Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great places to engage with your family, friends, and favorite celebrities, but where should you go to connect with influencers in your industry? LinkedIn of course!

LinkedIn is filled with marketing professionals from a variety of backgrounds with every level of experience. It’s hard to know who’s worth following so we’ve compiled a list of our 12 favorites to get you started.

1. Tara Hunt, Digital Marketing Executive, Truly Social, Inc.

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As an experienced digital marketing professional, Tara is an expert in online community management and also excels at building relationships with customers, media, and industry influencers. She’s a best-selling author who built her own social web startup and understands how deeply digital connections affect the success of today’s brands.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Tara: Why Digital Influencers Matter More Than Ever.

2. Mark Suster, Partner, Upfront Ventures

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Mark makes our list of top influencers for his unflinching look at the often enigmatic world of startups and venture capital. Mark’s transparency about the inner workings of the VC industry offers a wealth of information and resources for anyone launching or already leading their own startup. He also seems like a pretty rad dad.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Mark: What Most People Don’t Understand About How Startup Companies are Valued.

3. Karen Austin, SVP & CIO, PG&E

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Karen oversees the IT portfolio of an enormous utility company in Silicon Valley. In her concurrent role as SVP, her focus is on building diversity and reducing turnover in the highly competitive field of IT. Karen believes that when you break down barriers for mutual gain, everybody wins.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Karen: Widening the Circle: How to Work with Diverse Partners to Drive Innovation.

4. Ryan Holmes, CEO, Hootsuite

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Even if you don’t know Ryan by name, you’ve probably heard of the social media management platform Hootsuite. As CEO of the company, People turn to Ryan for his insight into digital marketing and how to build better relationships between brands and their customers. A self-described serial entrepreneur who’s opened a variety of businesses that include a pizzeria, Ryan knows what it’s like to build a company from the ground up.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Ryan: 6 Ways To Use Social Media Ads To Grow Your Business.

5. Julie Hanna, Entrepreneur, Advisor, Board Director

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Based in California, Julie is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. She currently serves on Mozilla’s Board of Directors and was appointed by President Obama as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Julie’s passion is for helping other entrepreneurs succeed and works to “advocate for entrepreneurial innovation and the democratizing potential of technology to enable a more just world at mass scale.”

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Julie: The World’s Bank: How Crowdfunding is Disrupting Old Banking.

6. Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

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Joe is an author who lives and breathes content marketing. His company, Content Marketing Institute, publishes a widely respected magazine for COOs and also produces one of the biggest content marketing events in the industry. Joe has given hundreds of presentations on content marketing around the country, solidifying his place as a chief marketing influencer to keep your eye on.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Joe: Content Marketing — It’s Going to Get Weird.

7. Colin Shaw, CEO, Beyond Philosophy

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Today’s marketers know that customer experience is the key to everything and Colin wrote the book on CX — literally. He’s penned several titles that teach companies everything they need to know about creating a meaningful customer journey and what pitfalls to avoid. If you’re looking for advice on how to design a new customer experience or simply tweak what you’re already doing, Colin has advice you won’t want to miss.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Colin: Stop Now! Six Mistakes Being Made With Your Digital Experience.

8. Daniel Burrus, Founder & CEO, Burrus Research

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Daniel is a visionary who studies future tech for a living. He’s a great resource for learning how to apply emerging technology at the right time and in the right way to help grow your business. Through the work of his research firm, Daniel’s been successfully identifying upcoming tech trends since 1983 so if you’re looking for someone to keep you informed on what’s in store for 2017, he’s your guy.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Daniel: Daniel Barrus’ Top 20 Technology-Driven Hard Trends Shaping The Future.

9. Sramana Mitra, Founder, One Million by One Million

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Sramana is considered to be one of the most influential strategy consultants in the world. She’s founded three companies, written a series of 12 books on entrepreneurship, and works with businesses to help them reach one million dollars in annual revenue. Sramana regularly writes about the complexities of business ownership both in the U.S. and abroad.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Sramana: Netflix Benefits from International Growth.

10. Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, VaynerMedia

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Gary or Gary Vee as he’s known by his podcast and YouTube fans, already knew social media was going to be huge while most of us were still figuring out what a hashtag was. He was an early angel investor in companies like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, which he uses daily to promote his vlog DailyVee. If you want to understand how to use multiple social media platforms to grow your marketing strategies, you can’t do better than reading what Gary has to say.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Gary: This Generation Will Be Fine: Why Social Media Won’t Ruin Us.

11. Don Peppers, Co-Founder, CXSpeakers.com

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Don recently left the management consulting firm he co-founded to free up more time for the keynote presentations and executive workshops for which he is well known. His talks focus on topical information today’s business owners want most, like how to strengthen customer relationships and ways to increase customer advocacy on social media.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Don: Delivering a Reliable Customer Experience.

12. Dharmesh Shah, Founder & CTO, Hubspot

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Hubspot, a popular inbound marketing system, is Dharmesh’s brainchild. His deep understanding of inbound marketing makes Hubspot one of the most powerful tools marketers can use to reach their customers. When Dharmesh finds a spare moment away from Hubspot, he’s busy promoting his book or writing about entrepreneurship at onstartups.com.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Dharmesh: Marketing Doesn’t Have to be Evil.

Bonus: Oprah Winfrey, Chairman & CEO, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

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Do you really need a reason to follow Oprah? But seriously, as long as we’re handing out recommendations on which LinkedIn influencers to follow (you get a suggestion! And you get a suggestion! Everyone get’s a suggestion!), Oprah really should be on your list. Her involvement in philanthropic groups has changed the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and across the world. She’s also a savvy business woman with lots of experience in marketing her personal brand.

Check out our favorite LinkedIn article from Oprah: The Simple, Life-Changing Question That Hardly Anyone Can Answer.

Lisa McGreevy

Posted by Lisa McGreevy

Lisa McGreevy is a professional freelance journalist and blogger with more than 18 years experience covering enterprise products and services, brand marketing, and emerging technology. Lisa is based in Tampa, FL. Follow her on Twitter @LisaH.

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