Small Business Owners: Top 50 Twitter Influencers Worth Following

Last June, we published a list of  The Most Influential Small Business People on Twitter that went crazy viral (more, more, more, more…) and with 195 subscribers to the twitter list, it’s clear that business owners are interested in filtering through the noise in order to connect with the right people and get the most out of Twitter.

However, after a year, we realized it’s clearly time to update the list, so our team went at this with our usual passion for analytics.

Without further ado, here is our 2012 list:

The Top 50 Most Influential Small Business People On Twitter

Peer Rank YOY Change Influencer Twitter Handle Peer Rank Score
 1 3 Brian Clark @copyblogger  48.0
 2 -1 Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan  40.1
 3 3 Darren Rowse @problogger  36.1
 4 29 Danny Sullivan @dannysullivan  35.6
 5 19 Chris Garrett @chrisgarrett  35.2
 6 6 Robert Scoble @Scobleizer  33.2
 7 39 Hugh MacLeod @gapingvoid  33.1
 8 -6 Gary Vaynerchuk @garyvee  32.8
 9 25 Lee Odden @leeodden  32.7
 10 7 Jason Falls @jasonfalls  30.6
 11 62 Tamar Weinberg @tamar  30.3
 12 4 Ann Handley @MarketingProfs  30.2
 13 85 Tim Ferriss @tferriss  29.6
 14 -11 Scott Stratten @unmarketing  29.3
 15 -8 Liz Strauss @lizstrauss  28.9
 16 N/A Missy Ward @MissyWard  28.6
 17 -7 Jonathan Fields @jonathanfields  28.5
 18 70 Matt Cutts @mattcutts  28.3
 19 24 Derek Halpern @derekhalpern  28.2
 20 N/A Greg Boser @GregBoser  28.1
 21 31 Scott Monty @ScottMonty  27.2
 22 72 Joost de Valk @yoast  27.2
 23 -14 Lisa Barone @lisabarone  26.9
 24 -19 John Jantsch @ducttape  26.9
 25 -14 Brian Solis @briansolis  26.7
 26 9 Pete Cashmore @mashable  25.3
 27 N/A Brett Tabke @btabke  24.2
 28 N/A Jason Calacanis @Jason  23.7
 29 -5 Chris Guillebeau @chrisguillebeau  23.5
 30 59 Dan Zarrella @danzarrella  23.0
 31 27 Sonia Simone @soniasimone  22.9
 32 N/A Chris Winfield @chriswinfield  22.9
 33 -13 Laura Fitton @Pistachio  22.8
 34 N/A Joanna Lord @JoannaLord  22.7
 35 27 Jay Baer @jaybaer  22.5
 36 N/A Brian Gardner @bgardner  22.1
 37 N/A Chris Pearson @pearsonified  22.0
 38 3 Sarah Evans @prsarahevans  21.7
 39 N/A Todd Friesen @oilman  21.6
 40 -26 Jeremiah Owyang @jowyang  21.4
 41 N/A Michael Dorausch @chiropractic  21.4
 42 51 Muhammad Saleem @msaleem  21.3
 43 N/A Neil Patel @neilpatel  21.1
 44 N/A Andy Beal @andybeal  21.1
 45 41 Peter Shankman @petershankman  20.9
 46 20 Lewis Howes @LewisHowes  20.9
 47 -25 Amber Naslund @AmberCadabra  20.9
 48 N/A Meg Geddes @netmeg  20.8
 49 N/A Aaron Chronister @TheMadHat  20.6
 50 N/A Dave McClure @davemcclure  20.6

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

Methodology

For a full overview of our methodology, check out last year’s most influential list.   However, we’ve made some changes this year that are worth describing in a bit more detail:

  • A Larger base.  Thanks to last year’s research, we started with a much larger base of people this year. Specifically, we started with 270 influential people within the small business space and were able to iterate from that base.
  • More selective influencers.  The larger base meant that we had a much larger group of “selective followers” to use in determining who is influential within the small business space.
  • Weighted by influence.  This year we weighted the influence that someone could have based on their level of influence.  If it sounds like a bit of recursive logic, that’s because it is.  On a very rough level, you could think of it similar to an early pagerank model where sites (people) with more influence are able to give off more influence with each link (follow.)

Some things worth noting about this list:

  • Peer Rank is simply a 1 to 50 list of where people fall based on the algorithms
  • YOY Change is difference between where they are this year and where they ranked last year.  For simplicity, we only show a difference if they ranked within the top 100 last year.
  • Peer Rank Score is the actual score that someone received after being run through our algorithms.

We’re pretty proud of this list and hope that it helps small business owners get more out of Twitter by helping them to focus on the people who are successfully engaging with others within the small business community.

Comparison to other Influence Metrics

The common question we get asked is how does this list compare to Klout.  Klout does a great job looking at a person’s “global” influence, but in general we find it’s not a useful tool to understand the influence someone has within a community.

The closest that Klout gets is through their concept of “topics,” but if you look through a topic page for someone like Justin Beiber (Link warning, if you don’t have a Klout account and don’t want to sign up for one, then check out this link to a screencapture of Justin Beiber’s Topic page instead), you’ll see that their algorithm is pretty easily gamed with Justin ranking as an influencer on all kinds of unrelated and very inappropriate topics.   More importantly, our algorithms are designed to be limited to influencers within a specific niche…in this case, it’s the small business community.    For that reason, we think you’ll find this list is much more relevant if you’re looking to connect with the most influential people within the small business community.

Based on the interest in last year’s list, we’re sure there’ll be lots of questions.  How might you use this list of influentials?   Are you following most of these people?   Who do you think didn’t make the cut that should have? 

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