Understanding who your industry influencers are is paramount to succeeding online. In a study based on young adults, they identified their influencers as YouTubers, more than the likes of Taylor Swift, or other A-List celebrities. Social is the way forward, and we can no longer look at the TV, or listen to the latest music on iTunes to identify a potential influencer; its time to turn our efforts to the internet, and find those online who can be brand ambassadors.

There are some truly amazing tools to research top influencers online which I have been using, and wanted to share with you. As an experienced social media strategist, and business growth coach, researching top influencers for my clients is apart of the business journey and one which MUST be done, no matter what sized business you own, or work for. Here are 7 amazing tools to research top influencers in your industry.

1. Mention

Mention allows you to identify influencers for your business, and build relationships with true business ambassadors. Mention will share with you a list of users that are already talking positively about your business and you can then identify the top influencers and those you want to contact.

2. Hey Press

If your business model requires you to have good, solid relationships with journalists that are influential in your industry, then Hey Press will be a good tool for you to check out. Hey Press is a search engine that focuses on tech journalists and will set you back around £10 a month.

3. Klout

Part of monitoring your social media, should be determining how trusting and influential you are within your community. Klout is the global leader in measuring online influence for individuals, and brands alike, and was acquired by Lithium Technologies in March 2014. Klout has more than 700 million social profiles on their network and more than 15 billion pieces of data are processed everyday, when updating Klout scores.

Use this tool to research top influencers and identify those who can be brand ambassadors.

4. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo has been around for a long time and is used for influencer marketing. Find out what type of content works for your target market, and what the influencers in your industry are talking about. You can find social media influencers through keyword search.

5. Little Bird

Little Bird allows you to find influencers based on their topic, and won’t just give you higher level information – they provide you with in-depth data. You will need to use Little Bird to build your influencer lists which might seem like a downfall, but this tool is great. You can see information about influencers like their likelihood to impact perception.

6. Followerwonk

Followerwonk is a Moz tool, and is a powerful Twitter search tool. You can search for users that have a large audience, and compare users based on filters you choose. You can also find influencers online which are already connected to your brand.

7. Twitter Lists

Whilst this isn’t an individual tool, it is a feature within Twitter’s broad range of functionality. Twitter Lists are great and I use them on a regular basis. If you want to follow what certain influencers are saying online, put them into a “private” list, and stay up to date with everything they are saying. Use this tool as a way of remembering all of the influencers you want to connect with.

Truly understand what you want to achieve, before spending your time on all of the above tools. Chose the tools that are relevant to what you are looking for, and stay focused. There are thousands of tools out there and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.

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