According to a recent Twitter blog post, 40% of Twitter users have made a purchase because of a recommendation of an influencer. Considering the fact that there were 313 million Twitter users at last count, we are talking about a lot of people! So while we might understand the reasons to build relationships with influencers, we often get stuck on how to find Twitter influencers to build these relationships with.
Here are seven clever ways to help with this.
Though it might seem obvious, many people skip the step of doing a Google search to find influencers. Start by typing “top [your field] leaders.” In some industries, this will be enough to give your results. Here is an example of a search that I did for top business leaders:
As you can see, there are easily 200 names from just one search. With a Google search, finding these lists is only the beginning. You will need to go through the lists and filter for relevant influencers. Then see if they are active on Twitter and have a sizable following and produce regular content. Bonus if you see them promoting other brands or products they like, or retweeting links and articles. You may find it helpful to create a spreadsheet to keep track of all this information.
Granted, business leaders is something relatively easy to search for. If you are in a more niche industry (especially one that does not have a strong online focus) you might have to dig a little deeper. I did the same search for “top dental hygienist leaders” and got a list of dental hygiene schools. I also searched “list of dental hygienists” and didn’t find anything useful. Then I tried searching “industry leaders in dental today” and found great results. Try different variations of the keywords you are searching to see what comes up.
The challenging thing about using Google is that you have to sort through information about people who are influencers, find them on Twitter, and then connect all the pieces of the puzzle. How about skip a few steps and search directly in Twitter instead? Then you can immediately follow them, share their content, add them to a list, or even send them a direct message.
Start by searching for your field or topic in which you want to find Twitter influencers. You will see top tweets in that category, as well as accounts and other information. You can also go into more detail with Advanced Search.
Another powerful way to take advantage of Twitter searches is by monitoring for key search terms and other information on an ongoing basis. You can of course do this manually, but by setting up a monitoring tool you will save yourself a ton of time, and make sure you don’t miss anything important.
In Agorapulse you can do this easily with their monitoring tool. Set up keywords you want to search for and then go to the monitoring tab in your dashboard. You can also exclude terms here so that you can eliminate searches that aren’t exactly what you want.
Another thing you might want to get some automation help with in this whole process? User analysis. Basically, how do you know who you have a connection with, and what their influence is anyway? Agorapulse also has a tool for that.
What I really love about this tool is that I can organize the data by a variety of factors, including by influence! Clicking the gold button will show me the people who have been retweeted at least 20 times in the last 30 days. This means I can focus on engaging with those who have the most reach. I can also export these users, eliminating that whole data entry problem.
Another gauge of influence is who is getting the interviews and air time. Using the same concept as the Google search, except search only the Google News section. Include words like “expert interview” or “guest interview.” The benefit of this is that you might find people who slip under the radar other ways, and that you have a great thing to talk about when you reach out to them! Send them a message with a link to the interview that you found, and a note about how much you loved it.
If you have used all the above methods, you probably have a lot of influencers to reach out to. And remember, it is all about taking action and building relationships, not building lists and spreadsheets that no one will see! That being said, there are still a couple more places you can check for data. One is social influence sites, such as Klout.com.
Klout gives a score based on all your social media activity and interaction to represent how influential you are on a 0-100 scale. Don’t worry, only a handful of people in the world are at 100 — Ellen DeGeneres is only an 89. It can be a good start to see what your score is. Then you can search for terms related to your target area to find influencers to reach out to.
Chances are good that if someone has influence on Facebook or Instagram, they may on Twitter as well. Pay attention when you are browsing the web and if you find someone with a strong presence on another platform it is worth looking up their Twitter account.
This is not universally true. People often are stronger in a specific place, but it takes two seconds to check. And can uncover other opportunities, or give you information about where your tribe is hanging out. Don’t only look at numbers, but also engagement!
Any ways that I missed? Which of these have you found to be the most effective? Let me know in the comments!