How Do IoT Leaders Use Twitter?

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment


The Internet of Things — the phrase used to refer to internet enabled household items — is slowly infiltrating every day life. Thanks to smart TVs, refrigerators, and thermostats, the Apple Watch and Amazon Echo,  the future has become the present and we can truly experience an always-on existence, powered by always listening technology.

Indeed, the Internet of Things (IoT) will play an instrumental part in shaping the way we live in the coming years, as will those leading the charge of technological development. To wit, Leadtail and Neustar teamed up to take a look at how leaders in the IoT industry are using Twitter to lead the conversation about the potential of a fully connected future.

IoT Report Methodology

According to the report, IoT leaders cluster in metropolitan areas with thriving startup communities, well funded research universities, access to strong capital and a reputation for innovation.

IoT Locations

IoT leaders are passionate about technology. They use words like innovation, marketing, founder, chief, and phrases like Internet of Things and big data to describe themselves on social media. Not only do these leaders identify using these words and phrases, they also talk about big data, IoT, mobile, startups and data science on Twitter.

IoT Topics

While leaders in the Internet of Things industry are very active on Twitter, they also like to share visual content on Instagram and YouTube; they like to connect the social world with meat-space by promoting meetups and events. IoT leaders also like to promote crowdfunded projects on Kickstarter and IndieGogo.

It should come as no surprise that TechCrunch, WIRED, Business Insider and Medium all showed up on the list of top mainstream sources. When it comes to industry specific publications,, MIT Tech Review, Gizmodo, Ars Technica and Digital Trends were among the top 10 sources.


IoT executives and practitioners (or managers) follow similar influencers and content sources, with some relatively surprising differences. For example, YouTube was the top content source and Vala Afshar was the No. 1 influencer for both groups. However, practitioners were slightly more influenced by Forbes columnist @gigastacey, while executives were more influenced by O’Rielly Media founder and CEO @timorielly.

IoT Thought leaders

The IoT thought leaders were influenced by entrepreneur and innovation leader Marc Andreessen, who also showed up high on the list of influencers for executives, but not at all on the list for practitioners. Elon Musk was influential among executives and IoT managers but didn’t show up on the list for thought leaders. Instead, thought leaders were influenced by @POTUS and @DaveTheFuturist.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.