19 Social Media Authors and Influence Metrics

social media influence

social media influence

Most people are aware that social media is not going away any time soon. This new digital technology is rapidly growing and has already brought many new disruptions and trends with it. One of the new disruptions occurring which I previously wrote about here, is how the meaning of authorship and copyright is starting to change. 

In this article I will discuss this further, and talk about what makes a top social media digital author and how you can best define it. At the bottom of this article I have written a list of authors who I think are key influencers in digital trends, using their books, blogs and online activity.

Social Media – Expanding Our Reach 

Social media may be a new technology, but it is becoming critical for our overview of reality, our social links and the way we interact with each other. The term ‘social media’ does not really describe all the challenges around today, as it is a matrix of tools, platforms and technologies that now have a major effect on authors books. (The term ‘book’ may also have to be redefined soon, as we are now in the age of the iPad and Tablet.) The growing importance of social media is shifting the value given to an author, and is also throwing up new challenges and possibilities.

The amount of curiosity that readers, scholars and experts are showing in the search for information on authorship is amazing. This concept of social media is still fairly new, but it is critical for self-development, academic research and business strategy. It also brings many new questions and challenges, like the redefinition of authorship and its associated copyright laws.

Social media has a 360 degree reach and is expanding faster than anything before. People are able to connect with authors in new ways, and the authors influence is no longer solely based on what books they have produced, but also on what they have to say online to their audience, through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Authors now have a much greater reach than they did before, writing on blogs, social media profiles, Youtube and can increase their number of unique users, fans and readers.

New Tools to Measure Author Influence: Klout, PeerIndex, wdyl (Google)

New platforms such as Klout, Klear, wdyl and others are starting to measure the influence of people online. This new technology may still be fragile (and under beta phase) but they are bringing new challenges to how we think of the way an authors’  value is measured. Universities and publishing houses have also had to evolve and adapt toward these new forms of influence and measurement too. So how do we define an author in this new digital landscape?

The fact remains that an author is still a producer of unique content, a unique voice and a creator of visible value. The main changes can be found in the way authors now distribute this value onto multiple platforms. Social media, with all its tools, platforms and apps, is opening new channels and forms to distribute content. These new ways of getting an authors work out there are easy to produce and can now reach audiences that would have been impossible to reach until very recently. Authors now have to get out of their comfort zones and put their creativity to the test amongst all these new and constantly evolving tools.

Authors Must Adapt to Social Media

Social media is now the new frontier for authors. They need to keep the quality of their work consistent and their integrity intact if they want to use it to their advantage, whilst also learning how to expand their reach using these new digital tools. Whilst these new technologies and platforms such as Scribd (a very powerful social publishing site, where millions of people can share original documents), are indeed spectacular, there still remains the challenge of how to manage these new tools. Social media has opened up new potential for authors, and somehow as Scribd’s vision, these new tools can  “liberate the creators and the written word”.

One of the best social media platforms for visual creators is Behance. They promote themselves as “The Creative Professional Platform”  and have established a new ground for visual masters. This self titled “world leading platform for creative professionals” has the capacity to offer exposure to visual creators and designers. This platform and others like it, have created a powerful space for authors to show their work and publicise to a very large network of peers and influential creators. The challenge is to continuously hone our skills towards new learning and adapt them towards these new ways of promotion.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Andre Gide (French writer, humanist and moralist, 1947 nobel prize for literature, 1869-1951).

This list of 19 top social media digital authors is an open one and is entirely personal and not conclusive.

I have chosen these authors after some intensive research I have conducted in the past few months. I picked them for their relevance, and because they have a powerful international engagement, the number 19 was picked at random. There are many more authors out there, but for me, these are the ones that are somehow more relevant due to their unique reach and the criteria I used. They have a global reach that makes them without any doubt the top authors working in these areas of social media and digital. I want to make it clear that this is purely my opinion. I am aware there is still much research to be done on this subject and I am always looking into more authors to add to this list.

I chose to use several forms of metrics in the construction of this list. All authors needed to have published a book, which is still a vital criteria to measure an author and their influence, although it is no longer the most single important metric. The quality and quantity of their blog / website’s reach is also critical now (I looked at the traffic and page views, using Google Ad Planner tools). Having a strong and well written blog or website is a powerful way of engaging an audience with a message, voice, content and unique point of view.

In this list I also added the number of followers each author has on Linkedin and Twitter and the amount of Facebook fans or friends. These mainstream social media platforms are important to understand the variety of reach the authors have in this list. If they are top authors in social media digital, they have to have a holistic capacity to influence in various places.

Finally, I added the new social media tools: Klout and PeerIndex that are used to create a score for people online. These last metrics are still quite new and under ongoing development. Their algorithms are not 100% efficient, though they are interesting in the forms they use to measure influence, reach and topics. In some  cases where relevant, I have added the presentation in Slideshare and of course I mentioned their roles and main achievements too.

A list of 19 top social media digital authors: a plural lists of authorship and some of its metrics.

So after much research, measuring and thinking about the subject, here is my open list in alphabetical order:

1. Brian Halligan:

Blog / website: http://www.hubspot.com, PR 6, 1.2M unique vistors, 11M page views
Published books: Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead (co-author) and Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs
Role: HubSpot CEO, and Founder, author and speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/bhalligan, 9,097 Followers, 1,116 Listed
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianhalligan, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Halligan closed profile
Klout:http://www.peerindex.net/bhalligan, 53
PeerIndex:http://klout.com/bhalligan, 57

2. Brian Solis:
Blog / website: http://www.briansolis.com/, PR 6, 70K unique visitors, 200K page views
Published books:
Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate, and Measure Success in the New Web;
Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media Is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR;
Now Is Gone: A Primer on New Media for Executives and Entrepreneurs
The Art and Science of Blogger Relations
Role: Principal at Altimeter Group, Future Works, author, speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/briansolis, 96,494 Followers, 12,119 Listed
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/futureworks, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thebriansolis, 13 301 likes
Klout: http://www.peerindex.net/briansolis, 80
PeerIndex: http://klout.com/briansolis, 78

3. Charlene Li:
Blog / website: http://www.charleneli.com/, PR 5, no available data
Published books: Open Leadership, co-author of Groundswell,
Role: founder of Altimeter Group, speaker and author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/charleneli, 56,691 Followers, 4,915 Listed
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/charleneli, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charleneli, 20,673 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/#/charleneli, 57
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/charleneli, 57

4. Chris Brogan:
Blog / website: http://www.chrisbrogan.com, PR 6, 170K unique visitors, 350K page views
Published books: co-author of Trust Agents, and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine
Role: author, journalist, marketing consultant, speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/chrisbrogan, 186,995 followers, 19,186 listed
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbrogan, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisBroganMedia, 5901
Klout: http://klout.com/ChrisBrogan, 79
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/chrisbrogan, 74

5. Clay Shirky:
Blog / website: http://www.shirky.com/, PR 7 http://www.shirky.com/weblog/ no available data in Google Ad Planner
Published books: Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (2008) and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age (2010).
Role: Writer, consultant, lecturer
Twitter: http://twitter.com/cshirky, 140,525 followers, 7,096 listed
Linkedin: not visible
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clay-Shirky, 947
Klout: http://klout.com/cshirky, 63
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/cshirky, 71

6. David Meerman Scott:
Blog / website: http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/, PR 5, no available data in Google Ad Planner, http://www.webinknow.com/ PR 6, 29K unique visitors, 63K page views
Published books: The New Rules of Marketing and PR; Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History; Real-Time Marketing & PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now, and others
Role: Thought leader, strategist, speaker, author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dmscott, 371,394followers, 55,717 listed
Linkedin: not visible
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dmscott, 3220 friends,
Klout: http://klout.com/dmscott, 71
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/dmscott, 68

7. Gary Vaynerchuk:

Gary Vaynerchuk

Blog / website: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/, PR 6, 48k unique visitors, 130k page views
Published books: Crush It! Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion (October 2009), The Thank You Economy (March 2011)
Role: Founder Winelibrary.com, Wine Library TV, VaynerMedia, author and speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/garyvee, 889,627 followers, listed 14,190
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/garyvaynerchuk, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gary, 66159 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/garyvee, 73
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/garyvee, 89

8. Guy Kawasaki:
Blog / website: http://www.guykawasaki.com/, PR 6, 84K unique vistors, 270K Page views
Published books: author of ten books including Enchantment, Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way
Role: co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web, and a founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures
Twitter: http://twitter.com/GuyKawasaki, 371,394 followers, listed 26,872
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/guykawasaki, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/guy, 54 446 like
Klout: http://klout.com/guykawasaki, 85
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/guykawasaki, 35

9. Jeremiah Owyang:
Blog / website: http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/, PR 6, 62k unique visitors, 140k page views
Published books: Researcher and author of various reports and research papers
Role: Disruptive Technology: Analyst and Consultant – Partner of Customer Strategy at Altimeter Group, author, speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jowyang, 84 717 followers, listed 8 511
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/jowyang, 500+
Presentations: http://www.slideshare.net/jeremiah_owyang/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Web-Strategy-by-Jeremiah, 1007 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/jowyang, 80
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/jowyang, 82

10. Josh Bernoff:
Blog / website: http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/, PR 3, no traffic data available in Google Ad Planner
Published books: coauthor Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (Harvard Business Press, 2008), co-author: Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, and Transform Your Business (Harvard Business Press, 2010)
Role: Josh Bernoff is senior vice president, idea development at Forrester Research
Twitter: http://twitter.com/jbernoff, 14 193 followers, 1527
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/joshbernoff, 500+
Presentations: www.slideshare.net/jbernoff
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jbernoff, 1256 friends, no Facebook fan page
Klout: http://klout.com/jbernoff, 59
PeerIndex:http://www.peerindex.net/jbernoff, 66

11. Lee Odden:
Blog / website: http://www.toprankblog.com/lee-odden/, PR 5, no traffic data available in Google Ad Planner
Published books: writer in Mashable, iMedia Connection and Yahoo Search Marketing Blog along with publishing TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog
Role: CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing, Speaker, author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/leeodden, 29213 followers, listed 3518
Linkedin:http://www.linkedin.com/in/leeodden, 500+
Facebook: 1021 friends, http://www.facebook.com/lee.odden, 80, http://www.facebook.com/toprank.online.marketing.blog, 9472 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/leeodden, 71
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/leeodden, 72

12. Mari Smith:
Blog / website: http://www.marismith.com/, 100k unique viewers, 290k page views
Role: Author, TV Host, Social Media Examiner TV #SMEtv at Social Media Examiner, Social Media Speaker
Published books: Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marismith, 110 325 Followers, listed  7431
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/marismith, 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marismith, 44 121
Klout: http://klout.com/marismith, 79
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/marismith, 68

13. Mitch Joel:
Blog / website: http://www.twistimage.com/blog/, PR 6, 35k unique visitors, 150k page views
Published books: Six Pixels of Separation
Role: President of Twist Image, author, speaker
Twitter: http://twitter.com/mitchjoel, 29256 Followers, Listed 3552
Linkedin: 500+
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MitchJoel, 4633 Friends, 6204 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/MitchJoel, 62
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/mitchjoel, 79

14. Paul Gillin:
Blog / website: http://gillin.com/blog/, no available date on Google Ad Planner
Published books: The New Influencers, Secrets of Social Media Marketing, Joy of Geocaching
Role: technology journalist, author and business and online strategist
Twitter: http://twitter.com/pgillin, 8898 followers, listed in 934
Linkedin: 500+sewewewww
Facebook: closed personal profile, no fan page
Klout: http://klout.com/pgillin, 60
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/pgillin, 59

15. Peter Shankman:
Blog / website: http://shankman.com/, PR 5, 71k unique visitors, 200k page views
Published books: Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work — And Why Your Company Needs Them; Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World
Role: Owner The Geek Factory, Inc., Social Media Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, CEO, Speaker, Consultant & Adventurist
Twitter: http://twitter.com/petershankman
Linkedin: 500+
Facebook: 3592 Friends, http://www.facebook.com/PeterShankman 51 263
Klout: http://klout.com/petershankman, 81
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/petershankman, 77

16. Scott Monty:
Blog / website: http://www.scottmonty.com/, 17k unique visitors and 36k page views
Published books: Featured in various books
Role: head of social media for Ford Motor Company, speaker and blogger
Twitter: http://twitter.com/scottmonty, 55 560 followers, listed 5 267
Linkedin: 500+
Facebook: 2831 friends, http://www.facebook.com/TheScottMonty, 661 likes
Klout: http://klout.com/ScottMonty, 72
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/scottmonty, 72

17. Seth Godin:
Blog / website: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/, 71K Unique visitors, 180k page views
Published books: Various, more than a dozen, Tribes…
Role: Founder of Squidoo.com, author, blogger
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ThisIsSethsBlog, 96194 followers, listed 8512
Linkedin: Not visible or not in Linkedin
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sethgodin, likes 121 844
Klout: http://klout.com/ThisIsSethsBlog, 74
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/ThisIsSethsBlog, 35

18. Shiv Singh:
Blog / website: http://www.goingsocialnow.com, PR 5, no date about visitors in Google ad planner
Role: Head of Digital for PepsiCo Beverages America, digital marketer
Published books: Social Media Marketing for Dummies
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShivSingh, 16913 followers, listed 2370
Linkedin: 500+
Facebook: closed profile, no Facebook page
Klout: http://klout.com/ShivSingh, 65
PeerIndex: http://www.peerinex.net/ShivSingh, 57

19. Valeria Maltoni:
Blog / website: http://www.conversationagent.com/, PR 6, 20K unique visitors, 40k page views
Role: Business strategist, speaker and author
Published books: co-author of The Age of Conversation, a groundbreaking Book collaboration by 103 of today’s top marketing writers
Twitter: http://twitter.com/valeriamaltoni, 693, listed 113 she tweets mainly as @ConversationAge with 29,23 2Followers, 3,812 Listed
Linkedin: +500
Facebook: 275 friends, http://www.facebook.com/ConversationAgent, 3,114 likes
Wikipedia: No
Klout: http://klout.com/valeriamaltoni, 35
PeerIndex: http://www.peerindex.net/valeriamaltoni, 41