Who Are Social Media Influencers?
Social media influencers are accounts on any social network with large amounts of engaged followers. Connecting and building relationships with these accounts can help your content reach these engaged followers. If a social media influencer retweets your blog post, for example, this instantly reaches a far wider audience than just your own followers.
Successfully engaging with social media influencers can be a great way of building brand awareness and boosting your online reputation. Social shares also have some influence on page rankings. Whether your business objective is to increase brand awareness or improve SEO traffic, identifying and building relationships with social media influencers can help.
How Can You Find Social Media Influencers?
Simply searching on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or any other social network, using the keywords that are most important to your business, can yield some good results, but this can be quite a time consuming process. Thankfully, there are also tools available which can make identifying social media influencers in your industry much easier!
Klout is a free tool which uses social media analytics to rank users according to social media influence. This results in a “Klout Score” – the higher your score, the more influential you are. Your score is determined by more than 400 factors, including:
You can sync your Klout account with your profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Google+ and even your blog.
When you log in to your Klout account, you see a dashboard with suggested influential accounts to follow, as well as content to share which may be relevant to your business, based on the topics you selected when you created your Klout account:
You can also use the search box at the top of the dashboard to find influencers using your important keywords.
Klout can be really useful for finding relevant, shareable content to keep your social media profiles active, as well as identify key people in your industry to follow and engage with.
Followerwonk is a social media tool which can help you find, compare and analyse relevant Twitter accounts.
One way of finding influential accounts to follow using Followerwonk is to use the Search Bios function, which is free to use. You can choose to search Twitter profiles or bios. To identify relevant companies for you to connect with, I would suggest searching Twitter bios for your important keywords.
Similar to Klout, Followerwonk assigns a Social Authority score to each account. In this example, I performed a search of Twitter bios for the keyword ‘social media news’ and sorted the results by Social Authority score to see the most influential at the top of the results:
Not every result will be relevant to you, so it’s important to go through the list manually and check each profile out before connecting. You can follow accounts directly from this page.
Buzzsumo is a paid tool, but if you’re serious about content marketing and social media for your company, it might be worth the investment.
Buzzsumo has an Influencers section, which you can use to find social media influencers, searching by topic or username:
From the search results, you can use the options in the red box on the right to follow an account, tweet the account, add them to a list, and view the links they have shared. These options are really useful for establishing whether an account will be useful for you to connect with, and organising your research.
Top Tips for Engaging with Social Media Influencers
Once you’ve identified some social media influencer accounts, it’s not enough just to follow them and hope for the best. You’ll need to engage with them and build a relationship, if you stand any chance of them interacting with your content.
Here are some top tips for engaging with influencers:
- Interact with content they post – retweet, share, like, comment.
- Join in with conversations they are starting or leading.
- Address them directly – where appropriate.
- If they have a blog, comment on their posts – show that you are actually reading their content.
- Make sure your engagement is authentic – don’t just retweet every single thing they post, make it meaningful.
Establishing and building relationships with social media influencers takes time and will not yield instant results, unfortunately. But it’s certainly worth dedicating time and effort to doing this to boost the reach of the content you are creating for your business.
Do you use any of these tools regularly? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!