The ICAEW’s magazine, Economia, has produced a new list of:

the top 50 most influential sources of finance news and information in social media, voted for by economia readers and ordered by Leaderboarded and Klout.

The Top 20 is dominated by journalists and economists with a smattering of well known business names too. The top ranked accountant is Richard Murphy whose strident views do not exactly sit well with many in the profession. Then there’s me. I’m ranked around 20th, which is astonishing. (The precise rank moves around a bit as my klout score varies).

Obviously I’m grateful to all those who voted for me. Many thanks indeed. I would have been disappointed if I hadn’t been on the list. But equally it feels a tad odd as I didn’t think I really tweeted much about finance news and information. Seems I do.

I certainly blog and write a lot for accountants each week, and I tweet between 15 and 25 times on a typical day.  Accountants are indeed the main focus of most of these tweets. I endeavour to share useful information. And, I realise, much of this is finance and tax related.  I also frequently find myself ReTweeting other finance and accountancy related tweeters and the material to which they refer/link. So, on reflection I shouldn’t be surprised and it seems I do deserve my ranking.

I am also widely connected with well over 5,000 followers (at the time of writing) although this figure in isolation can be misleading. It’s higher than most accountants but obviously lower than most celebrities, journalists and politicians.

Whenever you are looking at the number of followers someone has on twitter I suggest you always look at the number of people they  are following too as this provides some context.

One reason why klout, the ranking system referenced by economia, is valuable in the context of twitter influence is that follower numbers alone do not tell the full story.

It is relatively easy to generate a high number of followers simply by following loads of people and hoping they will reciprocate and follow you back. That boosts your numbers but few of them are really interested in what you tweet so you probably don’t really have much ‘influence’.  Almost 9 times as many people follow me on twitter as I follow and hundreds of them have included me on their twitter lists which suggests that my follower numbers are genuine. I run two lists of UK accountants on twitter and keep tabs on what they are posting by monitoring their posts via these lists.

Until recently my twitter bio has always included reference to accountants. It still notes that I am an FCA but I tweaked the bio at the start of the year. I tend to revisit it every few months depending on my precise focus.

Anyway, my congratulations to Economia for refining the way they created the list this year.  I have been critical in the past – not simply because I was excluded one year – but because of the apparent randomness of who was included. No system is perfect but klout scores are becoming the defacto determinant of twitter influence. This seems to be the case even though klout factors in activity on other forms of social media too.

Asking readers and twitter followers to nominate favourite tweeters helps give the economia listing credibility – even if anyone finds it odd to see me included as the top ranked blogger for accountants by virtue of my twitter activity and ‘influence’.