This is a guest contribution from Adam Connell, blogger at Bloggingwizard.com.
In the following post you’re going to discover a wide range of powerful and useful tools that will help you find and connect with the influencers on Twitter.
I’m going to be taking a different look at what is possible on Twitter.
This isn’t going to be just another list of tools that you can use to manage your Twitter profile – we are going to be talking about how to identify and connect with influencers in within your niche.
Before I dive in, I want to give you some background information on why you need to find and connect with influencers within your niche.
Influence marketing is all about identifying who has influence within your industry or niche and market directly to them.
Think about it like this, there are influencers within most niches or industries on the web and they have an existing audience so the ultimate aim of using these tools is that you will be able to tap into that audience and use it to market your blog.
You can use other platforms to find and connect with influencers, but ultimately Twitter influencer marketing is much more straight forward and there are enough tools on the market to help you.
Please note that there are an enormous number of tools available that can be used for influencer research and an even larger number of tools for Twitter in general – this is not an exhaustive list by any means.
Twitter Influencer Research Tools
Simply Measured is a social analytics tool that will give you access to an incredible range of reporting and data collection tools.
At first glance, their subscriber toolset is quite expensive, but they do have an impressive range of free reports that you can have access too. They’re not just limited to Twitter either. Some of them include LinkedIn, Facebook, Vine, Google Analytics and more.
There is even a report that gives you a detailed combination of analytics that incorporates both Twitter and Klout data.
Simply Measured’s reporting tools will allow you to identify exactly who has the most influence among your network of followers.
This will tell you who you need to connect with and build relationships with.
There is a free option and premium option ($19.99 per month), even the free account is still incredible powerful but you just won’t be able to export reports and lists.
There are a few other restrictions but one of the reasons why I like this is that you can still actually use the free account, most free accounts are restricted to the point where it is pointless even using (and then you subscribe of course).
You will get some interesting data about your Twitter account, but what you’re looking for here is to look at the follower’s analysis.
There is an immediate breakdown of the demographics of your Twitter followers – top followers, countries, cities and skills of your followers but the real fun stuff happens when you click ‘browse all’.
Next, tick the ‘power user’ option under Typecast, select your metrics, skills and other demographics – this will show you an incredible list of all of the people that you need to reach out to and connect with.
InkyBee is positioned as a blogger outreach tool but it also excels at finding market influencers.
Whether you’re doing blogger outreach or influencer research, the process is the same.
Add a ‘list’ and name it as the market you’re searching for influencers in then add a discovery job by inputting 3 different terms that you would imagine influencers to talk about in a single blog post.
InkyBee will go out and find blogs from all over the web that fit your search terms and pull in some really useful data that is outlined in the image above.
You can order them by different metrics and then export to PDF or Excel documents too.
The way I usually use InkyBee is to find influencers but also gather data of other influencers that I have discovered using different tools because you can manually add lists of blogs.
Commun.it is a great tool that can separate out your followers and people you follow into a number of different categories while giving you the tools you need to help build and maintain valuable relationships.
The influencer research is essentially done for you because one of the categories just so happens to be influencers; along with supporters and engaged members.
You can use this to follow and continue to connect with these users and continue to build powerful relationships.
One of the difficulties that people sometimes have is what to do next, who do you respond to? Who do you follow? Who do you engage with?
Commun.it actually lists these all out in a straight forward dashboard so you don’t need to leave the page and go into another Twitter management tool.
Followerwonk is bundled in with Moz Pro so it does mean that is a paid tool starting at $99 per month but it also means access to some really helpful tools that go beyond Twitter and even social media.
You can do a bunch of different things like compare users, track who is following you, analyse and sort followers but where this really helps with influencer research is the search function.
Just search for a phrase that is particular to your market and you’ll get a huge list of Twitter users that you can export to Excel and then filter by social authority and the number of followers they have (along with a bunch of other helpful data).
You can then dive deeper and view a user’s profile which pulls in social profiles along with their website.
There is a search function too so you can find users that talk about the exact topic that you’re looking for.
This platform does revolve mostly around the number of followers a user has, the metrics aren’t much more complex than that but it’s still a huge database that makes users easy to find in various niches.
The important thing to remember is that just because someone has a lot of followers, doesn’t mean they get a lot of engagement; this is why I like to search Twellow for users with websites and add them to InkyBee to get some more comprehensive data.
You may have noticed that I haven’t listed Klout or Kred as one of the Twitter influencer research tools, and I have my reasons for that.
I have found that these tools are better at monitoring my own influence within particular verticals, rather than finding other influencers. That’s not to say it can’t be done, but as bloggers we only have a finite amount of time to spend on certain tasks so we need to focus on using the right tools for the job at hand.
There are a lot more tools that you could use for this too, but the idea of this post is to make things easier for you, and I haven’t found every tool on the market yet.
So I’ll put the question to you – which influencer tools are you using right now?
I’d love to hear more in the comments below, whether you use them for Twitter or any other social platform.
Adam Connell is the operations manager at UK Linkology. He can be found blogging over at Bloggingwizard.com, where he talks about marketing, social media, SEO and a few other topics. Follow him on Twitter @adamjayc.