Who are the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers for 2013?
You could answer that question by saying, of course, they are the people who most influence the biggest brands or have the best selling book or who have been around the business a long time.
But social media is a very democratizing form of communications and to assess influence you really need to know who is first among equals.
That means assessing who has a real following – real in the sense of real people and not just bots, real also in the sense that the following is active in social media and not just a passive consumer.
Being able to get to that essence, of people whose peers are actively involved with them, is why I chose Peek Analytics as the tool to measure influence.
There are also some basic criteria for involvement – experts must be creating their own content, and it has to be about social media. See more on the criteria here.
On the scoring, Peek Analytics gives people a score called Pull. If an individual has a Pull of 10x, that means that the audience the individual can reach is at least ten times greater than what the average social media user can reach.
If you want to measure your own Pull, you can do that by following this link.
Some observations on the upper part of the list….
The Top 10 Considered
In the top ten this year all the influencers have a pull of between 2,000 and 3,000. This represents influence among a group of peers, whether those peers are in Washington, Palo Alto or Peterborough.
#1. Leaders are more motivational. We are seeing a lot more inspirational messaging via Twitter from this group than we did last year – almost as if social media is relegated (or elevated depending on your taste) to motivational relationships. This is becoming an essential part of being a social media leader.
#2. It is more gender balanced. The Top 10 this year is equally divided between men and women. Last year it was skewed towards men.
#3. It is easier to access. There is a bigger spread of scores here in the top 10 that in the remainder of the top 50 (1000 – 2000). Those scores are interesting for two reasons.
The first is that it still looks as though once you hit the top flight either you automatically get more (and more active) followers or your position reflects an ability to cultivate that type of group.
But secondly the data also shows that the 40 people from 11 – 50 are very tightly grouped and any of them could rise quickly.
#4. There are more self-starters. And finally the top ten last year was skewed towards people who had a strong institutional base – an employer who allowed them time to do social media. The group below are much more skewed towards self-starters who have made social media their business, or who are advising on how to make social media your business.
The Top 10….
# 1. Sean Gardner. Sean, who also writes at Huffington Post, comes in at number 1. Sean blends social media insight with inspirational messaging, a trend we’re seeing across social. @2morrowknight.
#2. Ann Tran. Number 1 on the women’s list, Ann writes primarily about social media in the travel and hospitality vertical @anntran_
#3. Jessica Northey. It’s a trend this year, leading influencers whose base is in a specific vertical. For Jessica it is music. She also says she’s moving away from blogging towards Google +. @jessicanorthey.
#4. Mari Smith. Mari is a leading Facebook marketing expert and one of the top 10, overall, from last year. She’s also the author of The New Relationship Marketing.@marismith.
# 5. Aaron Lee. Aaron has been strong on Twitter for a long time now, and has a useful website with professional-grade advice but which can also inform people at the beginning of their social media careers. @askaaronlee.
#6. John Paul Aguiar. An eclectic mix of blog advice, Twitter and other social tools, John is in business to help people make money from social. @johnaguiar.
#7. Liz Strauss. Liz runs successful-blog.com. She’s currently taking on the challenge of cancer. Best wishes. @lizstrauss.
#8. Warren Whitlock. Host of Blog Talk Radio’s Social Media Profit Show, like John, Warren’s focus in on social media for profit. @warrenwhitlock.
#9. Ted Coine. Along with Shawn Murphy, Ted runs the Switch and Shift blog. @tedcoine
#10. Pam Moore. Covering Facebook, Google + and the business of social.@pammktgnut.
This is The Forbes Top Ten: http://www.forbes.com/sites/haydnshaughnessy/2013/04/17/who-are-the-top-50-social-media-power-influencers-2013/