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25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014

Posted on Dec 15th, 2014
Written by Lee Odden
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    25 Women Who Rock Social Media 2014

    Today we’re celebrating the 5th and final version of the 25 Women Who Rock Social Media – 2014 edition from TopRank Online Marketing.

    Nearly 100 women have been recognized over the past 4 years and the feedback I’ve received has been amazing – just like the women featured on the lists. Publishing these posts has also introduced me to some incredible individuals that are accomplishing amazing things – creating impact and making a difference – through social networking and social media content.

    women rock social mediaThis year nominations were invited from all past honorees. We used Traackr for some additional discovery and a lot of the sorting and filtering of nominations down to a much smaller group. After considering the nominating source, the nomination itself, social network reach and resonance, we narrowed the list down to this year’s group of 25 social media rockstars.

    This year’s group includes a great mix of social media talent and leadership including:  independent consultants, major brands, an industry analyst, a reporter, entrepreneurs, authors, public relations and marketing professionals and an aspiring astronaut headed for Mars.

    Congratulations to all!

    Astronaut Abby
    Abigail Harrison
    Future First Astronaut to Mars & STEAM Advocate
    Nominated by @LeeOdden – “Astronaut Abby” is a case study in personal branding and using social media to reach big goals. At only 17 years old, Abby has amassed a network of over 195,000 fans and followers across Twitter, Facebook and Google+. She also publishes a popular website at documenting her journey to become the first astronaut to Mars, promote STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and the importance of space exploration. A senior in High School with all classes at the University of Minnesota, Abby has blogged for NASA, given a TEDx talk about her journey, and managed a social media campaign for Italian Astronaut Luca Parmitano as part of the Soyuz launch–Soyuz-TMA-09M.”

    Beverly Jackson
    Beverly Jackson
    Sr. Director/Head of Social Marketing at Yahoo!
    Nominated by @PRsarahevans – “Beverly is a self-described unicorn in the executive leadership space–a woman of color, over 40 and works in the tech industry. Women like her are living, breathing role models. She, and her team, are socializing one of the world’s biggest brands and always innovating.”

    BL Ochman
    B.L. Ochman
    CEO at MaximumPlus Events & Training
    Nominated by @TobyDiva (Toby Bloomberg) – “From her work in blogging to Google+ B.L. Ochman, CEO of and, continues to demonstrate she is one of the pioneers of digital marketing. Her Up Your Budget treasure hunt campaign for Budget Car Rental remains a classic in successful integrated marketing. B.L.’s original approach is always wrapped in measurable accountability of the brand’s goals.”

    Corey O'Loughlin
    Corey O’Loughlin
    Owner at Prep Obsessed
    Nominated by @AnnHandley – “Corey’s skills, smarts and intuition using social media to achieve real business results. She grew her retail business (Prep Obsessed) on Facebook and Instagram from a hobby to a legit business, using solely social tools (she recently launched the website and leased retail shop, but social is the pump that primes the engine). She was the content marketing manager for MarketingProfs. Now she’s an entrepreneur who is kicking butt in her Tory Burch flats! :)”

    Cynthia Sanchez
    Cynthia Sanchez
    Founder of Oh So Pinteresting
    Nominated by @AndreaVahl – “Cynthia rocks because of her awesome podcast and her consistent posting of helpful information about Marketing on Pinterest. She also participates on multiple social media sites so you can get her information wherever you happen to be. She’s doing a great job of growing Social Media Examiner’s Pinterest boards as well.”

    Deanna Lazzaroni
    Deanna Lazzaroni
    Manager, Global Content Marketing & Social Media Strategy at LinkedIn (TopRank client)
    Nominated by @LeeOdden “After publishing this list for 4 years, I’ve learned to recognize social media marketing talent and I see that in Deanna Lazzaroni. Her management of the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, social media promotions and contributions to social content campaigns (with her boss Jason Miller) like the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn represents the kind of content that has lead LinkedIn to be named one of the top Content Marketing Brands by Kapost for 2014.”

    Heidi Cohen
    Heidi Cohen
    Chief Content Officer at Actionable Marketing Guide
    Nominated by @LeeOdden – “A relentless thinker, content creator and marketer, Heidi has masterfully leveraged a combination of thoughtful content and social networking (on and offline) to launch herself into being one of the most influential social media marketing thinkers on the web.  Being a adjunct professor at NYU, a longtime journalist for ClickZ and a speaker on social media marketing topics at industry conferences makes her a social media rock star by any definition.”

    Jeanette Gibson
    Jeanette Gibson
    Vice President, Customer Experience & Community at HootSuite
    Nominated by @naThomson (Natascha Thomson) – “Jeanette has made a huge contribution to social media over (at least) the past 10 years. She was an early adoptor and drove the social media marketing strategy and CoE creation at Cisco Systems. Now at HootSuite, she is focused on customer experience and community – probably the two most important focus areas of social media. Jeanette is a pro who knows tips and tricks but can also put together an over-arching strategy and then execute it with matrixed teams and partners.”

    Jen Lee Reeves
    Jen Lee Reeves
    Manager, Digital Strategy/Training at AARP
    Nominated by @SoVeryJessica (Jessica Smith) – “Jen rocks social media because she’s not only got her finger on the pulse for social media trends but she shares her knowledge freely and generously. She’s also totally rocking out her role at @AARP as a social media trainer, traveling around the country and making their organization stronger through social. She’s a total dynamo and absolute rock star.”

    Jenn Herman
    Jenn Herman
    Social Media Consultant & Trainer at Jenn’s Trends
    Nominated by @MariSmith – “Jenn has deep expertise with Instagram, is very generous, dedicated and a great teacher!”

    Jessica Gioglio
    Jessica Gioglio
    Head of Creative Lab at Sprinklr
    Nominated by @KellyeCrane – “Before joining Sprinklr recently, Jessica was social media manager for Dunkin’ Brands and worked on a number of smart and innovative campaigns, including the first television commercial ever to use Vine, as well as the Vine ad during this year’s Super Bowl. In March, her book “The Power of Visual Storytelling” (co-authored with the also amazing Ekaterina Walter) was published, and it was just listed in an Inc. Magazine roundup as one of the top 10 marketing books of 2014. Rock on, Jessica!”

    Jyl Johnson Pattee
    Jyl Johnson Pattee
    Founder & CEO at Mom It Forward
    Nominated by @ljc (Jennifer Cisney) – “Jyl not only founded and runs a successful social media organization with relevant and valuable content, but she masterfully brings together brands and companies with the customers that want to connect with them.”

    Laura Kimball
    Laura Kimball
    Senior Manager, Global Communities at HTC
    Nominated by @Kristy Bolsinger – “Laura is a leader at HTC and is helping to drive activation and authentic engagement of their brand in social channels. I’ve seen a real evolution of their presence since she joined the company and knowing her both personally and professionally I’ve born witness to her brilliant and thoughtful strategic mind. She is a creative and innovative player in social who is definitely one who everyone should be keeping an eye on.”

    Lynette Young
    Lynette Young
    Content Marketing Manager at AWeber
    Nominated by @MarcyMassura – “From Lee: On my speaking bucket list was keynoting BlogWorld and I had the good fortune to share the opening keynote slot with Lynette.  With over a million connections to her on Google+ alone, Lynette has this social media thing figured out and she’s rocking it!”

    Marsha Collier
    Marsha Collier
    President at The Collier Company
    Nominated by @LeeOdden – “I’ve been observing the gravity of Masha Collier’s social media smarts grow for some time now and was surprised wasn’t already on one of our lists. The author of over 40 books, Marsha is the founder of the #custserv chat on Twitter, gets cited by major media like The Wall Street Journal, CNN and NPR, speaks on social media topics, hosts a radio show and works both as a consultant and an analyst for GigaOM Pro.”

    Michelle Killebrew
    Michelle Killebrew
    Program Director, Strategy & Solutions – Social Business at IBM
    Nominated by @LeeOdden “Seeing Michelle speak at a marketing conference this year, there was no question she’s a marketing force to be reckoned with. As a Direct Marketing News 2014 40 Under 40 Award winner, Michelle’s social media focus is decidedly performance optimization and ROI. She has led and launched the first integrated digital campaign across the IBM Smarter Commerce portfolio and her data-led work has resulted in revenue increases across several areas of the business making her a social media rock star of the marketing kind.”

    Natalie Andrews
    Natalie Andrews
    Social Media Editor at The Wall Street Journal
    Nominated by @iizLiz (Liz Philips) – “Natalie is passionate about telling stories on and with social media. She worked on an interesting story this year, using Facebook conversation to identify what topics were driving conversation before the 2014 midterm elections.  She’s also using social media to engage with people directly affected by news events. (For example as the conflict in Iraq was heating up, they used Google Docs to reach out to Iraq War Veterans and get their input. Natalie is a good person to the core and is very talented!”

    Pamela Lynne Sorensen
    Pamela Sorensen
    Owner at Pamela’s Punch
    Nominated by @sengseng (Amy Senger) – “Pamela puts the social into social media and is an uber-wonder-connector. She is tirelessly and generously social and devotes her energy to incredibly worthy causes.”

    Rae Hoffman
    Rae Hoffman
    CEO at Sugarrae
    Nominated by @kamichat (Kami Huyse) – “Rae has succeeded in the largely male dominated SEO industry and makes time to support others along the way. She is also amazing at what she does on social media, especially Pinterest, which she has used to build up several successful niche blogs.”

    Ramona Collins
    Ramona Collins
    Social Media Manager at Sam’s Club
    Nominated by @SusanBeebe – “Ramona is a wonderful lady. She is amazing! Not only does she manage Sam’s Club social media online by herself, she’s also very connected and committed to our local community, here in NW Arkansas, home of Sam’s Club parent company, Walmart, Inc. She has successfully grown the @SamsClub twitter community and really has moved the brand forward on the social web.”

    Sally Falkow
    Sally Falkow
    Strategist at Meritus Media
    Nominated by @Tinu Abayomi-Paul – “Sally is, in my opinion, an under-rated PR legend. She’s been in PR for decades, and at the intersection of public relations and digital, she is a trailblazer. Her blog, the Proactive Report, is still widely read and referenced for information about the world of digital PR. I have occasion to work closely with Sally from time to time, and not only is it a pleasure every time, I learn a ton every time.”

    Shannon Paul
    Shannon Paul
    Vice President Social Media at Fifth Third Bank
    Nominated by @AmberCadabra (Amber Naslund) “Shannon shows up every day, does amazing work, and never seeks the spotlight for it…which is exactly why she deserves it. I was thrilled to see that her work at Fifth Third recently won an award. I’ve known Shannon for years and a more genuine, hardworking person you’ll never meet. Throw on top of that a brilliant social media leader and marketing strategist, and you have someone who deserves a hell of a lot more public kudos than she ever seems to get.”

    Shelly DeMotte Kramer
    Shelly DeMotte Kramer
    CEO at V3 Integrated Marketing
    Nominated by @Shonali Burke – “Shelly has what seems to be indefatigable energy to curate useful, thought-provoking and sometimes downright hilarious content, and she really walks the talk of “being social.” I see her engagement and interaction among a variety of forums, some public, some private. What always impresses me about her are: she really makes time for people; she isn’t afraid to call BS when she sees or hears it; and she is kind… which can’t be said of all ‘rock stars’.”

    Susan Etlinger
    Susan Etlinger
    Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group
    Nominated by @miad (Mia Dand) – “Susan is an Industry analyst with the Altimeter group and recently gave a talk at TED@IBM on Critical Thinking: The Killer App for Big Data. I am a big fan of her ground-breaking research in social media especially, the social data maturity model. As social media evolves from a siloed function to an integrated model, Susan’s analysis provides a much-needed roadmap for global companies as they organize their internal teams and culture to become more socially-savvy.”

    Tinu Abayomi Paul
    Tinu Abayomi-Paul
    Owner at Leveraged Promotion
    Nominated by @KateDickman – “I always find Tinu’s commentary and what she shares to be informative or entertaining. She seems to truly get the social media space and is genuinely a fantastic person to follow and learn from. I’ve definitely enjoyed learning from her myself this year. “

    If you’d like to take a trip down social media rock star memory lane, here are the Women Who Rock Social Media lists from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

    For even more fun with this list, check out the interactive map of these social media rockstars and the connections between them created by our friends at Traackr, the Influencer Discovery and Marketing platform that helped us with this list:

    Traackr Interactive Influence Map

    Click this graphic to see the interactive influence map – Traackr

    Thank you to this amazing group of women for their work to create business impact and to make a difference, using social media. I hope they provide some inspiration for you in your own social media work whether it’s for marketing, PR, customer service or any other part of an organization that connects with customers using social technologies.

    Top photo: Shutterstock