How to build a Twitter influencer list on any topic

The best way to become a Twitter influencer is to know Twitter influencers. Every industry is unique, but there are a few steps you can follow to build a forceful Twitter influencer list on almost any topic that you can use to jump start your journey to social stardom.

1. Make sure you’re searching for the right keywords

One of the most beautiful things about the English language is there are a zillion different ways of saying the same thing. It’s also one of the most frustrating. In social media and digital marketing, you need to make sure you get the vernacular right. By that, I mean, you need to make sure you’re using the same words as everyone else when you’re describing a specific idea.

The best way to do this is to start with Google Keyword Planner. Simply enter the best keyword or phrase you can think of to describe your topic, and it will return a list of the most commonly used related keywords, as well as their search volume. This will tell you how popular specific phrasing is when referencing your topic, as well as related topics and keywords.

Google Keyword Planner_Twitter influencer list

2. Translate your keywords into hashtags

If you have a keyword or phrase with significant search volume, chances are anywhere  high that there’s a hashtag people are using to talk about your topic on social media. It’s just a matter of finding it. Enter your keywords as hashtags into the following free social media tools. Each of these tools will show you hashtag volume as well as related hashtags.

Ritetag_Twitter influencer list

3. Find your hashtag influencers on Twitter

What you’ve done up to this point is build a list of prominent keywords and hashtags associated with your topic. Now that you have the right language, it’s time to find the right people. Here are 3 ways to do it. For the best results, use all of the following tools and make a note of as many influencers as possible. Bonus for people who pop up more than once!

1. Tweetdeck Content Searches

I’ve had a lot of success curating content and identifying social media influencers using Tweetdeck. Launch a simple search for your hashtags and/or keywords, then adjust the search volume to tweets that have received at least 25 retweets (you can readjust higher or lower depending on the volume you get back). This is a fast and efficient way to weed out the noise and get to the heart of who’s really getting noticed using these hashtags and keywords.

2. SocialBro, Followerwonk and Twtrland expert searches

SocialBro allows you to search people on Twitter by the keywords and hashtags they have in their biographies. You can also adjust search results by location, influence, followers, time since last tweet, among other criteria, to get the best social media influencer list possible for your initiatives. With a pro account, you can quickly add all of these people to Twitter lists or mass follow.

SocialBro_Twitter influencer list

Twtrland is similar to SocialBro in that it lets you search for Twitter users by expertise, though it doesn’t limit results to just keywords that appear in bios. You can filter results by level of influence, location, gender, age and skills.

Followerwonk returns your keyword results in a list that you can sort by number of followers and influencer.

3. Find users in real time

Both Hashtagify and Sonar, mentioned in step two, will identify top users associated with hashtags in real time. Hashtagify shows you the most recent top tweets featuring the hashtags you search. Sonar does the same while also including the people who are most often mentioned alongside these hashtags – adding a new dimension to your list.

4. Work backwards from trending content

Think of your Twitter influencer list as a hub, with a number of different indicators pointing to it that have helped you get there. You’ve started to compose your list from hashtags. Now let’s work from a different angle – trending content.

Buzzsumo is probably my favorite free content analysis tool. Enter any keyword or phrase, and it will show you which blogs and articles are trending on social media by how many times they’ve been shared on all the major channels. Easily adjust by time frame and content type (article, infographic, video, etc.)

Once you’ve found your trending content, look up the blog, website and/or author on Twitter and add to your list!

Buzzsumo_Twitter influencer list

5. Location, location, location

Location matters. In some instances more than others, depending on the nature of your Twitter influencer list and what you intend to use it for. As we mentioned above, both SocialBro and Twtrland allow you to search for influencers by location. You can also reference this post for 6 social media location hacks as you build your list.

6. You’ve created a dynamite Twitter influencer list. Now what?

Congratulations! You have a research-backed Twitter influencer list! You’ve already come a lot farther than most social media managers. But what do you do with it? Before anything else, create a Twitter list out of your Twitter influencers!

Now that you have them, you want to make sure you’re staying up-to-date with what they’re doing. Stream your list on Hootsuite and Tweetdeck and keep it open on your computer so you can get an idea of what’s of interest each day.

Then, start your engagement strategy. This post will teach you everything you need to know about building a relationship with prospects and influencers on social media.

Use every opportunity you can to get close to them – sign up for their email lists, share their content and provide value when you can. Remember, beginning a successful relationship online is the same as building it offline – the more you give the more likely you are to receive a benefit in return.

Do you have a Twitter influencer list? Share it in the comments below and we’ll subscribe!

3 thoughts on “How to build a Twitter influencer list on any topic

  1. Pingback: Never miss a piece of trending content again with Tweetdeck

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