How To Identify Social Media Influencers In Your Industry

July 16, 2014By
Dayne Shuda

Here is how you can find your industry’s influencers.

One of the ways your blogging and social media efforts can succeed is by mentioning influencers in your content.

You can cite the work of influencers and expand up on their work with your own. This adds to the conversation and the influencer will often appreciate the fact that you cited their work.

You can also ask influencers if they would contribute a little tidbit or piece of content to your new planned content. Then you give them a reason to share the content with their social followers, which is probably a larger following than your own at this point.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

You can’t cite influencers and partner with them on content if you don’t know who the influencers in your industry are. So in this post I’m going to give you a procedure for finding influencers so you can start networking and using their influence to build your own.

Step 1: Google Search For Industry Publications

Industry Magazine Search

Find the big publications in your industry.

Start by using Google. It’s great for finding all kinds of information. It doesn’t have access to all the social data, but you can usually find the influencers that have online publications.

You’re searching for a couple different types of industry content:

  • Magazines
  • Associations
  • Blogs

If you’re in an established industry the chances are good that there are multiple trade associations and usually a few publications that focus only on your industry. When I worked in the catalog and ecommerce world we paid attention to Multichannel Retailer and Internet Retailer.

You’ll also find important industry blogs. You can use Technorati to search for specific blogs in specific niches too, but googling “industry + blog” will usually bring up some good results.

Step 2: Identify Authors And Those Quoted In Popular Articles

Industry Author Page

Click on an author. On this page the author’s social media info is on the right.

Authors on these publications are often influencers. They have people that read their content every time it’s published. So the authors are good people to add to your influencer list, but sometimes they can be tricky to connect with.

You can also look at the people quoted in the articles. Often, these are people that are well known in the industry and they’re looking for PR opportunities. This means that they might be opening to contributing something to your next piece of content.

Step 3: Go To The Author Twitter Profile

Industry Author Following List

Find an influencer with more than 1,000 followers and also someone that only follows a couple hundred people.

Once you identify an author on a publication or blog, go to their Twitter profile. Most will have a fairly large following. Some may not really use Twitter, but others might have large followings. You’re looking for those with more than 1,000 followers.

This is an indication that they’re an influencer in the industry, but even more than that it’s a way for you to find more influencers.

Most influencers on Twitter keep the people they follow to a minimum. There are some influencers that follow tons of people. You’re looking for the ones that follow just a couple hundred people at most.

When you find someone like this, click on the people they follow. You’ll usually see a list of the who’s who in your industry. These are more people that you can include on your influencer list.

Final Thoughts

There are other ways you can get influencers in your industry. You can use the Twitter strategy on other social networks. It’s just usually easier on Twitter to see the connections someone has. And if you’re on Twitter (get on it if you aren’t), follow these influencers. You’ll see that they often mention other influencers while also linking to influential content written by industry influencers. That’s more opportunity for you.

Knowing who the influencers are in your industry can lead to opportunity. You can start reading their content, leaving comments and eventually reaching out for opportunities to collaborate.

But we’ll save that for another post.