Influencers, like engagement, is a term you will hear floating around the social media world. Influencers are the people who can help you spread your message. While everyone is an Influencer in their right mind, your success is going to rely on finding the Influencers that fit your business and who have the same audience you are looking to connect with.
In my last post I gave an overview of Influencer Marketing. Today we'll talk about where you can go about finding targeted influencers that fit your audience and your business.
While Influencers might not be influential on all social networks, there are Influencers to be found on each network. Often, all it takes is a simple search that will lead you to the influencers you're looking for.
Before you start your search, define the keywords you are going to be looking for. These keywords should be highly targeted to your business. If you have a hair product, your chosen keywords could be, "hair bloggers, braids, hair couture, celebrity hair," etc.
If you have a restaurant, these keywords will probably be, "food bloggers, hyper-local bloggers (i.e. San Francisco blogs), neighborhood blogs, food specific blogs (i.e. pizzeria bloggers)," etc.
This is very important. Before you go about any influencer searches, define your keywords and make them as specific as possible.
In the next article of this series, I'll describe the best way to reach out to your Influencers, however, the following sites are places to look for and locate these message carriers.
A blog is the first sign of an Influencer. These are the content creators who are already writing, which makes the chances of them writing about you, and your product or service, better. If you can get them to write about your product you will, essentially, be building inbound links, as well as exposure for your brand.
To do a blog search, simply go to Google and search for your highly targeted keywords. You can also do a blog search in Google to see more recent articles. Often times, you'll find a blog post about a certain topic, but the blog isn't necessarily only about your desired topic. That's okay. Another thing you may come across is a larger site with various authors. This is a good thing. It's a sign of a popular site, one that can afford to employ writers. In this case you will want to research which authors are writing about your topic the most efficiently. This is your Influencer.
One way to tell if this particular blog runner is an Influencer, and not a waste of time, is to see how much engagement their blog, Facebook and Twitter channels have. Do they get a lot of comments on their posts? Do they get a lot of Pins? A lot of shares? Do they have share buttons? Do they update often? Looking at these details will help to narrow your list down so that you can focus where it matters.
As you go about your blog search you will find that many blogs have a dedicated Facebook page. If they don't, I'd worry about them. The Facebook page is an indicator that the blog is of value. But beyond that, you can also search Facebook for Influencers. The Influencers on Facebook can be found in groups and fan pages primarily. These are the people who control the message their fans and their group members see. With the new graph search you have a lot more options to find people. Do searches for your keywords on Facebook. You never know what you will find.
Like Facebook, Twitter has its own set of Influencers. You will come across a lot of Twitter pages when you are searching for blogs. Look for the engagement that these followers have. Do they just broadcast a message with little return? If so, this is probably not the best Influencer for you.
On Twitter, it's important to have talkative, yet heard, Influencers. There are a few ways to find them. Of course, the Twitter search is a good one. Search for keywords in their bio and look closely at what they're talking about in their Tweets. Another way to find Influencers is to search Twitter chats. The hosts are probably pretty Influential in their circle and Twitter chats are a good place to start your search. You might find someone on Twitter who is conversational about your defined keywords, someone who also has a blog that you might not have found in your blog search. This is a great way to cross pollinate your list.
I love LinkedIn! It is my favorite site for B2B purposes. To find Influencers on certain topics (primarily B2B), use their improved search feature. In addition, check groups that relate to your keywords and look for those people who are the most active in that group. LinkedIn does the work for you here as they have a Top Influencers side bar. This is a good starting point. Remember when you are looking for Influencers, you want people who have no problem sharing and sharing often. These people are going to be active on LinkedIn and in groups. Start with them.
Google Plus has a whole set of Influencers and the best way to find them is search. This is Google after all. Search your defined keywords and follow hashtags. Another great way to find out who is influential on G+ is to join communities and start watching to see who is talking and engaging the most. Who is populating the air with your keywords and who is doing it well?
These are 5 places to find Influencers for your Influencer Marketing Strategy.
In my next post, I'll go over the 5 more places and to find Influencers followed by a post about how to reach out to the Influencers you've found. Stay tuned!
Stephanie Frasco, VP Social Media Marketing, started helping businesses get results with social networks before Twitter even existed! Stephanie has worked directly with high profile clients like Oprah, Atlantic Records, Dashlane, The International Culinary Center, & many more. She specializes in helping business owners and marketers find massive ROI by developing targeted social campaigns focused on *engagement strategies* that work!