Search What are you looking for?

2018 – 50 Top Social Media Marketing Influencers

Posted on Feb 26th, 2018
Written by Lee Odden
In this article

    Ready to elevate your B2B brand?

    TopRank Marketing drives results with content, influencer, SEO & social media marketing.

    Social Media Marketing Influencers 2018

    It’s that time of year again for the conference extravaganza known as Social Media Marketing World.  Each year I pull together a list of influential voices that are engaging on social networks around the topic social media marketing. My goal? To help showcase speakers for people in the industry to learn from and follow.

    Why are these people influential? That’s a great question. I would answer with, “Why is anyone influential?”. Because they have specific expertise that they share publicly, consistently and in a way that improves the knowledge, skills and perspectives of those who follow them.

    Influence is not only popularity. Influence is the ability to affect action.

    When I started out in my digital marketing career, it was thanks to connecting with some generous people that had a lot more experience than me that I was able to overcome introversion and reluctance to write and become an international keynote speaker, author and blogger with over 1.4 million words written so far. What I have learned about influence is that it is not self-assigned.

    Influence is earned by being helpful, effective and relevant as well as having reach. Influence is also earned by mentoring those who are coming up in the industry. While working with influencers transfers influence by association, helping others become influential is when earned influence really skyrockets.

    In this year’s list of Social Media Marketing Influencers there are many people who demonstrate this kind of helpfulness and I am encouraging those influencers as well as our community of readers to nominate up and coming social media marketing leaders. You can find more details on that at the end of the post.

    About the Methodology for this List:

    Specific Scope: Rather than scan the entire social web, the starting data set for this list is having been named as a speaker for the SMMW18 conference. Mike Stelzner and Phil Mershon of Social Media Examiner do an amazing job of hand picking speakers for this conference and this list is an extension of their research and expertise into finding, qualifying and recruiting over 180 social media marketing speakers.

    IRM Platform Assisted: Ranking of the people in this list leverages data and algorithms from Traackr, an influencer relationship marketing platform. Unlike the vast majority of lists like this that are published online, this list considers many more data sources than just Twitter. To provide a better sample across the web, Traackr ranking can include citations and links from data sources such as blogs, publications, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

    Ranking data sources and scoring: For the ranking, this list 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

    Each of these signal sources are factored into the algorithmic ranking for identified influencers with a focus on topical relevance, resonance of message with the audience and then audience 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. What I like about pulling this list together is seeing a number of new faces as well as as a variety of disciplines and specialties represented.

    This list of 50 industry experts speaking at Social Media Marketing World is worth checking out as you plan which presentations to see, who to follow online and who to meet.

    Kim Garst @kimgarst
    Live Streaming Strategist, Social Selling Pro, Keynote Speaker at Boom! Social
    Presenting: How to Make Money With Live Video

    Donna Moritz @sociallysorted
    Digital Content Strategist, International Speaker, Visual Content Strategist at Socially Sorted
    Presenting: Tips and Tools for Visual Storytelling on Instagram

    Brian Fanzo @isocialfanz
    Founder and CEO at iSocialFanz
    Presenting: Facebook Strategy in Light of the Facebook Apocalypse

    Koka Sexton @kokasexton
    Advisor, SenderGen
    Presenting: How to Turn LinkedIn Into a Funnel for New Leads

    Madalyn Sklar @madalynsklar
    Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Podcaster
    Presenting: How to Up Your Twitter Game With Smart Tools

    Dan Gingiss @dgingiss
    Vice President, Strategic Group at Persado
    Presenting: Why Social Media is Key to the Customer Experience

    Ian Anderson Gray @iagdotme
    Co-founder at Select Performers Internet Solutions
    Presenting: How to Create Your Killer Live Video Show: Tools and Tips

    Jeff Sieh @jeffsieh
    Pinterest Manager at Social Media Examiner
    Presenting: Visual Marketing for Non-Designers: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

    Viveka Von Rosen @linkedinexpert
    LinkedIn and Personal Branding Expert, Co-founder and Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso
    Presenting: How to Best Use LinkedIn Native Video in Your Marketing

    Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer
    CEO at Maximize Your Social
    Presenting: How Brands are Breaking Through to Generate Results on LinkedIn

    Josh Elledge @joshelledge
    Founder at upendPR
    Presenting: How to Get Traditional Media Exposure Using Social Media

    Robert Rose @robert_rose
    Founder at The Content Advisory & Chief Strategy Advisor at Content Marketing Institute
    Presenting: Becoming an Audience First Company: How to Understand and Measure the Most Valuable Asset in Your Business

    Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
    Chief Executive Officer at Arment Dietrich
    Presenting: Crisis Communications: Tips From the Trenches

    Carlos Gil @CarlosGil83
    Founder, Gil Media Co.
    Presenting: Snapchat Ads: How-to Use Snapchat’s Full Service Ad Platform

    Darren Rowse @problogger
    Founder and Keynote Speaker at ProBlogger
    Presenting: 10 Things I Wish I’d Known about Blogging That Will Shortcut the Growth of Your Blog

    Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
    Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions
    Presenting: 10 Mind-Bending New Ideas for Our Social Media Marketing Future

    Tamara McCleary @tamaramccleary
    CEO at
    Presenting: Innovating Your Way to Strong Social Media ROI

    Mark Mason @masonworld
    Quality Manager, Interface Products at Texas Instruments
    Presenting: How to Make Your Podcast Stand Out: Tips from the Trenches

    Rebekah Radice @rebekahradice
    Founder at RadiantLA
    Presenting: How to Make Visual Content Your Social Media Secret Weapon

    Brooke B. Sellas @madsmscientist
    Founder & Chief Executive Officer at B Squared Media
    Presenting: Organizing for Social Success: Insource? Outsource? No Source?

    Tyler Anderson @tylerjanderson
    CEO / Founder at Casual Fridays
    Presenting: Winning With Influencer Marketing: What Top Brands are Doing Now

    Samantha Kelly @tweetinggoddess
    Owner of Women’s Inspire Network
    Presenting: How to Convert Twitter Conversations Into Customers

    Ian Cleary @iancleary
    Founder at RazorSocial
    Presenting: 9 Content Marketing Tools to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

    Mari Smith @marismith
    Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, Bestselling Author
    Presenting: The Future of Facebook: What Marketers Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond

    Mike Stelzner @mike_stelzner
    CEO and Founder at Social Media Examiner
    Presenting: Social Media Marketing in 2018: What the Newest Research Reveals

    social media marketing speaker network connections

    Andy Crestodina @crestodina
    Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios
    Presenting: Building Better Mousetraps: A Content-Driven Approach to Conversion Optimization

    Bernie Borges @bernieborges
    Advisory Board Member at OneMob and Co-founder and CMO at Vengreso.
    Presenting: The Secrets to Getting Employees to Engage on Behalf of Your Brand

    Alex Khan @1alexkhan
    CEO at Attractive Media GmbH
    Presenting: Mass Seduction: Proven Techniques to Engage and Build Your Audience

    Peg Fitzpatrick @PegFitzpatrick
    Director of Social Media + Marketing at Kreussler
    Presenting: How to Use Pinterest to Drive Long Term Traffic

    Chris Penn @cspenn
    Vice President of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications
    Presenting: Seeing Into the Future: Predictive Analytics for Social Marketers

    Michael O’Neal @solohour
    Host of The Solopreneur Hour Podcast
    Presenting: Becoming an Interview Master and How it Can Massively Grow Your Podcast or Livestream

    Brian Solis @briansolis
    Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group
    Presenting: The Past, Present and Future of Social Media

    Park Howell @parkhowell
    Founder and President at Business of Story
    Presenting: How to Invest in Brand Storytelling to Earn the Greatest Return

    Nicky Kriel @nickykriel
    Social Media Consultant & Social Media Strategist at Nicky Kriel Social Media
    Presenting: How to Use Twitter Data to Improve Your Content Marketing

    Melanie Deziel @mdeziel
    Brand Strategy Consultant and Speaker at Mdeziel Media
    Presenting: 5 Branded Content Best Practices From the World of Journalism

    Andrea Vahl @andreavahl
    Social Media Consultant at Andrea Vahl
    Presenting: Facebook Ads Strategy for Small Businesses

    Jay Baer @jaybaer
    Founder at Convince & Convert
    Presenting: How to Prove Social Media Works to Skeptical Managers

    Steve Dotto @dottotech
    President at Galileo Consulting and Producer of Dotto Tech
    Presenting: YouMake YouFortune on YouTube: Making Money on YouTube

    Ann Handley @marketingprofs
    Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs
    Presenting: Creating Better Content in Less Time: 5 Real-World Writer Secrets

    Lee Odden @leeodden
    CEO at TopRank Marketing
    Presenting: How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation

    Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki
    Chief Evangelist at Canva
    Presenting: Achieving Social Media Success by Defying Conventional Wisdom

    Shaun McBride @Shonduras
    Owner Esports/Shonduras Inc
    Presenting: How to Influence Influencers: The Creative Process

    John Jantsch @ducttape
    President at Duct Tape Marketing
    Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Consulting Practice Without Adding Overhead

    Jessika Phillips @jessikaphillips
    Relationship Marketing Evangelist, President at NOW Marketing Group
    Presenting: Relationship ROI: How to Grow Your Business by Focusing on Repeat and Referral Relationships

    John Lee Dumas @johnleedumas
    Host of the EOFire Podcast
    Presenting: How to Grow Your Podcast Audience and Fuel Your Business

    Roberto Blake @robertoblake
    Owner at Create Awesome Media
    Presenting: Mastering and Measuring YouTube Analytics for Video Marketing

    Shep Hyken @Hyken
    Chief Amazement Officer and Owner, Customer Service Speaker and Expert at Shepard Presentations
    Presenting: How to Turn Social Customer Service Into a Marketing Strategy

    Jasmine Star @jasminestar
    Owner at Jasmine Star Photography
    Presenting: How to Create 30 Days of Instagram Content in a Single Day

    Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
    Keynote Speaker, Emcee and Event Host at PureMatter
    Presenting: How to Humanize Your Social Brand for Better Conversions

    Brian Peters @brian_g_peters
    Digital Marketing Manager at Buffer
    Presenting: How to Build and Maintain an Authentic Community on Instagram

    If you want to follow all 50 of these fine folks, then check out the speaker list on the SMMW18 conference schedule page.

    What about non-digital influence? 

    I think this is a great question because not everyone that is influential (especially in the B2B world) spends as much time tweeting, blogging and posting Instagram photos as many of the influencers listed above do. And yet they are highly influential.

    For example, here are several more speakers that are pretty influential to me, even though they are not on the list above: Amisha Gandhi (client), Beverly Jackson, Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, Konnie Alex (client), LaSandra Brill, Shannon Paul, Tim Washer, and Ursula Ringham to name a few.

    Suffice it to say, I think when you are deciding on which influencers to work with, it’s important to get out of the digital bubble and consider offline-specific influencers as well – especially in B2B.

    Big Questions About Influencer Lists & Influencer Marketing:

    • How do you find the right influencers?
    • What do you collaborate with them on?
    • How do you measure influencer marketing performance?
    • Are there processes and formulas for success?

    These are some of the most common topics that come up through my agency’s influencer content marketing consulting with brands like Dell, SAP, LinkedIn, 3M and even mid-market companies like DivvyHQ or Cherwell Software.  I’ll be tackling these questions and more in my presentation at Social Media Marketing World 2018. Here are the details:

    How Content Plus Influence Equals Results: The Confluence Equation
    Thursday, March 1st at 4:10pm Room: 32AB
    Content marketing and influencer marketing are hot topics for marketers all over the world as two of the most promising strategies for attracting, engaging and converting ideal customers. But how do you find the right influencers? What kind of content should you collaborate on? How do you best measure influencer and content success? Join Lee Odden to learn from his experience working with brands big and small to develop efficient and effective formulas for influencer content success.

    I hope to see you there!


    I know some folks are feeling left out and others would have added other social media marketing speakers to this list. Lists are exclusive by nature, but I think it would be amazing for the experts on this list as well as our readers would nominate up and coming industry social media marketing pros that are consistently providing useful expertise, leadership and engaging with their communities.

    Please leave full name, title, company and Twitter handle (or other social profile) of your nominee in the comments. I will follow this list up with a People’s Choice style list of Rising Social Media Stars after the conference.