While some people dream of becoming their own boss, many people in that position would tell them that owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. A small business owner must be equal parts CEO, finance, marketing, IT support, and facilities manager. It’s a tall order, especially when resources are tight, but luckily there is a great community of experts willing to share their knowledge through social media channels. These virtualmentors dole out valuable advice on topics ranging from running a small business in a small town to using social media to promote a small business. We’ve compiled this list of the top 10 experts in small business, some of whom have grown into big businesses, so you can learn their secrets to success.
1. @guykawasaki: Guy Kawasaki is a social media thought leader, acclaimed achiever in personal computing, venture capitalist and entrepreneur. Kawasaki has used the power of social media to successfully promote the businesses he has founded, most notably AllTop, an “online magazine rack” which aggregates news by topic and allows users to curate their own online magazines. Kawasaki has received many honors including an Apple Fellowship and authored Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions.
Tweets: 105,545 | Followers: 957,835 | MMI Rank: 6 | Stars: 5
2. @SmallBizLady: Melinda Emerson is a Social Media and Content Strategist and a small business expert. She wrote Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, blogs about small business for The New York Times and hosts a weekly Twitter chat at #Smallbizchat. Emerson has been featured on NBC Nightly News, Forbes Inc. com, and in other major outlets, and has won numerous awards including National Association of Women Business Owners’ Woman of Distinction Award.
Tweets: 42,425 | Followers: 159,330 | MMI Rank: 55 | Stars: 5
3. @AmberCadabra: Amber Naslund is co-founder and president of SideraWorks, a social media consultancy for small businesses, and co-author of The NOW Revolution. Naslund is the creator of Brass Tack Thinking, an online resource that provides social media and community related content which has been recognized for excellence by Forbes.
Tweets: 71,314 | Followers: 49,284 | MMI Rank: 56 | Stars: 5
4. @beckymccray: Oklahoman retail store and cattle ranch owner Becky McCray is an expert in running a small business in a small town. McCray co-authored the book Small Town Rules which advises readers to be frugal and connect at a local level. She is also the creator of Small Biz Survival, an online resource for the rural and small town business.
Tweets: 59,101 | Followers: 26,780 | MMI Rank: 118 | Stars: 5
5. @LisaBarone: Lisa Barone is a content marketer and social media strategist whose expert insight is featured on Small Business Trends. Her honest assessments in her observations about social media strategy and search have earned her various honors and awards, including the Small Business Influencer award, inclusion in the Top 100 Social Media, Internet Marketing & SEO Blogs and in the 7 Most Influential Social Media Marketing Blogs, all in 2011.
Tweets: 46,614 | Followers: 24,398 | MMI Rank: 177 | Stars: 5
6. @shashib: Shashi Bellamkonda is known as the “Social Media Swami” for his contributions in social media for small businesses. Named as The 100 Small Business Influencer Champion by Small Business Trends and Smallbiztechnology.com in 2011, Bellamkonda is Senior Director of Social Media at Network Solutions and serves as adjunct faculty at Georgetown University.
Tweets: 76,128 | Followers: 18,288 | MMI Rank: 209 | Stars: 5
7. @ColderICE: John Lawson is president and founder of ColderICE Media, where he offers expertise to small businesses and entrepreneurs on intelligently employing commerce and social marketing to promote their businesses. Lawson is also an international business keynote speaker, and has won several awards for his work.
Tweets: 30,748 | Followers: 54,330 | MMI Rank: 245 | Stars: 5
8. @JeffreySummers: Jeffrey Summers is president of Summers Hospitality Group and has an extensive professional background in the hospitality industry. Summers is also a consultant, business coach, public speaker and facilitator at RestaurantWorx.
Tweets: 36,160 | Followers: 27,826 | MMI Rank: 307 | Stars: 5
9. @twilli2861: Taffy Williams has years of experience with biotechnology and pharmaceutical organizations and he uses his expertise to guide small businesses in the industry. He is president and CEO of Colonial Technology Development Co. and is currently the chairman at Life Sciences Research Office.
Tweets: 80,816 | Followers: 5,917 | MMI Rank: 768 | Stars: 5
10. @thekencook: Kenny Cook is chief developer of CheepMonkey, an online community for small business owners that facilitates meeting and networking with other small business owners. The site provides products, services and resources to help successfully promote small businesses. Cook touts his ability to help small business owners of all types connect with the right people to help promote their business.
Tweets: 23,188 | Followers: 19,640 | MMI Rank: 817 | Stars: 5
* Number of tweets and followers are based on data collected on the date the article was written.
**MMI Rank: If you are a MyMediaInfo client with access to the social media module, you can recreate this list using the easy steps below. To learn more about the social media module, click here.
1. Click on the Social Media Module. On this page, under the ‘Twitter’ column, click on ‘Beats/Focus’. This will bring you a list of Top-level beats.
2. Here, type in the search term ‘small business’, and click on ‘GO’.
3. Select the “Small Business” sub-level beat and click “OK”.
4. You will now see a display of the number of results from this search. Click on “Get Results” to view the list.
5. To rearrange the list in a descending order of MMI rank, click on the column called “MMI Rank”. Remember, the smaller the MMI Rank number, the more influential the Twitter handle.