Who Is the Most Influential Venture Capitalist Online?

OpenView report ranks the most influential venture capitalists online and highlights which social tools and techniques have taken them to the top.

It’s no surprise that today’s venture capitalists are flocking to social media and other online channels to further extend their influence, reach, and, ultimately, their success. Whether through blogging or tweeting, podcasting or networking via professional communities on LinkedIn, the Web provides powerful opportunities for VCs to interact with entrepreneurs and the world like never before.

And for those of us who are more competitive in nature, it also provides us with the opportunity to gauge how they’re doing individually, and to determine who takes home bragging rights as the top venture capitalist online.

Focusing on a list of the top technology-focused venture capital firms in the United States, OpenView set to the task of doing just that — ranking the most influential venture capitalists online based on their use of three social media tools: blogs, Twitter, and Quora. These were the media tools identified as top online channels entrepreneurs go to for information on investors in a survey OpenView conducted among its newsletter subscribership of more than 11,000 CEOs, entrepreneurs, and startup professionals. The result is a report that provides top 5 lists in each category and reveals the top 10 venture capitalists online, overall. In addition, the report follows each list with examples of best practices in action, so not only does it determine which VCs have truly set themselves apart from the pack, more importantly it provides a run-down of the techniques you should master in order to replicate their success.

As an example, you’ll find OpenView’s list of the 5 Most Influential Venture Capitalists on Twitter below:

As the full report shows, the leading venture capitalists in this category view their use of Twitter as a fundamental branding activity. A few of the key practices that the best use to separate them from the rest include:

  • Consistent posting
  • Effective use of hash tags
  • Use of Twitter as a communication platform rather than a content broadcasting channel

For example, Fred Wilson uses the hash tag #MBAMONDAYS to promote his MBA Mondays blog post series, a technique that builds predictability and makes his tweets and blog easily searchable. Dave McClure does the same thing to promote his Geeks on a Plane (#GOAP) and Geeks on a Bus (#GOAB) adventures.

Meanwhile, during the first two weeks of December 2011, 72 percent of Mark Suster’s tweets included mentions (@Twitter Handle). Similarly, 42 percent of Brad Feld’s tweets during this time period also included mentions. What that indicates in both regards is an emphasis on sharing and reacting to content rather than simply posting it.

For the rest of the lists, including the five most influential venture capitalist bloggers, top five using Quora, and top 10 overall, plus additional insights into the techniques that are fueling their success, read the full report here.

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