So you’ve just defined your buyer personas and now you’re thinking: How do I move to the next step? Now that I know who I’m looking for, how do I find the right followers (or influencers who can drive brand awareness) on social media?
When it comes to building your audience as quickly as possible, finding the right follower profiles to match buyer personas is key. The more qualified/relevant your following base is, the more engagement and visibility you’ll be able to generate.
In order to identify and classify followers to have a solid database of people, it’s best to engage with content that will grab attention. It’s always best to:
- Find the right people
- Select the right people who will engage
- Raise interest in your brand and its messages
The 5 Quick Steps to Finding Influencers
1- Start by using Twitter. Why? Because Twitter is the platform that provides the most publicly available data. But instead of using the micro-blogging platform to send tweets, we will aggregate information about your buyer personas.
2- Look for “authority accounts.” Depending on your topic of interest, look for reputable accounts with many followers. Just remember that “authority accounts” may take time to identify--there’s a lot of trial and error, so give yourself a couple days and remember to conduct new searches.
For example: If you’re working on topics related to science and one of your buyer personas is an expert in that field, PubMed is an “authority account.” PubMed is the public database, which references scientific/medical publications and currently has 18,000 followers, which is a pretty big community.
3- Extract follower data into a spreadsheet. Use Excel or Google Drive to extract all or part of an “authority accounts” followers into a spreadsheet; the process isn’t time-consuming. You can even install a script for Google spreadsheets (free at Mashe.Hawksey.Info) or Audiense (a tool that comes with a plan and offers tons of other features to manage Twitter communities).
The user data you’ll gather in one file includes: names, Twitter handles, number of followers, number of following, publication frequency, URLs attached to accounts (i.e. personal websites, blogs, other social media account, etc.), and Twitter bios (my personal fave).
4- Find specific influencers through their bios. So why is the Twitter bio entry my personal fave? Because based on the bio, you can structure information according to who you’re trying to find. So if you wanted to find microbiologists, you can use spreadsheet filters to isolate Twitter users based on keywords (e.g. “microbiologist” or “microbiology”) in their own description.
Now that you have a great database of Twitter contacts, you can easily put together more. The more you search, the more you will find, and the more you will have a comprehensive overview of who’s who in various industries. Once you have the right audience, the next thing to do is to deliver the right message.
5- Continue refining your database. Identifying “authority accounts” and compiling followers is an ongoing process. To have a good list of potential influencers, use relevant keywords and filters. Based on personal experience, this may take an average of 3-4 days for 5000 followers.
Just remember: the more time you spend finding “authority accounts” and/or identifying influencers in your field of interest, the more contacts you will have to build a quality audience.