The social media landscape is becoming increasingly crowded. Millions of new social accounts are created every day, including one million on Twitter alone. On top of that, organic reach on Facebook continues to drop, and rumors are flying that Twitter plans to implement its own algorithm-based feed. For many companies, it seems harder than ever to get noticed on social media.
There’s no need to panic, though. Introducing an influencer strategy into your overall marketing plan is an excellent, sustainable way to increase your reach. By engaging industry influencers on social media, you have the opportunity to connect with their networks in addition to your own.
It may seem tempting to seek out people in your industry who have millions of followers on social media, but don’t get ahead of yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with including them in your strategy, pay attention to the little guys too. Many people in your industry are well-known among a niche crowd, and they may be much more accessible than a CEO with 10 million Twitter followers.
So how do you go about finding these influencers? Here are five different tools you can use.
1. Klout scores social media users from one to 100 based on the size of their network and the value of the content they post. You can discover influencers in hundreds of categories ranging from the broad (e.g., marketing) to the specific (e.g., WordPress).
2. If you use Twitter Cards, Twitter Analytics is another great place to find influencers. Under the Twitter Cards tab, you can see the top accounts that tweeted your content — plus the number of impressions and URL clicks they garnered.
3. If you use Social Studio, TweetDeck, or another social listening tool that aggregates feeds based on keywords, you’ve already got tons of influencers at your fingertips. Keep an eye on who posts about your industry often and which accounts get the most engagement.
4. Did you know you can search for Twitter Lists? Browse lists made by others in your industry to discover new, influential connections.
5. This may seem obvious, but you can use good, old-fashioned search engines to identify influencers. Do a keyword search for bloggers in your industry, and see who ranks at the top of Google.
Now that you’ve identified some influencers, it’s time to plan your marketing strategy. Take a look at this worksheet to get started, and be sure to download the Industry Influencers Handbook by clicking the banner at the end of this post.
How do you identify and build relationships with influencers in your industry? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.