70 Rising Social Media Stars

social media stars
Sometimes I weary of social media lists that are simply popularity contests or a cheap way to promote some start-up or PR agency. And usually the same people are on these lists over and over. There are so many other deserving voices out there.

So, with the help of some friends, I decided to create a different kind of list. I wanted to recognize people in a way that was not derived from who could get out the vote or who was cozy with a corporate sponsor. I wanted to create a list that would celebrate amazing people who do not normally show up on lists. I wanted to find the (dramatic music) Future Gurus.

I asked some of the people who are regulars on these “best of” lists to recommend a few people who they believe are on the rise. Who is impressing them, inspiring them, and challenging them?

Who are the unknown stars who will be rocking the social media conferences two or three years from now?

If you’re on this list, I hope you feel good about being recognized by some of the leaders in the field. If you’re not on the list, I hope you know that a) this is all rather arbitrary, b) you probably DO deserve to be on the list but this group of leaders may not know you yet, and c) everyone today has the opportunity to be seen, to be heard, and to be recognized. Go for it.

Here are the panelists who contributed names to this list of outstanding social media marketing professionals on the rise: Michael Brenner (SAP); Jeff Bullas (JeffBullas.com); C. C. Chapman (Wediko Children’s Services); Gini Dietrich (Arment Dietrich); Jason Falls (Cafe Press); Ann Handley (MarketingProfs); Simon J. Hughes (Microsoft); Dave Kerpen (Likeable Media); Shelly Kramer (V3 Marketing); Lee Odden (TopRank Marketing); Matt Ridings (Sidera Works); Ted Rubin (Brand Innovators); Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion); Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner); Christopher Penn (SHIFT Communications); Joe Pulizzi (Content Marketing Institute); Mari Smith (Mari Smith Consulting); Scott Stratten (Unmarketing); and Tom Webster (Edison Research).

Here is our list of people on the move, in alphabetical order. You can follow the entire group on this Twitter List.

70 rising social media stars

Jeremy AbelJeremy Abel (Mannix Marketing) — An inbound marketing strategist at Mannix Marketing, Jeremy speaks and writes with a very thoughtful and “big picture” point of view when it comes to social media and content marketing. @brandabel
joe acunzoJay Acunzo (NextView) — Joe is a content producing rock star and emerging industry leader who has contributed to Huffington Post, Content Marketing Institute, iMedia and others. He is currently the director of platform at NextView Ventures and a co-founder of the industry community group, Boston Content, which now boasts more than 500 members. @Jay_zo
brooke BallardBrooke Ballard (BSquared Media) — Brooke is carving out a niche for herself and her agency in the competitive New York market through a reputation for creating effective B2B social media campaigns that connect on an emotional level with the audience. @MadSMscientist
Erin BuryErin Bury (88 Creative) — Erin is the managing director for this Toronto-based digital and design agency. She always brings a unique voice and profound thinking to whatever she is working on at the moment. @erinbury
jon buscallJon Buscall (Jontus Media) — Jon operates out of Sweden and France and is hands-down one of the smartest marketers on the planet. Check out his resources on podcasting. @jonbuscall
kevin-cainKevin Cain (Kevin Cain Consulting) — Kevin has an enormous amount of digital experience with OpenView Venture Partners, State Street Corp., KPMG and Charles River Associates. He currently resides in Sydney, Australia, where he consults to businesses on strategic content marketing and communications issues. @kevinrcain
stephanie wonderlin carlsStephanie Wonderlin Carls (Together Mobile) — Stephanie had a GoPro camera in her wedding bouquet. Need I say more? She won our hearts with the innovative Tweetheart web TV series and has made a broad mark on the social web with her diverse content and pioneering brand journalism. @swonderlin
JonChiribogaJonathan Chiriboga (Home Depot Canada) — Passionate about digital social, both from a big brand side but also the personal side and human impacts. @jonchiriboga
lauraclickLaura Click (Blue Kite Marketing) — Laura made the leap from government communications specialist to marketing strategist and is taking the city of Nashville by storm. Superb writer and project manager. @lauraclick
ryan coxRyan Lee Cox — Ryan may be young, but he’s not afraid to go after what he wants, He’s always willing to learn and totally focused on paying it forward, one mission after the other. His latest passion is providing lunch for hungry kids. He brings heart and the passion to everything he touches. @ryanleecox
Chris craftChristopher Craft (Nao Media and Consulting) — With strengths in music, sports and content marketing, Chris is a driven, inspirational entrepreneur and marketer. His book O.P.E.N. Routine is available on Amazon. @ChrisQueso
kimberly crosslandKimberly Crossland (SavvyCopywriter) — Kimberly admittedly has an unnatural obsession with the impact words have on people, businesses, and relationships. She is one of the web’s finest writers and obsesses (yes, obsesses) with words, headlines, and new content marketing ideas. @savvycopywriter
Devon DawsonDevon Dawson (PJA Marketing + Advertising) — Devon expertly approaches social media and content marketing as integral pieces of an integrated whole. Devon believes in programs, not promotions, and works tirelessly to make sure that all pieces of a communications program — online, offline, paid, owned, earned — drive measurable business results. @devonjdawson
katedickmanKate Dickman (CVS Caremark) — Kate has been a social star ever since she was able to connect to the web. Her passions have taken her from Manhattan to Ghana, providing her social media smarts to major brands like Panasonic, Lipton, Yahoo!, Lindt & Sprungli. She is currently Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at CVS Caremark. @KateDickman
jasondillerJason Diller (DSM Group) — Diller went from doing incredible things in the landscape industry (with inbound marketing) to teaching other companies how to achieve the same success. Now VP of Marketing for The DSM Group, an inbound marketing agency out of New Jersey. @JasonDiller
tiffanyTiffany DiPanni (County Line Chiropractic Medical & Rehab) — Tiffany gets networking, relationships and community building better than just about anyone we know. She is bringing relationship marketing into the new age of social and is making it work for her chain of Miami-based clinics. @TifDip
marsdorianMars Dorian (MarsDorian.com) Mars may be best known to {grow} readers as a regular contributing writer to the blog but his bold thinking and extraordinary design work have made him a sought-after multi-media producer in Germany and around the world. @marsdorian
jason engJason Eng (IBM) — Jason has been Sr. Social Media Strategist at Sony Professional for the past three years and just made the move to a senior marketing job at IBM. Watch out for him — he has the mind of an digital engineer and the heart of a marketer! @jasoneng_
hanna erlandssonHanna Erlandsson Hanna just graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute. She deeply “gets” social and how it can be integrated into the core of marketing going forward. The native of Sweden has worked in a variety of social media roles for Collective Bias, Big Fuel and Studio MB. @hannaerlandsson
valentinaM. Valentina Escobar-Gonzalez (Beyond Engagement) — Valentina is establishing herself as a regional, multi-cultural social media expert. She is growing quickly as a blogger/independent consultant/speaker and her enthusiasm, persistence, and drive are an inspiration. @equinevalentina
kevingreenKevin Green (Dell) — Kevin is a long time agency pro with many years at Racepoint Global where he did groundbreaking digital marketing work for IBM, T-Mobile, EA Games, HBO and many other brands. Today, he’s Executive Director, Marketing at Dell leading the global digital marketing team. @KevinMGreen
ally greerAlly Greer (Scoopit) — Ally is a passionate and innovative community manager for @scoopit where she combines her interests in content, community, sports and fun. Great to see a community manager who loves her job and still stays true to herself. @AllyGreer
jameshahnJames Hahn (TribeRocket) — James is a smash-mouth marketer. A highly-original, deep thinker, he’s unafraid to challenge the status quo. His special area of expertise is the oil and gas industry. @jameshahnII
chrishallChris Hall (OODATRON) — This data geek and expert project manager is working to improve personal health through social and digital content, apps and education. Chris is a significant contributor to the industry’s innovations in analytics and communications. @hallicious
james halloranJames Halloran (1&1) — James is a skilled and versatile writer with extensive experience though Brand.com, Embassy of Canada (Washington DC) and the New Growth Arts Review. Today he is a copywriter at 1&1 working on blog posts, videos, and social media management. @jrhalloran
ryan hanleyRyan Hanley (Content Warfare) — After building a successful social media competency in the insurance business, the passionate and edgy Hanley has now branched out on his own to offer consulting to small and mid-sized businesses. Check out his Content Warfare podcast. @RyanHanley_Com
daniel hebertDaniel Hebert (SteamFeed) — Daniel is based in Toronto and is a co-founder of SteamFeed, an online resource for marketing professionals, social media managers, and small business owners. He is also the Growth Manager for newsrooms365.com @danielghebert
mike hickenbothamMike Hickinbotham (Westpac Banking Group) — Mike is currently the Head of Social Media at Australia’s Westpac Banking Group. The Canada native was a Telstra’s first employee designated to work in social media. He has also served as Chair of the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) expert group on social media. @mhickinbotham
amy higginsAmy Higgins (Concur Technologies) — Amy understands the content and social media relationship like few marketers anywhere. As an ex-Googler, artist and opera aficionado, she is equally smart, creative and focused on results with an impressive digital marketing track record at Concur Technologies. @amywhiggins
Renee HopkinsRenee Hopkins (Business Innovation Factory) — Renee is gaining a reputation as one of the top community managers in the business. Her job is to develop and manage community engagement platforms to grow and strengthen BIF’s community of innovation junkies to create random collisions that create new business opportunities. @Renee_Hopkins
jason howJason How (Marketing Strategist) — Jason is an up and coming blogger, providing some of the freshest thinking around on practical social media/Facebook marketing, content, strategy and analytics. His posts are always well-written with great visuals. @jasonhjh
justin jonesJustin Jones (IMEG)– Justin is a serial entrepreneur who has carved a successful niche creating innovative digital marketing plans for the tourism industry through his fast-growing company IMEG. And he drives a Tesla. @Connectwithimeg
cadi jordanCadi Jordan (Marketing Strategist) – Cadi made this list by making a name for herself as a marketing expert with a fresh and memorable approach. She is focusing on social media marketing for the spa, health and wellness industry. @CadiJordan
muhammed saad khanMuhammed Saad Khan (Cloudways) — His Twitter handle, @invinciblesaad, certainly is apt. Saad has successfully overcome many personal, political,, and economic hurdles to become a rising content marketing star in his home country of Pakistan. His determination and cheerful support of his online community is an inspiration. @invinciblesaad
samantha kleinSamantha Klein (IBM) — Samantha is a rock star millennial marketer with the chops to be a leader, disruptor and bold voice in our business. She speaks her mind about marketing to digital natives. Samantha is also a pioneer in the field of influence marketing and blogs at Ask A Millennial. @samjoyk
pavelPavel Konoplenko (GMB Direct) A lot of young people tell you they are going to change the world. When Pavel looks you in the eye and says it, you believe him! Already an experienced social media marketer and community manager, his passion project is uniting artists and entrepreneurs through The Culture LP. @pavelnovel
krista kotrlaKrista Kotrla — (Block Imaging) — Known for her passionate belief in enhancing company culture to get powerful results through social media and content marketing, Krista helped make Block Imaging a digital leader in the medical imaging space. She now has branched out even further to help companies reach their digital marketing potential. @kristakotrla
sarah kuglinSarah Viergutz Kuglin (Redwood Valley Tech) — Sarah is an experienced graphic designer and also offers social media services through her Minnesota-based company. She takes an innovative visual approach to social media and is one of the most humble rising stars you’ll meet! @sarahkuglin
fernandoFernando Labastida (Emprende) — Fernando is an experienced international marketing and sales professional dedicated to bridging the gap between Latino business owners and content marketing best practices. Based in Texas, Fernando is building a brand throughout the Southest, Mexico, and Central and South America. @flabastida
deannaDeanna Lazzaroni (LinkedIn) — As inspiring as she is talented, Deanna has amazing brand digital marketing experience from working at Talent Zoo, BBDO, Coca-Cola and now LinkedIn where she develops and manages social media programs for the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions group. @DigitalDL
nikki littleNikki Little (Identity) — Nikki is a public relations professional, blogger, speaker, and the social media manager at Detroit-based Identity, an integrated public relations firm. She is a community leader and has held top positions in the Social Media Club, PRSA and other organizations. @nikki_little
amandaAmanda Maksymiw (Lattice Engines) — Unassuming, very smart and content savvy! Her friendly, calm style is refreshing and effective for her company, Lattice Engines. She has contributed content to some of the top marketing sites in the world and been a speaker at many top conferences including MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum and Content Marketing World. @amandamaks
sarah masonSarah Mason (Uncommon.ly Social) — Sarah’s star has risen on the basis of her creative and inventive graphic designs. She is a passionate advocate of keeping “human” at the center of her consulting practice and has been known to reward new social connections with fresh-baked cookies! @sarahsmason
cathy mcphillipsCathy McPhillips (Content Marketing Institute) — As social media lead for the Content Marketing Institute, Cathy has the opportunity to learn from the best. She has an amazing background with extensive marketing experience in retail, hospitality and non-profit. @cmcphillips
stacey millerStacey Miller (Vocus) — One of many bright young social media stars at Vocus, Stacey stands out as a first-rate, versatile content creator and cool-headed community manager. She has already published more than 500 blog posts. Plus, she likes to fish. @staceylamiller
andrew moravickAndrew Moravick (Harte Hanks) — Andrew is establishing himself as a digital marketing thought leader who understands social media, content marketing and how to tie it all back to demand generation and results. @AMoravick
donna moritzDonna Moritz (Socially Sorted) — Donna’s content has been on display in some of the best sites in the business including Forbes, Yahoo!, NBC, Social Fresh, Amy Porterfield, Socialancer, Michael Hyatt and Young Entrepreneur. Her own award-winning blog focuses on visual communications. @sociallysorted
paulnazarethPaul Nazareth (Scotia Private Client Group) — A prolific blogger, speaker and networker, no one is more passionate about philanthropy/non-profit social media than Paul. @UinvitedU
jesse noyesJesse Noyes (Kapost) — He’s a senior content marketing executive and with good reason — Jesse is a really good writer and has a nose like a reporter — both skills content marketers should possess. @noyesjesse
corey OCorey O’Loughlin (MarketingProfs) — Corey is an entrepreneur and a marketing manager at Marketing Profs. She’s an incredibly creative marketer who brings a lot of heart AND smarts to content. @coreyolo
ana silva OreillyAna Silva O’Reilly (Mrs. O Around the World) — Ana is the answer to this question: “Who has the best job in the world?” From the Maldives to Paris, Ana covers the planet and has rapidly become one of the most respected luxury travel bloggers in the world. @mrsoaroundtheworld
eleanor pierceEleanor Pierce (Arment-Dietrich) Eleanor is the shared media manager for this Chicago firm and also freelances on the side. She also writes for a line of trivia books that’s sold nearly 5 million copies and is a prolific blogger. @eleanorpie
alex pirouzAlex Pirouz (Linkfluencer) — OK, so his first four businesses failed. But Alex has emerged with an exciting new digital agency now advising governments, CEOs, and businesses. The Australian is also a prolific business writer and blogger.
gregory PouyGregory Pouy (LaMercatique) — Gregory is already one of the top marketing bloggers in all of France. And now he has set his sights on conquering America via New York City. His special emphasis is luxury brands. @gregfromparis
bradBrad PowellBrad has been under the radar for years, but understands how to create branded content unlike anyone else. His company creates innovative marketing campaigns for socially conscious companies. What he is trying to accomplish through his Awake Aware America campaign and camps is truly inspiring. @DaddyBrad
anne reussAnne Reuss (360Conext) — Anne describes herself as a “Customer Experience Social & Marketing Manager, Freelance Consultant & Steamfeed Writer.” Yes. She does a lot. But whe is also one of theose few people you meet in life who is a successful leader because people WANT to follow her inspiring example. @annereuss
rachaelRachael Powell (Elasticity) — A dynamite social thinker, blogger and director of social media at Elasticity, Rachael brings the powerful combination of content creator and business counselor to the table for brands like Cafepress, Charter Communications, Head & Shoulders and more. @rachaelcpowell
mallorie rosenbluthMallorie Rosenbluth (Likeable Media) Mallorie is VP client services at Likeable Media. She is a dynamic, thoughtful, young leader who balances working with Fortune 500 clients with her eclectic and interesting personal life. Check out her personal blog; Punk meets Pink and her work at Likeable Media. @MallorieRose
pamPam Sahota (Digitas)Pam is the Director of Social.Content at Digitas and understands that there is more than one aspect and approach to leveraging social media. With every update and post she showcases the impressive variety of her knowledge. @PamSahota
jacob sapochnickJacob Sapochnick (Sapochnick Law Firm) Yes, Jacob is a lawyer. And a savvy social media marketer. Do the two seem mutally exclusive? Follow Jason … for seeing is believing. This California-based immigration attorney truly understands the enchanting connection between content, relationships, and growing a business. @visalawyerblog
brittany shafferBrittany Shaffer (Proximo Marketing) — At 22 years of age, Brittany is the youngest member of this power list but is already a rising star. She has been blogging making films, and developing her own eCommerce sites since she was in high school and has already had internships with Proximo, Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the National 4H Council. @brittanyshaf
shah and starr

Angilee Shahand Tory Starr (Public Radio International) This dynamic duo is working tirelessly on PRI’s social accounts, including initiatives like PRI Human Needs. They aren’t just working to benefit a brand, they are working to raise awareness for some of the most critical global issues of the day, and they do it with integrity, smarts, and passion.
@ToryStarr3 @angshah
ravi shukleRavi Shukle (Social Media Strategist) — Ravi is a real go-giver and one of the most exciting personalities on the UK marketing scene. He’s very dedicated to providing valuable content and has a highly engaged community, especially on Facebook. @ravishukle
ingo stollIngo Stoll (neuwaerts.de) From his base in Hannover, Ingo is a college educator, entrepreneur, and one of Western Europe’s rising bloggers, podcasters and digital marketing strategists. @ingostoll
chel wolvertonChel Wolverton (SHIFT Communications) –Chel is one of the few people in the world who is an actual marketing technologist, someone who is strong in both disciplines and can execute on either side of the brain. @chelpixie
wonderopolisSara Ulliman (Wonderopolis) — She bridges the conversation between curious children (of all ages) and the educators serving daily doses of Wonder in the classroom each day through Wonderopolis, a ground-breaking literacy effort from the National Centers for Families Learning. @Wonderopolis
mike watkinsMike Watkins (digiocial) — Mike is a young man who has carved a nice niche for himself and his growing agency by focusing on the Australian market for content, social media marketing and regional analytics. @thelionmarketer
michele weismanMichele Weisman (Likeable Media) — Michelle may be the world’s queen of Twitter Chats, hosting 100 events a week on behalf of her company! She has been the social media voice of her company since she was a senior at Syracuse University.
stevenSteven Woodgate (Microsoft) — A determined and resourceful community manager pushing the social media envelope for Microsoft UK with small & medium businesses. @StevenWoodgate

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  • Allen Roberts

    Good to see a few Aussies making the cut!!

  • RandyBowden

    nice list of strong talent

  • Thank you for including me, Mark! AND even better I’m next to my favorite client, NCFL. 😀

  • WOAH….that’s a surprise really 😀

    I am really really honored today. This is one of the finest achievements of my life. And I want to thank a man, who is behind me success. He is non-other than @businessesgrow:disqus.

    What I have learned since I have started my career, Mark is always there to guide me, help me and appreciate me. I always respected him as I respect my father.

    What I have learned from him and his life is;
    1. Always be honest to your work, to the people you work with, to your family and to yourself.
    2. Help people around as many as you can. (with out any expectations).
    3. Do Charity. (Because you get what you give).

    Congrats to all the people who made the list. I am fortunate to included among you all. 🙂

    God Bless!

  • pamsahota

    Thanks so much for including me on your list. A definite honor!

  • Congrats to my boss, Justin Jones!

  • Ravi Shukle

    Very greatful to be included in such an awesome list of rising social media stars thank you @businessesgrow:disqus . It’s a beautiful thing to be surrounded by so many others who are truly passionate and love what they do!

  • Brooke Ballard

    Thank you SO much for including me, Mark (and committee). I’m thrilled to make the list and over the moon to see of my Steamfeed cohorts on the list as well. DAY. MADE. 🙂

  • I’m high fiving the ones I know already, and going to check out the ones I don’t know yet!


  • NenadSenic

    Awesome list! It was about time. I wonder though, can one be a rising social media star without communicating in English? Or maybe that is an opportunity for a different list of people who make social media waves locally?

  • Great list @businessesgrow:disqus, and thanks so much for adding me to it! 🙂

    Recognize quite a few names on there, but there are a lot of new ones too!

    Just a quick correction to the second part of my description – I’m Growth Manager (not social media manager) at newsrooms365.com 🙂

  • I always appreciate how you try to highlight new voices, Mark. I think that’s incredibly important for advancing the conversation. I’m glad to see a lot of bright folks I know on this list as well as some new people to meet.

    Also, thanks for your ongoing support. It means a lot. 🙂

  • I appreciate the approach you took to build this list, Mark. Very honored to be part of it!

  • Because your star has already risen, high, high into the heavens Tom : )

  • A really good question and something I have considered. I did go to some lengths to feature people from around the globe but unfortunately to be known there probably has to be some English involved (although a couple people on the list have English as a second language). If you can think of a methodology to expose others I would love to have you contact me about it.

  • First round’s on me.

  • Eleanor Pierce

    Wow! This is quite a nice thing to come back to after a week off – honored to be among so many awesome folks!

  • @mrsoaroundworld

    Thank you so much for including me, Mark. And so many really fab people!!

  • Jeffrey Slater

    What a nice gift to share with the online community. I look forward to following this group of thought leaders.

  • Thanks, Mark, for always seeking people out online — and championing them — for their ideas, not their titles or status or Klout scores. 🙂 This, I think, is what the social web is all about.

    This is an awesome list. Thanks so much for including me.

  • Kate Dickman

    Thanks so much for the mention! I’m in great company here.

  • amandabatista

    Great to see Andrew Moravick on here, especially – I learn a great deal from him via all his social channels. Well deserved!

  • Great list and what a fantastic collaboration! Glad to see UK representatives 🙂 All very well deserved!

  • I love these curated lists to follow outstanding people, thanks a lot 🙂

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Thank you for including me Mark and for your continued support:)

  • I have the same apprehension with lists. This one is REALLY well done. Nice job and congrats to everyone who made the list.

  • Some familiar faces on the list…those that I know certainly deserve this recognition. Congrats to everyone!

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Love your work Ravi, glad to be on the list with you:)

  • Holy Wonder Woman! I got goosebumps when I found out…I look up to many of these people listed. Thanks for this @businessesgrow:disqus – it really is so supportive and motivates us to keep on doing what we do – you are a bona fide sweetheart.

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Congrats Kate

  • Nice recognition for some of my favorite content marketing peeps: @amandamaks, @cmcphillips and @noyesjesse

  • NenadSenic

    Honestly, have been thinking about this for a long time now and haven’t come up with a solution yet. One thing is to know people in your region or the ones who write in a language you understand, but how to make sure others are not ignored (language that you don’t speak, not being familiar with content marketing in the region), etc.

  • Andrew Moravick

    Aw, shucks @amandabatista:disqus, I actually learn a great deal from your content as well. It’s sincerely appreciated. Thank you! 🙂

  • Thanks so much for adding me to this list Mark! And for whoever else might have nominated me 🙂

    I am honoured!

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  • Patricia Haag

    Congratulations to everyone on this list. Amazingly, the only person I’m really familiar with is Ryan Hanley. I’ve followed him for a few years now. I’m going to nominate one person to your list: Jenn Herman of http://jennstrends.com/ . A site all about social and a wealth of info.

  • Humbled and honored. Love and success to you all!

  • nickcicero

    Definitely a solid list of people here, agreed.

  • Sabih Ahmed

    It’s good to see someone from my circle nominated as a rising star in the digital world. This young individual truly earned his spot to be on this list as he is humble, friendly and digital too. I wish him the very best of luck! Cheers @muhammadsaadkhan:disqus

  • @businessesgrow:disqus I appreciate the inclusion in this illustrious list of professionals. These are the workers and I’m proud to be listed amongst them.

    Thank you.

  • Amy Higgins

    Thank you so much for including me on this list. I really feel honored to be added to such an impressive list of friends (present and soon to be best friends).

  • First round’s on me to celebrate, y’all (provided we’re at an open bar — if not, first round’s on @businessesgrow:disqus) Cheers!

  • Pointsandtravel

    I can’t wait to check out some of these, as i have not heard of many of them, would love to be considered for the next time! ‘value luxury’ is my niche in the travel writing industry.

  • Wait. What was that? : )

  • W X Y Z…..need I say more?

  • You deserve it Ravi, looking forward to having a drink with you some day!

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Congrats Amy

  • As I go around the world I do make a point to learn about the bloggers and social media leaders in a region. I have been especially working on Japan but the blogging culture is quite different there. I am reaching out but not getting much response.

  • joeylittle

    Maybe I didn’t investigate the list too well but it’s a shame no one from the automotive industry made the list. I could be wrong. I feel like there are a lot of hungry social media stars not only at the OEM level but tier 2 & 3. We have a lot of work to do #automarketers

  • Guest

    Missing some ppl in niche markets. The photo, scrapbookers and visual artists are missing here. If you want generic or fashionista marketing, fine. But there’s so many other viable, knowledgeable people offering very specific info for visual artists. Ever watch creativelive.com? That’s a start, but I know several others who are doing important work. This list is a start, but it’s a BIG world out there.

  • Great list Mark. I’ll have a closer look at these guys. I’m mostly interested in their twitter community management and responsiveness.

  • Obviously this is a limited view but a start. We were looking for people whose primary focus is social media marketing/community management. Thanks very much for your comment Jenny.

  • Ha, just joking around

  • Jenny Lens

    I just am tired of hearing the same old stuff from the same POV. Some ppl need and want specific info for their niche market. I can utilize generic info, but many cannot. Even creative people have a hard time envisioning these messages for their specific fields. One would think that creatives would run with all this, but they need a lot of hand-holding and encouragement, just like others. There’s huge ops for ppl who speak specifically to small, creative individuals on using social media marketing and community management. As JoeyLittle said, shame no one from the automotive industry. I think it’s really a matter of “who you know.” It’s better than nothing, and your panel, including the great Mari Smith, are fine, but it’s kinda like the Oscars. Some really good ppl are overlooked. C’est la vie.

  • Ally Greer


  • Ally Greer

    What an honor to be listed among all of these amazing people. Thanks for putting together such a great list with genuine input from others in the industry. It truly means a lot.

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  • You can choose to look at this one of two ways. (a) what a scam — you didn’t name the 10,000 people who should have been on this list or (b) it’s really nice to see a group of worthy people recognized who usually do not get recognition. My view is (b) and I’m not going to be defensive about it.

  • @ryanhanley:disqus We’re on the same list! Woot Thanks @businessesgrow:disqus for the inclusion. A bunch of my “internet friends” are on this list. Cheers.

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  • Jenny Lens

    Whoa, never mind. Don’t need to get nasty about it.

  • Wow, thank you very much, Mark! Really appreciate the kind gesture and recognition. Keep rocking the marketing industry with your content brother!

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  • Stacey Miller

    I just died when I read this. LOL Tom!

  • Stacey Miller

    I’m in amazing company on this list! Thanks so much for the inclusion Mark, it made my day 🙂 Recognizing people like us truly means a lot! I still have some learning (and climbing to do) – and I couldn’t have done it without mentors like you, other top industry social pros and my mentors at Vocus. Following ALL of these guys!

  • Amy Higgins

    Thanks Jacob! Congrats to you too! Who knew lawyers could rock social 🙂

  • I showed my appreciation everywhere but here so far @businessesgrow:disqus. There are plenty of people I know on this list, and a slew of others I don’t but now I’m super stoked to check out. I cannot imagine the time and effort you put into this, so super-kudos for that Mark.

    As everyone else has mentioned, I’m extremely humbled and honored to be a part of this group. To the other 69 folks, well done. Cheers and high-fives to all.

  • PS: For Erin Bury’s description you had a simple typo at the name…just thought I’d pass that along. (I’m reading all of the bios) 🙂

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Amy, I am trying to bring some good rep for lawyers here:)

  • Awesome list! 🙂

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Congrats Stacey, great to share the space on the list with you.

  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Congrats Jeremy

  • Jacob Sapochnick


  • Jacob Sapochnick

    Congrats Anne

  • So delighted and honored to be able to nominate several peeps for this list. It’s a joy to call many of the folks here friends. Thank YOU, dear Mark for initiating such a meaningful list… finally!! 🙂 xxx

  • jenvargas

    Great list! I hope to be on here one day soon 🙂

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  • Amy Higgins


  • Thank you for your invaluable help Mari. Your kindness and professioanlism are legendary and this list would not have been the same without your guidance.

  • @JasonDiller:disqus honored dude. You crush it!

  • Mack Collier

    YES! Love lists like this that give us a look at some of the under-appreciated people that are making waves.

    A couple I would add:

    Katie Morse – She’s killing it for Billboard @MissKatieMo
    Kelly Hungerford – Head of community for Paper.li, I’m lucky enough to be working with her now @KDHungerford

    Congrats to everyone mentioned, well deserved!

  • Let me know when you are making a list for people who might someday be on a list for future gurus. You can call it future future gurus and I would like at least to be #71!

  • Sitanshu Datta

    Hopefully someday will feature somewhere on some such list!!

  • And I was hoping to see rising starts @iancleary:disqus @AmyVernon:disqus and @JulioVisko – There are lots of great deserving people @businessesgrow:disqus I’ve been thinking about doing a list as well and have started to talk about who influences me… I’ve started easy with Mom (A mother’s day post on LinkedIn in which I admit I haven’t fallen far from, if even off, the tree!) But I’ve started more closely following the example of friend @KareAnderson and citing the people who’s work I admire, actively follow and just flat our adore (Like yours!)… You continue to share little jewels in your special way that make me take note and work hard to be as deliberate and protective of my community as you are!

  • Oh! And @JoAtWildfire and so many more! Heck… Now I’ve got to go research and write! Thanks a lot~!~

  • Congrats, Ally!!!! You ROCK, lady! #Cmgr

  • Amy, you super star – congratulations!!

  • well deserved, Amy!!

  • way to go, Daniel. I love watching you grow!!

  • Nikki – you are definitely a highlight of this list. Congrats!!!

  • NenadSenic

    I will keep thinking harder how to do this. Although I should also figure out why would anyone care about them if they can’t follow them due to language barrier or different market…

  • Ravi Shukle

    Thanks Ian, right back at ya hoping that day will be very soon 🙂

  • Goodness me! I’m very honoured to be on the list! Thank you SO much (and to everyone who connected on Twitter since this was published ! I’ve never had so many new followers in a day!).

    Made my day !

  • Ravi Shukle

    Thanks @jacobsapochnick:disqus right back at ya! look forward to connecting more online 🙂

  • greggweiss

    Great list of likeable and follow-worthy people who “get it”!

  • Owen Hemsath

    What an exciting list. I look forward to checking these peeps out more!

  • Thanks Lynn! Appreciate it 🙂

  • This is an awesome list. Already subscribed. I also have quite similar list but haven;t fill in those. thanks to you. No more work for me 🙂


  • Marcus Sheridan

    I find it’s interesting you have a negative outlook on something that is finally shining the light on “other” folks Jenny. Why not focus on the positive of what Mark did here and the hours that were spent on it versus stating how so many were missed? Of course many were missed. The list could have been 1000 names and one could make the same argument you’re currently making. But to each their own.

  • Marcus Sheridan

    You deserve it Laura. You’re a great marketer doing great things. Thrilled for you success.

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  • Go Go Ryan!

  • Well said

  • I second you @marcus_sheridan:disqus.

  • I think you did a great job w/the list.
    Obviously there are some smart folks on it, but also nice to note that people like Amy Higgins, Laura Click, James Halloran, Ally Greer, Daniel Hebert, Eleanor Pierce, Stacey Miller, and Anne Reuss are all excellent humans, and thoughtful/compassionate, too. The rest of those troublemakers I’ll have to follow to find out I guess!

  • Thanks so much Mark – it must have been a huge job collating this and those that helped you do it include mentors that have taught me a lot over the past 3 years, so it is a huge honor. I am also really excited to see @jacobsapochnick:disqus and Ravi on this list and some people doing great things with great businesses like Tiffany Dipanni (my husband is a chiropractor and we have a practice here in Australia so I love seeing Chiros using social well!). Thanks for rounding everyone up!

  • Well done @ryanhanley:disqus – well deserved!

  • Hugely deserved @jacobsapochnick:disqus – well deserved. Tried to tag you in my comment but Disqus wouldn’t let me :o)

  • Huge congrats @ravi_shukle:disqus – I was not surprised to see you on this list – well deserved!

  • Thanks @allen_roberts:disqus – I agree!

  • Guest

    Thanks so much @businessesgrow:disqus – it must have been a huge job collating this and those that helped you do it include mentors that have taught me a lot over the past 3 years, so it is a huge honor. I am also really excited to see @jacobsapochnick:disqus and @ravi_shukle:disqus on this list as well as @ryanhanley:disqus and some people doing great things with great businesses like Tiffany Dipanni (my husband is a chiropractor and we have a practice here in Australia so I love seeing Chiros using social well!). Thanks for rounding everyone up!

  • I want to emphasize that this was a team effort and I just helped it along. The criteria was not strict but I did not want to include people like @iancleary:disqus and @amyvernon because they are already making lists (Ian was on SME bets blog list for example and also spoek at SMMW) so they are on their way. The folks on this list deserve a spotlight. It is hard to breakthrough and I know this first-hand. I wanted to help out a little.

  • Jenny Lens

    Congratulations to ALL that are on the list. I know it took a HUGE amount of time, energy and collaboration. I am sorry I bothered to voice a differing opinion. Pls forget you ever saw my name. I made a BIG mistake being here. I wish YOU ALL the VERY BEST! Much success to everyone. On or off the list.

  • Jessica Elizabeth Hugh

    Now, why AM I totally not on this list?

  • Wow! What a remarkable group listed here, backed by some of the most inspiring in the biz. It’s a true honor to be included, Mark.

    The utility of such a list is enormous — I can’t wait to watch how this group of doers takes on the challenges of our future. Personally, I’d love to hear your stories as you do. It’s what I thrive on! Fellow list makers: feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn so we can continue to learn and grow from one another.

    Cheers, and thanks again for pulling this awesome compilation together, Mark!!

  • Wow! Thanks for the kind words, Marcus. You just made my day! Thanks for your encouragement and support. 🙂

  • Thanks Joe! 🙂

  • Great list! Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

  • Here’s my go to for dramatic music… dun dun dun! http://www.dramabutton.com I know some of this folks like Jon and Laura.. nice to see some different faces. FWIW.

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  • Steven Woodgate

    This is absolutely awesome. Very humbled and pleasantly surprised. Very honoured to be included and now I will go and attempt to be awesome 🙂

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  • Well deserved Donna!

  • I second the “Well said!”

  • Oh See! That proves the research part! I knew they are rising stars but hadn’t realized how far along they are! — by the way, I LOVED that you did a group effort here Mark! It really seems to help root out those people (like you managed to do) to find people who are finding their way onto the radar of people who’ve been here long enough to recognize real talent and passion!

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  • Lisa Voncino

    Congratulations Brooke Ballard!

  • Nice to see the “up and comers” recognized…. all hard work AND creativity

    The panel of judges was TRULY Impressive!

  • So hard to find folks who “GETIT”…. I created a web sub-domain and page from my blog article about it 🙂

  • Your time invested, Mari – sounds like Calamari or Ferrari, had to encourage these folks who work so hard.

  • Stacey, so nice to see your efforts – that have made VOCUS what it is today, recognized!

  • My gratitude came late but thank you to the panel for the nomination – looking forward to the next half of 2014 with these gentlemen and ladies!

  • Impartial observer

    Mike Hickinbotham is a rockstar. Completely owns the space in Australia.

  • Mark – I had a chance to meet and spend a week in training with Tiffany DiPanni mentioned on your list…she really is a rising star and thinking about ways to bring her community together. If other’s on the list are like her, I love love love what you and your panelists have done here!

    I’ll also nominate Greg Hickman, a mobile expert based in Colorado for your next issue.

  • Kitty Kilian

    .. wow.. and all English speaking ..

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  • WOW. Finally had a chance to read this full post over the weekend. I’m blown away! I didn’t realize there was a nomination process. After reading all of the contributors and list bios I can only say it’s beyond an honor to be included among such a distinguished group!!

    Thank you again, Mark!

    p.s. Can we become Internet OG’s, instead of Gurus? 🙂

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  • Thanks for the list, Mark. The link for @thelionmarketer needs editing.

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  • I am projecting that there is a judgment behind the comment? I addressed the issue of English speaking in a comment below. I would note that the list is international and that at least 11 people on here speak English as their second language. I have not cracked the code on ways to elevate non-English speakers but welcome ideas.

  • Kitty Kilian

    I was thinking out loud.. The French and the Italians etc do not stand a chance of having a large digital influence. In the past, that used to be different.

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  • Stanford Smith

    What an awesome list Mark!

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  • Brooke Ballard

    Thanks, Lisa! 🙂

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  • STILL humbled. Thank you, Mark and Co.

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  • Ravi Shukle

    Looking at this one year later and still very greatful for the shout out — THANK YOU!!

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