Top 100 Influencers in Social Media

Written by Bonnie Boglioli...January 27, 2012
Social Media

60.    Mari Smith- Author and Facebook extraordinaire, Smith helps overwhelmed entrepreneurs and small business owners navigate the social seas with easy to follow advice. She also provides online training and social media kits that can help anyone, at any level, master the social network.

59.    Francisco Rosales- Ask any venture capitalist and they’ll tell you it’s tough to be successful if you haven’t yet failed. Guatemalan native turned Angelino, Rosales has reinvented himself more than a chameleon, pivoting to make changes that were either financially or emotionally inspired. Throwing off stuffy 3-piece suits in favor of co-founding his own business (with his wife Andrea) in the early 2000s, the eight million dollar a year company was a distributor to DirectTV but it still wasn’t what Rosales was after. After a failed attempt in retail, Rosales realized that the lessons he had learned over a lifetime could be applied to others. Partner at SocialMouths, today he helps people find their brand identity and turn their passions into their lifestyle through coaching, blogging and social media.

58.    Liz Strauss- Making frequent appearances on influencer lists of all sorts and sizes, it’s hard to ignore Strauss’ role as a die-hard blogger with a penchant for articulate prose. She fills a unique void by quickly identifying the perception of an organization’s online communincations and helping them turn their text and content into something that engages users in a relevant way. Strauss is the founder of SOBCon, a social web think tank where influencers discuss and determine strategies in virtual and “concrete” conferences.

57.    Kevin Rose- Aside from founding Digg and a patent-owner on content visualization, Rose is a technologist and a thought-leader who leverages his savoir-faire as an investor and entrepreneur. From Facebook to Formspring and Foursquare to Zynga, Rose has his money spread far and wide in some of the industry’s most dynamic, disruptive services and products.

56.    Chris DeWolfe- The savvy CEO of MindJolt, a game distributor with significant revenue growth and several key M&As in 2011, DeWolfe is a social networking pioneer and visionary. Co-founding MySpace with Tom Anderson, he was the brains behind the strategic vision of the network and its meteoric rise to the top. By integrating user profiles with media content and music, under his leadership MySpace caught the attention of millions of users in nearly 30 international markets. He was particularly instrumental in the sale of MySpace to Murdoch’s NewsCorp in 2005 and stayed on with the company as CEO until his departure in 2009.

55.    Tim Westergren- Film composer turned entrepreneur Tim Westergren founded Pandora, an online customized radio station platform, back in 2000. Pitching to over 300 investors, the startup finally raised capital in 2004 but it wasn’t until 2011 that the company went public. It was Westergren’s move to make his service free with an ad-based revenue model that synchronized with consumer appetite. Still serving as the company’s CEO, Westergren also manages to give keynotes and tell of the humble origins of a once fledgling startup. Though Pandora faces stiff competition from Spotify and others, one thing is certain: Westergren was an early disrupter and remains an innovator in the social space.

54.    Amber Naslund- Naslund began working with non-profits a decade ago, helping them fundraise through the fledgling and new use of websites. She moved into the role of community manager and online communications just in time to witness the birth of social media. Taking her honed B2C skills to social outlets has enabled Naslund to own her own consulting business, specializing in small to midsize business strategy and implementation.

53.    Vadim Lavrusik- Lavrusik calls himself a digital media futurist, and aptly so. Journalist and Adjunct Professor at Columbia, he also serves as Facebook’s in-house Journalist Program Manager. He is on top of all things journalism in the social space and frequently reports on the latest trends, influencers and experiments. 

52.    Pam MooreAnother social media brand strategy making our cut is Moore, who is among the most highly influential people thanks in no small part to her wide audience which is, itself, influential. After leaving the corporate environment a few short years ago, Moore began her own consulting firm that integrates digital and traditional marketing for all sizes of enterprises. She is among the fervent Twitterati and also speaks at a variety of conferences and events.

51.    P.J. Crowley- Former Assistant Secretary of State Crowley was among the first in the State Department to embrace social media’s role in influencing and shaping public opinion. Noted for his dry wit and sharp tongue, some of his tweets during his 2-year tenure are fondly remembered in their own ‘Top Lists’ by bloggers including this one from Aug. 20, 2010: North #Korea has joined #Facebook, but will it allow its citizens to belong? What is Facebook without friends?" Despite Crowley’s resignation from his post in 2011, his prolific and candid use of social media have made a lasting legacy for all those that tread after him.

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