There have been many curated lists of top businesspeople to follow on Twitter. In some cases, the accounts have hundreds of thousands of followers and follow almost as many people in return.
But what if you actually wanted to interact with these people? Would you be able to stand out in a crowd of thousands?
With that in mind, I decided to put together my own list of business accounts that I consider to be “diamonds in the rough”—the businesspeople and companies to follow on Twitter that may not be at the top of everyone's list but with whom you can actually interact (at least most of the time). The one common denominator is that, though a few of these accounts have between 5,000 to 10,000 followers, most have fewer than 5,000.
Twitter Accounts To Follow
- Norm Brodsky. Serial entrepreneur, Inc. columnist and author of The Knack
- John Meyer. Small-business executive at The Company Corp.
- Joe Connolly. The legendary voice at CBS Radio for The Wall Street Journal
- Andrew Sherman. Partner at Jones Day law firm, author of more than 25 books on entrepreneurship and professor of business growth strategies at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, College Park
- Lou Imbriano. Former CMO of the New England Patriots, entrepreneur, professor of sports marketing at Boston College and author of Winning the Customer
- Jack Bienko. My “go to” guy at the SBA in Washington, DC
- Mel Robbins. Founder of www.Inspire52.com. Her TED talk has been viewed almost 500,000 times.
- Ken Yancey. CEO of SCORE and one the best resources for #smallbusiness
- Small Biz Daily. From Rieva Lesonsky, SBD covers the world of small business and entrepreneurs. Check out the blog.
- NY Enterprise Report. Their community of #smallbiz owners and entrepreneurs in the New York City area discuss bolder, faster and better ways to grow businesses.
- All World Network. Their mission is to promote the visibility of all fast-growth companies and entrepreneurs of the emerging world by 2015.
- Pat Croce. Former 76ers President, sports medicine pioneer, motivational speaker and @ThePirateMuseum founder. His book, I Feel Great and You Will Too!, is one of my favorites.
- James Barrood. Jim leads the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University's College of Business. The institute educates and supports entrepreneurs, innovators and family business leaders.
- Liz Lange. One of the most engaged celebrity entrepreneurs on Twitter. When you see her tweets, it’s Liz tweeting, not someone else. Check out www.lizlange.com and www.shopafrolic.com
- Vanessa O’Connell. The Wall Street Journal's entrepreneurship editor and founding editor of Wall Street Journal Start Up.
- Karen Kerrigan. President and CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council and one of the most important voices for small business in America
- Beth Goldstein. Entrepreneurship and marketing educator at Brandeis and Boston Universities as well as CEO of Marketing Edge Consulting and the author of Lucky By Design.
- Lyn Graft. Entrepreneur, storyteller and an advisor to Dell and SXSW. A director and producer, Lyn has filmed more than 400 entrepreneurs in his role as founder of LG Pictures.
- Jim Blasingame. Award-winning host of The Small Business Advocate Show, small-business expert, syndicated columnist, speaker and author
- Rakia Reynolds. Entrepreneur, strategist, connector, visionary, storyteller and impleMENTOR. Owner of Skai Blue Media, a multimedia PR firm.
- Deborah Smith. Social media consultant, speaker, founder and executive editor of food site Jersey Bites
- Warren Struhl. Founder and CEO of Polaroid Fotobar, co-founder of Sheets Brand, co-founder of Popcorn, Indiana, owner of Successories and co-author of Starting Them Up
- Brian Burch. Symantec’s “SMB guy,” Brian helps business owners stay protected online.
- Tom Kelley. Partner at IDEO and co-author of The Art of Innovation and The Ten Faces of Innovation
- Chris McCombs. Writes a no-nonsense blog that will kick you out of your comfort zone and then burn it to the ground
- Bo Burlingham. Editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and author of Small Giants. Bo knows entrepreneurship.
- Cindy Bates. Vice president of small-to-midsized business at Microsoft. Cindy tweets about small business and entrepreneurship, technology and trends.
- Pure Matter. A well-run agency in California, headed up by Bryan Kramer, that has its finger on the pulse of what's happening in content marketing today
- Hiscox Small Business. The team helps entrepreneurs, consultants and business professionals build, grow and protect their businesses. Activate the Hiscox Reactor to see your company’s future.
- Howard Lewinter. Advises CEOs, business owners and entrepreneurs while helping companies #BeatTheCompetition. He has a great radio show, too.
- Jeff Hoffman. Serial entrepreneur (Priceline, uBid and ColorJar), global mentor to entrepreneurs and a professional speaker
- Tonia Ries. Founder of @RealtimeReport and @MDRNMedia as well as a marketing and branding expert
- Mark Marich. Director of communications at @unleashingideas, Mark tweets about technology, startup culture and entrepreneurship policy
- Andrew Patricio. CEO of Biz Launch, Andrew’s webinars are not to be missed.
- Sam Richter. Bestselling author, top-ranked speaker and founder and CEO of Know More!
- Harry Brelsford. CEO of SMB Nation, the home for IT consultants working with business owners
- Gwen Moran. Expert writer on all things related to small business
- Shelby Scarbrough. Entrepreneur, speaker, small-business advocate, angel investor and former global chair of EO
- Lauren Flanagan. Managing director of BELLE Capital USA and Phenomenelle Angels Fund (35 investments in eight years) and strategic advisor to tech companies
- April Rudin of The Rudin Group. Well-connected wealth marketing strategist and HuffPost writer
- Kat Cole. President of Cinnabon Inc. Great tweets for entrepreneurs.
- Angie Hicks. Founder and CMO of Angie’s List
- Alan Hughes. Editorial director at Earl G. Graves Ltd.
- Chris Zane. Founder and president of @ZanesCycles and author of Reinventing the Wheel
- Gwen Turner. Small-business consultant, social responsibility thought leader and accomplished executive
- Alana Muller. President of Kauffman @FastTrac
- Mary Grove. Director of Google for entrepreneurs
- You Inc. An online community for entrepreneurs to collaborate and celebrate the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Supported by @ArleneDickinson
- Geri Stengel. E-knowledge for small-business owners, especially women, social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders
- Carissa Dunphy. Director at @SmBizDoItBetter, Carissa promotes and educates small businesses, entrepreneurs and their supporters.
I hope you find the list helpful. Let me know if you decide to follow some of the people on my list and are able to interact with them.
In addition, send me the names of people I might have missed. You can share them in the comments below or reach me on Twitter at @BrianMoran.
Read more articles on leadership.