If you’re an entrepreneur nurturing your own business or startup into a full-blown success, you are always looking for advice, but you probably don’t have extra time to figure out where you should be looking for that advice. Following startup marketing experts on social media is the fastest, easiest way to get the information you need, but it’s not always easy to determine who to follow or where the most value is.

When I sat down to create a list of the best startup marketing influencers, I didn’t just check to see who has the most social media followers. I looked at how engaged their followers are, how reliable and useful their posts are, what kind of materials (from books to blog posts) they’ve written, what advanced knowledge they have in the realm of online marketing, and any special distinctions or awards they’ve received.

Here’s what I came up with: the 12 top startup marketing experts to follow on social media.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel headshot

Who is he?

Patel is an entrepreneur in his own right; he co-founded KISSMetrics, HelloBar, Quick Sprout, and Crazy Egg, which have each grown into serious winners. He has also consulted for some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon, eBay, General Motors, Google, HP, NBC, and Viacom.

What does he post about?

Patel has serious skill with conversion and web analytics, growth hacking, social media marketing, and content marketing strategy.

Why should you follow him?

Even though he focuses on technical subjects, Patel’s posts are very accessible, even in complicated niche areas; this has earned him a huge, loyal fan base.

Tweet by Neil Patel

In case you’re not convinced…

Patel has been called a top influencer on the web by The Wall Street Journal. He was recognized by President Obama as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30, and the United Nations named him among the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35.

Follow Neil Patel on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you need to choose one, make it Twitter.

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin headshot

Who is he?

Rand Fishkin is the founder and former CEO of Moz. Now he simply fulfills the role of “the Wizard of Moz,” with all the duties and privileges the title entails (I’m not totally sure either). He is also the co-founder of Inbound.org.

What does he post about?

Fishkin is one of the preeminent experts in entrepreneurship, marketing and SEO. Fishkin is also a speaker and the author of Sztuka SEO and Inbound Marketing and SEO: Insights from the Moz Blog as well as numerous blog posts and articles.

Why should you follow him?

His Moz “Whiteboard Friday” videos are still one of the best SEO resources around, even for those without deep expertise in the area. Also, Fishkin’s knowledge of UX (User Experience) informs his approach to marketing, which gives his advice a unique edge. A UX-focused approach will help your startup appeal to younger markets in particular.

In case you’re not convinced…

Fishkin was named among the 30 Best Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30 by Business Week and has also been profiled by The New York Times, Newsweek, Seattle Times, and Puget Sound Business Journal.

You can find Rand Fishkin on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn though his Whiteboard Friday blog is still the best resource.

Liz Strauss

Liz Strauss headshot

Who is she?

Liz Strauss is an expert in building customer relationships and has been called “the most influential relational blogger on the Internet” by EatonWeb.

What does she post about?

Strauss merges knowledge of publishing, business, and instructional design to teach businesses about customer relations and how to build a loyal following.

Why should you follow her?

Strauss’ blog will show you that she is a skilled author who offers useful, actionable advice. Her site is also a place where her very engaged, active followers meet and discuss customer relationship issues. The best part? Strauss herself often participates and provides advice in these discussions.

In case you’re not convinced…

Strauss has numerous accolades under her belt. She’s been ranked in The Huffington Post Top 10 Influencers Alive, Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencers and Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, Top 100 Social Media and Internet Marketing Bloggers, Top 100 Most Influential Marketers of 2008 and 2009, 50 of the Most Powerful and Influential Women of Social Media, NxE’s Fifty Most Influential Female Bloggers, Alltop Social Media and Alltop Twitterati. How’s that for street cred?

Follow Liz Strauss on her blog, Twitter and LinkedIn, but just her blog if you’re really pressed for time.

Jay Baer

Jay Baer headshot

Who is he?

Jay Baer is the founder and brains behind digital marketing consulting agency Convince & Convert. He is also a digital media entrepreneur, keynote speaker, advisor to more than 700 clients (including the United Nations and Nike), and a New York Times best-selling author.

What does he post about?

Jay Baer publishes some of the best articles on Convince & Convert’s blog, focusing on content marketing and how to use customer service and social media to beat the competition.

Why you should follow him?

Content marketing is essential for startups, and Baer’s advice tells you how to do it well.

In case you’re not convinced…

Beyond the New York Times best-seller list, Baer also holds the title of The world’s most retweeted person by digital marketers and The world’s #2 most retweeted person by B2B marketers, according to Leadtail and PunchTab.

Follow Jay Baer on his own Twitter and Convince & Convert’s Twitter. You can also read his articles on Medium.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty headshot

Who is she?

Ann Smarty is a marketing veteran and the brand manager of the Internet Marketing Ninjas. She founded Viral Content Buzz, MyBlogU.com, My Blog Guest, and ViralContentBee.com, so she knows what it’s like to strike out on your own.

What does she post about?

Ann Smarty is known for her tutorials and detailed posts on blogging and Internet marketing. She also manages the SEOchat community, a forum for sharing expertise and ideas that SEO experts frequent.

Tweet about SEO by Ann Smarty

Why should you follow her?

Smarty provides concrete tactics for improving your keyword research, content writing skills, and guest blogging strategy.

In case you’re not convinced…

Smarty has written for Entrepreneur, Epoch Times, Lifehack, Mashable, Moz, SearchEngineLand, and Social Media Examiner about her areas of expertise.

Follow Ann Smarty on one or more of her three Twitter channels, depending on what you’re looking for: seo advice, guest blogging and content or more general marketing information.

Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel headshot

Who is he?

Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency. He also provides digital marketing expertise to Fortune 500s and other big companies like Expedia, LinkedIn, and Sony to the tune of about 80 hours per week. Patel also founded ContentMarketer.io, Mailshake, Narrow, and Quuu. He leverages his success as an entrepreneur into valuable advice for followers.

What does he post about?

Patel covers growth hacking and branding topics, including which channels work best for startups, the most effective tactics for raising capital, and smarter social media strategies for startups.

Why should I follow him?

Patel moves at a relentless pace and has serious charisma, and is known for being fearless, passionate, and influential as a capital raiser and a growth hacker. He knows the topics he posts about and covers each of them in a uniquely engaging and energetic way that creates excitement for followers.

In case you’re not convinced…

Patel is an engaging writer, both on his blog and for publications like Entrepreneur, Inc., Fast Company, and Forbes. He has also written the books Content Marketing Playbook and 100 Days of Growth. He was a Small Business Influencer of 2015.

Follow Sujan Patel on Twitter and his blog.

Aleyda Solis

Aleyda Solis headshot

Who is she?

Aleyda Solis is truly an international influencer; she speaks three languages and has been a featured speaker at numerous events across 5 countries, including BrightonSEO, MozCon, SMX, and SES. Solis consults on international SEO techniques and marketing and is also the founder of Orainti, an SEO consulting business.

What does she post about?

Solis focuses most on driving organic search engine visibility and SEO audits in her work. She also discusses SEO from an international perspective, which is not always covered in other work.

Why should I follow her?

Organic traffic is the brass ring, and Solis’ advice is rock solid. Especially if your clients are outside your country of origin, Solis’ SEO advice is likely to be invaluable to you.

In case you’re not convinced…

Solis is a noted writer, blogging for Moz and SearchEngineLand, and she also teaches at ISDI Online, KSchool in Madrid, Spain, and Pompeu Fabra University. Forbes named Solis as one of the Top 10 Online Marketers to Follow in 2015.

Follow Aleyda Solis on Twitter, but also look for her videos on YouTube and Moz.

John Rampton

John Rampton headshot]
Who is he?

John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur and people connector. He is the founder of Due.com, an online payment company, as well as a prolific author known for his relatability and practical advice.

What does he post about?

Rampton posts about marketing tactics and startup advice in particular, having started a string of successful businesses himself.

Why should I follow him?

As one of the few professionals out there who is self-taught, he is very relatable for entrepreneurs and his success shows the power of hustle and great ideas. His motivational blog is chock full of startup advice.

In case you’re not convinced…

You may have seen or read Rampton on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, Mashable, Time, CNN, and TechCrunch. Entrepreneur put him in the #2 spot on its Top 50 Online Marketing Influencers list, in recognition of Rampton’s extensive knowledge.

Follow John Rampton on Snapchat and on Twitter.

Ann Handley

Ann Handley headshot

Who is she?

Ann Handley is one of the pioneers of digital marketing; she is the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller, Everybody Writes, as well as the chief content officer of MarketingProfs, one of the most relied-upon marketing resources on the web. Handley is also the co-founder of the online publication ClickZ, a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and a well-known keynote speaker.

What does she post about?

Handley posts about improving your writing, but with a specific focus on improving it for better marketing results.

Why should I follow her?

Everyone can improve their writing, and when it’s for better marketing outcomes, it’s definitely worth the effort. Handley offers actionable tips that everyone can use regardless of what your existing skills are like.

In case you’re not convinced…

Forbes named Handley among the Top 20 Women Bloggers and the Most Influential Woman in Social Media.

As you might expect from the representative prolific writing expert on this list, you can follow Ann Handley on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram, whew! If you’re choosing, look for her on Twitter and LinkedIn first, unless one of the others is better for your startup in particular.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen headshot

Who is he?

As the head of rider growth at Uber, Andrew Chen knows a thing or two about growing an acorn into a tremendous, market-dominating oak tree. He has also worked with other successful startups, including AngelList, Dropbox, ProductHunt, and Tinder. Chen is a growth marketing pioneer as well as a startup marketing genius.

What does he post about?

Chen writes about growth hacking, user growth, mobile product design, branding, fundraising, and marketing, as well as new developments on the Silicon Valley scene.

Why should I follow him?

Chen’s weekly newsletter is a must for startup marketing, offering longform updates on everything that’s happening in Silicon Valley (some in the news, some not). Whether you’re in Silicon Valley or not, if you’re a startup, it’s information you should know about.

In case you’re not convinced…

His 650+ essays have been featured in and quoted by Fortune, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Wired.

Subscribe to Andrew Chen’s weekly newsletter, and follow him on Twitter.

Angie Schottmuller

Angie Schottmuller headshot

Who is she?

Angie Schottmuller is director of interactive strategy and optimization at Three Deep Marketing, and is known as a conversion optimist and digital marketing expert. She has advised companies like Nestlé and Home Depot and is a prominent speaker who has presented on growth marketing at OMS, SES, and SMX. She is also an author, who has a column at Search Engine Watch and created the curriculum for the online major in marketing at The Art Institutes.

What does she post about?

Schottmuller typically focuses on inbound marketing, SEO, interactive strategies, growth marketing, and startup SEO strategies.

Why should I follow her?

Schottmuller has a lot of skill in presenting complex marketing topics in a way that even novices can understand (this is why she writes for students). Yet her work for professionals gets into enough detail to make it very useful even for more advanced businesses.

In case you’re not convinced…

She was named one of the Top Online Marketers by both Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.

Follow Angie Schottmuller on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk headshot

Who is he?

Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur and the CEO of VaynerMedia, a social media digital agency. He is also a startup investor, backing Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Uber, and other startups. He has written four books, including Crush it!: why NOW is the time to cash in on your passion.

Snapchat by Gary Vaynerchuk
What does he post about?

Vaynerchuk posts about a wide range of topics, but for startups his most useful topics include putting social media trends to work for your business, finding the right investors, and creating unique marketing strategies for your startup.

Why should I follow him?

Vaynerchuk has the unique ability to spot trends on social media, and talk to his followers about how he does that and what the trends mean. He also has the strongest Snapchat skills of any influencer on this list.

In case you’re not convinced…

Vaynerchuk is one of Crain’s 40 under 40, and INC’s 25 Social Media Keynote Speakers You Need to Know.

Follow Gary Vaynerchuk on SnapChat and Twitter, and if you prefer video, check him out on YouTube.

The bottom line

Startup marketing influencers provide incredible value to their followers. They’ve been in your shoes, and they understand how startups work and what being an entrepreneur is all about. The best part is that each of these startup marketing influencers have active, engaged social media communities where they share expert insight and information you can use every day in your work, free of cost! Take advantage by following these 12 startup marketing experts on your favorite social channel today.