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50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017 #SMM…

Social Media Marketing Influencers SMMW17

The topic of Social Media Influence has really taken off since we first published this list.

Many changes have happened in the social media marketing world ranging from the surprisingly close competition between SnapChat and Instagram stories to the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft to the explosive growth of “creators” and micro-influencers.

On top of all that is the growth of the influencer marketing industry from platforms to brandividuals that use social media to create, publish, promote and engage communities.  Where is it all leading? Who is on the front lines and in the captain’s chair when it comes to making sense of social media marketing for brands big and small?

To help point our readers, attendees of SMMW17 and the industry in the right direction, I’ve put together a list of 50 relevant voices in the social media marketing world for you to consider. These voices range from business leaders to real-time video experts to bloggers, podcasters and YouTubers. Putting this list together was a combination of art (experience + subjective bias) and science (big ass data).

Allow me to explain the methodology:

Art: Criteria for consideration in this list is having been named as a speaker for the SMMW17 conference. Therefore, this is NOT a comprehensive industry list – but a ranked collection of SMMW17 speakers. Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner do an amazing job of hand picking speakers for this conference and the human element to any such list of influencers is essential.

Science: Ranking of the individuals in this list leverages data from our friends at the influencer relationship management platform, Traackr. I think it’s useful to point out that unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list and Traackr consider many more data sources than just Twitter.

Monitoring data sources: For each person in the database, there is potential for citations and links from data sources that include: blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, Traackr leverages a combination of data points including

  • Relevance – A score that indicates how influential a person is to a specific topic based on the keywords you provide. Signals for relevance include keyword mentions, keyword diversity, content production rate, freshness of content and other contextual measures. In this case, it was “social media marketing” as well as 10+ derivative phrases.
  • Resonance – A score of how impactful the influencer is with their audience. Resonance measures engagement activity that occurs as a result of publishing (mostly social) content.
  • Reach – A score derived by the reach algorithm that takes into account followers, fans, subscribers, visitors and other audience metrics. Remember, this is more than just Twitter.
  • Audience – Overall social audience size.

Social Media Marketing Influencers SMMW17

Each of these signal sources are factored into the creation of a ranking for identified individuals. With any kind of social influencer list building, the key is to focus on relevance and resonance then factor in reach. The result is a combination of broad based influencers as well as individuals with a very specific focus and very high resonance and relevance scores.

Below is the subsequent ranking for 50 of the industry experts speaking at Social Media Marketing World this week including their Twitter handles and their presentation title(s).  I encourage you to check them out as well as their presentations in San Diego this week.

Kim Garst @kimgarst
Social Selling Pro, Author, Keynote Speaker at Boom! Social
Presenting: How to Promote and Sell Using Live Video

Holly Homer @Texasholly
Founder and Owner at Business 2 Blogger
Presenting: How to Go From Blog to Successful Business and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Darren Rowse @problogger
Blogger, Speaker, Author, Podcaster and Online Entrepreneur – Owner and Editor at Problogger
Presenting: The Changing Role of Blogs in a Social Media Age

Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
Keynote Speaker and CEO at iSocialFanz LLC
Presenting: How to Grow a Following and Stand Out With Live Video

Jeff Sieh @jeffsieh
Pinterest Manage at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Building Better Pinterest Pin Images: Tools, Tips and Hacks and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Koka Sexton @kokasexton
Global Industry Principal, Social Selling at Hootsuite
Presenting: How to Turn LinkedIn Into a Funnel for New Leads

Guy Kawasaki @guykawasaki
Chief Evangelist at Canva
Presenting: How to Become an Evangelist on Social Media and Beyond

Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
Social Media Strategist at Social Sorted
Presenting: Six Hot Tools for Visual Storytelling on Facebook and Instagram

Mari Smith @marismith
Facebook Marketing Expert, Consultant, Speaker, Author
Presenting: How To Improve Your Facebook Marketing ROI

Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
CEO and Principal Social Media Strategy Consultant at Maximize Your Social
Presenting: Growth Hacking: How to Use Social Media to Rapidly Grow Your New Business or Product

Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Author, Speaker, Adjunct Marketing Professor and Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions
Presenting: Becoming Known: How to Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

Shaun McBride @shonduras
Owner at Shonduras.com
Presenting: How to Work With Snapchat Influencers

Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme 
Co-founder, Social Tools Strategist & Web Developer at Select Performers Internet Solutions
Presenting: Twitter Tools to Help Improve Your Marketing Success

Jay Baer @jaybaer
Author, Speaker and President at Convince & Convert
Presenting: How to Use Customer Service to Turn People Into Brand Advocates and How to Staff Your Social Media Team in a Changing Marketplace

Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
Chief Executive Officer at Arment Dietrich, Inc.
Presenting: How to Manage Your Next Social Media Crisis and How to Use Data and Analytics to Prepare for Your Next Crisis

Roberto Blake @robertoblake
Owner and Creative Director at Creative Awesome Media
Presenting: YouTube Video Production: From Idea to Execution

Ann Handley @marketingprofs
Author, Speaker and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
Presenting: How to Create Breakthrough Written Marketing Content

Christopher Penn @cspenn
Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications
Presenting: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Future of Social Media Marketing and The Social Media Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence

Gary Leland @garyleland
Co-founder at Podcast Movement
Presenting: How to Monetize Your Podcast

Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
Social Media Coach, Speaker and Consultant
Presenting: How to Use Twitter Chats to Grow Your Business

Ileane Smith @ileane
Manager Member Promotion & Academic Outreach at ASTM International
Presenting: How to Get Started With Live Video

Ian Cleary @iancleary
Founder at RazorSocial
Presenting: How to Use Social Media Analytics Tools to Produce Better Results

Peg Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
Director of Content Strategy + Social Media at Tailwind
Presenting: Top Tools to Improve Your Instagram Engagement and Growth and How Businesses Use Pinterest to Drive Traffic and Profits

Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
Chief Marketing Officer at Post Planner
Presenting: How to Create Highly Shareable Social Media Images

Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
Author, Speaker, President and CEO at PureMatter
Presenting: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Future of Social Media Marketing, How to Create and Manage an Influencer Marketing Program and Why Stories Catch Fire and Become Sharable

Shep Hyken @Hyken
Chief Amazement Officer and Owner at Shepard Presentations
Presenting: Customer Service is the New Marketing: How to Make Social Care Your Competitive Advantage

Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
Global Head of Global Social Media at BMC Software
Presenting: Snapchat Strategies for Marketing Your Business

Jasmine Star @jasminestar
Owner at Jasmine Star Photography
Presenting: How to Improve Your Instagram Photos and Your Engagement

Josh Elledge @joshelledge
Chief Executive Angel at SavingsAngel
Presenting: How to Get Traditional Media Exposure Using Social Media

Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide
Presenting: How to Create Quality Blog Posts Consistently

Chelsea Crockett @chelseacrockett
Beauty and Fashion Blogger at BeautyLiciousInsider
Presenting: How to Integrate Product Sales Into Your Videos

Joel Comm @joelcomm
Speaker, Author, Live Video Expert and CEO at Joel Comm Company
Presenting: The Future of Live Video (and How You Can Prepare Today)

Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
Head of Digital Marketing at Humana
Presenting: How to Identify the Customer Experiences That Will Get Amplified in Social Media and How Companies Become Best-in-Class at Social Customer Care: Panel Discussion

Jenn Herman @jenns_trends
Social Media Consultant & Trainer at Jenn’s Trends
Presenting: How to Use a Business Profile to Get More Sales From Instagram

Tim Schmoyer @timschmoyer
YouTube Video Strategist at Video Creators
Presenting: How to Develop a Loyal YouTube Audience and How to Integrate Product Sales Into Your Videos

Steve Dotto @dottotech
Host and Executive Producer at Dotto Tech
Presenting: How to Grow Your First 100 YouTube Subscribers

Sunny Lenarduzzi @sunnylenarduzzi
Freelance Social Media Strategist and Consultant, Radio/TV Host/Reporter
Presenting: How to Build a Business With YouTube

Jon Loomer @jonloomer
Owner at Jon Loomer Digital
Presenting: Facebook Targeting Priorities: How to Reach Those Who Matter Most Using 6 Different Methods

Cathy Hackl @cathyhackl
Chief Communications & Content Officer at Future Lighthouse
Presenting: Facebook Live for Brands

Lee Odden @leeodden
Author, Speaker and CEO at TopRank Marketing
Presenting: Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends

Alex Khan @1alexkhan
CEO at Attractive Media GmbH
Presenting: How to Create Engaging Content With Live Video

John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas
Host of the EOFire Podcast
Presenting: How to Monetize Your Podcast and How to Land Guest Appearances on Podcasts

Adel De Meyer @adeldmeyer
Digital Media Specialist and Author at Adeldermeyer.com
Presenting: How Businesses Use Twitter to Promote Their Content

Joe Pulizzi @joepulizzi
Founder at Content Marketing Institute
Presenting: How to Generate Large Amounts of Revenue From the Content You Create

Andy Crestodina @crestodina
Author, Speaker, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios
Presenting: Google Analytics Fundamentals: How to Measure What Matters for Your Business

Michael A. Stelzner @mike_stelzner
CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner
Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2017: What the Newest Research Reveal and How to Get Speaking Opportunities at Social Media Examiner Events

Michael O’Neal @solohour
Host, Solopreneur Podcast
Presenting: Becoming an Interview Master and How it Can Massively Grow Your Podcast

Sue B. Zimmerman @suebzimmerman
Instagram Expert at Sue B Zimmerman Enterprise
Presenting: How to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business and How Brands Use Instagram to Tell Visually Compelling Stories

Larry Kim @larrykim
Founder of WordStream
Presenting: Hacking Facebook Ads: How 50 Dollars Can Drive Enormous Traffic to Your Best Content

Andrea Vahl @andreavahl
Author, Speaker and Social Media Strategist at AndreaVahl.com
Presenting: Facebook Advertising: Your Questions Answered by Top Experts and How to Build a Facebook Marketing Funnel With Ads and More

If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the Twitter list.

What’s interesting about this list is that it highlights a number of people who are known more broadly for their expertise as well as a number of new faces compared to last year’s list.

A few thoughts about building influencer lists.

What social influencer lists don’t account for is the cumulative effect of influence a person achieves over time and in the “real world”. Lists like this are a snapshot in time – they are temporal, just like any measure of influence is. No one has the same level of influence all the time. A list of influencers based only on social media data is useful for content and communications through those social channels. It’s not the same thing as saying “These people are universally influential about social media marketing for now and all time.” That’s just silly.

Feeling left out? A list is inclusive so sometimes the criteria scores across a spectrum of the social web cause some filtering, especially when up and coming influencers have extremely high resonance and relevance scores. For example, Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan, John Jantsch, Beverly Jackson, Konnie Brown, Justin Levy, Scott Monty, Brian Clark, Viveka von Rosen and Sandy Carter are all pretty influential to me personally and to many other people. But they are not on this particular social influencer list of 50 for the topic “Social Media Marketing”. That doesn’t mean they are not influential on this topic.

More considerations than you think. When building out an influencer list for a content marketing program, you have to consider relevance, resonance, reach and audience of the influencer specific to the industry as well as their channels and the prospect audience for the specific program. Also, you have to consider the current state of relationship with those influencers, if any. Romance for recruitment can take a long time – or it can be very expensive.

Additionally, you need to consider the likelihood that any prominent influencer on your list will even be interested in the project. Is your project and invitation going to be useful to them? Will it be inspiring? All of that is considered in the identification and qualification phases so that when it comes time to recruit, everybody is on the same page and moving ahead.

Topical and context disconnects are very bad for business in the influencer marketing game. Lists are just the first step to creating a mutually beneficial relationship, especially if it involves content and is maintained over time.

Influencer 2.0 CoverLists based on data and strategy based on research. The whole influencer marketing topic has a lot of noise attracted to it and we recently partnered with Traackr and Altimeter to conduct research to answer some of the key questions about influencer marketing. We surveyed mid-market companies and many large enterprise organizations about trends, maturity of their work with influencers, budgets, areas of most impact, goals and even where influence impacts customer experience and digital transformation.

The research report was written by my pal Brian Solis and you can get a copy of it here.

At Social Media Marketing World, I’m going to be giving a presentation that includes many of the insights included in the report plus practical influencer engagement models, tactics and influencer marketing tools.

The presentation is called, Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends which you can see on Friday March 24th at 10:15am – 11:00am in the same room as the keynotes: 28ABCDE.

I hope to see you there!


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