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2012 – 25 Women Who Rock Social Media

Posted on Oct 29th, 2012
Written by Lee Odden
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    25 Women Who Rock Social Media 2012A great opportunity that comes with a marketing blog that has over 50,000 subscribers is to recognize people who are doing great and interesting things. We do that in several different ways and one of the most popular is the list of 25 Women Who Rock Social Media. Check out the 2010 list for the back-story on the origination and for the initial 25 honorees. Here’s the 2011 list who nominated the amazing women below.

    There’s meaningful and impactful work being done for and using the social web by these women. It brings great satisfaction to draw attention to the people who are a part of advancing social technologies for business and those who use social media to make a difference.

    social media The original list was from my own network, but now nearly all nominations come from past honorees. So this list is not my list as much as it is from a community of talented people recognizing their peers. We are only curators that hope to draw attention to women who are making a difference and impact on or through the world of social media.


    Amy Porterfield – Taking an honest approach to life and business is what Amy Porterfield does best.  She’ll be the first to tell you that working for yourself (like a boss) has always been on her bucket list since childhood.  Her career has been a whirlwind of Harley’s, traveling the world with Tony Robins, and finally reaching her goal of being her own boss.  Today she works as a social media trainer and consultant, and is the co-author of Facebook for Dummies.  You can find Amy spending time on:

    Why Amy Rocks:
    “Amy Porterfield rocks social media through education. She offers great advice on her blog, developed a course on Facebook marketing called FB Influence, and is co-author of the Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies along with Phyllis Khare and Andrea Vahl.” – Amy was nominated by Kristi Hines (@kikolani).

    Andrea Vahl

    Andrea Vahl – Sassy social media straight talk you can’t ignore from Grandma Mary.  Andrea’s alter ego “Grandma Mary” gives marketers the lowdown and offers advice (as grandmother’s are known to do) on using social media for business.  In addition to being a video personality, Andrea is also an author, social media consultant and speaker, as well as the Community Manager for Social Media Examiner.  For more on Andrea be sure to visit:

    Why Andrea Rocks:
    “Andrea Vahl doesn’t just educate her audience about social media through her blog – she does it with flair through a well-known persona named Grandma Mary. She is co-author of the Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies along with Phyllis Khare and Amy Porterfield and she runs the Social Media Examiner Facebook Marketing Club.” – Andrea was nominated by Kristi Hines (@kikolani).

    Arianna Huffington

    Arianna Huffington – This woman shows no fear, and she means business.  Arianna Huffington launched the Huffington Post  in 2005 and it quickly became one of the most read, linked to , and cited media brands in the world.  Arianna is currently acting as the president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, has won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, and has been named to the Time 100. You can find more about Arianna here:

    Why Arianna Rocks:
    “I admire Arianna for the obvious — she’s an entrepreneur who built a news website from a blog into an empire. But more than that, I admire her fearlessness for the risks she takes and opinions she’s never afraid to share.” – Arianna was nominated By: Ann Handley (@marketingprofs)

    aubrey sabala

    Aubrey Sabala – An impressive resume, honesty about her inappropriate nature,  and a great sense of humor are all part of the reason that Aubrey Sabala “rocks”.  Currently the VP of Marketing & Communications at Sailthru, Aubrey has worked for Facebook, AOL, Digg,, and Google.  While it must have been hard to leave the Silicon Valley for New York, she’s taking the city by storm and sharing it all on her social networks.  Want to know what Aubrey is up to? (WARNING: not for the faint of heart)

    Why Aubrey Rocks:
    “Aubrey Sabala, has been building community and outstanding products in the social media industry for years.  In her work and personal life, she brings a passion for communication, sharing and speaking her mind.  And what a clever mind it is!” – Aubrey was nominated by Stephanie Agresta (@stephagresta)

    connie bensen

    Connie Bensen – If you’re looking for someone with a community building green thumb, Connie Bensen is your woman!  Not only is Connie the Sr. Manager of Global Social Media and Community Strategy for Dell, and listed by as one of the top 20 marketing and social media blogs by women, she’s also a speaker and has been quoted in numerous books, eBooks, and publications for her social media expertise.  Catch up with Connie:

    Why Connie Rocks:
    “Connie Bensen is easily one of the hardest working social media practitioners that I know. I’ve followed her through social networks as she’s risen in responsibility and across companies from Alterian to where she works now at Dell as Sr. Manager, Global Social Media and Community Strategy.” – Connie was nominated by Lee Odden (@leeodden) – Disclosure – TopRank has worked with Connie as a client.

    deanna zandt

    Deanna Zandt – Her signature platinum locks, technological expertise, and appearance on CNN, Fox News, and BBC radio make Deanna Zandt a very recognizable social media rockstar.  Deanna is the author of Share This! How You Will Change the World with Social Networking, a highly sought after consultant, Forbes contributor, the list just goes on and on.  While best known for her expertise in technology and social media, Deanna is also a writer and graphic illustrator of stories and comics.  Some places you might find Deanna include:

    Why Deanna Rocks:
    “Deanna brings her incredible social web knowledge with depth in the political and non-profit sphere. She has been involved in the social sphere since long before there was even the concept of social media.” – Deanna was nominated by Tara Hunt (@missrogue)

    ekaterina walter

    Ekaterina Walter – As the Social Media Strategist for Intel,  Ekaterina Walter, aka “E”, works where high tech and integrated marketing come together.  Her passion for connecting with other people is one of the reasons that she’s achieved the success that she has.  Ekaterina’s passion for learning and uncovering new challenges makes her a force to be reckoned with.   Her motivation?  In her own words, “living a full life”.  Her new book, Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg can be pre-ordered on Amazon or BN. Places you’ll find Ekaterina:

    Why Ekaterina Rocks:
    “Google Ekaterina Walter and you’ll find a long list of accomplishments. These accomplishments are incredible, but what is even more amazing about Ekaterina is her fierce passion for people, their stories and how it all connects.” – “E” was nominated by Lisa Grimm (@lisagrimm)

    heather whaling

    Heather Whaling – Working in the PR industry for nearly a decade has armed Heather Whaling with the know how to draw on her experience to help small and midsize businesses and nonprofits integrate their traditional PR tactics with online strategies.  Heather is the President of her PR consultancy, Geben Communication.  Her primary focus is on media/blogger relations, social media strategy, writing, and integrated marketing strategy.  If you’re looking for a PR mixologist you can connect with Heather here:

    Why Heather Rocks:
    “Heather is not only a generous thought leader to her colleagues, her agency, Geben Communication has grown rapidly since its founding just three years ago — a testament to the fact that she walks the talk. Heather’s clients benefit every day from her real-world strategic approaches, which she then shares with us via her PRTini blog. She truly rocks!” – Heather was nominated by Kellye Crane (@kellyecrane)

    justine ezarik

    Justine Ezarik – Gammer, vlogger, graphic designer, and Internet personality are only some of the many talents of social media rockstar, Justine Ezarik.  Her YouTube channel alone has over 26,170,841 views (WOW!).  Her magnetic personality and sassy quips make her a must watch for anyone looking for gaming tips, or those of you who just want to be entertained.

    Why Justine Rocks:
    “As one of the brandividual pioneers in online video, Justine Ezarik, aka “iJustine”, has been an impressive example of what a motivated, passionate individual can do with content and a social channel like YouTube. She’s built a brand level audience with a million plus subscribers. She’s an inspiration to anyone with great ideas and the motivation to share them in fun and interesting ways.“ – Justine was nominated by Lee Odden (@leeodden)

    jennifer leggio

    Jennifer Leggio – As a self professed Twitter addict, Jennifer Leggio gets communication!  Acting as the Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sourcefire allows Jennifer to communicate to her hearts content.  She also contributes to Forbes, ZDNet, Mashable, and PR 2.0.  Added bonus, she’s also a comedian and music promoter.  You can find Jennifer on:

    Why Jennifer Rocks:
    “Jennifer is one of us girls who is a geek (or unicorns, as the tech world calls us). She thinks Star Wars humor is funny, she loves sports, and has her own sharp-witted and dry sense of humor. But she was nominated because of her work around communications, advertising, marketing, and IT/security and how social intersects the four.” – Jennifer was nominated by Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich)

    kandace hudspeth

    Kandace Hudspeth – It’s a firm belief of Kandace that you really can have it all, and accomplish anything you put your mind to.  And she has done just that.  In addition to being a FitLife coach, Kandace is the Executive Strategy Partner and Director of McCann Social Central at McCann Erickson.  Her team leverages strategic partnerships and forms relationships to create relevant engagement for the brands that she works with.  If you’re looking to soak up some of Kandace’s social media awesome, you can find her here:

    Why Kandace Rocks:
    “Kandace has led the development of McCann’s social media practice and strategic thought leadership and focuses on an approach to social that is focused structure, process and measurability.” –
    Kandace was nominated by Alisa Leonard (@alisamleo)

    lasandra brill

    LaSandra Brill – As the Sr. Manager of Global Social Media for Cisco LaSandra Brill has made her mark as a change agent and marketing visionary.  She is even the visionary behind one of the top five product launches in Cisco’s history!  Her team is responsible for implementing a mix of innovative digital, mobile and social media techniques.  You can find LaSandra rocking social media on:

    Why LaSandra Rocks:
    “From the early days of the social web, I’ve seen LaSandra grow in her social media roles with greater responsibilities and impact.” – LaSandra was nominated by Lee Odden (@leeodden)


    Lauren Salazar – Her experience as a writer, editor, producer and community manager for New York Magazine have helped prepare Lauren Salazar for her current role as the Social Media Manager for Weight Watchers.  Lauren uses the same personal touch with the community management at Weight Watchers that she does with her own Twitter account.  She does a great job of creating a true engagement by finding a way to really connect and relate to her audience.  You’ll find Lauren engaging on:

    Why Lauren Rocks:
    “I’d like to nominate Lauren Salazar, the Social Media Manager at Weight Watchers.  She’s dramatically increased engagement on @weightwatchers and their Facebook community by really connecting with their followers’ passion to live healthier.” Lauren was nominated by Missy Ward (@missyward)

    leslie bradshaw

    Leslie Bradshaw – If you’ve ever seen one of the awesome infographics created by JESS3, then you should know exactly who Leslie Bradshaw is.  As the President, COO, and Co-Founder she has grown the company by over 800% in the past three years showing a revenue increase to over $5M.  Leslie’s team has the unique and much sought-after ability to turn a set of complex data into a beautiful work of art that is composed in a way that makes it easy to understand.    If you want to feast your eyes on some awesome social content you can find Leslie at:

    Why Leslie Rocks:
    “She’s the brains (and possibly the brawn! – ha) behind Jess3, which has done the social web a big fat favor by relentlessly adhering to quality in the content it produces. In an era where so many infographics are nonsensical, terrible, stupid and flat-out ugly, Leslie and her firm have been uncompromising.” – Leslie was nominated by Ann Handley (@marketingprofs)

    lisa barone

    Lisa Barone – From being a long time and famous blogger in the search marketing world to co-founding her own agency to being published in Inc. Magazine, Business Week, Forbes, and the New York Times, Lisa Barone has assumed her role at Overit Media as the Vice President of Strategy perfectly.   Her unique ability to understand the pain points of business owners while communicating both offline and online has been a very valuable asset for her clients.  You’re likely to find musings from Lisa in one of the following locations:

    Why Lisa Rocks:
    “Lisa Barone is insightful, funny, and one of the strongest minds on the social business web.” – Lisa was nominated by Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss)

    Lisa Horner

    Lisa Horner – Her job at Citrix Online has a very clear set of initiatives, and she’s rocking them.  Lisa Horner runs media, social business, campaign management, content strategy and global events and is poised to continue growing awareness and increasing engagement for Citrix.  While she’s not running meetings on Go To Meeting you can find Lisa on one of the following:

    Why Lisa Rocks:
    “Lisa is the director of Demand Gen for Citrix’s GoTo Meeting brands. Super smart and incredibly motivated, I admire what she’s doing internally and externally to further the GoTo Meeting brands.“ – Lisa was nominated by Ann Handley (@marketingprofs)

    nilofer merchant

    Nilofer Merchant – Someone who is known within their industry as the “Jane Bond of Innovation” is clearly not messing around.  Nilofer Merchant’s career has taken many different roads, all of which have proven to be great experience and exposure for her current role as a Harvard Business Review writer and author plus she serves on boards for both public (NASDAQ-traded) and private companies..

    Twitter: @nilofer
    Blog: Nilofer Merchant Blog

    Why Nilofer Rocks:
    “Nilofer has decades of experience working with Fortune 500 companies and understands how to bridge the knowledge gap between grassroots, online community thinking and the more old school ways of corporate thinking. She not only inherently understands the social web, but knows how to sell it to the CEO.“ – Nilofer was nominated by Tara Hunt (@missrogue)

    randi zuckerberg

    Randi Zuckerberg – If anyone has done soup to nuts marketing it’s Randi Zuckerberg.  Before starting her own companies, Randi was in charge of creative and buzz marketing at Facebook.  Currently she is acting as the Founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and R to Z Studios.  She’s also responsible for the new hit Bravo television series, Start-ups: Silicon Valley (a topic I’m sure she knows a lot about).  You can find Randi on:

    Why Randi Rocks:
    “Randi was the first marketing person at Facebook and built its online and social media approach, including Facebook Live events. She is a true social media pioneer.“ – Randi was nominated by Francine Hardaway (@hardaway).

    sandy carter

    Sandy Carter – She has worked at IBM for over 20 years and in that time has more than earned her stripes. Working her way through different areas within the same organization has given her a unique perspective and armed her with the knowledge to attract and engage new and existing customers.  Sandy Carter is currently the Vice President of Social Business Evangelism and Sales, a position that is well deserved.  If you want to tap into Sandy’s wealth of knowledge you can find her on:

    Why Sandy Rocks:
    “Sandy Carter rocks the social web big time — both as a participant in social media and as an executive responsible for social at IBM. Plus, she found time to author, Get Bold, a book on social business.” – Sandy was nominated By Marcia Hansen (@marciahansen)

    shelly kramer

    Shelly Kramer – Words of wisdom from Shelly Kramer: “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.”  Shelly has over 20 years experience in marketing and is the Founder and CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing, a full service digital marketing firm.  Her company blog has been named one of the Top 20 Best Marketing + Social Media Blogs by Forbes, and has been honored by PostRank as one of the top marketing blogs.  She has also been named by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Social Media Influencers and on of the 150 Most Influential Women on Twitter.  Find out where Shelly is spending her time online:

    Why Shelly Rocks:
    “Shelly is equal parts thought-leader, marketing maven, motivator, mentor, provoker, do-gooder, and social media knowledge-sharer. Yep, she’s all that kind of awesome!“ – Shelly was nominated by Zena Weist (@zenaweist).

    sloane davidson

    Sloane Davidson – Her decade of experience in communications, marketing, strategic partnerships and social media made Sloane Davidson a perfect pick for Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing at Lippe Taylor.  Currently she’s managing a team and works with clients in the beauty, health, wellness, and consumer verticals.  Sloane is nationally recognized as a speaker, blogger, and brains behind a nationwide malaria prevention campaign.  Her smarts have gotten her recognized in Psychology Today, LA Times, LAWeekly, TechCrunch, and so many more.  For more on Sloane’s social media smarts, find her at:

    Sloane was nominated by Shauna Causey (@shaunaCausey)

    sudha jamthe

    Sudha Jamthe – eBay is lucky to have Sudha Jamthe working on their Social Commerce initiative.  Her nearly 20 years of marketing and business development have proven to be an asset to the company in many different facets.  Sudha’s focus on numbers and measurement allow her to always strive to implement the very best of marketing’s best practices on a consistent basis.  When she’s not browsing eBay you’ll find her on:

    Why Sudha Rocks:
    “Sudha rocks as she goes out of her way to help educate those around her about metrics and analytics. She is also a great speaker on this topic and is one of those quiet forces that more people should know about.“ – Sudha was nominated by Kristie Wells (@kristiewells)

    tinu abayomi paul

    Tinu Abayomi-Paul – She is the trifecta of the marketing world.  Tinu is an author, promotion specialist, and entrepreneur.  She’s been blogging for over 10 years (which few have) and helping companies to increase their targeted leads, capture those leads, and deepening relationships to create lifelong customers.

    Why Tinu Rocks:
    “Tinu is a strong voice online, and has been since the social web was young. She engages with resourcefulness, humor, and leadership in many ways especially as the chief editor of“ – Tinu was nominated by Jill Foster (@jillfoster)

    victoria ransom

    Victoria Ransom – Hailing from Harvard Business School, Victoria Ransom has accomplished (in a very short time) what many entrepreneurs can only dream about.  She is the Co-Founder and CEO of Wildfire which was acquired by Google in 2012.  She’s made Wildfire a 24/7 priority, but if she’s not at her desk you’ll find her rocking social media, travelling, snowboarding, or surfing.  See for yourself what Victoria has been up to:

    Why Victoria Rocks:
    “Victoria Ransom is a young entrepreneur who started her company because she saw a problem: no one knew how to market on FB. Last year, her social media marketing company made her a wealthy woman when she sold it.“ – Victoria was nominated by Francine Hardaway (@hardaway)

    yael cohen

    Yael Cohen – The whole concept for Yael Cohen’s company was built on her desire to help her mom through a difficult time.  In 2009, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and began researching every piece of information she could get her hands on.  What started as a t-shirt with the phrase “F@*$ Cancer” on it evolved into a charity whose mission is to take a proactive approach to cancer prevention and the way that society views cancer.

    Yael was nominated by @ShiraLazar.

    Thank you to the women from the 2011 Women Who Rock Social Media for making their nominations for this year.  A lot of incredible women were suggested and as always, it was difficult to narrow that list of nominations down to just 25.  We tried to include at least one person from each 2011 honoree’s recommendations. We looked at social networks, accomplishments and several other secret sauce factors.

    How do you get on this list? There is only one way: To be nominated by someone who made it in the current year. So be sure to connect with this year’s honorees through Twitter, LinkedIn and other relevant social networks. If you’re on their radar, maybe you’ll get nominated for 2013.

    Lists can include everyone of course, so please share in the comments who you think rocked the social web in 2012.

    A BIG thank you goes to Ashley Zeckman for helping to create this post.

    Rock band image credit, Shutterstock.