25 Socially Strong Entrepreneurs Every VC Should Be Following

Here are 25 to follow and emulate—and what they’re doing to get noticed beyond disrupting the status quo

There are thousands of entrepreneurs out there working hard to get noticed for their disruptive ideas, their passionate drive to make the world a better place and their desire to change how we work and live. And many of those folks are successful, in part, due to winning ways they interact on social media.

Here are 25 of those folks to follow and emulate—and what they’re doing to get noticed beyond disrupting the status quo:

  1. Jørn Lyseggen is the founder and CEO of Meltwater, a global leader in online intelligence that has grown into the software-as-a-service market, and he used thousands of tweets to engage with his thousands of Twitter followers over the past seven years. His new book, Outside Insight, about the proliferation of data and what to do with it, will be out in June. In addition to his regular online thought leadership that he shares on a blog and all of his social media profiles, he also founded the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a nonprofit that offers training and mentoring to young African entrepreneurs that want to launch Ghana-based software companies.
  2. Ekta Sahasi delivers her tech thought leadership throughout social channels. From the Konica Minolta Business Innovation Center, she leads to various professional social media sites like LinkedIn and the social profiles of Konica on sites like Twitter and Facebook, where she has thousands of followers. The social media sites Sahasi uses have become excellent points of contact for emerging startups to reach out, engage and interact in order to help fuel innovation and determine where to invest.
  3. Ali Brown has more than 250,000 followers on social media, including nearly 80,000 on Twitter. She leverages these platforms to share articles, success stories and information about her podcasts. Brown is an entrepreneur, business coach and podcast host of Glambition Radio, which is focused on entrepreneurial advice for women. Her influence over her audience is incredible and offers VCs a great network in which to connect to many other promising entrepreneurs.
  4. Scott Monty was named by Forbes as one of the top social media influencers, with 111,000 Twitter followers and 54,000 tweets. He is CEO of Brain and Trust Partners. Scott understands his audience and gives them what they want, illustrating how to humanize the social media conversation and create user intimacy through his posts and best practices articles.
  5. Adrian Nazari uses Twitter to share daily wisdom on money matters with thousands of followers. He is founder and CEO of Credit Sesame and has spent his entire career within the liabilities management field, developing companies and solutions that help consumers and businesses make smarter money decisions. Nazari uses social platforms as a launching point for his thought leadership and makes a point to not outsource interactions on these profiles. When you connect with Nazari online, it’s really him replying. This personalized approach makes a difference.
  6. Kim Garst is a social media dynamo with 532,000 followers and more than 300,000 tweets. She is founder and CEO of Social Media Branding. Not only is she a strong social entrepreneur who uses these channels to broadcast her expertise, but she has also turned it into a business and capitalized on the growth in influencer marketing. Garst is someone to listen to when seeking out media trends.
  7. Murray Newlands has 1.58 million Twitter followers in addition to thousands of Facebook and LinkedIn followers. He is founder and CEO of ChattyPeople, an intelligent customer-support bot that can integrate with Facebook Messenger, and he heads up Sighted, an online invoicing company, while also advising and mentoring many companies and burgeoning entrepreneurs. Newlands can be found making the most of social live video platforms offering insight and interviews, regularly contributing to various blogs and participating in numerous conversations on Facebook and Twitter with his target audience.
  8. Jason Falls has 105,000 Twitter followers and tweets out to them daily. He is founder of the Conversation Research Institute, the place to get incredible insights into your audience and help develop your own. He shares his thought leadership on all social media channels, believing in the power of social media marketing to engage with others. He has also founded SocialMediaExplorer.com, so he is a go-to source for everything related to digital marketing, sharing his own best practices and those of other companies.
  9. Kelly Lovell has more than 218,000 Twitter followers and thousands of fans on Facebook. She is executive producer and host of You Effect, a user-generated global media network, and founder and CEO of The Kelly Effect, a consulting firm focused on corporate social responsibility and the development of startup and nonprofit organizations. She promotes leadership with video and visuals, relevant content and online events via a variety of social channels.
  10. Chelsea Krost has 130,000 followers on Twitters and nearly 200,000 tweets that she has shared with those followers. She is a speaker, published author, certified health coach and television and radio talk-show host. Krost has served as an influencer among young people, using traditional media and social media to achieve engagement and interest for her clients among their target audiences through her company, Chelsea Productions. She focuses on creating a consistent presence through offline and online communication channels.
  11. Brian Fanzo has 110,000 Twitter followers. He hosts the SMACtalk and FOMOfanz podcasts and runs iSocialFanz, which serves as a social strategy agency that helps companies and brands of all sizes. Fanzo is proving just how much audiences like the podcast and video formats for learning and interacting on social media.
  12. Mukul Agarwal has hundreds of followers on social media like Twitter and LinkedIn under his own brand and that of his companies. He is founder and CEO of BootUP Ventures. Agarwal is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs and regularly leverages social networks to connect with those that need assistance with turning their ideas into viable businesses. He also uses social platforms for mentoring those startups he has taken under his wing, illustrating how social channels have become an ideal platform for teaching, training and skills development.
  13. Leonard Kim has nearly 420,000 Twitter followers and sends out hundreds of tweets each year, as well as has hundreds of Vine loops and broadcasts. He has gone from being homeless seven years ago to becoming a leader among youth marketing and digital marketing entrepreneurs. He is a managing partner at InfluenceTree and in addition to his own social media presence and media placements, he has developed his own personal branding course and shares insight around the importance of building awareness to drive customer loyalty.
  14. Chalmers Brown interacts with thousands of followers on Instagram and Facebook, and he has grown his Twitter following to more than 70,000 in six months. He is co-founder and chief technology officer of Due, an online invoicing and payments company. Brown also works with the Forbes Technology Council around trends and issues that impact those in technology, and he shares insight for entrepreneurs looking for new technology to invest in to improve business processes.
  15. Brittany Hodak has thousands of followers on LinkedIn and Twitter who follow this social media maven because of her innovative startup success as co-founder of Zinepak, which specializes in creating interactive publications for superfans. She is also focused on social good as co-founder of Per Diems Against Poverty. On social media, she not only shares her thought leadership, but also interacts to promote social causes designed to make the world a better place.
  16. Charles Anderson has thousands of followers on Facebook and LinkedIn, where he shares his thoughts on financing, lending and more while also interacting with his audience. He is founder of Commercial Equipment Marketplace Capital and founder and CEO of Currency Capital, with both companies specializing in online business financing.
  17. Jonathan Long illustrates that VCs should look at all types of entrepreneurs, regardless of their product idea, because they can offer incredibly disruptive ideas and attract thousands of followers on their individual and company social media sites, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. He is co-founder of the Sexy Smile Kit, a home teeth-whitening kit, as well as CEO of Market Domination Media, an online marketing agency. He writes for numerous publications and dominates social media with engaging insights on digital marketing, entrepreneurship, product development and influencer marketing.
  18. Richard Lorenzen interacts with his audience primarily through Twitter, where he has 53,000 followers, and Instagram, with more than 18,000 following his thought leadership and looking to him for mentoring. He founded his first company at the ripe old age of 15 and 10 years later, he continues to develop businesses including his public relations firm, Fifth Avenue Brands. LinkedIn named him one of the top millennial influencers, while Entrepreneur Magazine ranked him as a major player in digital marketing. He is now an author and speaker, as well as a social media thought leader, sharing his wisdom about entrepreneurship and how to develop businesses from a young age.
  19. Shradha Agarwal has been on Twitter since 2009, believing in and using this platform to interact with her target audience. Now, with thousands of followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, she has expanded her social presence as co-founder and president of Outcome Health (formerly Context Media), focused on global well-being. Her passion has always been to connect people and information in various ways in order to help people solve problems and make satisfying improvements to their professional and personal lives.
  20. Joel Comm is an internet marketing guru who is essentially everywhere talking just about everything—from religion to politics to world events and everything in-between—with 828,00 Twitter followers, 40,000 likes on Facebook, 9,100 subscribers on YouTube and even 1,600 followers on Pinterest. As a futurist and influencer, Comm has numerous platforms, including all social media, his blog, 12 published books, all types of media and the speaking circuit. His entrepreneur forays include successful internet startups built into businesses all the way back to 1995, illustrating his resiliency and ability to be in-tune with the pulse of change.
  21. Cynthia Johnson is everywhere on social media with 1.38 million Twitter followers, 555,000 Vine followers and 4.1 million loops, 42,500 Instagram followers and 98,000 Pinterest followers. She is currently co-founder of Ipselty Media, an agency directed at personal brand development. She has been involved in numerous startups, including serving as managing partner and director of marketing for RankLab. She involves herself in numerous organizations and councils to network, connect and share her insights. This includes serving as a member of the Forbes Agency Council and the Young Entrepreneur Council. Her thought leadership can be found throughout social media channels and as a contributing columnist on media sites like Entrepreneur, Business2Community and Social Media Examiner. Johnson continually shares content from these other outlets on her social media pages with the understanding that she can reach different people by regularly recycling this information.
  22. John Hall has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and engages with his audience by repeatedly posting and using livestreamed video on Facebook to engage with his audience. He is co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., a content marketing agency that he has built up to one of the leading content strategists in the world in just under four years of development. Hall contributes his thought leadership to more than 50 publications and actively participates and engages with his followers on social media to continue connecting with those he seeks to help.
  23. Ashley Stahl uses social media platforms to answer questions, mentor her audience and provide direct assistance in job hunts, building a following of nearly 40,000 on Twitter, garnering nearly 100,000 likes on Facebook and engaging with nearly 8,000 Instagram users. She is an angel investor, career coach, entrepreneur and speaker who helps job seekers by also connecting with them on her website and in-person. Stahl is also a Forbes columnist who shares her content across all channels to build her viral following. She often includes case studies that illustrate how she has helped people.
  24. Lisa Song Sutton is an entrepreneur who involves herself in numerous ventures and backs a wide range of brands, engaging with 48,000 Twitter followers, 55,000 Instagram followers and 15,000 fans on Facebook. She is also a Global Shaper with the World Economic Forum and on the executive board of the Asian Community Development Council, as well as a speaker and published author. As a philanthropist, Sutton is also actively involved in charity work and uses social media to raise awareness related to different causes she believes in. This includes sharing stories about those that have been helped with her philanthropy to encourage others to do the same and offer their own stories. In this way, Sutton understands that social media is a great way to build community and consensus.
  25. Dave Peck has thousands of followers across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. He is the global head of social and digital media marketing at PayPal, where he is responsible for social strategy and influencer relations, including developing and executing global social media strategy and integrated digital marketing. Dave also oversees direct-response marketing to support specific reputation narratives to key audiences in support of the corporate brand. His team’s efforts have resulted in the achievement of many strategic objectives and serve as a benchmark for other companies seeking to create their own social presence.

Image courtesy of gerenme/iStock.

@MaryCLong maryclong@digitalmediaghost.com Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.