There are many ways to gain brand exposure through social media. However, we’re only going to focus on one of those methods — one of the most promising, actually.
It involves connecting with power users, or industry influencers.
Power users and industry influencers tend to know a lot about a particular field and have specialized in them. For instance, Martha Stewart is a power user when it comes to home decor. That example is a bit on the nose, though. You don’t need to be a celebrity to be considered a power user.
Furthermore, businesses and brands can become power users based on how they handle social media as well.
The most important aspect of a power user is they have access and influence over an active large audience.
How Do You Find Power Users?
So, now that you understand what power users and influencers are, we can shift the focus to finding them. How do you identify a power user? More importantly, how do you find a power user who is beneficial to your brand?
Twitter is typically the easiest place to find and interact with influencers. However, it’s just a starting point, and you’ll usually find influencers on Twitter also have a big audience on other social networks. In this post I’ll also be sharing a secret strategy I use to find power users on Pinterest.
Finding Power Users with BuzzSumo
The first thing you’ll see when you visit BuzzSumo Influencers tool is a search box. All you need to do is enter the topic or theme you’d like to search for and it will return a list of influencers in that industry.
Alongside each brand or power user on the list, you’ll see their social page authority, domain authority of the blog/site they are affiliated with, how many followers they have, retweet and reply ratios. Why is this additional information relevant? We’ll break it down for you:
- By knowing their social and domain page authority, you can be sure they also have a strong presence on their blog or affiliated with a news site.
- Their follower count will tell you their audience size and how many people they can reach.
- Their retweet and reply ratios give you an example of how often they might respond to your outreach.
BuzzSumo makes it easy to download all the info into Excel which can then sift through and keep track of your outreach.
Followerwonk for Twitter
Followerwonk works much the same way as Buzzsumo, and it offers a search engine feature specifically for influencers.
Yet it has another, more relevant tool you can use to find influencers. The compare users tool will allow you compare your social influence to that of your competitors, followers and even industry leaders. The latter part is particularly interesting, because you can compare your own account to that of a power user.
This will allow you to do more than just interact with power users. You can compare your own usage and content strategies to find out how to become more of an influencer yourself.
Using the tool is fairly straightforward. Simply enter the username of three accounts you’d like to compare and then select the “do it” button.
You’ll be able to see the social authority for each user or account, how many followers they have total, and how many days they’ve been active on Twitter. You’ll also see a breakdown of their audience, which even shows the overlap in users, i.e. users who follow multiple accounts from your search.
Discovering Influencers on Pinterest
Pinterest can be a very powerful tool for your brand but you have to have the right content or products to fit with their audience. Home, food, gardening, DIY, and fashion are some of the main industries that do well on Pinterest.
There are three ways to find influencers on Pinterest without using a paid third party tool. You can find influencers who are already interested in your brand by looking up: https://www.pinterest.com/source/www.placeyourdomainhere.com.
However, this only shows you people who have already pinned content or products from your page before. It can be much more difficult to find pinners who don’t know about you but would be a great power user.
Secondly, you can just put in a niche (let’s say gardening) into the search bar and find any boards or pinners who are tagged with that keyword. But this doesn’t guarantee that you will be able to contact them as Pinterest bios don’t typically share a person’s email.
So how can you find pinfluencers, with their emails, who would make great power users?
I’m going to share a little secret with you today. Finding great pinfluencers is like going fishing…you just got to find the fishing hole where they’ve all gathered. I just happen to know of a few great fishing holes.
These fishing holes come in the form of community boards, like this one: Blogger’s Best DIY Ideas. This is the third and best way to find influencers on Pinterest.
Community boards can be started by any pinner and who then invites other pinners to pin freely on that board. Community boards often have thousands of followers since the board is shown on all pinners homepage who are part of the community board. You can identify a community board by the double person icon in the upper right hand corner
You’ll want to find boards that are based around bloggers. Since bloggers put their URL in their profile, you can click through to their contact page to obtain their email.
Many community boards will have over 100 pinners (see count on upper left corner of the board). You can see all the pinners by clicking on the number (+118 in this photo). Open each user in a new tab to see their profile and boards.
Even if your brand isn’t related to DIY projects doesn’t mean you can’t use this community board. Almost all pinners have a diverse set up boards covering from products they love to vacation spots to gardening.
Blogger community boards are just the fishing holes to find power users who have blogs in their profile so you can get in contact with them. [P.S. Don’t miss part 2 of this series where I’ll share my pitch template I use to get them to share my client’s content!]
Klout analyzes your social media accounts — all of them — and returns an average score. This allows you to see how you fare in terms of your social influence, engagement and audience. The platform is designed to coach you to become a better user all around.
Of course, you can also use Klout to locate and discover industry leaders in your field. You’ll need to sign-up or sign-in and compare your own engagement, score and interaction ratings with others similar to what you do with Followerwonk.
The best way to utilize the network is to compare scores. For instance, if you find someone you believe to be a power user, you can check their Klout score and compare it to other users to find out whether or not you should be investing your time with them.
Journalists are quintessential power users. In my experience, journalists are more apt to pay attention to a 140-characters pitch on Twitter than emails. Anewstip is a free tool that allows you to search through billions of real-time tweet and journalists’ bios to find the right one to pitch your story.
What kind of people would we be if we didn’t give you more options for tools to use? These are the honorable mentions you may also use to find influencers. Keep in mind, these are all premium tools, which means you’ll need to pay a subscription fee or activation fee to use them. If you’d rather stick with a free tool, the ones listed above should suffice.
- Little Bird
- Keyhole — freemium, i.e. free with paid elements
You’ll want to identify which of the power users on your list have the best reputation. Just because they have a lot of followers and indeed have a powerful influence doesn’t necessarily mean you should be interacting with them. Reputation plays a big factor in choosing the power user you should be engaging with.
One ideal strategy is to search for power users related to your industry and then compile your research about them. Create an Excel spreadsheet and include the influencer’s name, blog/news site, a link to their social accounts you’d like to be involved with, their total followers, Klout score and any other information you might need.
It might also be a good idea to arrange these contacts based on their relevancy to your niche. A brand, business or influencer from another field might still be beneficial to engage with — but you wouldn’t want them peppered in with your regular routines.
Once you have your power user list compiled with all the necessary information, you can move on to the next step. In my next post I’ll be sharing my outreach strategy and how to engage with those power users you’ve come to know.