The Twin Cities' Top 25 Most Influential Social Media Professionals on Twitter
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.
Next, we calculated Klout and Edelman Tweetlevel scores for the 69 remaining feeds.
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.
Since both Klout and Tweetlevel have pluses and minuses and rank people differently, in order to make our ranking fair, we calculated the average of these two scores and then re-ranked the list.
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.
Those of us without “social” in our Twitter bios have been spared. Also, this blog has been highly critical of the work of at least one in your list. Otherwise, this is a pretty decent roundup.
Yep. As we noted in the methodology section, we questioned if those were the right words to be searching for too. Ultimately it’s subjective (and any list is). And do we like putting our competitors on this list (especially ahead of us?) Nope. But that’s what the math said, so that’s what we did.
By the numbers, I think it worked out rather decently. I’ve also been digging tweetthrough.com lately as another “kinda-sorta-means-something” Twitter metric. @JenKaneCo ranks significantly higher than most on the list and IMHO for good reason. Not trying to kiss your ass, I’m just sayin’.
Hadn’t heard of tweetthrough.com – thanks Aaron
Thanks. Yeah, we noticed that, as of yesterday, there was some moving around out in “stats land,” but we figured we needed to stay firm on the cut off date. (And I totally wouldn’t mind it if you were kissing my ass. I have horrible self esteem 🙂
Very well developed list. Really beats a lot of the other link bait lists based purely on subjectivity. Also thanks for sharing Tweetlevel – can’t believe I hadn’t heard of that one – very cool.
Thanks, Kevin. It was really a fascinating exercise that, as you can see, left us with a lot of questions. Even with our methodology, there is still some subjectivity (search terms, for example). So, other than link bait, do lists have a purpose?
Glad we could introduce you to a new tool, as well!
Yep – I’m a fan of lists that incorporate subjectivity even though the logic behind them can never be bullet-proof. Lists are a good way to discover new stuff. i.e.on your list I just discovered @AlFerretti. Again, nice work!
There are 10 on the list who influence me and I am not easily influenced. 🙂 Nice list
Thanks Teresa. When we looked at the final list there were a lot of people on there who we know and respect for their good work too. Was a good gauge for us as to whether our data was on the mark or not.
I absolutely love the openness of the methodology used to gather, analyze, analyze, slice, dice and arrive at a list based on the facts going in. yes subjectivity of starting point, but who doesn’t have that. One thing is nice you even had questions after arriving at your list, which leads to better analysis and products in the future. It is solid logic that can be used with other keywords as your starting point. Did not know about Tweetlevel and now I do! Time for exploring that one now too. Have to live up to the Klout title right! Thank you again for providing full picture of point A to point B = The List.
Honored to be ranked amongst some pretty influential people in minneapolis. Thank you for time and effort. Maybe next we can do businesses, non-profits, professional organizations? I think with the solid starting point this can lead to better facts about action taken…..I know I am surprised every time I investigate! Hope to see you two soon! As always me a fanboy of @jenkaneco & @karyd!
Thank you, Keith. You’re an awesome fanboy and we’re honored.
After completing this exercise, yes, I’m very interested in incorporating feedback, tweaking, and producing additional lists, if they’d be helpful. I could spend hours (as I did) with a few spreadsheets and some data. Appreciate the accolades from a fellow data-head like yourself!
nice work and a solid methodology and I understand the bio logic albeit that can be a weakness. I am also a big fan of your social media work, and your sense of humor.
If I may, let me share my thoughts about lists. I’m not a big list guy, I’m not a small list guy either. In some situations lists do introduce the community to new faces, as did this list, so kudos. In my contrarian style I have thought, wished, and naively advocated that social media is different. It’s more a movement than a market circa 2008
2010 has proved I am wrong as the market is quantifying “Influence” in social media in the same ways it has quantified media from the last century. That’s fine, it’s a business. Lists are the quickest and cleanest way to make sense of our world, feel like we know something an move on. I blame USA Today, David Letterman, and People Magazine for our list mentality.
I’m not condemning lists, they surely are useful, hey, I love my Top Ten Plays on Sportscenter. I am articulating the irony of lists in social media because everyone on every social list benefits from those not on the list. Those benefits come in many forms, ideas, information, reach, and introductions to others which further extends their network, to name a few benefits. In saying this, I do not for a second discount the valuable content produced by those on any list, or the generosity of those who serve as connectors, which significantly contributes to the social community and contributes to them being on a list.
The irony is that lists by their definition are exclusive and social media by my definition is inclusive. Now that I’ve sealed my fate that I’ll never be on another list again, let’s go for coffee.
all the best Jen & co.
Ooo. We’re going to have a fun coffee meeting aren’t we? 🙂
I’m not a fan of lists either. And I wish I could be in this business and not need to be on them. But unfortunately, I’ve run up against a fair share of clients who DO care about lists and that has impacted who they hired.
There are so many people in this industry right now I think it’s hard for companies to know who to trust. And I think they turn to lists for that information and validation. So our goal was to try to make a list that was a data-driven as possible.
I think ultimately we’re seeing a lot of social media growing pains out there. There are people who are still in it to have fun. And there are people who are in it because it’s their job. For me, being on lists means I can pay my bills and feed my kid. For others it’s just a really cool thing. So, as I mentioned in the post, this question of social media for practice versus social media for profession is a big one. Maybe lists need to start separating the two. I’m not sure.
I hate it when you are right – I have to buy.
one more thing, sorry, I inserted a HTML link that didn’t come out in the original comment I left. Here is the details in a post from 2008 on how social media could be more of a movement than a market http://bit.ly/dqb6Hj
Absolutely love your point of view on this! thank you for sharing Albert!
appreciate the weigh in and your picture(s) are just fine.
I should point out that everyone’s avatar is very professional and engaging except @KeithPrivette . Perhaps he needs an avatar makeover from @EricaMayer ? #JustSaying
Thanks Steve. I think the problem with that pic is that you can’t see the super Keith smile. (And that dude is always smiling). I’m voting with you on this one 🙂
That photo is on linkedin…..so maybe that is a new data driven quality that you get 1 point for or against depending on photo…..heee
Oh and I guess it is in my comments too…..
Great List. I personally know more than half of these people and they are fantastic resources. Very talented bunch of social media professionals. Hope to find myself among these types of individuals on this list someday 🙂
Thanks, Christian. As Jen noted in her response to Teresa, seeing people on the list who we also know and respect for their good work was a good check to see if our data was hitting the mark.
As for “making a list” yourself – certainly, it’s something to aspire too, but don’t get too caught up in their importance. Like I said to someone on Twitter earlier today, if I had a hug for every list I was not on, I probably would have no need for therapy. 🙂
I’m in love with your methodology. And the fact that you went into such detail sharing it. I find the combination of tools you used and their justification fascinating. I’d like to see the results of a similar exercise performed with those using “guru” or “expert” in their bios. I’m curious how what the klout/tweetlevel designations would be with that group.
I applaud you for trying to wrap your arms around something as hard to define as influence. Especially for trying to measure it properly. Solid experimentation (and documentation) like this helps all of us move forward. I’m glad I was caught in your net. I’m also honored to be included on a list with so many others that have influenced and inspired me. So honored in fact that I changed into a dress made of meat just to write this.
You two rock. Keep up the great work!
don’t you which social media influence was as easy as it is in politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/influence/index.php
There I go again.
Thank you for the feedback, Mykl. We do love data and methodical thinking. And yes, to run the process based on other search terms would be a very telling exercise. For this exercise, we arrived at our search terms based on what we thought potential clients/hires, etc. would search if looking for a “social media” professional. Does that mean we’re in love with the phrase, or think everyone working in the industry needs to have it in their bio? Of course not. But, we thought running it this way would be enlightening.
Thanks for your supportive feedback.
I think it’s nice to see a list that uses some specific parameters than just polling people about their personal views.
I feel honored to have made this list and to be in such company. Lists can give a brife snapshot as how things actually are, but the “Big Picture” take more time and in-depth work to formulate.
Good for both of you to not be afraid to add yourselves to the list. The numbers don’t lie. They are what they are. 🙂
Nice work Jen & Kary!
Thank you, Joel. Yes, we just let the data do the talking.
It’s a nice sample of social media smarties in the Twin Cities and would be a good group to add to a Twitter list, then import the feed into paper.li to make it useful in a different way. Oh wait, here it is: http://paper.li/toprank/tcsocialmediasmarties
Appreciate the methodology but do wonder where @ArikHanson and @AdamSinger are.
Due to the search terms, there are, without a doubt, very smart, talented (dare I say “influential”?) people who are not on this list. And, from a search perspective, we thought that might be somewhat enlightening. If someone knew nothing about our community, what terms might they use to search for social media professionals, and, what would they find?
Thanks for stopping by, Lee, and for continuing to be a resource both in the Twin Cities, and nationally.
This will not help my unbridled narcissism (thanks to James Lileks for that).
Nice work ladies, as always.
My favorite part about this entire post is not the fact that I’m on the list, but that Mykl managed to make a successful Lady Gaga meat dress reference 🙂
I really like your motivation behind doing this and truly spelling it out, as opposed to creating a top bla bla bla post to get on people’s good side. That’s cutting corners in building relationships 🙂
And I agree with Lee — where is @arikhanson? The search methodology sounds like it resulted in the highest margin of error due to unsaid keywords in bios, so I would have added to the qualifications something along the lines of “what have they done that makes them a stand-out?”
Nevetheless, great list! There are definitely some people I knew and definitely some new names.
Thank for your feedback, Tim.
You’re right – our search terms may have been limiting, but ultimately, we needed to start somewhere. We asked ourselves – If someone was looking to find social media professionals in the Twin Cities, what would they search for? We could have added additional qualifications, but again, that would have created more subjectivity (who I am I to judge?) when we were truly trying to rely only on the data we found.
Yes, in that case, it would be subjective. It’s so hard with social media — trying to use metrics to legitimize quality while at the same time not dismissing the core interactions part of it.
Bingo. For instance, Klout says I “socialize” but does it take into account what I’m socializing about? I partake in Twitter chats about the industry, because that’s where my interest lies (and why I use Twitter) – am I any more/less of a socializer than someone who discusses art or food with friends? And, certainly, I might have “influence” over a few people who rely on my tweets for social media info, but those individuals who “socialize” about food are going to be far more influential than me with that subject matter.
Thanks for putting the time and effort to compile the list. I found it informative and well thought out. The more tools we have at our fingertips the more useful we can be to those around us.
Keep up the great work!
Social Media is fairly new to me. I understand what it is, I’m just not how to apply it. No doubt it’d be useful in developing my social club. That and it is an interest of my 16-yr old niece and a field she is considering as a career. I am wondering if anyone has insight for her. Perhaps, a place to start to learn more or businesses that may be open to the idea of an intern this summer.
I’ve, also, just learned about the SMBMSP chapter and I’m wondering if anyone, including my niece, would be able to attend.
Thanks so much!