How Can You Identify Influencers with Social Media?

Influencers have always been a coveted entity in marketing and advertising. For the obvious reason that they influence people. But all of us cannot afford the Kardashians to tweet for us. Thankfully, social media has spawned new influencers, who will engage you and happily promote your tweets every now and then, once they know you well enough and trust you.

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However, the influencers you choose to promote your business must be from the right category. I am sure you will agree that a Wall Street whiz is not someone a teenager will look up to for fashion advice. Similarly, in a B2B context, a restaurant owner is more likely to buy meat products endorsed by a local celebrity chef than a sports star.

How do you connect to influencers that are right for your business?

Step 1: Define your audience

The most important aspect of any analysis is to identify the audience that you wish to reach. Review your products and services and define your audience in detail. You need to identify the demographic characteristics of your customers. The best way to do this analysis is to create a persona or a dummy character and assign all the characteristics to this person. Then, step into the character’s shoes and try to think like the character.

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Step 2: Define Influencer Characteristics

People look up to leaders from different areas. Restrict your search for leaders related to your products and services. If you provide services to other businesses, connect with business owners from different industries. Alternatively, if you provide services to businesses from a specific industry, locate business owners from that industry. Defining influencers is somewhat subjective and needs careful analysis. It is not something that you can automate based on number of followers, mentions, or RTs – because all of these can be easily mimicked by bots.

Step 3: Locate Influencers with Social Media

People are influenced by people who are like them and people they hold in high regard.

  • Find people in a particular business based on keyword search in Twitter.
  • Tools such as TweetCaster help you to look for users similar to the user you have selected.
  • Look up industry associations and their members and office holders to follow and connect.
  • Klout is another good source to find influencers.

This exercise will not only help you connect with your target audience, but also influence other similar users through their RTs and engagement with you.

Influencers don’t just exist because of social media, they are influencers in their own right anyway!

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