2010 is winding down and you know what that means…
It’s list season.
Over the next three months you’ll likely be inundated with a slew of “Top 10,” “Best of…,” and “Most fill-in-the-blank” lists. We’ve already seen some popping up that have been the source of much debate here in our Twin Cities social media community.
At KaneCo we’re all about data, so we got to thinking, “What if we comprised a list using totally transparent metrics? What would it look like?” So, with the help of my colleague, Kary Delaria, we set out to do just that.
Our goal, ultimately, was not to find the most influential social media professionals in the Twin Cities (although we did). It was to stretch our skills in the art of determining influence.
Determining influence is a tricky process that’s constantly evolving, but is increasingly critical to understand if you want to accurately target social media audiences for your companies or clients.
Basically, if you want to be successful, you need to reach the right people.
In order to reach the right people, you need to do some homework.
A detailed report of our homework (research methodology) follows this list. But for those of you who want to get right to the good stuff, here it is…
The Twin Cities’ top 25 most influential social media professionals on Twitter.
The following list is ranked in order from first to last and includes name, Twitter profile, bio and each person’s influence definition in both Klout and Tweetlevel (which will appear as “Klout designation/Tweetlevel designation.”) This ranking is reflective of the information provided by these tools as of Friday, September 10, 2010.
Lee Odden: Taste Maker/Influential
Bio: CEO @TopRank Marketing. I tweet about online & content marketing topics flavored with SEO, PR & Social Media. Proud dad, blogger, foodie & travel nut.
| Erica Mayer: Persona/Engagement|
Bio: WCCOTV producer/editor/social media contributor/ hobby photographer, philanthropist. When life gives u rain, puke a rainbow. www.youtube.com/ericacheer.
| Leslie Carothers: Exploerer/Influential|
Bio: All things furniture + interior design|Green/eco|Social media agency for furniture industry|Writer of Furniture Today.com’s Retail Ideas blog. Pancake lover.
| Al Ferretti: Persona/Popular|
Bio: Hi my name is Al. Internet Marketing and Social Media Specialist. Engaging, Building Relationships and Providing Value. Let’s Connect and Collaborate!
| Paul DeBettignies: Persona/Influential|
Bio: Bio Minnesota IT Recruiter | Blogger | Co Founder MN Recruiters | Speaker, Consultant, Trainer: Recruiter, HR, Career & Social Media | Interests: Politics, Sports.
| Nicole Harrison: Connector/Influential|
Bio: Relationship builder, connecting people and businesses to solve problems and promote growth. Digital strategy and social media consultant.
| Albert Maruggi: Persona/Influential|
Bio: Host of Marketing Edge podcast.Consultant in content social marketing for Healthcare, B2B, B2C marketing PR.
| Joel Carlson: Curator/Influential|
Bio: Host & producer of over 140 Twitterviews. Social Media communicator and connector. Loves Apple and Sharpie. Appreciates great design and photography. Blogger.
| Jennifer Kane: Networker/Engagement|
Bio: Social media marketing and PR strategist, consultant, trainer, writer and big idea thinker-upper for Kane Consulting. Rabid reader. Authentic sharer. I’m on it.
| Rick Mahn: Persona/Engagement|
Bio: Social media strategist, blogger, speaker, mentor… husband to @amymahn and father of two. I connect people.
| Mykl Roventine: Persona/Engagement|
Bio: Designer of things, blogger, co-coordinator of Social Media Breakfast – Minneapolis/St. Paul. I love coffee, typography, cover songs and jackalopes.
| Keith Privette: Explorer/Influencer|
Bio: Business Minded, Tech Enthusiast, Digital Sherpa, PeopleIdea Connector, Curious, Cross-Pollinator of Verticals, Social Media Renegade, Image the Possibilities.
| Nathan Eide: Activist/Engagement|
Bio: Social media practitioner. Husband, Father. I work at Deluxe Corporation, but these are my personal opinions, and there are many.
| Christopher Lower: Networker/influencer|
Bio: Traditional Storyteller Integrating Today’s Technology-PR,Social Media Strategist, & Author-blogging @ http://abovethebuzz.wordpress.com & Bacon Savant!
| Greg Swan: Networker/Influencer|
Bio: Social marketing strategist, music blogger, apostle, citizen journalist, recovering egoist.
| Meg Gerritsen Canada: Persona/Engagement|
Bio: Web Savvy Librarian, Community Strategist,Social Media Denizen and Blogger.
| Allison Janney: Persona/Engagement|
Bio: PR/MarComm pro shamelessly addicted to social media. Thrives off challenges, learning and meeting new people. And, I love MN.
| Wendy Meadley: Persona/Popular|
Bio: Emerging Media PR Marketing News | debateMN Agency | Build Social Conversation Communities. Keynote Speaker & Live@ Social Media Events. Social Anthropolist MN.
| Connie Bensen: Networker/Engagement|
Bio: Community Strategist, Alterian SM2 (Techrigy) Named on Forbes.com as one of 20 top Women Social Media & Marketing Bloggers.
| Tom Pick: Socializer/Influencer|
Bio: B2B marketing consultant, SEO, SEM, social media pro, blogger. More: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tompick.
| Kary Delaria: Socializer/Engagement|
Bio: Digital PR strategist, social media monitoring and measurement specialist for Kane Consulting. PR 2.0 writer and thinker. Online extrovert, real life introvert.
| Haley (No last name listed): Persona/Popularity|
Bio: Sunday school teacher, Internet Marketer. Social Media, Artical Marketing, Social Network, Small Town Girl. Like to Read.
| Katie Schutrop: Connector/Engagement|
Bio: PR and social media gal. Marquette alum. Dance enthusiast. @YPCTC founder/organizer. Latte and shoe addict. On the prowl for PR opps. in the Twin Cities.
| Jason Buss: Thought Leader/Popular|
Bio: VP of Recruiting and Diversity | Social Networking | Marketing | Blogger | Social Media | Staffing | Human Resources | HR | Recruiter
| Angie Schottmuller: Curator/Popularity|
Bio: Director of Ecommerce, Web Strategy & Interactive Marketing ~ SEM, SEO, design, jQuery, CSS, email, UX, conversion, social media, analytics, inbound marketing
Research was conducted by Kane Consulting’s Chief Listening Officer, Kary Delaria.
Phase one: form the list.
Our first step in this process was to establish a baseline list, which we sorted according to Twitter follower count.
Yes, we understand that a high number of followers does not necessarily equal a high number of quality followers. However, in our research, we noted that many lists of top bloggers are organized according to subscribers. In essence, as a microblogging service, Twitter has “subscribers” too, in the form of feed followers.
Follower count does impact level of influence…to a certain degree. So we used this metric, but others as well.
Our initial list was comprised by searching TweepSearch and Follower Wonk for people who included the phrases “social media” or “social marketing” in their Twitter bios as well as the words “Twin Cities,” “Minneapolis,” or “St. Paul” in the “location” section of their profile.
So, if you work in social media but don’t have these words in your Twitter bio, our search would have missed you. Likewise, anyone who is listing an abbreviation of his or her location (such as “Mpls”) also would not have come up in our search.
Phase two: analyze the list.
After we identified the top 100 feeds with the most followers, we cleaned up the list for accuracy.
We determined that people could only make the final list once, so for people who had multiple Twitter accounts in the top 100, we only included their highest ranked feed. We also eliminated accounts for businesses, as we were seeking to identify individual professionals for this list.
Are these two tools the “end-all-be-all” of measuring influence and 100% accurate? Nope. But they are the most popular ones used and do a good job of giving us some ballpark perspective.
Then we narrowed the list to the top 25 and then re-checked each person’s bio to make sure that the context in which they referred to “social media” or “social marketing” accurately reflected the subject of this list.
While the final list of people met all of the search criteria, they are all different types of influencers. So lastly, we labeled the top 25 with both their Klout and Tweetlevel influence designations.
So, what do you think?
Yep. These metrics are subjective and this whole exercise raised a host of questions for our team.
- Should there be a distinction between people who use social media for their profession versus those who use it out of personal interest?
- Should different types of influence be ranked? How?
- What about the people who are influential in social media, but use alternate words in their bios to describe themselves?
- What do you do when tools calculate scores using data from different time periods (as was the case with Klout)? Is that really an “apples to apples?” comparison?
If we made this list again, would we do things differently? Perhaps. Ultimately, the exercise is not about the list, but the process. And from that, we learned a lot.