This, the sixth annual #Online18 list of key social media influencers is formed from the personal opinion of PPAI President and CEO Denham, MAS+. It includes both companies and individuals, with an emphasis on engagement and driving value to their followers and the industry as a whole.
For 2022 Denham’s list includes five first-time honorees, with Denham noting the rise of short-form video content across social platforms, including TikTok.
18. Joelly Goodson (First Time)
The only person on this list because of a podcast. I have listened to a few of her episodes, and they were great. I enjoy her work and the guests she brings on. Joelly is demonstrating the value of grit as she launched the show in January 2021 and has consistently produced podcasts with interesting content and guests. Getting started is difficult, sticking with it as consistently as Joelly has is harder and ultimately leads to success. Enjoy her podcast and learn from her persistence as well.
17. Alex Symms (First Time)
Alex has just recently become more visible to me, but is not a stranger to many people as evidenced by his engagement on social media. Many people are just now starting to realize the value of LinkedIn and Alex demonstrates a great path for those looking for ideas to engage.
Vin Driscoll leads the ASICentral account for ASI but is surrounded by a team of people who engage with others as well as post meaningful content. My favorite to follow is Michele Bell (who wisely never joined Facebook) because she brings far more to social than the typical engagement, and I often find something new from following her. No discussion of ASI would be complete without mentioning Tim Andrews, who is actively posting on multiple channels to ensure the ASI message gets heard, along with Theresa Hegel.
15. Mitch Silver (First Time)
I have known Mitch for years, yet only recently have I become aware of his social posts. I am seeing his posts consistently, especially on LinkedIn, and the quality is excellent as evidenced by the growing engagement. Perhaps more importantly, Mitch is doing a great job engaging with clients, friends and industry people by adding meaningful comments to their posts. Mitch goes well beyond liking a post, and his comments help keep him top of mind with everyone he interacts with. Anyone wanting to see a great approach to LinkedIn should follow and engage with Mitch.
14. Brandon Pecharich / PromoCorner (First Time)
Brandon is a name many people have known either through his own social channels or the work he does at PromoCorner. Brandon is persistent and is leveraging numerous tools to engage with customers. Like a few others on this list, Brandon’s social engagement goes well beyond his posts and reflects the importance of engaging with others online and offline in authentic ways.
13. Charity Gibson
A former No. 1 and No. 2 on the #Online18, Charity continues her high engagement on social media. As always, Charity focuses more on business engagement for brands that she represents than she does on her own social media, although she is very active and engaging on social personally as well. One of my favorite business posts that Charity has done in the recent past is her catalog challenge, which inspired many and created significant engagement as well as value for the readers.
12. Javier Melendez
Short form video remains his specialty and he makes it look so easy. I’m confident his posts take more than a few minutes to conceptualize, film and edit, but the engagement and awareness is likely worth it. In a recent conversation with Javier, he shared how many people he hears from directly who see him on social but rather than commenting online, mention his latest post as they see him in person. Creating consistently engaging content impacts both online and offline engagement when done right. He has a lot of TikTok followers, but also leverages the content well on other platforms to increase his reach.
11. Britney Godsey
One of the first people that I engaged with on Instagram, Britney continues to expand her influence online and offline with her creative videos, photos and content. Fun and engaging to interact with, but also ensuring a message gets across, Britney is someone we can all learn from—especially on Instagram.
10. Maple Ridge Farms
The team at Maple Ridge does a great job building R&D content—rip off and duplicate—for distributors: beautiful photos, along with engaging copy fit for any distributor social media posts to promote Maple Ridge Farm products. Even if you don’t use it for R&D, the content will inspire you and keep their brand top of mind. Their engagement shows I am not the only one who finds their social media a valuable source.
9. Kirby Hasseman & Bill Petrie
OK, I am cheating on this one a bit because both are engaging on social individually. But there are only 18 spots, and these two are highly engaged with each other on social, including their weekly Promo UPFront podcast, so I am sneaking them in together for one year only. Despite a horrible intro song, the podcast does a good job of covering important industry topics in a meaningful way. The podcast combined with their individual content and engagement is why they made the list.
8. Logojojo (First Time)
Ellie Bathe is engaging and has fun content. She has a great consistency to her branding. Once you engage with her on social, you will have a tough time having any other supplier top of mind for coffee. We can all learn a lot from her strategy of focused content with just the right amount of additional content to keep accounts from becoming too salesy.
7. Danny Rosin
Danny holds a special place on this list as someone who continues to engage me personally nearly every week. Danny manages to cover an incredibly wide range of interests on social, while keeping his brand (personal and business) top of mind for me. What he does is incredibly difficult for most of us: he balances personal life, interests, and business posts in a very meaningful way. Whether his content is right for you or not, he sets a great example of keeping relevant while covering broad concepts.
6. Nick Lateur
Still the best part of Mondays, Nick has kept the brand going and remains top of mind. In addition to great consistency, he finds new ideas regularly to keep us engaged. I love that he has managed to maintain this for so long, although his engagement from followers has declined. I know I still see many of his posts, but just don’t engage as much as I used to with them. I suspect I’m not alone. If you haven’t been following Nick, follow soon and look back at some really great past posts. Nick is very creative in his approach as well as consistency which extends his awareness while softly reminding us of the products and business he represents.
commonsku engages on multiple social channels through multiple staff members. While the approach is not completely unique, they are doing it well. I love that each individual appears to be making their own posts and reaching their own audience. The strategy allows a broader reach and a better chance at connecting with individuals who might have different tastes. Engagement is highest on Instagram; here are a few of the accounts that deliver high engagement: commonsku. David Shultz. Ashley Colautti.
4. Jeremy Picker
Jeremy is one of the most engaged industry people on Twitter and has a loyal group of followers who love his content. I highly recommend following Jeremy to see how to engage on Twitter well, which is something very few seem to do in our industry. He is also great on Instagram for those who don’t care for Twitter. I love the content he provides almost as much as the engagement he offers with others on Twitter.
3. Megan Erber
Megan has a following on so many channels and approaches so many different topics. She is involved in multiple efforts while also ensuring that she is putting her firms brand front and center. Megan provides significant content that receives great engagement, but also engages a lot with others’ content, delivering a really valuable 1-2 punch.
2. Goldstar USA
Goldstar continues to reinvent its social media strategy with new ideas. Charles Duggan is the online face of Goldstar, and his energy is unmatched. Distributor and supplier firms alike can learn from how Goldstar engages multiple internal and external people via video, as well as general posts. One of the things I love about the approach that Goldstar has is that it is consistent online and offline so when I’m engaging with anyone online, I have a very similar in-person experience.
1. American Solutions for Business
ASB continues to innovate on social with extremely high engagement and great quality content. Last year, Taylor Borst made the list on her own, but Katie Kahler joined ASB in 2021 and has been extremely impressive in a short amount of time. It could be the mentoring by Taylor, but Katie has added significant value online to the ASB efforts. Both are worth following and learning from on how to engage on multiple channels—a dynamic duo if there ever was one. Along with others, they are leading the way on social media as demonstrated by the significant engagement from their followers.