Social media marketing is its own animal.

While there are lots of major players in this area, I also like to watch for rising stars (or people who are rising even more) and people carving out niches that are more specific.

Here are some of the rising stars (and established experts still blowing up) in social media marketing right now that I think are well worth your time to follow.

rising-stars-social-media-marketing

Infographic of Rising Stars in Social Media Marketing

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Viveka Von Rosen – @LinkedInExpert

Viveka Von Rosen

Viveka Von Rosen

Viveka von Rosen is billed as an expert in LinkedIn marketing and wrote the book, “LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.” Her LinkedIn marketing consultancy business is called Linked Into Business. Her Twitter chat about LinkedIn happens every Tuesday at 5:00pm PST. She also writes for Social Media Examiner.

Tayo Rockson – @TayoRockson

Tayo Rockson

Tayo Rockson

Tayo Rockson, MBA, is the CEO and Managing Editor of UYD Media. His podcast, “As Told By Nomads,” focuses on interviews with multicultural entrepreneurs and leaders in global affairs, travel, culture, and business. His recent work has focused on why millennials and new, young businesses are so focused on live-steaming.

Dom Garrett – @DomGarrett

Dom Garrett

Dom Garrett

Dom Garrett is a BTC Revolutions community manager; this means his job is to create so much love for brands that they have loyal, thriving communities. He does a lot of this using social media and is a master in this area. He also co-hosts #CMGRHangout for community managers on Google+ with a simultaneous Twitter chat.

Albert Qian – @AlbertQian

Albert Qian

Albert Qian

Albert Qian is a high-tech marketer with a focus on technology and social media and storytelling. He began his career in Silicon Valley and is the creator of Albert’s List, a connection point for job seekers, recruiters, and others. He is also the author of “The Social Media Ecosystem.” He discusses issues like the importance of video content in social media marketing as the numbers of millennials in positions of decision-making power grow.

Ryan Pena – @iRyanPena

Ryan Pena

Ryan Pena

Ryan Pena is Social Media Manager for MobCon and MentorMate. Before that he was Capella University’s Senior Social Media Specialist, and he’s also an experienced speaker. His emphasis when it comes to social media is that the “social” part matters more, and that the needs of users have and will continue to drive innovation and trends more than anything else.

Aaron Kilby – @Kilby76

Aaron Kilby

Aaron Kilby

Aaron Kilby is Artisan Colour’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. He also created one of the longest running and most popular Twitterchats ever: #Mediachat. His experience in graphic design helps him understand visual content in a more highly refined way that most others in the industry, allowing him to offer unique insights into social media marketing.

Owen Hemsath – @OwenHemsath

Owen Hemsath

Owen Hemsath

Owen Hemsath is the President of Videospot, a video marketing business. He is also an expert on all things Facebook video ads, video marketing, website design, and YouTube—in particular monetizing your YouTube presence. His special focus leads him to make useful connections between social media tech and YouTube; for example, the ways that apps like Blab and Periscope can be used to “tease” more extensive content on YouTube.

Christian Karasiewicz – @CKRoks

Christian Karasiewicz

Christian Karasiewicz

Christian Karasiewicz is a public speaker and consultant on digital marketing, social media, and technology. He is also a writer for Social Media Examiner and has been featured on Blogging Wizard and Post Planner. He is the author of “The Social Media Manual: A Guide on Using Social Media to Grow Your Business.”

Mitch Jackson Esq. – @MitchJackson

Mitch Jackson

Mitch Jackson

Also known as the “Streaming Lawyer,” still practices law but also helps non-legal clients to use live streaming and social media to build their businesses. For Jackson live-streaming is the next real game changer in social media marketing because it allows for real-time interaction and face to face contact.

Jessika Phillips – @JessikaPhillips

Jessika Phillips

Jessika Phillips

Jessika Phillips is founder and president of NOW Marketing Group. She places a lot of focus on the business blog as an overlooked and, ideally, very social channel. Phillips focuses on relationship marketing, emphasizing building and maintaining relationships to grow brands—so it’s not surprising that she’s very adept with social media. She is also a Hubspot Gold Partner and public speaker/trainer.

Carlos Gil – @CarlosGil83

Carlos Gil

Carlos Gil

Global head of social media for BMC Software, Carlos Gil spends his time on the nuances of social media marketing. Before he was at BMC he worked for LinkedIn as the Senior Social Marketing Manager. He is also behind “CarlosGilTV” on YouTube where he shares numerous marketing and social media how-tos and other information.

Keri Jaehnig – @KeriJaehnig

Keri Jaehnig

Keri Jaehnig

Keri Jaehnig is the CMO and founder of Idea Girl Media, and author of articles like “The Jerry Maguire Guide For Social Media Professionals.” She is one of this year’s Top CMOs Followed On Twitter, and the provided the #1 Quora answer to the question: “How Can You Tell A Good Social Media Strategist From A Bad One Before It’s Too Late?” She also contributes regularly to Social Media Today, Search Engine People, and Steam Feed and has been featured by Forbes.

These rising stars in social media marketing are definitely adding major value to the conversation. Did I miss anyone that you think should be on this list? Let me know in the comments.soci