary Vaynerchuk
Arguably the de facto social media influencer, Gary Vaynerchuk has hacked social media like a pro. He’s the world’s most famous social media expert and has a reported net worth of $160 million. Gary’s video-driven content achieves millions of views, with many viewers inspired by his expert advice on how to thrive on social media.
2) Donna Moritz
Founder of Socially Sorted, Donna Moritz is a visual content expert who has featured in publications like Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Social Media Examiner. Her Twitter following is relatively modest at 48k followers, but she helps businesses succeed with social-media-driven suggestions like “99 video ideas for when you’re stuck or don’t like being on camera”.
3) Kim Garst
As a CEO and online business strategist, Kim Garst has built a following based on her expert advice. She’s one of the world’s most retweeted people amongst marketing professionals, thanks to her expert insight and tips on boosting your social profile and attracting more leads.
4) Madalyn Sklar
Madalyn Sklar is a social media speaker and consultant who has a background in digital marketing that dates back to 1996. She runs madalynsklr.com, which she uses to teach brands how to create conversations and build community engagement. Madalyn specializes in Twitter marketing and hosts the #TwitterSmarter chat every Thursday.
5) Neal Schaffer
Author of The Age of Influence, Neal Schaffer has penned best sellers and is a digital social media marketing speaker. He owns a social media agency and has created strategies for everyone from Fortune 500 companies to Grammy award-winning artists. Neal is prominently featured in USA Today, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek.
6) Michael A. Stelzner
CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World, Michael A. Stelzner is most certainly a guru when it comes to social media. Social Media Marketing World is one of the industry’s largest events that brings together creative and analytical minds from all over the industry. With more than 175k followers on Twitter, it’s clear that Michael is a huge hit with other marketing professionals.
7) Christopher S. Penn
Data plays a significant role in better understanding social media, and Christopher S. Penn is leading the way with data-driven insights. He’s also a motivational speaker and encourages many entrepreneurs, digital markers, and brands to create the best version of themselves. Or, as Chris says, it’s time to awaken your superhero.
8) Samantha Kelly
Samantha Kelly runs Tweeting Business, which helps brands cut through the noise with social media messages that resonate. The ability to provide sharp insights has led Samantha to gain recognition in social media, with tons of digital marketing professionals taking inspiration from her while listening to Sam’s expertise.
9) Jay Baer
Having a personality is a required trait if you want to propel yourself from expert to influencer. And Jay Baer certainly knows how to attract a crowd. The plaid-suit wearing, marketing hall-of-famer, is the author of six best-selling books, including Youility and Winning at Social Customer Care. He also advises top brands like IBM, American Express, Prudential, and Hilton.
10) Viveka von Rosen
Co-founder of Vengreso, one of the largest digital sales businesses, Viveka von Rosen is known as a LinkedIn expert with professional insights on how to grow your digital offering. She’s the author of the best-selling, LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and LinkedIn: 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand. If you want to achieve success on LinkedIn and need some inspiration, look to Viveka for ideas.
11) Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield is an online marketing trainer with a strong Twitter following (152k followers). She creates online training courses designed to help brands and entrepreneurs succeed with their digital content, from crafting winning emails to using marketing strategies to sell products and services.
12) Josh Elledge
If you want to become a social media influencer, Josh is your guy. He turns business professionals into media celebs with his expert insights. His successes include getting clients featured on CNN, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, BuzzFeed, Forbes, Vice, and more. Josh aims to help grow people’s authority while increasing their visibility and revenue.
13) Ramon Ray
Ramon Ray is a global speaker and author who helps small businesses gain traction through savvy insights. He runs Smart Hustle media agency and interviewed Barack Obama, in what was the president’s first-ever video interview. He has also taught marketing insights to staff at the White House.
14) Chalene Johnson
A New York Times best-selling author, Chalene Johnson reaches millions with her motivational content. She’s seen as one of the original fitness influencers with her 30 years’ worth of experience guiding brands in the health and fitness world. From successful podcasts to popular books, Chalene has created content that resonates with those in the fitness industry and inspires marketers all around the world.
15) Tamara McCleary
With 308k followers on Twitter alone, Tamar McCleary has built a huge following within the marketing industry. She’s a thought leader in tech and AI and has created influencer marketing strategies that have seen her featured in Forbes and act as an advisor for brands like Amazon.
The influencers on our list aren’t necessarily in the mainstream, but they’ve created a huge following with industry professionals. As a result, they’re inspirational with marketers far and wide thanks to their expert insights and all-round success.