How to find Twitter influencers
Influencer marketing is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for so long that no one even doubts its efficiency. Influencer marketing started with celebrity endorsements: famous people wearing expensive watches, drinking Pepsi, talking about their alleged personal skincare. At some point, influencer marketing turned to experts: 9 out of 10 dentists recommend Colgate… You know how it works.
And then, some of that celebrity and expert craze moved to social media.
How did this happen?
Firstly, social media took over all other forms of entertainment: we spend more time on social networks than on watching TV or searching the web.
Then, the number of social media influencers grew exponentially. Anyone can become a social media influencer since YouTube pioneered that idea and other social networks followed.
Finally, people trust social influencers more than they trust TV stars and sportspersons.
Influencers’ lives are more transparent - at least, they seem more transparent - than the lives of celebrities. Influencers reply to followers online, take part in social media conversations, talk a lot about their lives. They explain why they choose to wear Urban Outfitters or advertise oat milk.
Influencers are often more relatable. They exist in every niche and can be of any age, race, gender, and socio-economic status. They don’t have to be pretty or rich. Being an expert in whatever it is that some people are interested in or being sociable/interesting/talented is enough. Although that still sounds like a lot of work.
It’s also important to say that social media influencers and viral internet celebrities are different kinds of social media phenomena. In terms of marketing, this means that you usually can’t just offer some money to an influencer so that they say something good about your brand (you can do that with internet celebrities). Social media influencers are all about their reputation: they care a lot about what their audience thinks of them and will find it risky to lie or mislead their followers.
There’s a lot to learn if you decided to start working with influencers.
As I mentioned, influencers exist in every niche. Moreover, there are different kinds of influencers. They differ in terms of the size of their audience, their approach to marketing, and their personality. In the ocean of social media and the influential people of social media, it isn’t always easy (to be fair, it is almost never easy) to find the right ones.
So, how do you do that? How do you find influencers that fit your brand perfectly?
Influencers exist on every social media network. But this post is about Twitter influencers: finding influencers on Twitter in every industry and of any sort. And the first thing you’ve got to do is identify the type of influencer that would fit your brand.
Decide on your “perfect influencer”
Deciding on your perfect influencer is a lot like coming up with your buyer persona. Try answering questions, such as:
- What is the influencer’s ideal age, gender, location?
- How does the influencer deliver information to his/her followers?
- How active is he/she on Twitter?
- How large is their following?
- How engaged are their followers?
- What is the demographic of their followers?
Use Twitter search
The easiest way to find Twitter influencers simply using the local search is through the hashtag search. Choose the hashtags most popular in your niche (use hashtagify.me if you don’t know any), and search the hashtags in the Twitter search bar. The ones that will appear will be the ones that have gotten the most attention from Twitter users.
Look through the authors that have used the hashtag and have a lot of retweets to find the most popular authors.
Attend Twitter chats
Twitter chats exist in some niches. The goal of Twitter Chats is to connect people in one industry. They are usually led by influencers and have influencers as guests and active participants.
Twitter chats are about hour-long live conversations that happen regularly at the same time. People follow them by using a common hashtag. A Twitter chat implies that there’s a specific topic of discussion, a host, a guest, and a follow-up Q&A.
It’s a great place to meet influencers, form connections, and choose the right people to work with.
Use the right tools
Finally, there are tools that turn influencer search into an easy and pleasant task. Here are my top picks.
Yes, as corny as it is I’ll start with our own tool - Awario.
Awario is a social listening tool and it does much more than just finding Twitter influencers. It monitors all major social networks, news sites, blogs, forums, and the web, and finds influencers on all of these platforms. Finding Twitter influencers, as well as finding other influencers, is one of its main analytics features. You get a list of brand advocates if you monitor your own brand, and a list of industry influencers if you monitor your industry.
Besides, you get all kinds of other analytics: growth analysis, competitor analysis, sentiment analysis. You know how much people talk about your brand, where that happens, who the people that talk about your brand are, and what they say.
Free trial: you can sign up for a free 7-day trial.
Tweetdeck is a free dashboard with all Twitter activities that helps you navigate through them and manage them. In one dashboard, you get timeline items, mentions, direct messages, lists, trends, favorites, search results, and hashtags. You can also switch between multiple accounts and schedule tweets.
While influencer search isn’t as straightforward on Tweetdeck as it is in most paid tools, it’s still possible. The best way to find influencers on Twitter using Tweetdeck is to search for hashtags and retweets: hashtags will hint at the industry, while the number of retweets will show who has the influence. You can also check whether a specific person is a right influencer or not by looking up the lists he or she is on.
Free trial: Tweetdeck is free.
Upfluence is a massive influencer database for identifying influencers on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Pinterest, and blogs. It has over 3 million influencer profiles, so chances are, your perfect one is just there.
You can search the database using as many keywords as you like, assigning a relative weight to each keyword. To find influencers on Twitter, narrow your search to include only Twitter influencers. The tool shows the results in near real-time and categorizes influencers based on their follower count. It also analyses the influencers’ niche, reach, engagement, location, and demographics, and even reveals influencers’ post times and the content they post most often.
Upfluence also has a Chrome plugin to analyze an influencer's profile straight from the browser.
NinjaOutreach is a platform that lets you find even more influencers on Twitter (and Instagram). The tool asks for your niche and location, and provides you with the influencer list based on this information. The tool shows influencers’ engagement rates and, as a bonus point, you get to see how much the influencer charges per post straight away.
NinjaOutreach also has a built-in CRM for you to start with the outreach as soon as you’re done choosing the right influencers.
Free trial: you can sign up for a free 7-day trial.
BuzzSumo is a popular content and influencer discovery tool. You can use it to find the most popular content in your niche on Twitter that will show you the most popular - the most influential! - Twitter authors in your niche. The tool also finds authors with the most engagement on Twitter, as well as on Instagram and Facebook. The final list of influencers is automatically broken down into bloggers, influencers, and journalists.
Pricing: starts at $99 per month.
Over to you...
Hopefully, this article has enough information for you to start with influencer marketing - at least, with its first part. I promise, this is the hardest one. To know what comes next, check out this quick guide on influencer marketing.