Which venture capitalists have the most followers on Twitter, the highest Klout scores, more tweets than anyone else? You will find the answers below.
But before you jump ahead, think of why it is important. Social media first lured VCs to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook five or so years ago when the notion of building expansive social graphs become too compelling to ignore.
Now refinements in both the sites and how we use social media are increasingly turning it into a targeted marketing tool for communicating with entrepreneurs, building relationships, creating personal brands and improving portfolio company visibility.
Yet use among VCs varies widely. Many of the most active will quickly claim the benefits are clear. Others hesitate to participate for fear it will steal gobs of time and distract them from the industry’s bottom line: Building companies.
This article is unlikely to resolve the impasse. But what will be clear is that social media outreach is increasingly indispensible and still under appreciated, including by some GPs with the largest followings.
“Firms are all paying more attention to brand building,” said Samantha Fryberger, director of communications at Cleveland-based accelerator JumpStart, noting the trend. “Social media is a good way to do that.”
However, many GPs still can’t find the time to attract more than a few hundred Twitter followers.
To find the social media superstars, VCJ examined more than 44 top firms and discovered a relatively small cadre of GPs way out in front of the pack. Many have tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, sometimes a substantial presence on LinkedIn and Klout scores in the stratosphere. (A note of apology: We recognize that our survey will have missed some big hitters at firms we didn’t look at. It was impossible to cover the entire industry.)
First among these Twitter titans is Digg co-founder Kevin Rose, now at Google Ventures, who is trailed closely by Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital. Both had more than 1.44 million followers as of early March.
Om Malik of True Ventures was third with 1.37 million. Some distance behind is Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures with 385,000, Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures with 321,000, and Ryan Sarver of Redpoint Ventures with 283,000.
Reid Hoffman at Greylock Partners, also with an impressive number of Twitter followers, had the largest number of followers on LinkedIn in VCJ’s sample, not surprising given his role as a co-founder. Hunter Walk of Homebrew, who also is big on Twitter, had the second most LinkedIn followers.
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