CDO Club Identifies the Top 10 Most-Followed Chief Digital Officers on Twitter

Cross-posted with permission from the CDO Club

The CDO Club has identified Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, as the most followed Chief Digital Officer on Twitter, with a total of 55,400 followers.

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Sreenivasan, who only last week was named as the number one Chief Digital Officer influencer based on his Klout score (tied with Jason Hirschhorn, former CDO at MTV with a score of 81), began as CDO at the Metropolitan Museum in August 2013 after serving as the first Chief Digital Officer at Columbia University from 2012 to 2013.

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Rachel S. Haot, Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary of Technology for New York State, is the second most-followed CDO with a total of 51,500 followers. She became Chief Digital Officer for the state in January 2014 after serving as New York City’s first CDO.

In third place with 30,600 followers is Jonathan Sackett, previously Managing Director at Oglivy & Mather, and former Chief Digital Officer at DDB. Today Sackett is President and CEO at the Chicago-based MashburnSackett agency, along with former NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn.

Two of the top Chief Digital Officers on this list will be keynoting at the second annual Chief Digital Officer Summit on April 22 and 23, 2014, at Time Warner in New York City: Sree Sreenivasan, CDO at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Rachel S. Haot, CDO at the State of New York.

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Sackett previously spoke at the inaugural Chief Digital Officer Summit on the Advertising Agency panel, rated by attendees as one of the most informative and entertaining panels of the day.

You can watch the video of that panel from last year’s summit here.

The full top-ten list is displayed below.

Click here for the CDO Club’s Top Ten CDOs Twitter list, and to automatically add their names to your Twitter feed.

CDO Club’s Top Ten CDOs by Twitter Followers:

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#1 Sree Sreenivasan (55,400)
#2 Rachel S. Haot (51,500)
#3 Jonathan Sackett (30,600)
#4 Sue Jenks (28,300)
#5 Robert Gordon (21,600)
#6 Jason Hirschhorn (20,500)
#7 Adam Hirsch (19,900)
#8 Brandon Berger (15,600)
#9 Alison Sigmon (15,500)
#10 Ken Burbary (14,800)

Note that the final selection was limited to CDOs who currently hold, or previously held, the title of Chief Digital Officer at a major organization for at least one year.

So—is the number of a CDO’s Twitter followers a meaningful metric for influence and impact?

On the one hand, the number is important because tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, or more, are hearing those persons’ words. The metric is valuable, too, as it reflects the useful online “wisdom of crowds” process that helps us choose where to place our attention by surfacing which sites and people are most popular on the Web.

On the other hand, one has to be careful when looking at Twitter-follower numbers. As we discussed in our analysis of the Klout scores, many influentials are simply too busy to engage frequently on social networks.

And there are other, important metrics from Twitter that measure engagement, such as retweets, favorites, and comments, which are every bit as important as the number of followers one has.

Furthermore, when it comes to Twitter, some people try to game the system by following as many other people as possible merely to get followed in return; some go even further and buy followers.

But—as we also said—in any case, perception is reality. High numbers get attention (to wit, this article), attention brings recognition, and recognition results in a certain level of influence.

What do you think? Does follower size matter? Are social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube important in your marketing mix?

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