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Swift Six: How to find influencers on Twitter

By Nick Leech - March 12, 2016

In the latest Swift 6, I’ll be taking you through a few ways of finding influencers on Twitter. Social media influencers are great because they can help you connect your business with your target audience. That means you can generate leads and sales. The video is below and as always if you have any questions just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Hello and welcome to another 123-reg Swift 6. This week we’re going to be talking about six ways for you to find influencers on Twitter.

Before we get into it, it’s worth saying that we’re not looking for general influencers on Twitter. We’re looking for influencers who might influence your customers or your potential customers to visit your brand or to come and buy from you or to read some of your content. So we’re not interested in pop stars, politicians or general journalists. We’re interested in particular influencers whose opinions your potential customers are likely to be influenced by.

Number one – The first thing you can do is actually take a look at who already follows you because it might be that you already have influencers who are following you. That might be because you’ve met them, that might be because you’re talking about topics that they’re interested in. But take a look at who follows you.

What you’re looking for are people with lots of followers but you’re also looking for people who have lots of followers and who aren’t following as many people. So look for a ratio of followers to following of at least 2:1, but actually the higher it is, the better. The more influential someone is, the higher that ratio is going to be. It might be that someone’s really influential is being followed by ten times as many people as they themselves are following. So take a look at who is following you, identify those with high followers and, of course, those who aren’t following as many people. So it’s about that ratio.

The second thing to do is to use Twitter as a search engine. So search on Twitter for the topic that you’re in, your specific topic area. Twitter will automatically list the most popular tweets and the most popular accounts for that topic. So it’s then worth you just looking through that page to see which accounts Twitter thinks are most influential and most authoritative on that topic, and use those as your influencer list on Twitter.

The third thing that you can try is actually using Google. So search on Google for your topic and see which editorial sites come up. Because Google, of course, if you search for a particular topic it’s going to return a set of results and websites that it thinks it’s most authoritative. Take a look at the editorial sites, the sites that include articles rather than sites that are necessarily selling something, although some of them might of course be selling something but have a very influential blog, and that’s ok too.

But look at who is the actual writer on those websites, who are the journalists or who are the writers or who are the bloggers who are contributing to those highly authoritative sites. They are your influencers. So don’t necessarily follow the particular website on Twitter but take a note of who the writers are that contribute to those sites.

A fourth way to find influencers on Twitter is using a tool called Buzzsumo. If you read much on our blog here at 123-reg or if you’ve watched many of these episodes, you’ll see that I talk about Buzzsumo a lot. It’s a fantastic tool that gives you a great picture about which is the most popular content on social media and on the web, but also it can tell you who is the most influential within a particular topic area.

So you can search Buzzsumo for authors or bloggers or influential people around a particular topic. So let’s say that you have a running shop. You can search for “running” and just include within that search a checkbox for bloggers and influential people, and it will return you a list of people on Twitter who Buzzsumo is rated as carrying influence. Carrying influence means of course that other people take note of what they’re saying, they click on the links that they share, they retweet their opinions to their followers.
The fifth thing that you can try is a new tool actually from Buzzstream. If you work in SEO it’s a brand that you’re familiar with. Buzzstream have launched a new tool called Buzzstream discovery. It’s in beta but it’s currently free. We’ll include a link to it below.

Buzzstream discovery is very simple. You can just search on your topic and Buzzstream will return to you all of those people on Twitter that is considers are influential. That means again, yes, they are followed by lots of people and people take note of their opinions but it also takes note of how they’re contributing editorial, are they writing, are they contributing to blogs and how popular are those blogs. So that’s an interesting new tool called Buzzstream discovery.

The sixth thing that you can try is to search on Twitter for #Journorequest. So if you use something like TweetDeck to manage your use of Twitter and of social media, set up a column with the search #Journorequest. This is used by journalists when they are looking for feedback, for help and advice from the general public or from people within particular niches to help them to complete a story. They will ask a question and use the #Journorequest.

It’s a perfect opportunity when something comes up that’s relevant to your niche (of course, many won’t be) to answer that journalist’s request in a helpful and interesting way. And then, of course, you’ve been able to identify a relevant influencer that you’re going to want to connect with. So that’s really the sixth way to find an influencer on Twitter.

That was it, the Swift 6 – How to find influencers on Twitter. We’ll see you next time.