Top 100 Influencers in Social Media

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

20.    Chris Abraham- Online public relations strategist Abraham offers his expertise particularly as it relates to blogger engagement and online reputation. Unlike some others, he has accrued considerable know-how in the space earning his stripes in the early Internet years with the Meta Network, a virtual community that served as early evangelists of the budding Web 2.0. He has worked with numerous Fortune 500s and assisted the likes of Wal-Mart, Shell and GE with their corporate blogs. He co-founded the distinguished cross-Atlantic consulting firm Abraham Harrison and has assisted clients including Snapple, T. Rowe Price and Friendster.

19.    Ben Parr- You probably knew that until recently Parr served as the Editor-at-Large of Mashable, one of the world’s most popular tech news sites. What you may not have known about Parr is that he is considered an expert on social media and is a frequent guest commentator across a spectrum of mainstream media. If geeks have rock stars, Parr may indeed be the Gene Simmons of the crew (albeit dressed in flannels). He’s edgy and unconventional and appreciates services and technologies that are the same. Oh yeah, and he’s also a bit of a serial entrepreneur and startup advisor.

18.    Ashton Kutcher- What social influencer list would be complete without an appearance by Ashton Kutcher? The tweeting actor turned tech-investor was one of Hollywood’s earliest adopters in the space. In the years since, he has honed his skills on the keyboard and turned his attention to other interests in the web space, investing in high-profile tech startups such as Foursquare, Flipboard and AirBnB. One thing’s for certain: if it’s caught Kutcher’s attention you might want to check it out yourself.

17.    Gary Vaynerchuk- When he transformed his parents’ liquor stores in the New York Area into a large scale retail wine establishment, Vaynerchuk learned how to utilize social media to make even a mom & pop shop sparkle. Effectively using video blogs, he currently has his own weekly SiriusXM show, makes numerous TV and media appearances and has even brought his home team NY Jets into the 21st century. The Jets are the poster-child for what social media can do for professional sports teams, and how the teams in turn should treat social media thanks in no small part to Vaynerchuk’s insistence and work with the team.

16.    Kara Swisher- Technology columnist and founder of All Things Digital, Swisher is considered one of the most influential reporters covering the Internet and for good reason. She always gets the inside scoop on Silicon Valley and never shies away from telling it as she sees it. When not interviewing countless influencers for her day gig, she also hosts the annual All Things Digital conference which features candid interviews. Among her historic interviews are when titans Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs appeared on stage together at the conference, bantering back and forth for Swisher and audience.

15.    Danny Sullivan- Sullivan is Editor-in-Chief of the widely read blog Search Engine Land that covers all things search optimization. A longtime technologist, he began reporting on search engines during the dot come boom and his original site, Search Engine Watch, was considered an authoritative source on the subject. Working alongside fellow veteran Chris Sherman as content creators, Sullivan and SEL attract nearly 100,000 unique visitors per month and dominate the search marketing space. He is Partner and Chief Content Officer of the company that owns SEL, Third Door Media which owns several popular sites and holds the Search Marketing Expo conference.

14.    Jonathan Abrams- When the Internet boom kicked off for a second time in the early 2000s, Abrams’ leveraged his experience as a software engineer at venerable joints like NetScape to found a slew of successful startups including Socializr, Friendster and HotLinks. With a padded wallet and an eye for what consumers want, he went on to co-found and manage Founder’s Den, the exclusive shared office space in San Francisco that plays host to the latest startups with bright horizons. If Silicon Valley is known for working hard and playing hard, Abrams wins. When not moderating panels and participating in any number of entrepreneurial organizations, Abrams shows off his swanky socializing skills at his very neo-speakeasy, Slide.

13.    Jeremiah Owyang- Web strategist Owyang knows a thing or two about social media’s on both sides of the coin- B2B and B2C. Previously with Forrester as a senior research analyst, Owyang brings his savvy analysis of social media technology to his current role as Partner with Altimeter Group. He is an influential thought leader in the industry, frequently contributing to the Forbes CMO Network, blogging since 2006 and personally tweeting to some 50k followers daily.

12.    Marissa Mayer- Google’s VP of Maps and Location Services, Mayer sits in the company’s senior most management circle today but her history with the search giant goes back to 1999. As the first female engineer Brin and Page hired shortly after moving out of their original garage space, Mayer wasn’t exactly certain of Google’s future dominance when she accepted the job offer. Nonetheless, she was a Stanford alum who majored in Symbolic Systems (a blend of computer science, linguistics and psychology) and seemed poised to help shape the upstart. And that she has done and continues to do. She is significantly responsible for influencing a host of Google products including search and Gmail. Now overseeing location services, Mayer and crew are taking geo-social networking to an entirely new level.

11.    Biz Stone- When it comes to accolades, it’s tough to beat Stone: GQ’s Nerd of the Year; TIME’s Most Influential People in the World; Entrepreneur of the Decade by Inc Magazine; Game Changer by HuffPo. But why does the guy seem to have trophies in spades? A self-described “Internet guy who believes in the triumph of humanity with a little help from technology,” he is a powerful voice who encapsulates an entire industry. Co-founder of Twitter and early evangelist of the social web, Stone has played the roles of entrepreneur, author, scholar and advisor. Arguing against the proposition that “The Problems of Tomorrow are Bigger than the Entrepreneurs of Today,” Stone won an esteemed debate at the eminent Oxford Union. Though giving up his desk job at Twitter last year a rich, rich man, thirty-something Stone is nowhere close to wrapping up his career in the social space. 

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