Lee Odden

25 Women That Rocked Social Media in 2013

Lee Odden     Social Media

women rock social mediaThree years ago I read an article on ClickZ listing “social media rock stars” and while I was honored to be listed, there were very few women were on it.  I published a blog post with a list of 25 women from my own network that were rocking the social web and a meme was born.

women rock social mediaThis is the 4th installment of a yearly list we create, many of which are nominated by past honorees.

We’ve recognized 100 women in all, so if your favorite social media rock star isn’t in this edition, be sure to check 2012, 2011 and 2010.

This year’s list includes a diverse group: brand marketers, consultants and PR pros. Plus others that are doing work where social media plays a significant factor (like fundraising for good causes).  What better way to celebrate New Year’s Eve (day) than to highlight these talented professionals and their contributions?

Here’s our 2013 list of 25 Women Who Rock Social Media: (in alphabetical order)

Amy Senger

Amy Senger – CEO, Founder at 1X57 – If there was a Webby for the best personal Facebook content, it might just go to Amy. Not only does she post thought-provoking content, but she adds context and opinion like no one else. Originally a part of the Intelipedia training team at the CIA, Amy moved to LA to live with deeper intention and to inspire others. She now adds screenwriter to her list of talents, that also include Wikipedia editing, surfing, and being a voice and microphone for gender equality in the technology and entertainment industries. Amy was nominated by @LeslieBradshaw, Chief Operating Officer at Guide.

Connect with Amy at:

Annalise Kaylor

Annalise Kaylor – Annalise is the Senior Social Engagement Manager at Engauge and according to her nominator, “Annalise is whip-smart, offers a fresh perspective on social media and she’s not afraid to bring companies to task.” She is an active speaker at search marketing industry conferences (Pubcon & SMX) on social media topics and has worked in social media roles since 2006. Annalise was nominated by @LisaBarone  Vice President of Strategy at Overit Media.

Connect with Annalise at:

Azita Ardakani

Azita Ardakani – Based in Vancouver, BC, Azita is the CEO & Founder of Lovesocial, a sort of “anti-agency” formed as a B Corporation that aims to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. She describes herself on Twitter as a cheerleader & advisor to @NPRGenListen @Hootsuite @Reelhouse. Azita was nominated by @Sloane Davidson, Founder & Chief Do Gooder The Causemopolitan.

Connect with Azita at:

Becky Brown

Becky Brown – When Intel had their first global social media event, I was fortunate to be one of the speakers and that’s where we first met in person. She’s now Director of Media at Intel where she manages the integration of all global media from traditional paid media (TV, digital, OOH, etc.) with social publishing and social relationships.  At the start of her previous role at Intel as Director of Social Media, community reach was less than 100,000 worldwide. Now Intel social media efforts reach over 26M people in over 55 countries with over 30 billion social impressions yearly. Becky is continuing her pioneering work having developed a marketing dashboard, a social media cockpit, a media mix modeling behavior and real time decision making tool and Intel’s first social media publishing platform called iQ. Nominated by LO.

Connect with Becky at:

Christine Kirk

Christine Kirk – Christine specializes in online communications and social media marketing campaigns for food & beverage, restaurant/nightclub, luxury travel and real estate, consumer lifestyle products and electronics, and automotive companies. Luxury PR is the name of her game and she plays it well. Christine is a Forbes Travel Guide correspondent and also the founder of #luxchat – an online discussion about the intersection of luxury brands and social media. Christine was nominated by Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter), Senior Director, Security Strategy & Portfolio Marketing at Cisco.

Connect with Christine at:

Cynthia Sanchez

Cynthia Sanchez – Cynthia has the Pinterest thing nailed as social media marketing consultant who specializes in all things Pinteresting. Cynthia conducts social media training, she publishes a regular podcast and blogs including guest posts on sites like Social Media Examiner. Cynthia’s nominator comments, “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.” Cynthia was nominated by @AndreaVahl, Social Media Coach, Strategist, Author and Speaker.

Connect with Cynthia at:

Gemma Craven

Gemma Craven – Gemma’s social and digital engagement client experience reads like a brand rock star playlist: AOL, The BBC, British Airways, The Gap, IBM, IKEA, Microsoft, Nestle, Unilever, UPS.  As the Executive Director, Head of Social Customer Engagement at OgilvyOne Worldwide, Gemma has over 14 years in the digital marketing and engagement space in the U.S. and abroad. Her nominator say, “Gemma is one of those brilliant people who truly gets what social media strategy has been, is now, and where it’s going. She’s got ideas big and small for how to unlock the power of engagement, and her position as WOMMA board member means she’s always tapped into latest developments in the field.” Gemma was nominated by Lauren Salazar @sassandglitter, Director of Social Media at Weight Watchers.

Connect with Gemma at:

Jen McClure

Jen McClure – Jen has over 25 years experience in media and communications and is the co-founder and president of the board of directors of the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR). She also co-founded NewComm Forum, one of the first conferences focused on the social web. As Senior Director, Digital & Social Media at Thomson Reuters, she focuses on digital capability building, digital/social media governance, program strategy and management. Her inclusion in our list is long overdue and I’m glad we’ve finally rectified that.  Jen was nominated by LO.

Connect with Jen at:

Jessica Gioglio

Jessica Gioglio – With nominations from multiple people, Jessica, aka the Savvy Bostonian, is definitely making an impact on the social web through blogging and networking. Her previous PR and media relations roles at Trip Advisor, ComCast, PUMA and Nordstrom were clearly great preparation for her current career as a Social Media Strategist for Dunkin’ Brands. Jessica writes a weekly social media column for Convince and Convert, and is the co-author of a new book, The Power of Visual Storytelling, coming out in March 2014. Jessica was nominated by her bestselling co-author, @Ekaterina Walter, who was previously with Intel and is now Co-founder and CMO at Branderati.

Kate Dickman

Kate Dickman – In a past life, Boston-based Kate worked for a SEO company and I think that must be how we first met. Since then, she’s held social media positions at Panasonic, Lindt, and had her own consultancy working with companies large and small. Kate’s current role is as a Senior Manager of Social Media Strategy at CVS Caremark Corporation. With LinkedIn Recommendations from people like Sean X, Michael Brito and Adam Broitman, you know she’s rocking the social web. Kate was nominated by LO.

Connect with Kate at:

Kristy Bolsinger

Kristy Bolsinger – Kristy was doing the social media, SEO and marketing performance optimization thing long before it was a “thing”.  I mean, when someone gets their first name as a Twitter handle, you  know they were there early.  Since we first met many years ago, Kristy has fast tracked a MBA from Willamette, worked at RealNetworks and Ant’s Eye View, had her own consultancy, and is now a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle.  Kristy was nominated by LO.

Connect with Kristy at:

Liz Bullock

Liz Bullock – Liz is one of those people who’s reputation preceded her by a Texas mile. Responsible for architecting and managing Dell’s internal social media training program (SMaC U) with thousands of employees, she fulfilled a destiny in her former role as Dell Director of Social Media to then become CEO of her own social media training company, Social Arts & Science Institute, LLC (SASI). It was a pleasure to finally meet Liz in person at a recent Dell social media event earlier this year. Liz was nominated by LO.

Connect with Liz at:

Liz Philips

Liz Philips – With early days at CNN and Qualcomm followed by a long run at HP in various roles, Liz broke into the social media realm at HP and took her social media smarts over to the #1 golf company in the world, TaylorMade. With that solid foundation, Liz went back to her roots, so to speak, and is now a Senior Marketing Manager Qualcomm. When I met Liz at Social Media Marketing World earlier this year, I knew she was a social media force to be reckoned with. Liz was nominated by LO.

Connect with Liz at:

Marcy Massura

Marcy Massura – You’ve got to love smart people with a sense of humor. Marcy has that and more. Based in Orange County, California, Marcy Massura is North American Digital Lead for MSLGROUP where, among other duties, she provides strategic counsel for Proctor & Gamble North America. Along with providing social media strategy for her agency’s high profile clients, Marcy also publishes a “Full service Humor Website” called, The Glamorous Life Association. Marcy was nominated by @DebNg, Community Manager at Social Media Examiner and My Kids Adventures.

Connect with Marcy at:

Mary Henige

Mary Henige – To say Mary is a career GM employee is a bit of an understatement. For 27 years she’s held a variety of Communications positions, so it’s only fitting that she’s the Director of Social Media & Digital Communications at GM.  An example of her recent work involves the GM FastLane blog, which was a pioneering effort for a major company when it launched in 2005. Now Mary and her team (and others) have relaunched FastLane as way for GM Executives to connect directly with consumers as well as the media. With a senior social media position at a $150 billion company, there’s no question Mary is rocking the social web. Mary was nominated by LO.

Connect with Mary at:

Mia Dand

Mia Dand –  The cool thing about social networking is that it brings people together that might not otherwise connect. While in London a few years ago a mutual friend (Tac Anderson) connected with Mia and I as we were both in town and took a bit of a London walking tour. Mia was Director, Global Social Media & Marketing Analytics at Symantec at the time. Mia pioneered the first Social Media Center of Excellence at HP as well as their first Social Listening & Analytics program. Now she’s Community Group Manager at Google where she develops, drives, and optimizes the community strategy for Google’s geo and social products.  Mia was nominated by LO.

Connect with Mia at:

Natascha Thomson

Natascha Thomson –  Specializing in B2B social media, Natascha is the founder and CEO of MarketingXLerator and co-author of the book 42 Rules for B2B Social Media Marketing. With deep experience at companies like Bay Networks, HP, EMC and SAP as well as an Executive MBA from St. Mary’s College, California and a Master of Commerce and Arts from the University of Passau, Germany, Natascha is well prepared to rock the social web. Natascha was nominated by Sudha Jamthe (@sujamthe), Social Media Strategist at eBay.

Connect with Natascha at:

Nichole Kelly

Nichole Kelly –  Nichole is the CEO of Social Media Explorer (As in Jason Falls SME Digital) and Author of How to Measure Social Media. She is also a professional speaker, and blogger. With previous positions at Federal Reserve Bank, Sherwin Williams and the American Marketing Association, Nichole’s focus on measurable social media marketing performance has helped her grow SME into a formidable agency.  Nichole was nominated by Heather Whaling (@prtini), President at Geben Communications, where SME is a client.

Connect with Nichole at:

Priya Ramesh

Priya Ramesh –  With a distinct and refreshing focus on measurable social media and public relations, Priya has held executive social media positions at multiple top PR firms including her current role as Digital Strategist at Burson-Marsteller. In the multiple interactions I’ve had with Priya, her drive, intelligence and passion for accountable social media were clearly evident and good reason for her deep client experience with companies including: Marketo, Web.com, Satmetrix, Progress Software, Charles Schwab, Air New Zealand, Bridgestone Americas and the Federal Reserve Bank. Priya was nominated by LO.

Connect with Priya at:

Rachael Seda

Rachael Seda – With experience as a teacher, writer, designer and associate at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Rachael’s diverse experience has created a solid foundation for her current role at a major PR agency. Working as an Account Executive at PadillaCRT, Rachel’s moderator states: “She lives and breathes the ‘social’ nature of social media. Rachael instinctively incorporates digital connectivity into every aspect of her life and is always trying to see how it – and she – can make the world a better place.” That’s quite an endorsement.  Rachael was nominated by Shonali Burke, President & CEO @Shonali Burke Consulting.

Connect with Rachael at:

Rachel Sklar

Rachel Sklar –  A former lawyer, Rachel Sklar is a New York writer and social entrepreneur based in New York. She is the co-founder of Change The Ratio, which increases visibility and opportunity for women in tech & new media, and TheLi.st (in beta), a community platform for women driven by that same mission. Rachel was nominated by Heather Whaling (@prtini) President at Geben Communications.

Connect with Rachel at:

Sharon Panelo

Sharon Panelo – Based in Brooklyn, Sharon is a Senior Strategist at McCann NY with a strong writing and strategy background. At McCann, her role focuses on digital brand experience, social media strategy, and creative technology across agency brands: General Mills, MasterCard, Nestle, L’Oreal, Verizon, NASDAQ, and Kohl’s.  Sharon was nominated by @KandaceHudspeth, Chief Digital Integration Officer, Global Director McCann Always On.

Connect with Sharon at:

Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush – With every list there has to be at least one celebrity, right? You may recognize Sophia from her extensive fundraising and awareness raising work using Twitter and Instagram for the National Wildlife Humane Society, Global Green Gulf Relief, F-Cancer . Or you might have caught her on One Tree Hill. Her new TV show, Chicago PD, premier’s on January 8th. Her nominator says, “Soph uses her platform for good. She is informed, active and passionate. She’s making people care about something they might not have even known about.” Sophia was nominated by @Yael Cohen, founder & CEO of Fuck Cancer.

Connect with Sophia at:

Susan Beebe

Susan Beebe – In the early days of the social web, Dell made a name for itself as a progressive company and one of the people that helped make an impact was Susan Beebe. Her roles in global communications and social media management plus chief listener have undoubtedly proved to be a great framework for her current role as Manager, Social Media & Online Communities at Tyson Foods. She’s also a board member at  @Champions4Kids. As long as I’ve known Susan online, it’s a marvel we have not met in person yet. Susan was nominated by LO.

Connect with Susan at:

Susan Emerick

Susan Emerick – Smart, focused, experienced and did I say smart?  Those all describe Susan Emerick who is also the co-author of one of the BEST books on social business that I’ve seen yet: The Most Powerful Brand on Earth. With over 17 years at as a digital marketer at IBM, Susan has been in social media leadership positions at the $104 billion company for over 7 years.  Susan is a big advocate of empowering employees & partners to build trust & advocacy in ways that create greater awareness & revenues while decreasing the cost of marketing, selling, and customer service. That rocks! Susan was nominated by LO.

Connect with Susan at:

I pinged my Twitter network of 60k or so for a People’s Choice volley of suggestions for consideration. I received some good suggestions that I’d like to list here, honorable mention, style.

@JessBerlin – We were on a panel together many years ago while she was in a social media role at Cirque du Soleil. From there she went to American Eagle and now she’s doing the social media thing at Yahoo. h/t Justin Levy

@JoannaLord – I know Joanna mostly through search marketing conferences and she’s a smart, classy marketer and also an excellent writer and public speaker. She’s helped numerous startups including Moz and is now CMO at Big Door Media. Joanna has social media marketing expertise, but she’s also effective at using social media to build her own brand and connect with her community.  h/t Justin Levy

@Jennita – Jennifer Sable Lopez – As Director of Community at fast growing Moz, there’s no doubt Jennifer has her hands full. She has a development background and long time interests in SEO and social media. Her community work includes writing for the Moz blog, managing the YOUmoz community blog, comments, Facebook, Twitter and, well, you get the idea. Busy!

@LisaBuyer – Founder and CEO of the Buyer Group, Lisa is also the author of a new book, Social PR Secrets. Her consultancy, writing and speaking covers the intersection of public relations with social media and SEO.

Surely there are women you know who are exceptional in their knowledge of how to use social media for marketing, communications, advancing causes or other social media awesome.  Please share in the comments.

Happy New Year!

Top photo: Shutterstock

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Avatar Lucy Ann Clark says

    Great to meet the winners on this list. Thanks for all you do!

  2. Avatar SusanEmerick says

    Honored to be included amongst this list of amazing leaders! Thanks Lee for all you do to drive the industry forward. Cheers to another decade of success for Top Rank!

  3. Avatar Kate Dickman says

    Honored to make this list with such fantastic company. Thanks again for the mention. Have a wonderful New Year and cheers to continued success!

  4. Avatar Jen McClure says

    Thanks so much, Lee! I’m honored! Happy New Year, all!

  5. Glad to see women social media marketers getting some positive attention. However, as a women entrepreneur and professional marketer myself, I have to admit to some disappointment after checking out ten of these women on Twitter just now.

    Social marketing is about building a community — creating reciprocal relationships; not preaching to a congregation and some of these women are not setting a good example of social networking at is finest by largely promoting their own messages without favoring their audience with followbacks, retweets, faves, and mentions.

    They may be successful and contributors in their own way (and I am still sharing this article because it is a great thumbs up for women), but please, take my advice, if you are social networking, to maximize gains, engagement should be a two-way thing leaning towards your followers, not yourself.

    • Thanks for check out the list Lahle, I think it’s interesting that much of Twitter has become a feed. Take this post for example, there are twice the number of shares on Facebook than Twitter. The criteria for this list starts with personal recommendations based on real world interactions (offline and digital) and then looked at a variety of social network participation across networks, content created and how people interacted with it.

  6. Avatar Robin Luymes says

    Congrats to all on the list! And thank you for engaging us all with your insights and expertise!

  7. Priya rocks it!
    Love her posts…
    Part business, part heart, part fun!

  8. Cheers to all. Now go and rock it in 2014.

  9. Thanks so much, Lee. Coming from you, this is high praise. Thanks for recognizing the GM team. With a woman becoming our CEO in January, 2014 promises to be equally as exciting. Happy New Year.

  10. Hi Lee – Thanks for putting the word out for People’s Choice on Twitter, happy to make the list with such a powerful group of women. My very first SES panel was shared with you and Greg Jarboe! Thanks for all your contributions to the online marketing industry, it is definitely even more optimized because of you! 🙂

  11. I admire all of them. More and more women are being noticed and creating a loud noise online.That’s the girl power!

  12. I know I read through the earlier lists when I was making my nominations, but it still took me by surprise that @maryhenige:disqus and @jen_mcclure:disqus hadn’t been nominated earlier… they’re amazing! Thanks so much for including my nomination of @rachaelseda, she is truly someone who makes the social web, and world, a better place. Happy New Year!

  13. Avatar Marissa Blake says

    Good to see linkbait lists continuing into the new year!

  14. Thank you Lahle 🙂

  15. Avatar Albert_Maruggi says

    Lisa Grimm is a miss, but that’s why there’s a comment section. @lulugrimm a must follow. all the best, great resource Lee. @JenMcClure wonderful add and person.

  16. I’d add Brittany Leaning (@bleaning) who is the unsung hero leading all of HubSpot’s social media work across all profiles. If HubSpot is present on a channel somewhere, Brittany is behind it, and the follower growth and engagement speaks to her ridiculous work ethic and talent at a young age.

  17. I am beyond speechless and honored to be a part of this list. Thank you but more than anything thank you for taking the time to recognize and showcase such amazing women professionals!

    • You’re welcome Rachael. I have to admit, it does take a bit of time, but learning about and recognizing talented people doing great work and making a difference is pretty awesome 🙂

  18. Avatar Daniel J. Cohen says

    Great list! I would add @prosperitygal. She’s Houston’s top social media influencer and somewhat overlooked nationally (IMHO!). Also check out Madylyn Sklar.

  19. Great to see Natascha Thomson on this list. I work with @NaThomson and not only is she rocking social but she is also generous with her knowledge and open with her network. I get my best social tips from Natascha!

  20. Avatar @sallehuber says

    Fascinating. Was disappointed not to find anyone that represented health and wellness, as many are active on twitter and it remains a topic of great importance.

  21. Avatar Natascha Thomson says


    blown away that you put me on the list. A big thanks to Sudha Jamthe.

    I’d like to suggest a few other ladies to add:
    – @Petra1400 – Previously super start at Cisco, now running social at Siemens Health; also BtoB Digital Marketer of the year. Personally, my social media guru.

    – @MariaPoveromo – runs social media at Adobe; incredible talent.

    – @JeanetteG – previously ran social media at Cisco, now making a difference at Hootsuite

    – @DannieHerz – Sr. Sales Manager at Hubspot; Inbound marketing ace & philantropic

    – @PCrampton – community manager at Citrix; years of experience, connector and doer

    I could go on….

    Happy 2014,


  22. Thanks so much for sharing this list! It’s wonderful.