What is a social media influencer?

A social media influencer is someone who influences their followers through their social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The reality is that there are social media influencers in pretty much every industry and niche. This provides your business with the unique opportunity to find social media influencers, identify, pursue, and leverage these social media influencers to grow your sales, lead flow, and ultimately your revenue stream.

This form of marketing can be extremely powerful when done right. In fact, 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions are made from word-of-mouth marketing. Try to think about your own personal purchasing history. Are you not more likely to buy something when someone you trust recommends it highly? That’s what influencers are to their followers. Twitter also conducted a powerful study that found that 40 percent of Twitter users make purchase decisions as a direct result from a Tweet from an influencer. Basically, social media influencers can help you increase your brand following greatly, increase your company’s credibility and bring in more sales and new leads and conversions.

The best way to find social media influencers is by thinking about whose voice your audience trusts. If you were searching for a reason to buy or try out a service, wouldn’t you want the most trusted and reliable source? A recent survey from Nielsen showed only 33% of consumers trust advertisements, while 90% go by peer recommendations. Finding influencers to guide your consumers can drastically work in your favor when executed the right way.

How to Find Social Media Influencers in Your Industry?

Finding the influencers in your industry is the first step in growing your business with this kind of marketing, but before you get to it, it’s critical to ensure you’re targeting the right influencers. You must know your target audience. You likely already have a clear enough picture of your audience from your other marketing efforts, so now you need to get into this audience’s interests a bit deeper to determine who they follow and from whom they consume information.

In order to figure out who your social media influencers are, you first need to ensure that the influencers are targeting the same audience as you. For example, if you sell SEO software, don’t just assume that the king of SEO, Rand Fishkin, is the person you need to partner with. Your audience might be much more novice and have no clue as to whom he is. Maybe you’re better off looking for an influencer in the small business advice space. If you have multiple audiences, there’s a good chance you might need multiple social influencers for each of these varying demographics, so focus on your top selling audience first, and go from there.

Do your research

1) Buzzsumo

Now that you have a clear idea of who your audiences are influenced by, it’s time to find out how to find those influencers. Luckily, there are several tools that can help you uncover your social media influencers. The following are some examples:

Buzzsumo has their very own influencer feature that allows you to discover, follow, reach out, and analyze influencer data. There’s a powerful search engine that allows you to find key influencers around topics and locations, and additional tools to help with your outreach efforts. It also allows you to export influencer data so you can use it in other platforms or for reporting purposes. This is a great tool whether you’re trying to find influencers on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. While Buzzsumo is not a free platform, they do provide a 7-day free trial so it is definitely worth taking advantage of that to see how influential their tool is to you

2) Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a Moz product that is completely free! This tool allows users to discover influencers on Twitter by searching for Twitter profiles or Twitter bios with keywords. Your search can be further customised by adding a location, name, or URL. The search results will provide a list of Twitter influencers along with their number of tweets, followers, how many people they’re following, their account age, and social authority. Followerwonk also allows you to build a list of potential influencers to engage with. Keep organized by using Twitter lists to track these influencers and stay on top of your engagement efforts.

3) Hootsuite

Many people’s favorite social media management platform, Hootsuite, also provides a free influencer tool to use their search streams to discover social media influencers by monitoring relevant conversations. Isn’t that convenient? You can then make a Twitter list through the platform and save them into an easily trackable stream to begin your engagement efforts.

4) TrendSpottr

If Instagram is your audience’s platform of choice, then this app will work wonders for you! TrendSpottr is an app created by the masterminds over at Hootsuite that helps you spot the trends (including all the trending influencers). Photos, video, and influencers for any tag or topic can be discovered through the app, and there are also tools to engage with key influencers, see which hashtags are trending, select lists of popular tags, and share trending posts. TrendSpottr isn’t free, but it’s considerably reasonable at only $4.99/month!

5) Google

This might be obvious, but just doing some plain old Google research is also a good place to start finding the social influencers in your industry. Researching your audience’s interests will likely lead to LinkedIn groups, Reddit conversations, or popular blogs or websites that your audience frequently visits. Dig in and discover who your influencers are by using the most powerful search engine around.


The main step in the whole influencer hunting phenomena is the research you do to find the right audiences and their corresponding right influencers. Now that you know about these tools, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, start your influencer marketing initiatives today!