DesignRush has meticulously curated a list of some of the most influential figures in social media marketing.
Our selection is grounded in a comprehensive analysis of everyone's expertise, significant achievements and follower counts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
These influencers are trailblazers and educators, each shaping the dynamic world of social media with innovative strategies and profound insights.
Let's explore the backgrounds and noteworthy achievements of the 10 most follow-worthy social media influencers recognized by DesignRush, arranged by the highest to lowest number of followers.
Table of Contents
1. Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary Vee)
- Expertise: Social Media, Investing and Entrepreneurship
- LinkedIn Followers: 5 million
- Location: New York City, NY
Gary Vaynerchuk, commonly known as Gary Vee, is an influential figure in digital marketing and entrepreneurship.
Starting his career by transforming his family's wine business into a successful online venture, Wine Library, he later founded VaynerMedia in 2009.
This digital agency, focusing on social media, has provided services to Fortune 500 companies and gained recognition for its innovative approach in the industry.
Vaynerchuk's expertise in leveraging social media for branding and marketing has earned him a place among Forbes' Top Social Influencers.
He has also expanded his influence through various media endeavors, including hosting YouTube shows and authoring books, further cementing his status as a thought leader in digital marketing and social media strategy.
2. Rand Fishkin
- Expertise: Social Media, Content Marketing and Growth Marketing
- X Followers: 465,500
- Location: Seattle, WA
Rand Fishkin, recognized as a leading figure in SEO and digital marketing, has significantly impacted the industry through his roles as the founder of SparkToro and the former CEO of Moz.
His expertise in SEO has been widely acknowledged, earning him a reputation as one of the most influential voices in the field.
At Moz, he was known for his innovative approaches to SEO and content marketing, which have been instrumental in shaping modern practices.
His current venture, SparkToro, focuses on providing audience research software, further demonstrating his commitment to advancing digital marketing strategies.
Fishkin's insights and methodologies have made him a key figure in both SEO and social media marketing, influencing how businesses optimize their online presence and engage with audiences.
3. Ann Handley
- Expertise: Digital Marketing, Content Creation and Public Speaking
- X Followers: 453,000
- Location: Boston, MA
Ann Handley, the world's first chief content officer and co-founder of ClickZ.com, is a leading figure in digital marketing.
Starting her career in business journalism, Handley has become a key influencer in content marketing.
She authored best-sellers "Everybody Writes" and "Content Rules," translated into 19 languages, advocating for engaging, valuable content in marketing.
With over 450,000 Twitter followers, she inspires marketers to create impactful customer-focused marketing.
At MarketingProfs as a chief CMO, Handley blends journalistic principles with marketing strategies to educate marketers on creating high-quality, empathetic content.
4. Kim Garst
- Expertise: Social Media, Growth Consulting and Keynote Speaking
- X (formerly Twitter) Followers: 55,000+
- Location: Blacksburg, VA
Kim Garst has established herself as a leading figure in social media marketing and digital strategy.
Recognized as one of the world's most retweeted digital marketers, she has also been honored by Forbes as one of the Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers.
Her expertise has been sought after by top brands like Microsoft, IBM and Mastercard.
As a co-founder of the consulting agency Boom! Social, Kim specializes in leveraging the power of digital and social media to drive sales and enhance brand engagement.
Her work focuses on practical strategies for businesses to increase their online visibility and profitability through social media.
5. Richard Bliss
- Expertise: Social Media, Public Speaking and Executive Coaching
- LinkedIn Followers: 100,000+
- Location: San Jose, CA
Richard Bliss is a recognized authority in social media management, particularly known for his expertise in social selling and digital leadership.
As the CEO of BlissPoint, he has made a significant impact by teaching top executives and CEOs, mainly in Silicon Valley, the intricacies of building a compelling online identity.
His proficiency in leveraging social media platforms for professional branding and communication has garnered him a substantial following of over 110,000 on social media, reflecting his influence in the digital domain.
Bliss has authored "DigitalFirst Leadership," a book focusing on the convergence of leadership and digital media.
His distinction as a LinkedIn Top Social Selling Trainer highlights his specialized skills in utilizing social media for business growth and networking.
Through various platforms, including public speaking and podcasts, Bliss imparts valuable insights into the strategic use of social media for business and personal branding.
6. Martin Lindstrom
- Expertise: Social Media, Digital Marketing and Branding
- LinkedIn Followers: 100,000+
- Location: New York City, NY
Danish author Martin Lindstrom is renowned for his expertise in social media management, branding and consumer behavior.
His influential work includes pioneering studies on how social media and branding intersect with consumer psychology.
Lindstrom's insights have been pivotal in shaping modern social media strategies, emphasizing the importance of understanding consumer behavior and the psychological underpinnings of social media interactions.
He has authored several groundbreaking books like "Buyology" and "Small Data," which explore the intricate relationship between consumer choices and social media marketing.
He is recognized globally for his contributions to the field, including being named one of the "World's 100 Most Influential People" by TIME Magazine.
His approach combines extensive neuromarketing research with practical strategies for effective social media management, making him a sought-after authority in the digital marketing sphere.
7. Shama Hyder
- Expertise: Social Media, Marketing and PR
- LinkedIn Followers: 100,000+
- Location: Miami, FL
Shama Hyder, the founder and CEO of Zen Media, has established herself as a leading authority in the digital marketing world.
Recognized by Fast Company as a “millennial master of the universe” and a “zen master of marketing,” she's been an influential figure in shaping marketing strategies for the digital age.
Hyder has been acknowledged by both The White House and the United Nations as a top entrepreneur, reflecting her significant impact on the industry.
Under her leadership, marketing agency Zen Media has become a go-to for tech-driven B2B companies globally.
Her innovative approach integrates social media effectively into broader digital marketing strategies, catering to high-profile clients including Chase Business and Dwolla.
8. Ryan Deiss
- Expertise: Digital Marketing and Public Speaking
- LinkedIn Followers: 73,000
- Location: Austin, TX
Ryan Deiss, the CEO and Founder of DigitalMarketer.com, is widely recognized for creating the "Customer Value Optimization" strategy, which has significantly impacted various businesses.
His entrepreneurial journey began in 1999 from his college dorm room, leading to the establishment of over 40 businesses across diverse sectors, including health and beauty, home improvement and finance.
Deiss is committed to sharing his vast knowledge in marketing, continually educating and influencing young professionals in the field with cutting-edge techniques.
9. Purna Virji
- Expertise: Social Media and Content Marketing
- X Followers: 12,000
- Location: Greater Philadelphia
Purna Virji, recognized globally for her expertise in content strategy and pay-per-click advertising, has made significant contributions to social media marketing strategies.
Serving as the senior content solutions evangelist at LinkedIn, she has applied her deep knowledge of PPC and SEO to enhance content marketing.
Her approach is centered around understanding consumer behavior and leveraging persuasive principles that have been effective since the dawn of time.
Virji's career includes working at Microsoft, where she focused on PPC strategies and tactics and then transitioned to LinkedIn, driven by her passion for content.
Her role involves advising companies on how to grow their business through improved content, demonstrating her commitment to helping others learn and excel in the industry.
10. Amit Anthony Khera
- Expertise: Social Media, Digital Marketing and CRM
- LinkedIn Followers: 7,787
- Location: Houston, TX
Amit Anthony Khera has distinguished himself as a leading figure in digital marketing.
As the founder of OAK Digital, an award-winning digital agency, he has significantly influenced the field and earned recognition at the 2021 International Performance Marketing Awards.
Following the success of OAK Digital, which led to its acquisition by Gen3, the world's largest affiliate agency, Amit assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Marketing at Gen3.
His career spans various industries, working with brands like Google and Ralph Lauren, showcasing his versatility and expertise in developing effective marketing strategies across diverse sectors.