Who Are the Top 10 Influencers in Social Media?


Who are the top social media influencers? As the social web evolves rapidly it’s clear that some influencers have the same reach and pull as media outlets.  Individuals matter in a way that’s never been possible before. I’ve been discussing with personal data specialists PeekYou how we can understand this phenomenon better. PeekYou’s mission is to render the web into a gallery of identifiable people.  So instead of those well known but mostly obscure names out there, you start to get the real measure of people. How influential are the people you deal with?

PeekYou have created a “social media audience” metric to help you find out.  I will be using it to analyze what topics influential people discuss. But here I want to discuss with you what the metric means and how it applies to a set of well known social media influencers.

The social media audience metric measures people by the strength of their identifiable networks. It’s all about people, who in your networks are identifiable, who in your followers is out there contributing and building their own networks?

It can be used by brands to understand the pulling power of social media experts or by people to understand the scale and reach of their audience.

Note in the table below (I’ll be posting more next week) the strong showing of Scott Monty, head of social at Ford. Another notable feature is the extent to which major social media figures are aligned or affiliated with a major outlet or platform, like Ann Handley at MarketingProfsJason Falls at Social MediaExplorer, and Mari Smith, the Facebook marketing expert.

There are different ways to assess reach and in the table you see it measured as “pull”. To quote PeekYou: Simply put, if an individual has a Pull of 10x, that means that the audience the individual in question could reach is at least ten times greater than that of the average social media user.

In other words, if someone with a Pull of 10x posted a Tweet, it would receive the same audience coverage as 10 average people tweeting the same message.

The essence of the pull metric however is a person’s identifiable audience – The Identified Consumer Count. You might note at this stage that we are talking exclusively about a Twitter audience. The assumption is a blogger with pull can amplify his or her own message substantially through Twitter. But there are other factors, like Facebook followers, and we’ll come to those.

A person’s identifiable audience is the number of people within a following who can actually be identified, that is they follow someone, people follow them and they share information about themselves online. They are real.

The audience is expressed as an absolute number and as a ratio.

To quote PeekYou:

The Consumer Ratio is the ratio of verifiable, addressable users to non-verifiable. The “non” are identified in our reporting as falling under one of three broad categories: Private consumers (people with private settings, whichPeekYou never indexes), businesses and other organizations (brands, corporate profiles, apps, charities, government agencies, etc.), and unidentified profiles (either not connected to a real-world identity in any way, or spam bots).