The LinkedIn Algorithm: How it Works
By Joshua BoydDec 13th
Published January 23rd 2018
Influencer marketing is the process of marketing to individuals as opposed to your target market as a whole.
Brands are using influencer marketing to expand their reach and increase the likelihood of resonating with their target audience. For example, a food brand might target influential food bloggers in a hope that they will write or Tweet about their products and promotions.
An influencer acts like a giant megaphone spreading a brand’s message to potential customers. Typically, these individuals will hold a great deal of authority within certain communities and on certain topics.
An endorsement by an influencer means that prospective buyers are more likely to be receptive to a brand’s message.
We’ve written an in-depth guide on the why and how of influencer marketing. It’s free to download.
Influencer marketing is a tricky landscape to traverse. Finding the right type of social media influencer is key to success, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming.
Thankfully there are a few free tools that can help you identify suitable influencers and figure out which individuals will help deliver your message to the right audience. It’s worth noting that the majority of these tools work on a freemium model, however the free features are still robust enough to cover the basics of influencer research.
FollowerWonk is a great little tool that allows you to search for keywords in Twitter user bios and sort individuals to find those with the largest reach and most authority.
The free version of the tool also comes with a few handy analytics features, such as the ability to compare the followers of up to three different Twitter accounts.
This particular feature can be used to identify social media influencers who are following your competitors but aren’t following you.
BuzzSumo brings together content sharing analytics and influencer identification into one simple dashboard. The first feature allows you to search for the most popular content being shared around a certain topic and then identify who shared it. The second feature helps you find influencers based on keywords and hashtags.
BuzzSumo is particularly useful for content marketers. You can get a quick overview of what content is already working well in your network and then identify the individuals who will be able to amplify your own content marketing.
The search functionality allows you to filter influencers by types such as: bloggers, companies, and journalists. This is very useful if you have a clear idea of the type of influencers you want to engage with.
For example, a PR person might only want to find journalists to pitch stories to, while a content marketer might want to make sure that the influencer has a blog to publish on.
TweetReach is a useful tool for finding influencers around a specific subject. After authenticating your account with them, you can search by keyword, hashtag, or account an get some results (the free version will use 100 recent tweets to pull the analysis together).
You will get a list of the top 100 contributors and the most retweeted tweets for the subject. This is a great starting to point to see who is influential in your chosen area.
You’ll also get the estimated reach and exposure of your search term, which can give you extra context to your research.
Kred is a good entry level tool for those interested in getting to grips with influencer metrics. Influence is measured by evaluating mentions, retweets, replies and follows on Twitter.
Kred also offers an ‘Outreach Score’ based on how often you retweet, reply and mention other people.
Both metrics are combined to give an synopsis of how influential and active an individual is within certain communities such as marketing, social media, tech, sports, Etc.
Klout is probably the most well known tool on this list. It’s also the tool that has come under the most criticism.
Klout grabbed a lot of attention when it launched back in 2008 as it was one of first examples of scoring users based on social influence. In recent years, there has been backlash surrounding Klout’s scoring system.
The metrics Klout employs are a little less sophisticated than Kred. Klout is typically used for measuring your own social media influence. However it’s metrics could be useful if you want to get a quick overview of the social influence of someone within your network. Klout’s also lets you search for influencers on specific topics, however the search functionality is limited compared to other tools on the list.
Klear is great for finding influencers who are already engaging with you and those within your network. One of the most useful features is the ability to filter influencers by Celebrities, Power Users, Casual and Novice.
When conducting influencer targeting, it’s important to set realistic targets.
Reaching out to the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Rihanna is the marketing equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. Instead you should aim to find influencers who have the ability to reach a large number of people and are receptive to the message you are promoting.
Klear comes packed with some really useful demographic features that allow you to see which types of people are following the influencers you are considering targeting. Matching this demographic data to your audience means you will have a better chance of delivering your message to the right people.
We couldn’t talk about influencer tools without talking about PeerIndex. You might have heard us mention PeerIndex before; we were such big fans of their technology that we decided to acquire them back in December 2014!
PeerIndex takes a refreshing approach to influencer identification. They believe that influence is much more than follower counts or the volume of content shared; real influence is measured on the the ability to drive conversations and actions, and needs to be measured in context.
PeerIndex measure influence based on an individual’s expertise on topics. For example, someone who is influential on politics isn’t necessarily going to carry that same authority if they were talking about technology, and vice versa. This means marketers can start to find the real influential voices within a wide variety of niches.
As we mentioned in our blog post about the acquisition, we will be integrating PeerIndex’s influencer mapping technology into Brandwatch Analytics in the coming months.
Update August 8th 2016: PeerIndex’s influencer technology is now available in Brandwatch Audiences.
TweetDeck is a general use tool for Twitter that offers a lot of extra functionality. And some of these make it a great influencer marketing tool.
For a start their search function is excellent, letting you use the Twitter search operators, and then save your searches as columns that will update in real-time. Perfect for looking at subjects or events to see who is talking about them.
On top of that, you can build lists of accounts and create updating columns with them too. This excellent when you have a list of influencers and want to keep an eye on what they’re saying. You can also start segmenting your list out, meaning you get a collection of carefully curated timelines.
TweetDeck is perfect for bringing some order to your influencer marketing.
While these free tools provide a good entry point for influencer marketing, the analytics features tend to be limited.
If you are looking for a more robust influence analytics solution, then it’s worth considering a social media monitoring tool that has identification, influencer metrics, advanced filters, demographic insights and engagement built in.