12 LinkedIn Influencers Every Brand Marketer Should Follow

LinkedIn Influencers

Each time you log into Instagram, you see a batch of so-called Instagram influencers smiling at the top of your news feed. The trend has crept into LinkedIn, where B2B sakes people are begging you with their eyes to read their latest and greatest blog post.

I know what you’re thinking: one more platform with 9,000 articles to read. LinkedIn Influencers is different, though. Contributors are hand-picked and content is carefully curated by a team of LinkedIn editors so you know you’re getting quality, vetted articles every time. There are dozens upon dozens of Influencers that you can follow to get the latest articles in your news feed. We combed through the master list to find the 12 brand marketing influencers you need to follow today.

1. Daniel Roth

Title: Executive Editor of LinkedIn
Number of followers: 51,354
Recommended read: “The 7 Secrets to Writing Killer Content on LinkedIn”
Follow Daniel Roth

If you’re going to learn to post quality content on LinkedIn, you might as well learn from the master. Daniel Roth is the executive editor of LinkedIn, which means he oversees the edit team in charge of the LinkedIn Today content program. Roth publishes pieces on a number of topics, from leadership to content.

2. Ryan Holmes

Title: CEO at HootSuite
Number of followers: 193,412
Recommended read: “Have Social Networks Killed the Web?”
Follow Ryan Holmes

As CEO of one of the best-known social media management platforms, Holmes has a lot to say about not just social, but online marketing in general.

3. Joe Pulizzi

Title: Founder at Content Marketing Institute 
Number of followers: 11,647
Recommended read: “Why Most Branded Content Is Just Awful”
Follow Joe Pulizzi

We’re big fans of Joe Pulizzi‘s work at the Content Marketing Institute. Just like on his own site, print magazine and at conferences around the country, he delivers insightful content as a LinkedIn Influencer with a focus on the evolving world of content marketing.

4. Jon Steinberg

Title: President & Chief Operating Officer at BuzzFeed
Number of followers: 13,501
Recommended read: “Finally, The Decoupling of Content and Distribution”
Follow Jon Steinberg

Steinberg may not have marketing in his title, but as the head of BuzzFeed he’s changing the future of content formatting and distribution — and for that reason, brand marketers should listen to what he’s learned along the way. You’ll find a number of insightful articles on branded content and the mobile web.

5. Dharmesh Shah

Title: Founder & CEO at HubSpot
Number of followers: 90,445
Recommended read: The Surprising Brilliance of the LinkedIn Influencers Program
Follow Dharmesh Shah

As the founder of marketing SaaS company Hubspot, Shah knows a few things about inbound marketing — in fact, he wrote the book on it. Follow him on LinkedIn for consistent articles (he writes more frequently than most Influencers) on content and running an innovative startup.

6. Clara Shih

Title: CEO of Hearsay Social
Number of followers: 89,755
Recommended read: “Smarter Inboxes Mean Marketers Need To Get Smarter Too”
Follow Clara Shih

Shih is CEO and co-founder of Hearsay Social, a software company that empowers salespeople and franchises to engage via social media. She is also a current member of the board of directors for the Ad Council and Starbucks. Follow Shih on LinkedIn for insights on social, mobile and content marketing.

7. Shane Snow

Title: Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer at Contently
Number of followers: 65,942
Recommended read: “Why (And How) Brands Should Build Newsrooms” 
Follow Shane Snow

Snow is the founder of Contently, a platform that “empowers journalists and brands to engage audiences with compelling content.” As a career journalist, Snow is one of the more frequent publishers in the LinkedIn Influencers program. He’s worth checking out for his insight on content marketing from the writer’s perspective.

8. Steve Rubel

Title: Chief Content Strategist at Edelman
Number of followers: 44,814
Recommended read: “Big Idea 2013: Put a Content Engine Inside Your Company”
Follow Steve Rubel

As the head of content at PR firm Edelman, Rubel helps brands become media companies in their own right. Follow him on LinkedIn for insights on the creation and curation of content.

9. Jonathan Becher

Title: Chief Marketing Officer at SAP
Number of followers: 20,704
Recommended read: “Marketing Must Shift from Brand Police to Brand Catalyst”
Follow Jonathan Becher

For the CMO’s take on the current business landscape, tune into Jonathan Becher, who heads up the marketing team at management software company SAP. Becher writes on the customer experience and the evolving role of the CMO.

10. Frank Eliason

Title: Director Global Social Media at Citi
Number of followers: 38,949
Recommended read: “Chipotle Aims High But Misses Low On Twitter”
Follow Frank Eliason

Eliason heads up social media at Citi and shares related insights on LinkedIn, including strategies that brands should both implement and avoid.

11. Cynthia Montgomery

Title: Timken Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
Number of followers: 44,57
Recommended read: “Four Steps To Build Brand Awareness Through Storytelling”
Follow Cynthia Montgomery

Montgomery’s research focuses on corporate strategy and governance. She is the author and editor of several books, but you can follow her on LinkedIn for insights on corporate strategy and storytelling.

12. Brian Solis

Title: Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group
Number of followers: 25,213
Recommended read: “The 7 Success Factors of Social Business Strategy”
Follow Brian Solis

As principal analyst at Altimeter Group, Solis has a wealth of valuable data to share on the intersection of business and online marketing. Follow him for social media statistics and insight on the big names in technology and social.


Which brand marketers do you follow on LinkedIn? Share them with us below. For more LinkedIn-sourced inspiration, revisit their controversial “Congratulations, You Are the 5%” campaign.

Note: This post was edited on 9/5/2013 to include Clara Shih and Cynthia Montgomery. While many have pointed out that LinkedIn’s Influencers are disproportionately male, there are a number of women sharing valuable brand marketing insights. Hat tip to Felicia Sullivan for pointing out the lack of diversity.