5 Tips To Identify Influencers On The Web
Building relationships with influencers in the social media space for your business or personal projects isn’t anything new. How to go about finding them is a whole other story. Even though influencer or authority has been tackled by paid tools such as SM2, Radian6, Sysomos and other social monitoring tools. Their algorithms are all different and only dependable to grab the top blogs that you probably already know about. One of the main reason for their lack on accuracy is simply because there is no human element in their filters. Today I’m going to give you some tips that you can do for free that will help you identify influencers or compare results with paid tools that you’re currently using.
Relationships with influencers can pay off in many different ways such link building, feedback, sources for new content, partnerships and of course, referrals to other influencers. New stories, blog posts, tweets, comments and any other content provides an opportunity to find relevant influencers to build a relationship with.
The difficult part lies that some niches or such target searches restrict the amount of new content that you can find and engage with. In this situation it’s important to start your influencer research by reviewing the existing content on the web.Now let’s get to the nitty gritty,to find influencers with highly-targeted, relevant searches. .
1. Get Your Keywords and Phrases Right
Put yourself in the shoes of a blogger and the language that they would use in your market and don’t forget the language that the audience uses as well. Bloggers will cater to their audiences and language that they are most familiar with. For this case let’s say your looking to engage with influencers in the renewable energy space. You need to set keywords and phrases that are likely going to appear in post speaking to environmentalist, power companies, politics and energy monitoring companies,
Bloggers writing for renewable energy audience would tend to use phrases such as “wind,” “solar power,” “energy bill.” or “smart grid,” you will more than likely need to set up Primary and Secondary key word sets to help reduce the amount of junk posts in your searches. You will also want to check those keywords and phrases to see if they’re trending upward or downwards for their volume of conversation on the web.
2. Start with a Google Blog Search
It might not be that sexy but it does the job. Make sure that you have your targeted search terms ready to start review their archives. Use time-based searches to restrict your results to posts within the past month, 6 months or year. Take notes and start building your prospective influencers here..
3. Search Google News Archive
This might seem a little to mainstream however, as the line fades between bloggers and traditional journalist, journalist who have recently written on topics for your audience are more than likely to also blog on similar topics..
The main challenge is tracking down their blog. One way to do this is to search Google for their name in quotes and remove their newspaper from the search results — e.g., ["david pogue" -site:nytimes.com].
4. Blog Directory + Google Custom Search = Kung Fu Content Aggregator
The first two tips concentrated on using existing searches for blogs and new archives whereas, this tip involves using directories and Google’s Custom Search, and searching with your targeted keywords. .
To do this, first browse AllTop, PostRank, and Scribnia to find blogs that are generally-related to your topic. For example, to target bloggers writing for renewable energy, you should include all blogs categorized as renewable energy, energy, environment, and green.
It’s OK to include more general blogs at this step because you’ll be narrowing it down later with your custom search. Once you have the list, create a Google Custom Search engine by entering each blog in this format:
Once your custom search engine is populated, you can start running searches for your target keywords. You’ll discover some high quality, highly relevant content this way, which can help you find relevant influencers.
5. Save Time by Combining Monitoring with Influence Metrics
There are tons of paid social media monitoring tools that will automatically give you a blog authority but there’s a free method to do this as well. Create Google Alerts or Social Mention searches, grab the RSS feeds (if there are multiple feeds, you can merge and filter them with FeedRinse), and add them to Google Reader.
But the main time saver is the PostRank Extension for Google Reader, which is available for both Chrome and Firefox. This extension automatically scores the importance of your monitoring results as you view them in Google Reader. This will help you filter out lower authority blogs and save you time to engage with quality blogs.
Tip: track your influencer prospects in a link management tool, a spreadsheet, or a social bookmarking tool.