Top People to Follow on Twitter at Davos 2012 #WEF

Established and Upcoming Influencers
Jan 24, 2012 8:15 PM ET

Innovation Conversations

Amid record snow fall last week, Seattle felt a bit like Davos minus the plows. Homebound, I started to poke around online and get ready for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting that takes place in the real Davos this week. Lucky for me, my agency, Waggener Edstrom, offers a suite of tools to help pinpoint the people who influence conversations most profoundly. Last year, I wrote a blog post that highlighted the top ten influencers to follow on Twitter at Davos. These are the movers and shakers who shape and develop the online dialogue. The list was so well received  in the Twittersphere that I thought it well worth publishing a similar list this year.

To keep things interesting, I decided to present two lists. The first list contains the likely suspects and is rank ordered according to influence. The second list contains people that are relatively influential online and are newer to the Davos conversation. The second list is not rank ordered according to influence; they are simply my top picks. My research was not exhaustive, so I am not saying the people on the second list have never been involved in WEF. I see them as emerging leaders in the online social innovation conversation – a group of people we like to call “the influencers to the influencers.”   Without further ado, I present this year’s list(s):   Top 5 Influentials to Follow (You are likely already following if you care about Social Innovation!)   1.       @Davos (1,594,512 followers) – This one is a no-brainer.  It’s the official Twitter handle of the World Economic Forum dedicated to the Annual Meeting in Davos.   2.       @Nouriel (130,216 followers) – American economist and professor Nouriel Roubini tweets consistently about global economic development.  If you are not familiar with his work, check out this profile piece published by The New York Times Magazine in 2008.   3.       @nickkristof (1,218,632 followers) – Pulitzer prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof has a globally diverse following.  He can also be found engaging readers on his Facebook page.  (Full disclosure:  Waggener Edstrom partnered with Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn in developing   4.       @gatesfoundation (680,326 followers) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation needs no introduction.  What you might not know is that the foundation has a great blog called Impatient Optimists, which features the work of the foundation’s grantees, partners, leadership, and staff, as well as other bloggers, to provide commentary and insight on global health, global development and education.    5.       @fareedzakaria (125,117 followers) –Time magazine editor Fareed Zakaria is one of the leading journalists on international relations. (Note:  These top influencers also talk to each other.  Check out this video of Fareed discussing the role of women in the world with Kristof.)   Top 5 Newcomers to the Davos Conversation (Add these influencers if you are looking to get a new and different perspective from Davos)   1.       @bethcomstock (8,965 followers) – BusinessWeek called Beth Comstock GE’s Innovation Champion.  Her real title is Chief Marketing Officer.  I believe to really solve some of the world’s most intractable problems it will take an all hands on deck approach, including innovative ideas from the private sector.  Welcome, Beth!    2.       @hbuffett (1,494 followers) – Howard W. Buffett is the grandson of investment guru Warren Buffett and director of the HGB Foundation. Fast Company profiled him earlier this year for his own disruptive approach to philanthropy. He tweeted this gorgeous picture from Davos when he arrived and is participating in WEF’s Global Shapers Community, a group of 20-somethings aiming to making an impact in the world.    3.       @mabelvanoranje (14,370 followers) – Mabel van Oranje is CEO of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. In 2005, the World Economic Forum named her one of its Young Global Leaders.   4.       @BabatundeUNFPA(869 followers) - As executive director of UNFPA, Babatunde Osotimehin addresses reproductive health of women worldwide.  More than 215 million women worldwide don’t have access to contraceptives.  Babatunde is fairly new to Twitter, but I hope that he engages to discuss this important issue at Davos.   5.        @felixsalmon – (48,375 followers) – Felix Salmon is a finance blogger for Thomson Reuters.  Felix blogged extensively at Davos last year and keeps us honest by pointing out that Davos is still primarily the stomping grounds of the elite.  He did an amusing blog post on how the badges at Davos work and the access one gets at each level.  His posts will make you laugh.   A footnote on methodology: The WE twendz pro (sentiment influence + quantitative + qualitative analysis) that can help us understand who the most influential players are in your industry or sector and more importantly, how to engage with them.  Twitter can be pretty overwhelming and the WE twendz pro™ service allows us to dig through the clutter and gain some insight into the robust Twitter conversation happening at Davos.  It’s a pretty easy tool to use, and once I put my request in, I had a list of the most influential people at Davos within 24 hours.™ tool uses a formula   Update your Twitter feeds!  To make it easy for you, we have created lists for each group.  You can find the list of established influencers here, and the list of newcomers here.  Although not all of us can be in Davos this week, we can all participate in the dialogue.   WAG20477