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20 Most Influential People in Social Media

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Thanks to Income Diary, you know who are the top bloggers, female entrepreneurs, and Internet millionaires under 30. Now it’s time to take a look into the world of social media – the who’s who of people you have probably seen around the social media-sphere a time or two while demonstrating their expertise in a variety of fields and others who you might just be hearing about for the first time.

By the way, I’m willing to bet that you probably know enough about social media right now to start your own side business.

Without further ado, here are the most influential people in social media.

Jay Baer

Google Plus 8,200+ followers
Twitter 44,400+ followers
Facebook 1,360+ fans
Jay Baer is a tequila-loving, hype free social media strategist and speaker. He co-authored The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social with Amber Naslund (she’s coming up on the list too). His blog, Convince & Convert, covers the A to almost Z of everything in online marketing from A/B testing to website strategy.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Lisa Barone

Google Plus 3,600+ followers
Twitter 20,000+ followers
Facebook 293 fans
Lisa is co-founder of Outspoken Media along with Rhea Drysdale & Rae Hoffman-Dolan. Her catchphrase is that while some people save lives, she saves brands. She is known for her honest industry observations, inability to not say what she’s thinking, and excessive Twittering. Her blog, Outspoken Media, covers affiliate marketing, blogging, Internet marketing, reputation management, SEO, and more.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Danny Brown

Google Plus 10,000 followers
Twitter 30,700+ followers
Facebook 5,000+ fans
Danny Brown is co-founder and CEO of Bonsai Interactive Marketing which offers integrated social media and mobile marketing solutions and applications to businesses. His blog is featured in the AdAge Power 150 and is one of Canada’s top marketing blogs as well. He’s well-known for his expertise in public relations, blogging, marketing, social media, and oddly enough, sheep.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Pete Cashmore

Google Plus 184,111 followers
Twitter 2,493,926 followers
Pete Cashmore is the founder and CEO of Mashable, one of the largest and most well known sites for digital, social media, and technology news. He has been recogized as one of AdAge’s 2011 influencers, Time’s 100 people in 2010, and Forbes as a web celebrity. He can find his latest on both Mashable and CNN.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Matt Cutts

Google Plus 102,400+ followers
Twitter 134,400+ followers
Matt Cutts is the head of the webspam team at Google, and generally recognized as the public face of Google. He’s the person SEOs love, love to hate, and love to mercilessly pick on at the same time. He blogs about Google (of course), gadgets, and SEO at his blog.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Guy Kawasaki

Google Plus 60,300+ followers
Twitter 402,000+ followers
Facebook 56,700+ fans
Guy Kawasaki is the author of Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, a former chief evangelist for Apple, and co-founder of, the site that brings the top blogs on virtually every topic imaginable together. If you happen to follow him on Google+, you’ll find he updates 10-20 posts per day, numbering them for each day.

Brian Moran

Google Plus 400+ followers
Twitter 1,700+ followers
Facebook 83,000+ fans
Brian Moran is perhaps one of the top people to go to when it comes to Facebook marketing. He built his website’s fan page to over 80,000 fans in under 10 months and now helps small businesses get off the ground with their Facebook strategy. His blog, Get 10,000 Fanscovers fan page marketing, Facebook advertising, and much more.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Amber Naslund

Google Plus unlisted followers
Twitter 43,700+ followers
Facebook 240+ fans
Amber is the VP of social strategy for Radian6, business and communications strategist, and co-author of the The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social with Jay Baer as mentioned above. Her blog, Brass Stack Thinking, covers blogging, branding, marketing, social media, and more.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

  • When Even Social Customer Service Isn’t Enough
  • Consider This: 24/7 Access, Work, and Social Media
  • Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Social Media Ringer

Jessica Northey

Google Plus unlisted followers
Twitter 171,000+ followers
Facebook 3,300+ fans
Jessica Northey is a social media, broadcasting, country and music blogger / journalist who heads up Finger Candy Media. Her business helps celebrities, musicians, brands, and businesses use social media to accomplish their productivity goals.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Jolie O’Dell

Twitter 28,800+ followers
Facebook 419 fans
Jolie O’Dell is a journalist and start-up veteran, computer science student, and tech journalist for Mashable. Her personal blogcovers just about everything a personal blog could cover.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Chris Pirillo

Google Plus 53,800+ followers
Twitter 99,000+ followers
Facebook 30,500+ fans
Chris Pirillo is technology strategist whom tech enthusiasts trust to answer questions and lead discussions on the latest and greatest tech news. He launched the Lockergnome publishing network and began a web community for geeks. His blog all things tech and geeky!Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Amy Porterfield

Google Plus 3,500+ followers
Twitter 20,500+ followers
Facebook 5,300+ fans
Amy is an online marketing and social media consultant who specializes in Facebook marketing. She is the co-author of the brand new book Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies released in August of this year, and is a regular author on her own blog and Social Media Examiner as well as the creator of the Facebook Marketing All-In-One For Dummies program.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Trey Ratcliff

Google Plus 106,000+ followers
Twitter 25,400+ followers
Facebook 24,400+ fans
Trey Ratcliff is one of the most popular photographers on social media, and is mostly known for his HDR and travel photography on Stuck in Customs. He makes some pretty awesome videos using his photography on YouTubeas well.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Corvida Raven

Google Plus 1,400+ followers
Twitter 7,700+ followers
Corvida Raven’s is a speaker, consultant, and technology blogger whose goal is to educate you on the latest technology in plain English. Her blog, She Geeks, covers education, mobile, social media, web, and much more. She’s been recognized by Fast Company as an influential woman in technlogy, is known as a social influence as well.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Robert Scoble

Google Plus 143,700+ followers
Twitter 206,600+ followers
Facebook 27,000+ subscribers
Robert Scoble is a blogger, technical evangelist, and author best known for his blog Scobleizer. He is a proud employee of Rackspace, and proves just how much he loves talking to other geeks by publishing his own cell number on this blog and social profiles.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Mari Smith

Google Plus 20,000+ followers
Twitter 118,000+ followers
Facebook 49,000+ fans
Mari is a well-known social media speaker & trainer, chic geek & Facebook passionista, bubbly Scottish-Canadian, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day and author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web, and contributor to Social Media Examiner. Her blog on relationship marketing covers buzz marketing, email marketing, Facebook, personal branding, professional networking, social media, and more.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Michael Stelzner

Google Plus 6,000+ followers
Twitter 35,700+ followers
Facebook 59,200+ fans
Michael Stelzner is the CEO and founder of Social Media Examiner, one of the fastest growing blogs that is the authority for all things social media. He also is the author of Launch: How to Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Wayne Sutton

Google Plus 7,600+ followers
Twitter 34,800+ followers
Facebook 790+ fans
Wayne Sutton is an entrepreneur, advisor, and technlogy journalist. He helps individuals, startups, and businesses understand how to communicate on the social web. His blog, Social Wayne, has been ranked in the top 50 best tech and social media blogs on the Internet.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

  • What You Need to Know About QR Codes
  • 7 QR Code Marketing Examples by Major Brands, Music Artists, and Publications
  • How to Manage Social Media Success Like an American Idol Contestant

Gina Trapani

Google Plus 86,600+ followers
Twitter 175,700+ followers
Facebook 915 fans
Gina Trapini is an award-winning blogger, programmer, and co-author of Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better. She is the founder of Lifehacker and created the ThinkUp app. Her blog, Smarterware, covers all things to do with great software.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Tamar Weinberg

Google Plus 16,100+ followers
Twitter 28,100+ followers
Facebook 1,160 fans
Tamar Weinberg is a social media consultant & trainer, blogger, and author of The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. She is passionate for anything to do with the internet, social media, blogging, and gadgets. Her blog, Techipedia, covers all things social media and technology.Interesting Tips, Advice, and Shares:

Your Favorites

This is just a sampling of the awesome people in social media. There are many, many others in almost every field, niche, or industry imaginable. So my questions for you are:

  • Who are your favorites?
  • Who would would you like to add to this list and why?

[Image Credit: Sean MacEntee]


  1. Jamie Northrup says:

    Nice list, other than myself *joke*, I would add Darren Rowse, he’s more aimed at bloggers, but he also runs the TwiTip website, and a lot of the blogging stuff he speaks of are directly connected to social media.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks for both suggestions Jamie. 🙂 I think they got him for the top bloggers just recently here too!

  2. David Gadarian says:

    Hey! Modesty aside, I’d put you on that list too – you are all over the place, and consistently putting up great posts filled with a ton of solid usable info!

  3. Sumon Rahman says:

    Great post to follow 🙂

  4. Adesoji Adegbulu says:

    WOOOOOWWWWW! Great list. Thanks for sharing. I’m going to see what more I can learn from these people.

    On a lighter mood, i’m better than some of the people listed here 🙂

    Kind Regards

  5. Hi,

    I think Nick Unsworth should be in the list too.

    He rocks!

    Down to earth guy.


    • Kristi Hines says:

      I’ll have to check him out – thanks for the vote Samuel! Here’s Nick Unsworth’s website for more on him!

  6. Joshua Zamora says:

    Hey Kristi Truly amazing list here! Heading off to follow some of these people and see how they operate.

    A lot of people I’ve never heard of.

    Thank you

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Joshua! I was trying to find a healthy blend of notable names you just can’t leave off these kinds of list vs. people who you should start seeing on them more often! 🙂

  7. Michael A. Stelzner says:

    Kristi – Thanks for this 🙂

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome Michael! Being the brains behind Social Media Examiner, you were a shoe-in. 🙂

  8. I know the joke’s already been made, but seriously – why am I not on this list? 😉

    Silliness aside, it’s interesting that I do not follow anyone on the list apart from Matt Cutts. What have I been missing out on?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      It’s funny Tom. I did a list once of 125 people (we’re not going to discuss how long that took) and I still missed a lot of awesome people. I’m glad I brought some new names to the table for you though! 🙂

      Also, looks like we have a bit in common balancing the full time vs. online income, so you have a new follower!

      • Great! Consider yourself followed too! 🙂

        I think you’re right though – there are an enormous amount of people out there with loads to offer. We should always be on the lookout.

  9. Geoffrey Gordon says:

    I would like to add Derek Halpern from, he is awesome, every post is worth bookmarking and learning from.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Good nomination – he’s definitely a great guy to follow. Very helpful with WordPress too. Thanks Geoffrey! 🙂

  10. Amber Naslund says:

    Hi Kristi – Thanks so much for including me! Some great company on this list and a lot of pros that I both like and respect. Much obliged.


  11. Chris Pirillo says:

    Happy to have made the cut. Would be curious to know everybody’s YouTube numbers, too.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I thought about including YouTube, LinkedIn, Klout, RSS subscribers, etc., but then I ended up with a ton of little icons on the side and just thought to focus on the new big three instead. 🙂

  12. Great post, I’d agree with most of these

  13. Anthony Russo says:

    Surprised Leo Laporte not on list and really surprised Chris Brogan isn’t on the list.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      I know I left out some obvious names. But I’ve seen a lot of lists and just wanted to make the balance between people you’d expect and some surprises. 🙂

  14. Definitely agree with most of the list, so happy to know so many of them. Kristi, you’ll in the list too in my opinion, but of course you cant add yourself.

    You’re one of the names I’ve been hearing and learning everywhere I go. YIKES! 🙂

  15. I would toatlly agree with chris prillo beinging i this list

  16. fazal mayar says:

    Great list, these guys have a lot of authority but they probably started 5 + years ago too?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Thanks Fazal. It usually takes a while to build up the kind of credibility to become pretty well known. 🙂

  17. Ufuk Sepin-Curtis says:

    What a great list of reference here… Thanks for sharing.

    I would add Nick Unsworth as Facebook guru and Rick Itzkowich, the “LinkedIn Guy” here too… Both great people to follow and learn from…

  18. Jessica Northey says:

    WOW…you made my day. Thanks for including me in this list of amazing people. I am honored to be listed next with them.
    *truth be told* I cried. It happens, right?

  19. Michael Q Todd says:

    Did they have to be in America? If not I would nominate Jay Oatway, Thomas Power, Jeff Bullas and Aaron Lee.
    Always good to find out out about some new people though Kristi. Good work!
    Promoting and supporting people is what it is all about

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Is everyone here in the US? I didn’t really pay attention to location when I did this, but I’ll take recommendations from anywhere in the world! 🙂

    • WOW!

      Thank you so much for including my name indie Michael! you’re definitely in my list! guess we need to come up with a 100 people list!


  20. Susan Kolbe says:

    Thanks for the awesome weekend reading list! So much for the yard work.

    • Kristi Hines says:

      My posts are designed to keep people from getting anything else done. Glad to see I have succeeded yet again! 🙂

  21. Danny Brown says:

    First, thank you so much for including me here, Kristi – coming from you, that’s a high compliment, so thank you, sincerely.

    You know what I really like about this list? It’s not the same names that always pop up – and you have a great representation of women in social media, which usually gets missed too.

    Great job, and thanks again 🙂

    • Kristi Hines says:

      You’re welcome Danny! And that’s exactly what I was going after – a nice balance of known vs. upcoming! 🙂

  22. Indulekha Nanayakkara says:

    I guess Brian Solis would be an obvious choice and hence you opted out just like Chris Brogan? 🙂 Altogether, interesting list. But we hardly hear about those from other continents. Especially Asia. Is it that the activity in this part of the world with regard to social media, minute or just ignored? How do you see it?

    • Kristi Hines says:

      Hi Indulekha. That point was brought up on Google+ about this post being mostly people from North America, but the way I did it is this. I based the list off of people I know that are influential in their spaces. I didn’t see where they were from, check people on or off because of their ethnicity, etc. I’m from North America, a big chunk of the audience here is from North America, so it makes sense that most people are from there even if that wasn’t even my intention.

      Also, if you look at lists like the Google+ Statistics that ranks people in order of most followers, out of the top 100 that listed a location, only 6 are outside of North America. The three that are from Asia do not have sites (or profiles) in English. The Twitter Elite list from Twitter Grader is much more worldwide, but the people who are not from North America or the UK have sites / profiles that are not in English. Since this readership is mostly English speaking, it would see a bit odd to list people with blogs / profiles in other languages. You’ll find the same thing in the Facebook Elite list as well.

      Of course, I’m guessing that if you read blogs from other countries, their lists of influential people are more concentrated on people from their own countries as well. 🙂

  23. Awesome list.

    Bookmark. Save. Follow. 🙂

  24. Thanks so much for this. Terrific list, and I’m honored to be a part of it, especially because YOU curated it, Kristi.

  25. Virginia Graham says:

    Love this list. It’s awesome.

  26. Kristi, thank you for this list.

    They say that one way to be successsful is to model yourself on what successful people do.

    This is certainly an inspirational list and I am sure that within it there has to be at least one person, that anyone who takes the time to check them out, will resonate with.

  27. Bingo Ventura says:

    I started scanning the article and wondered who was missing on this list….then I saw your name at the end… THEN the list made sense… 😉

  28. Nicanor Gabunada Jr. says:

    It appears that google+ , twitter followers, and facebook fans are among the measures of being influential people in social media. But why did we exclude the celebrities with millions of followers on their twitter accounts and facebook fan pages?

  29. One day i would like to be in this list :P, oh well, going to write anothers article now to make it happen haha 😛

  30. Robert Scoble says:

    Thanks for including me in this list.

    My numbers are off, though. My Facebook at has 27,000 and my Google+ at has 130,000. Thanks!

  31. Gary Vaynerchuck should be on there.

    Way ahead of the curve and I love his balls (not literally).

  32. Dwight Anthony says:

    Nice list, good to see the list of the most influential people that are making a difference with social media.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog

  33. Hi – Great article and very thought provoking.
    For me a great example of an influential social media user is Stephen Fry.

    He has a huge following but a very loyal one, his followers seem to hang on every word.

    Best wishes

  34. Tim Jinkerson says:

    Ha! A social media list with Maureen Johnson and John Green! That’s like making a list of the 20 greatest romantic movies of all time, and missing out ‘Maid in Manhattan’.

  35. Wayne Sutton says:

    Thanks for including me on the list.

  36. Dustin W. Stout says:

    I would definitely add Chris Brogan to the list.

  37. Amy Porterfield says:

    Kristi! What a nice surprise to be a part of this AWESOME LIST. Thanks for thinking of me. I love to see lists like these because there are always a few people I get to learn more about (like Trey Ratcliff- I’ve got to check out more of his stuff!).

    Thanks again for sharing this great post, Kristi!

  38. Heather Farquhar says:

    Thank you Kristi for writing this great post. I really appreciate the interesting tips, advice and shares associated with each person.

  39. Kristi Hi,

    I would suggest one more to be part of the list. Olivier Blanchard aka @thebrandbuilder on twitter.

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