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The Fortune Social Register

Yahoo CEO Marissa MayerYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

‘The art of communication,” James C. Humes, a speechwriter for five presidents, once said, “is the language of leadership.” And an art it is. In today’s fave-this, like-that social media environment, a chief executive of a Fortune 500 company can share a status update from a head of state 6,000 miles away and then respond, directly and in real time, to a tough question from one of his customers—all in the span of a minute, and all in a public forum for the world to see. (Talk about a high-wire act.) Not every executive has dared to give Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or LinkedIn a try. For some business leaders, though, socializing is part of the job. In our inaugural Fortune Social Register, we pick the most experienced, active, influential, and followed members of the business community. Call them socialites; call them social butterflies. Whatever the term, we can all agree that it’s something to tweet about.

The Fortune Social Register: Follow the master Twitter feed of our editor-curated list of the most impactful businesspeople on social media.

“THE DATA NERD”

Ajit Jain, head of the Berkshire Hathaway reinsurance business, left, sits next to Bill Gates, chairman and founder of Microsoft Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. director, as they play bridge on the sidelines of the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., on Sunday, May 4, 2014. Warren Buffett whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. joined 3G Capital last year in a $23.3 billion takeover of ketchup maker HJ Heinz Co., said yesterday he’d welcome more deals with the buyout firm.

Bill Gates

Social activity: 3
Social network: 10
Business influence: 10

The Microsoft co-founder has always been a technophile, and it’s no surprise that he’s an active Twitter user. But he shines when tweeting figures about the philanthropic issues that are near to his heart, from rural poverty to urban education.

Photo: Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“AND YOU GET A TWEET, AND YOU GET A TWEET”

Oprah Winfrey attends the premiere of HBO Documentary Films’ ‘Paycheck To Paycheck’ at Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on March 10, 2014 in Hollywood, California.

Oprah Winfrey

Social activity: 8
Social network: 10
Business influence: 10

Chief executive of the cable television network that bears her name, Winfrey demonstrates that she can excite her community without the need for a daytime talk show. Call it a #lifeclass in staying relevant.

Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen—Getty Images

“THE BOULEVARDIER”

Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Social activity: 7
Social network: 10
Business influence: 8

It comes as no surprise that the social accounts of free-spirit Virgin Group co-founder Richard Branson are chockablock with spaceship riding, deep-sea diving, and—wait, was that a picture of him kite-surfing with a naked model on his back?

Photo: Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images

“THE ZEN MASTER”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – FEBRUARY 27: Producer Russell Simmons speaks onstage at the David Lynch Foundation Gala Honoring Rick Rubin at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on February 27, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

Russell Simmons

Social activity: 7
Social network: 8
Business influence: 8

They called comedian Henny Youngman “King of the One-Liners.” You could call the Def Jam co-founder the same for his meditative tweets. “Needing nothing attracts everything,” he writes. With more than 3 million followers, he’s right.

Photo: Kevin Winter—Getty Images

“WE’RE ALL FRIENDS HERE”

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 29: Martha Stewart attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City.

Martha Stewart

Social activity: 10
Social network: 9
Business influence: 5

There’s only one person on this list who can credibly tweet out a photo of a mushroom to wide acclaim. Whether on the farm or backstage waiting for her cue, the Martha Stewart Living Omni­media chairwoman knows her audience.

Photo: Kevin Mazur—Getty Images

“THE TEAM PLAYER”

Indian business tycoon and owner of Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya gets into his car outside Parliament in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. According to local reports the Indian government has cancelled International flying rights and domestic slots of Kingfisher airlines.

Vijay Mallya

Social activity: 4
Social network: 7
Business influence: 5

The UB Group chairman lives life in the fast lane—literally. He’s principal of the Sahara Force India Formula 1 racing team, and his social channels track his team’s progress in and out of the pit. All that’s missing is the burning rubber.

Photo: Saurabh Das—AP

“IT’S NATURAL, DAHLING”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – MAY 08: Arianna Huffington attends Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive” book party hosted by Victoria Jackson, Kathy Freston And Dean Ornish on May 8, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California.

Arianna Huffington

Social activity: 9
Social network: 9
Business influence: 7

According to the president and editor-in-chief of AOL’s Huffington Post Media Group, there are better ways to sleep, eat, work, converse, and vacation. Follow Huffington and you’ll get plenty of advice on how to live the good life.

Photo: Valerie Macon—Getty Images

“MR. REAL TALK”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MAY 24: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban attends the 2014 IPL 500 Festival Parade during the 2014 Indy 500 Festival at on May 24, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Mark Cuban

Social activity: 7
Social network: 8
Business influence: 6

Three words: Pulls. No. Punches. The AXS TV chief executive, Dallas Mavericks owner, and serial entrepreneur has no problem sharing his opinions (and the successes of his myriad companies) with the masses.

Photo: Michael Hickey—Getty Images

“LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN”

Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer of Cisco Systems Inc., poses for a photograph following a Bloomberg Television interview at the Dublin Web Summit in Dublin, Ireland, on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Popularity of smartphones, tablets and tools that let people to work, shop or watch videos from anywhere with an Internet connection has upended a technology industry that long profited from a model of selling PCs and accompanying software.

Padmasree Warrior

Social activity: 5
Social network: 6
Business influence: 4

She’s known for her prominent role in technology, but Cisco’s chief technology officer is all about the arts in her social efforts, from Banksy to biker jackets to—well, binary code. (Two out of three ain’t bad.)

Photo: Aidan Crawley—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“THE TECH WATCHMAN”

Tim O’Reilly, founder and chief executive officer of O’Reilly Media, gestures while speaking at the Minds + Machines 2012: Unleashing the Industrial Internet conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Thought leaders from across business, technology and academia will gather at the Minds + Machines 2012 conference to discuss the power of the Industrial Internet and why it matters.

Tim O’Reilly

Social activity: 5
Social network: 9
Business influence: 2

If you’re in the technology business, it feels as if the O’Reilly Media CEO is always watching. And he is. Follow him for measured thoughts on business models, industry culture, and alpha geekery.

Photo: David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“CABINET OF CURIOSITIES”

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 07: Cofounder of Medium and Twitter Evan Williams speaks at the WIRED Business Conference: Think Bigger at Museum of Jewish Heritage on May 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for WIRED)

Evan Williams

Social activity: 2
Social network: 7
Business influence: 6

Any of Twitter’s three co-founders are sufficiently socially popular to make this list, but Williams’s updates strike the best balance of personal and interesting. “I dreamt Jack and Diane broke up,” he once wrote. Twitter: still a small town.

Photo: Brad Barket—Getty Images

“REIGNING RETWEETER”

Marissa Mayer

Social activity: 1
Social network: 6
Business influence: 9

Yahoo’s chief executive makes this list but not because of her own updates, which are infrequent and almost always through purple-colored glasses. Rather, it’s her heavy use of retweets, which subtly reveal what she might be thinking.

Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images

“FIVE TWEETS”

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway

Warren Buffett

Social activity: 1
Social network: 4
Business influence: 10

“Warren is in the house,” read the first tweet from Berkshire Hathaway’s high-profile chief executive, and only four more have come since. Still, when the Oracle of Omaha has something to say, it’s usually worth a listen.

Photo: Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“MR. ENTREPRENEUR”

Steve Case, chief executive officer of Revolution LLC and co-founder of America Online Inc., gestures as he speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges.

Steve Case

Social activity: 9
Social network: 3
Business influence: 3

The AOL co-founder and Revolution chairman brings entrepreneurial energy to his social channels, demonstrating the breadth of his interests. With more than 25,000 tweets under his belt, he’s rarely shy about sharing them.

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“NEW WONK ON THE BLOCK”

Mohamed El-Erian

Mohamed El-Erian

Social activity: 8
Social network: 2
Business influence: 7

The Allianz chief economic adviser and former Pimco chief executive loves getting his hands dirty—with data. Follow him to ride the roller coaster of the global markets, with occasional cameos by his favorite sports teams.

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“THE MAN WITH A PLAN”

T. Boone Pickens, founder and chief executive officer of BP Capital LLC, smiles during an interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. Billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens said the U.S. is on a path to energy independence, without the federal help he wanted Congress to provide.

T. Boone Pickens

Social activity: 4
Social network: 4
Business influence: 4

“Once a cowboy, always a cowboy.” The oil and gas pioneer brings his moxie to social media by interspersing energy policy with throwback pictures from his early days. If you’re lucky, you could be on the receiving end of a Boone-ism.

Photo: Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“HE’S GIGA”

Om Malik

Om Malik

Social activity: 10
Social network: 6
Business influence: 1

The True Ventures partner and GigaOm founder may take you on a hike to a beautiful California vista or on a self-driving car trip into the future. As long as you don’t mind his media musings, he’s happy you’re along for the ride.

Photo: JD Lasica

“BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT”

Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck

Social activity: 5
Social network: 3
Business influence: 1

The keys to success. How to balance work and life. How to overcome career hurdles. Follow the former Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney chief and you’ll learn how one of the most accomplished women on Wall Street got that way.

Photo: Jin Lee—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP”

SAN FRANCISCO – SEPTEMBER 22: Dell CEO Michael Dell delivers a keynote address during the 2010 Oracle Open World conference on September 22, 2010 in San Francisco, California. The Oracle Open World runs through September 23. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Michael Dell

Michael Dell

Social activity: 4
Social network: 5
Business influence: 3

All Dell, all the time. You can’t fault the Dell founder and CEO for sticking to his guns, but the impresario of the newly private computer maker does have something to brag about. As he tweeted in May, “I am self employed.”

Photo: Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

“THE ONE WITH A PORCELAIN ADDICTION”

Ali Wentworth, Tory Burch, and Jacki Kelley attend THRIVE: A Third Metric Live Event on April 25, 2014 in New York City.

Tory Burch

Social activity: 1
Social network: 7
Business influence: 6

Summits, dinners, gala events: Following the fashion and lifestyle fixture is a starry affair. Then again, it’s not hard to figure out why Burch embodies her namesake brand so effectively and why so many people aspire to that life.

Photo: D Dipasupil—Getty Images

“GROUND CONTROL TO MUSK, ELON”

BEIJING, CHINA – APRIL 21: (CHINA OUT) CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk attends television show “Dialogue” taping at Zhongshan Park on April 21, 2014 in Beijing, China. United States electric carmaker Tesla Motor Inc is expected to establish service centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu before this fall, according to a Tesla statement.

Elon Musk

Social activity: 2
Social network: 4
Business influence: 9

The Tesla Motors CEO and former PayPal president once stared into the future. It blinked. Musk’s social updates combine the frankness of Mark Cuban with the adventurousness of Richard Branson. (No wonder so many want to be his co-pilot.)

Photo: ChinaFotoPress ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

“HIZZONER”

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 15: Former New York Mayor and current chairman of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, Michael Bloomberg, delivers his remarks during the dedication ceremony in Foundation Hall at the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero May 15, 2014 in New York City. The museum spans seven stories, mostly underground, and contains artifacts from the attack on the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001 that include the 80-foot high tridents, the so-called “Ground Zero Cross,” the destroyed remains of Company 21’s New York Fire Department Engine as well as smaller items such as letter that fell from a hijacked plane and posters of missing loved ones projected onto the wall of the museum. The museum will open to the public on May 21.

Michael Bloomberg

Social activity: 3
Social network: 5
Business influence: 8

Like the former New York City mayor himself, Bloomberg’s social feeds are a little stiff. But look past the bow tie and starched collar and you’ll find worthy nuggets on climate change, urban renewal, health policy, and more.

Photo: Richard Drew—Pool/Getty Images

“READS BETWEEN THE LINES”

Marc Andreesen

Marc Andreessen

Social activity: 10
Social network: 1
Business influence: 9

From the South Park–style avatar on down, the storied Silicon Valley investor makes sure that you don’t take him too seriously. Then, once you’re fully disarmed, he’ll slip you cutting commentary on the tech industry and Internet life.

Photo: David Maung—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“BUSINESS HACKS”

Jeffrey “Jeff” Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn Corp., speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013 conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013. TechCrunch, which runs from Sept. 9-11, features leaders from various technology fields and includes a competition for the best new startup company. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jeff Weiner

Social activity: 2
Social network: 5
Business influence: 7

LinkedIn’s CEO is a quiet giant, updating his feeds with measured observations on leadership and careers. To follow him is to take the long view: “Trust equals consistency over time,” he wrote in May. “There’s no shortcut for either.”

Photo: David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“HE’S NO APPRENTICE”

Lady Taverners tribute lunch for Graham Norton. Lord Alan Sugar attends a tribute lunch for Graham Norton hosted by The Lady Taverners at the Dorchester Hotel, London. Picture date: Friday November 1, 2013. The tribute lunch is an annual event to raise funds for the Lady Taverners.

Lord Sugar

Social activity: 8
Social network: 8
Business influence: 2

You can almost feel the energy that the Amshold Group chairman brings to his social channels. A dance routine on television? “Rubbish.” A 10-day cold he’s been suffering? “Horrible.” This Lord doesn’t need sugar; he’s sweet enough.

Photo: Anthony Devlin—PA Wire/Press Association Images/AP

“FIREBRAND”

T-Mobile C.E.O. John Legere

John Legere

Social activity: 6
Social network: 2
Business influence: 2

T-Mobile’s chief executive has been likened to a court jester, saying what others in the telecom industry are only thinking. His social feeds don’t disappoint. In his own words: “Because that’s how we roll.”

Photo: Steve Sands—WireImage/Getty Images

“SOCIAL BUTTERFLY”

Headshot session of Ekaterina Walter, Portland, Oregon, October 10, 2009.

Ekaterina Walter

Social activity: 6
Social network: 1
Business influence: 1

To follow the Branderati CMO is to be inspired. Walter’s updates emphasize bringing “passion,” “dreams,” and even “smiles” to business dealings; she then backs them up with links about companies who lead differently and succeed.

Photo: Randy Kepple/Courtesy Ekaterina Walter

“RAGING BULL”

Nouriel Roubini, co-founder and chairman of Roubini Global Economics LLC, listens during an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. U.S. stocks advanced for the first time in three days as commodity and health-care shares rallied and economic data showed consumer confidence at a six-year high.

Nouriel Roubini

Social activity: 3
Social network: 2
Business influence: 4

He’s been called Dr. Doom for his market predictions, but the well-known economist presents information that’s a bit more nuanced than that. Which industry is up? Which country is down? Follow Roubini for real talk.

Photo: Jin Lee—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“DESIGN MIND”

John Maeda, president of Rhode Island School of Design, speaks at the Bloomberg Next Big Thing Summit in New York, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. The conference convenes the most influential investors and industry leaders in innovation and science to explore the great frontiers of how technology is changing the way we live, work, and interact. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

John Maeda

Social activity: 6
Social network: 3
Business influence: 5

To follow Maeda is to learn how a designer interprets the world around him. The Kleiner Perkins design partner and former RISD president presents his audience with observations that pique interest and give pause.

Photo: Michael Nagle—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“TWEET BY WIRE”

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Inc., right, speaks with Chris Anderson, co-founder and chairman of 3D Robotics Inc., during an interview at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin Texas, U.S., on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Musk said the cells being used in the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner lithium-ion batteries are too big, and the gaps too small.

Chris Anderson

Social activity: 9
Social network: 1
Business influence: 3

The 3D Robotics chief executive, former Wired editor, and author of The Long Tail will give you the lowdown on drones, DIY, and the defense industry. For a sense of wide-eyed wonder, follow him.

Photo: David Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty Images