The Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter

NOTE: We’ve updated this list: 2012 Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter.

Can Twitter experts help small business owners improve their businesses?

We think so! In fact, we’re so convinced about it that we’ve tried to identify (objectively, of course) the most influential people in small business on Twitter.  (The process we used to develop the list is described at the bottom of this blog post!).  The ranking shows not only the person’s name and Twitter handle, but also their peer rating percentage based on our measurements and their “Klout” score to give you an idea of how their tool measures someone’s overall Twitter presence (not necessarily their impact with the small business space, which is more interesting to us!).

Make sure to follow us! [twitter-follow screen_name='dandb']

We hope to accomplish a couple of things with this list:

  • Measure who is influential in the small business world on Twitter
  • Provide a helpful list of people to follow for those from the small business community new to Twitter

Without further ado, here’s the list of The Most Influential People in Small Business on Twitter:

Name Twitter Klout Score Peer Follows
Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan 76 100%
Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee 74 89%
Scott Stratten @unmarketing 81 89%
Brian Clark @copyblogger 73 84%
John Jantsch @ducttape 74 84%
Darren Rowse @problogger 79 84%
Liz Strauss @lizstrauss 74 74%
Mari Smith @MariSmith 74 74%
Lisa Barone @lisabarone 65 74%
Jonathan Fields @jonathanfields 69 74%
Brian Solis @briansolis 77 68%
Robert Scoble @Scobleizer 80 68%
Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang 77 68%
Wendy Piersall @emom 54 68%
Tony Hsieh @zappos 66 68%
Ann Handley @MarketingProfs 76 68%
Jason Falls @jasonfalls 74 68%
Jim Kukral @JimKukral 64 63%
Laura Fitton @Pistachio 67 63%
Dan Schawbel @DanSchawbel 73 63%
Amber Naslund @AmberCadabra 71 63%
Valeria Maltoni @ConversationAge 62 63%
Chris Guillebeau @chrisguillebeau 68 63%
Chris Garrett @chrisgarrett 59 58%
Marshall Kirkpatrick @marshallk 72 58%
Mack Collier @MackCollier 69 58%
Guy Kawasaki @GuyKawasaki 85 58%
David Meerman Scott @dmscott 68 58%
Shannon Paul @ShannonPaul 60 58%
Pamela Slim @pamslim 67 58%
Justin Levy @justinlevy 61 58%
C.C. Chapman @cc_chapman 71 53%
Danny Sullivan @dannysullivan 71 53%
Lee Odden @leeodden 65 53%
Pete Cashmore @mashable 88 53%
Shashi Bellamkonda @shashib 67 53%
Anita Campbell @smallbiztrends 71 53%
Ed Shahzade @Ed 67 53%
Shama Kabani @shama 54 53%
Sarah Evans @prsarahevans 72 53%
James Chartrand @MenwithPens 54 53%
Carrie Wilkerson @barefoot_exec 73 53%
Derek Halpern @derekhalpern 58 53%
Wayne Sutton @waynesutton 65 47%
Douglas Karr @douglaskarr 60 47%
Hugh MacLeod @gapingvoid 66 47%
Julia Roy @juliaroy 55 47%
Jeff Keni Pulver @jeffpulver 73 47%
David Armano @armano 73 47%
Aaron Brazell @technosailor 61 47%
Michael Gray @graywolf 67 47%
Scott Monty @ScottMonty 69 47%
Terry St. Marie @Starbucker 58 47%
Stephanie Agresta @stephagresta 48 47%
Reem Abeidoh @rabeidoh 48 47%
Erin Kotecki Vest @QueenofSpain 71 47%
Sonia Simone @soniasimone 54 47%
Aaron Strout @AaronStrout 65 47%
Christine Perkett @missusP 65 47%
SarahRobinson @SarahRobinson 64 47%
Jay Baer @jaybaer 76 47%
Jason Keath @jasonkeath 66 47%
Dharmesh Shah @dharmesh 67 47%
Lynn Terry @lynnterry 53 47%
Lewis Howes @LewisHowes 67 47%
Warren Whitlock @WarrenWhitlock 71 47%
Kristi Hines @kikolani 67 47%
Lisa Petrilli @LisaPetrilli 65 47%

While we’re a relatively new twitter account, we’d love to break into our own list of most influential Twitter accounts, so help us out by giving @DandB a follow:)

[UPDATE: If you're interested in following some (or many) of these people, it's probably easiest to do it from the Twitter List that we created:  @dandb/smallbiz-most-influential/members]

Methodology

What’s behind this list?

First off, the logic we’re using in defining “influence” is to assume that if a bunch of influential people in a community follow someone, then that’s a great indication that they’re influential.  The flipside is that if someone can’t get influential people within a community to follow them, then it follows that they aren’t likely all that influential.

More specifically, we started with 10 relatively random people from the small business community who met a specific criteria (they had to be following at least 50 people, but not more than 1500 and have at least 3X more followers than following to make sure we eliminated all the people who simply follow “everyone” back). We then summed up all the people that these 10 were following to create a new list of influential people within their “shared” community.  Interestingly, we ended up with 19 people who met some specific criteria so that we could use them in the second iteration (The criteria were: 4 of the 10 initial people had to be following them & they had to be following under 10K people.)

With these 19 people, we then ran a complete analysis to see who their “shared” followers were.   The results speak for themselves in the above list as I think it does a great job capturing the influential people in the small business community!  (By the way, if you’re curious to see a similar process used in a different niche, here’s a similar list of the most influential Twitter people in the real estate space I developed a few years ago).

I’d be happy to get super-specific with more details if you’re curious.  Just ask your questions in the comments!

Did you know?

Our social media team at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility has been organizing the CredibilityLIVE events, where we’re bringing credit and credibility experts to talk with our community via live interactive video conversations.  We’ve had hugely successful events with experts like John Assaraf and Paul Chaney… and we’re very excited to bring Steve Strauss to CredibilityLIVE this Thursday (6/23).  If you’re one of the “most” influential people interested in sharing your knowledge with our community, let us know!  Email: socialmedia [at] dandb.com!

Final Thoughts

What makes this list interesting is that the ranking (and the attendant math that went into determining it) is all based on these influencers’ peers within the Twitter community. It’s becoming clear on Twitter that total numbers of followers is meaningless – anyone can get a bunch of followers pretty easily. However, if small business owners can key into a group of true small business influencers, they may discover the tools that can give their businesses a bump. Whether or not that happens, we’re really looking forward to hearing your reactions to this list – so let us hear it!

UPDATE:

A huge thanks to Sarah Needleman of the Wall Street Journal for the great write up of this article: Twitter’s Small Business Big Shots.

We think she did a great job getting at the essence of what made the list special for those who made the cut!

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