Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The 30 Top Social Media Influencers?

In the second of Forbes’quarterly Top Influencers lists, meet the power players turning social media audiences on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook into fortunes and empires..

These 30 stars across the Entertainment, Travel and Gaming categories have managed to monetize emerging platforms like and Twitch; land production deals based on their prowess on now-defunct video app Vine; and in some cases, command seven figures per sponsored campaign.

Standouts On This List Include..
  • Lilly Singh, the 28-year-old Canadian phenom who’s parlayed YouTube sketches into mainstream fame with a #1 New York Times bestseller to boot.
  • Brian Kelly, the frequent flyer who turned his 'The Points Guy' blog into a bona fide media empire with a staff of 20.
  • Mark Fischbach, who – as his online alter ego Markiplier – has gone from gaming commentator to rising crossover star, represented by Hollywood agencies William Morris Endeavor and Brillstein.

Forbes partnered with influencer analytics firm Traackr, using their proprietary data to measure reach, or audience size; resonance, or propensity for virality; and relevance, or engagement related to their area of expertise.

With the help of social insight platform Captiv8, we weighted each candidate’s potential for earnings per post according to the size of their following. Captiv8 also provided demographic snapshots of each influencer’s audience.

Forbes also reviewed each candidate’s endorsements and other business generated offline, like product lines and book deals.

We only included influencers who made it big by building their fame from the internet up, rather than celebrities who also happen to have large audiences online. We also only counted those who create original content. That’s why you don’t see well-known names like @FuckJerry or @FatJew in the Entertainment category; their viral posts are often appropriated from elsewhere on the internet.

They also took each potential list member’s reputation into account. This is why Swedish-born YouTube star PewDiePie doesn’t top the Gaming category despite his huge following. His overall brand suffered earlier this year when he included anti-Semitic content in nine of his videos. While he’ll still make millions this year from banner and pre-roll ads alone, he’s been dropped by powerful partners including Disney’s Maker Studios, YouTube Red and Google’s Preferred program.

“He took a massive hit,” said Ryan Detert, founder and CEO of Influential, a technology platform that vets influencers for brands using a proprietary algorithm, looking at data points as varied as use of profanity and criminal records. Detert believes large companies will think twice about working with PewDiePie (real name: Felix Kjellberg) from now on, hindering his potential earnings in years to come.

“You can see trends,” he said. “If [an influencer] has said slurs in the past, they will likely say slurs again in the future.”

Guest Authored By Clare O'Connor. Clare is a staff writer at Forbes, where she writes about women entrepreneurs, workplace equality, and all things #ladybosses. Before taking on this beat, she spent three years covering retail and e-commerce, and the three before that chasing the super-rich for our Forbes 400 and World's Billionaires lists. Carol still profiles billionaires and entrepreneurs for the magazine, focusing on self-made women. Before Forbes, She worked as a news reporter in the UK and her home country of Bermuda, a travel writer for Frommer's and an intern for CNN's Anderson Cooper while completing a master's degree at Columbia University. Follow Clare on Twitter.

"Forbes limited its scope to influencers who mostly post in English. Social audience data for this second list is accurate as of May 2017.

For every category released to date, see here. ."

    • Authored by:
      Fred Hansen Pied Piper of Social Media Marketing at & CEO of Millennium 7 Publishing Co. in Loveland, Colorado. I work deep in the trenches of social media strategy, community management and trends.  My interests include; online business educator, social media marketing, new marketing technology, skiing, hunting, fishing and The Rolling Stones..-Not necessarily in that order ;)
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