Top 1000 Social Selling Influencers (and their followers) – and what to do with the data.

I know what you are thinking! Here’s just another list. It’s not. I see a lot of lists flying around social media, quoting influencers on various topics. My …

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I know what you are thinking! Here’s just another list.

It’s not.

I see a lot of lists flying around social media, quoting influencers on various topics. My understanding is that a lot of these are based on Klout scores or very simple metrics that can be ‘gamed’ – relatively easily.

At Creation, we dig a little deeper and we use a combination of three amazing tools to gather data, then we analyse. That way we can build a much greater understanding of what’s going on in the market. Feeding how we help clients plan not just influencer marketing programmes, but also social media activity and media plans.

What I’m presenting here in this blog is the summary and I have set up a full repository that contains a presentation of the findings and the raw data in XLS. So it’s not just a list, you get all the data too. AND if you want to know what tools we use – my ‘go-to’ social analytics tool is Brandwatch, it’s brilliant, as for the rest and how we use the data – just email me or reach out to me on social media.

Why Social Selling Influencers? 

The world that Koka Sexton refers to where “The Yellow Pages were my leads and my job was to dial for dollars” doesn’t exist anymore – so its interest is on the rise.

It’s a hot topic.

On our site a recent post by Gary Farmer discussing whether Social Selling needs a rebrand has generated over 11k reads in the last month.

Let us get to the data. Step One: Who is talking about Social Selling?

To start with we analysed who was talking about Social Selling in the last 30 days. This allowed us to identify 34,311 unique people talking. That’s a lot! To better understand who they were, we broke them into 8 behavioural cohorts – this allows us to filter out any spam accounts. A behavioural cohort is defined as a group of people with a strong affinity with each other – this could be where they live, what language they speak, what job role they perform, what personal interests they have.

Here is our graphical summary of that data.

34,331 people talking about Social Selling in April 2017. Broken into 8 cohorts.

You can see clearly that there is a big community of sales people talking about Social Selling, but also that this is a large community of marketing people too. The personal interest group mainly post about Music and Sports – so it’s hard to tell what job they actually do. Then to the side, we have groups defined by country.

Each of these groups have different sets of influencers. What’s useful here is the ability to identify micro or country level influencers – for example, Alban Jarry is the No.1 for the French cohort.

But this data is essentially, “who influences the influencers in Social Selling” (if that makes sense – if not, email me).

We want to get to the level below that – the influencers. (That detail is in the full presentation linked below)

Geo location of people talking about Social Selling

Step Two: Of those 43k talking, who (when they use the term Social Selling) get the most engagement, and have the most influence?

The critical point there is that we’re looking for what happens when we use the phrase Social Selling. NOT whether their overall account has influence. Last year, I appeared on a list as the No.1 influencer on the UK Automotive market.

Which I’m not.

The reason was that I have some level of social influence on a few topics, and I happened to post something about my BMW i3 (which I love). So the algorithm picked up (a) Influence AND (b) mentioned Car and came to a false conclusion.Which is different. I want to know who has an influence on the topic, not who as a general influence and happened to mention it.

So what did the data show us?

We identified 1,020 people from the 34,000 that had real influence when they posted on the topic. More importantly, we didn’t just look at twitter. That full list with more data is available to download over HERE. However, you can see the top 25 below.

Position Full Name Bio Location Followers Twitter Handle LinkedIn
1 Tim Hughes #1 Global #Socialselling Pioneer and Innovator, Speaker – Co-Founder of Digital Leadership Associates Teddington, London 187150 @Timothy_Hughes https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughes1
2 Neal Schaffer I help businesses generate ROI from social media. Author, Global Social Media Speaker, Marketing Influencer & Japan Travel Expert. Irvine, Orange County, CA USA 181405 @NealSchaffer https://www.linkedin.com/in/nealschaffer
3 Jack Kosakowski SaaSANova Of #MarketingAutomation Passionate #SocialSelling Visionary Of #Sales & Co-Chief-Thinker @CreationAgency Scottsdale, AZ 39348 @JackKosakowski https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackkosakowski1
4 Evan Kirstel #Solopreneur #Influencer #ThoughtLeader Helping #B2B clients w #SocialMedia in #Enterprise Boston, MA 120109 @evankirstel https://www.linkedin.com/in/evankirstel
5 Koka Sexton Social Selling @hootsuite Former head of social @LinkedIn Creator of @SocialSelling San Francisco, CA 65298 @kokasexton https://www.linkedin.com/in/perramond
6 Mario Martinez Jr. I’m a Father, Husband, #CEO, #Sales #Leader, #Speaker, #SocialSelling Champ & @huffingtonpost writer. San Francisco, CA 50756 @M_3jr https://www.linkedin.com/in/mario-martinez-45400840
7 Brian G. Burns Host of – The Brutal Truth about Sales & Selling” “The B2B Revenue Leadership” PodCast – On iTunes 98598 @BriangBurns  https://www.linkedin.com/in/BRIANBURNS
8 Tim Hughes Digital Leader Tim Hughes, Tweet about #bigdata #industry40 #3DPrinting #VirtualReality Twickenham, London 30357 @DigitalLeadTim  https://www.linkedin.com/in/timothyhughessocialselling/
9 Kevin Thomas Tully Sales and Marketing Enablement | Revenue Acceleration | Data Analytics | @CreationAgency Baltimore, MD 24095 @kevinttully https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinthomastully
10 Mark Fidelman We help organizations dramatically increase revenue & market share via #influencermarketing, #video #SMM San Diego, CA 100590 @markfidelman https://www.linkedin.com/in/fidelman
11 Gareth O’Sullivan Young Entrepreneur – Content Marketing Manager at @creationagency / Northampton, England 43534 @_GarethG  https://www.linkedin.com/in/olliewhitfield/
12 Sales Hacker Sales #content #conferences & training for B2B #sales orgs building high velocity sales machines. San Francisco 23106 @SalesHacker
13 Brynne Tillman Transforming the Way Sales Professionals Leverage LinkedIn and Social Selling to Grow Their Business. United States 10087 @BrynneTillman https://www.linkedin.com/in/brynnetillman
14 creationagency Global #MarketingAutomation #DigitalMarketing #SocialMedia #Social #Sales Agency. UK, Europe, & United States 11929 @creationagency
15 Mic V Adam Social Selling Accelator (#socialselling) – SocMed #Policy Creation -Trainer – Entrepreneur – Vanguard Leadership Brugge, Belgium 7556 @micadam https://www.linkedin.com/in/micadam
16 Cyril Bladier #DigitallPullMarketing | World Top 200 #LinkedIn expert | #Facebook influencer | #SocialSelling |#Inbound Paris, France 24275 @businesson_line https://www.linkedin.com/in/cyrilbladier
17 Ollie Whitfield Social Selling practitioner @CreationAgency freestyle footballer & LFC fan maidstone, kent, UK 4604 @OllieWhitfield_  https://www.linkedin.com/in/olliewhitfield/
18 #AllMarketing24 #SocialMedia influencer & content creator. #SmallBusiness owner United Kingdom 317798 @AllMarketing24 https://www.linkedin.com/in/golam-rabbani-620a2794
19 Perry van Beek #LinkedIn & #SocialSelling Expert ● #Speaker #Trainer #Coach Netherlands 32472 @perryvanbeek https://www.linkedin.com/in/perryvanbeek
20 Shane Gibson Forbes .com #5 Social Sales Influencer. Professional Speaker. Vancouver 36769 @shanegibson https://www.linkedin.com/in/shanegibson
21 LinkedIn for Sales Connecting the world’s buyers and sellers with @LinkedIn. Sunnyvale, CA 42995 @linkedinselling https://www.linkedin.com/in/kokasexton
22 Adam Gray Co-founder of Digital Leadership Associates | Bestselling author of Pearson’s Brilliant Social Media Suffolk – London – Elsewhere 40795 @agsocialmedia https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamgray
23 ArkangelScrap #Innovation #VR #IoT #AI #BigData #Cloud #StartUP #SocialMedia |Top50 #datasecurity France 34817 @ArkangelScrap
24 Steve Cassady Steve Cassady Strategic, Management, Operational, and Business Consultant Overland Park, KS 43727 @SteveCassady https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevecassady
25 LARRY ELKAN FINANCIAL / B2B / B2C / H2H COPYWRITER & CONSULTANT SARASOTA, FLORIDA U.S.A. 14468 @LElkan  https://www.linkedin.com/in/larryelkan/

As I mention above, the full 1,020 can be found in the raw data over HERE.

What is interesting is that we are seeing communities talking about social selling, each with their own leader. In the XLS you can see which groups people belong to, and we summarise this in the powerpoint presentation.

Step Three: Let’s take the top 50 influencers and analyse their followers! That will give us insights into the overall audience for this content. 

When we looked at the collective following, we found 834,061 unique people. As this was a larger group, we have broken these down into 15 cohorts. Here is the overall picture of everyone’s followers.

The 834,061 followers of the top Social Selling influencers.

Here you can side a much wider audience, from Sales and Marketing to Authors and Entrepreneurs. We also see a group of Marketing/Social Media coaches, as well as more general businesses. It’s a global audience.

Where the over 800k people live.

Leaving the deeper insights in the powerpoint, I’ll move quickly onto the overall influencers on the total community.

…and here they are.

Well, this is the top 200, in the full data there is 1,000 with all the profile data, but as a summary here are the top 25. Remember, that this is different to the list above – that was just looking at influencers on the keyword #SocialSelling – this is looking at the overall influence on the followers, not just on that topic. So we could expect a wider interest here.

name Twitter Handle relevance score affinity score followers location description url
Tim Hughes Timothy_Hughes 22.5 879.5 187154 Teddington London #1 Global #Socialselling Pioneer and Innovator Speaker – Co-Founder of Digital Leadership Associates http://www.social-experts.net/
Neal Schaffer NealSchaffer 22.1 887.5 181405 Irvine Orange County CA USA I help businesses generate ROI from social media. Author Global Social Media Speaker Marketing Influencer http://maximizeyoursocial.com/social-media-speaker-neal-schaffer/
Lolly Daskal LollyDaskal 18.5 133 1284435 New York City Dedicated to bringing Heart Based Leadership to organizations & individuals |Coach |Consultant |Speaker http://lollydaskal.com
Steve Keating LeadToday 18.4 172.8 945928 Phoenix & Minneapolis USA Improving the Sales Profession   Developing the Next Generation of Leaders Not selling a thing on Twitter only giving back. http://www.stevekeating.me
Jeff Bullas jeffbullas 18.3 281.8 535859 Sydney Australia #1 Content Marketing Influencer Social Media Marketing Strategist & Speaker Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer #1 Global Business Blog. http://jeffbullas.com/
Kim Garst kimgarst 17.5 269.1 536531 Tampa Florida Passionate about helping entrepreneurs GROW their biz w/ social & digital media! Keynote speaker Forbes Top 10 Social Media Influencer. Loves God   FAM & hockey http://kimgarst.com/27-facebook-post-ideas-lpa/
Sean Gardner 2morrowknight 16.7 158.4 934515 Seattle airports or 35 000 ft World Traveler VP of Digital Media and Board Member @WorldCommForum   Keynote Speaker #GivingTuesday Ambassador; directing and producing a film with @RashaGoel https://www.instagram.com/2morrowknight/
Mari Smith MariSmith 15.4 238.9 533005 San Diego California Social Media Thought Leader | Top Facebook Marketing Expert | Globe-trotting Speaker | Author | ‘Mari like Ferrari’ http://www.marismith.com
Ted Rubin TedRubin 15.1 253.8 484279 NY ‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain.’ 🙂 http://about.me/tedrubin
Warren Whitlock WarrenWhitlock 14.8 246.1 492103 Las Vegas NV Influencer in health business tech blockchain solar   social media marketing. Futurist   Advisor Author and friend http://WarrenWhitlock.com
Cameron L Morrissey ManagersDiary 14.1 174.7 685676 Las Vegas I’m here to make you a better leader with practical leadership advice exercises and tips. Check out my posts and videos to get you started. http://www.cameronmorrissey.com
Hootsuite hootsuite 14 21.4 8087438 Vancouver Canada Social media news and tips from the worlds most widely used social relationship platform. http://blog.hootsuite.com
Reg Saddler zaibatsu 14 200.7 582221 Minneapolis / TwinCities / MN Just a guy who loves #SocialMedia   #Tech #Science & #Travel. http://differencetheory.com
Gary C. Bizzo garybizzo 13.5 228.3 484157 Vancouver CANADA I’m a Business Startup Specialist   author How to Start a Successful Business-the First Time http://garybizzo.com
Ted Nguyen TedNguyen 13.5 200 558995 Southern California USA PR and marketing communications professional tweeting about intersection of news food fun   travel adventure & other updates that hopefully move you. http://bit.ly/TedUSA
Bobby Umar raehanbobby 13.2 253.2 419513 Toronto Canada US 4x @TEDx Speaker | Inc Mag Top 100 Heart-Leader Networking   Personal Brand & Parenting. http://raeallan.com
Skip Prichard SkipPrichard 13.2 234.3 457627 Columbus OH CEO on a mission to share ideas & inspiration. http://www.skipprichard.com
Scott Eddy MrScottEddy 13.2 108.4 1100349 Miami FL I’m Jamaican-Lebanese-American. From Miami lived in Thailand-Portugal-Spain-UK-Philippines-Sri Lanka. T http://www.mrscotteddy.com
Jason Sibley (Burrows) jasoncreation 13.2 878.6 103093 UK and EMEA All things Sales Marketing Digital and Social Media. Also love Tech SaaS and my i3. http://www.creationagency.com
Jeff Sheehan jeffsheehan 13.1 285.1 363153 Atlanta GA #ATL #SocialSelling #Marketing Pro #Speaker #Author #Podcaster #Toastmaster Luv Travel |Photog | 13.1 http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffsheehan2010
Ted Coine tedcoine 13.1 219.5 487727 Naples Florida USA Happily-former CEO back to my first love   #education. Teacher of the best kids in the world at Immokalee Middle School. Speaker. Author. http://openfor.business/keynote/tedcoine/
Mark Fidelman markfidelman 13 885 100593 San Diego CA We help organizations dramatically increase revenue & market share via #influencermarketing #video #SMM http://www.fanaticsmedia.com
Mashable mashable 13 18.4 8795657 Mashable is for superfans. We’re not for the casually curious. Obsess with us. http://mashable.com
Jason Houck MJasonHouck 12.9 390.8 248929 Boone NC I help you grow your business using Social Media Marketing. I love my family travel and am passionate about helping you succeed. How can I help? http://weighyourmind.com/consulting/
Emma Illies illwah 12.9 195.1 545888 Adelaide-Australia Successful Entrepreneur. Motivational speaker Writer   PR Manager. Enriching peoples lives one tweet at a time!! http://twitterconcierge.com.au

What is amazing is that the top 2, and in order, are the same on both lists. Tim Hughes (and I suggest you check out his book on Social Selling) and Neal Schaffer.

Okay, so what next? 

  1. You can view the presentation and the download the data HERE.
  2. I’ve curated all the Social Selling Influencers (on topic), into a twitter list for you. You can add this, and engage with them to your hearts content. The list is HERE.
  3. If you want a learn how to use Social Selling, I can highly recommend checking out this 12-week video learning programme, devised and recorded by Jack Kosakowski. It’s a 12-week video drip learning programme with around 20 minutes of content and some exercises each week. Not only showing you how to do it but also to give you confidence in it’s success. With Jack and his team holding your (metaphorical) hand all the way through the course, and a private facebook group for Q&A and ongoing support. Get more details –> HERE <– (and for a limited time only – use the voucher code JASONSPECIAL for a discount)
  4. If you can get to NYC on the 14th June, I’d also highly recommend checking out the Sales Machine Summit, hosted by Sales Hacker. More details over HERE.

Lastly, if you want to know more about this kind of research and how it could benefit your organisation. You can email me at Jason@creationagency.com.

Enjoy!

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8 comments

  1.    Reply

    So many of the people on your list don’t even have profile photos. And many have 0 to 10 followers. Of the 1000 on the list, I am already following 240 of the best and the rest, well lets just say I am not sure they will have any value in my wheelhouse.

    Thank you, however for creating this list. Always good to see my friends mentioned! Well deserved…

    Heidi Richards Mooney

  2.    Reply

    […] This piece of data was put together by Jason Burrows at Creation Agency. Take a look through and follow those that you would like to follow. Consider using the 360.me Chrome extension to find your influencers across platforms. One excellent way to do this is by creating and following Twitter Lists… […]

  3.    Reply

    Thanks for compiling this list! I’m a CEO / Founder of a fast deals customized app called Black Friday Daily. Absorbing as much info as I can and preparing for a massive push. This will be so helpful as I move forward. 😊

  4.    Reply

    Great comprehensive report! Honored to be #73 on the list, congratulations to all others.

  5.    Reply

    Great post! Fascinating data. Honoured to be 16th on the list.

    You didn’t quite explain relevance and affinity. I don’t know the scale of the number and how it relates to my colleagues. I’d love to understand them better.

  6.    Reply

    I am honored to make it to #65 on your social selling list! Shocked is more like it. ;=}

    It’s good to know that the last six years of writing books and blogging about social selling has been effective.

    Congratulations to everyone who made the list!

  7.    Reply

    Thanks for including me at #88 on Social Selling list,

    Ian Moyse

  8.    Reply

    Hi Jason,
    It’s indeed a great joy to be on your page today.
    Oh my goodness what a great list! 🙂
    You did a wonderful analysis, a great collection of list.. The twitter list too is worth a collectable item.
    I found this post notification on my twitter page.
    I am bookmarking this for my further read.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Keep sharing.
    Best Regards.
    ~ Philip