Everyone now knows how important social media is in marketing and getting one’s name out in the industry. Twitter in particular is one useful dissemination tool. Of course, not every tweet can be expected to go viral instantly. It’s going to take time for people in Twitterverse to start recognizing your name and acknowledging your tweets as something worth repeating and sharing.
Working on your Twitter reputation and becoming an influencer yourself is going to take a long time. For the meantime that you are still working on gaining followers and building up your credibility, you can solicit the assistance of others who are already established authorities and influencers in your niche.
No Man Is an Island
Independence is well and good, but humility is more important especially when you’re still on the early stages of your Twitter use. Unless if your brand is already massively popular and can depend on a cult following, there’s little to no chance that your first tweets will do exactly what you’re hoping them to accomplish—which is probably to generate leads, direct traffic to an external site, and gain exposure over a wide audience, among other things. No, your best hope at being noticed is to solicit help from the influencers.
Who are the influencers?
In Twitter, these are the people whose tweets get favorited, retweeted, embedded, and replied to by tens or hundreds of people the moment they appear in tweet feeds. These are the people for whom others would immediately halt scrolling down and spare precious few seconds to find out what it is they want the world to know. In short, influencers are the people whom other people listen to. Most importantly, they spur others into some sort of action just by saying something in 140 characters or less.
These are the people who can help you gain a firm foothold in Twitterverse, particularly among those who move within your circles and niche. Think of it as having big personalities in the industry putting in a good word on your behalf. This is a common practice in any business industry, and that’s what business-minded individuals on Twitter apparently do.
Now comes the important part: finding out who the influencers are in your niche. A simple search on Twitter can already give you lots of good ideas on who are the most popular people in your niche. If you want more refined answers for your search though, you can use any of the following tools:
1. Followerwonk – This is a very straightforward search tool for Twitter users. Simply enter the keywords describing the people you’re looking for, and you’ll get exact-match results based on their self/profile descriptions.
Followerwonk is actually more of an analytics tool, so it doesn’t really show the top accounts based on the keyword search. It does show summarized data that will make it so much easier to find out who are the influencers in your niche, though. You can see the screen name, real name, and location of each matching account. The best part is there is it shows an Influence rating from a scale of 0-100, zero being the lowest score. The table also shows the number of followers (another useful measure of influence), followings, tweets, and age of the account (by days).
2. Endor.se – If you want results that come from actual people and not generated by software, you can use Endorse. Most users actually use it for recommending people in their networks who are suitable for job vacancies. What’s great is you can literally look for experts in any field you’re interested in.
The disadvantage in Endor.se though is you can only see results from your extended network, and only the people who were “endorsed” in the site.
3. Commun.it – Many of you might be familiar with this program, even using it already, since it is primarily a Twitter management platform. Along with the usual perks like multiple feed columns, automatic posting feature, reply and posting capability from the platform itself, Commun.it also conveniently shows users who are the most influential people in their networks. Again, this has the disadvantage of showing only the Twitter users who are part of their networks. Influencers whom you don’t follow or follow you back don’t get included in the results.
Under the relationships tag, Commun.it shows who the influencers in your network are.
4. Twellow – Twellow is wonderful for finding influencers because it is basically like a search engine. You can use it even if you’re not registered or logged in. The results are shown by order of popularity based on the number of followers.
There is also a Categories tab that contains a drop-down list of pre-organized categories in Twellow. By simply hovering over each category, you’ll get three top influencers, plus more related subcategories you can click on. Beside each subcategory is the number of Twitter users matching it.
5. Topsy – this is another search toolthat’s very straightforward and easy to use. Above the search bar are fields that will narrow down searches in Twitter. One of them is Experts search. You can use this search field to find influencers in particular niches or subjects. The search results will show the personal descriptions, locations, and most importantly, the number of mentions earned by the account (yet another indicator of influence among its followers and even non-followers).
Of course, there are so many more tools and online programs that you can use to find the most influential people in your niche on Twitter. What works the best will depend on what features and data you value the most, and which ones can provide them for you.
Once you have a list of the Twitter influencers whom you are hoping can give you a leg up in the social vine, the next logical step would be to do outreach. That would then be another matter to deal with, another campaign to approach with finesse, charm, and clout. The important thing is that during the early stage of Twitter marketing and advertising, you need to find the right, heavyweight backers who can give credence to your name.