Author: Matt Alex
Social influence is the key to success in social media. Sharing, posting, retweeting, liking, +1’ing...there are a million and one names for it - but ultimately social media is a knowledge sharing and peer connection tool. You would think finding the loudest voices amid the social static would be easy, but ironically, finding influencers focused on a niche can be difficult.
Knowing the right tools makes finding influencers easier! The best places to find them are on Twitter and blogs, where they share their knowledge, opinions, and ideas about a specific topic.
Here are a few of my favorite influencer research tools we use at Sparkloft:
Klout Klout has been getting a lot of attention lately, and rightly so. Klout aggregates a user’s social presence across the social sphere and quantifies influence. It also shares the topics a users is most influential about. It isn’t a great tool for starting a search, but once you have an influencer in mind, it’s the best! Klout shares who you influence and who influences you, allowing you to see an entire network of influence!
PostRank PostRank is one of the largest aggregators of social engagement data. It tracks and measures user engagement, activity, relevance, and influence. Search results are listed in order of influence. This is a great tool for finding blogs and other sites mentioning your topic.
Note: PostRank was recently acquired by Google and requires a slight work around to use. Their homepage is simply an announcement about the acquisition and exciting things to come. In order to search PostRank, type http://www.postrank.com/topic/topicyouaresearchingfor. Despite the URL detour - PostRank is a very valuable tool.
Technorati Technorati connects blogs and social media users with advertisers to introduce content around the web. You can search for posts or blogs, or browse by specific categories (i.e. travel, health). Results are listed by their authority. The best part is you can filter out news sites and find genuine influencer content. Technorati has a lot of other great features (trending tags, hot topics, Twittorati, etc) and is worth exploring!
Twittorati Twittorati, a subsidiary of Technorati, features top twitter users, blogs, links, and the latest photos trending on Twitter. When you search for a blog, you not only get the authority rating, but also top tweets, links and people associated with the blog. Featuring people associated with the blog is very useful, not all blogs share their personal non-brand accounts.
Twitter Grader Twitter Grader measures the power, reach, authority, and overall impact/influence of a Twitter user. This is a helpful tool when you need a quick tool to research who’s talking about your topic on Twitter.
There are a lot of great tools to measure social influence and to find out who is making noise about your brand or industry. These are just a few of my favorite tools, but there are so many more! Check out Compete, WeFollow, TweetFind, etc! Additionally, the advanced Twitter search is an undervalued tool. Twitter knows its users best, trust it to guide you to the right people!
What are your favorite tools to research influencers?
-Matt Alex (@malex2208)