Five (mostly free) tools to identify online influencers in specific locations
Online influencers are defined as people who have the ability to shape conversations in their niche with more impact than ‘everyday’ online participants.
The most common misconception when it comes to online influencers is that their ability to shape conversations is based on the size of their networks (or total audience).
This is not to say audience isn’t important, but a combination of relevance, resonance and reach is a better way of looking at things.
As part of this three-pronged identification process, the location of online participants can play a key role (depending on the nature of the activity).
So, this post is going to look at a series of (mostly free) tools that can be used to narrow down influencer identification down by location.
FollowerWonk is a tool that allows you to do a number of things including compare Twitter users, analyse your own followers and track followers.
But, the most handy feature of FollowerWonk is the ability to search Twitter bios by location.
As you can see in the example below, I’ve searched for “social media Melbourne” and it has provided me with list of people who match this criteria, and who can then be sorted by other factors including follower count, tweet count and influence (social authority).
As with all the tools shown here, this is just the start of the identification process but an important first step.
PeerReach is a tool which uses an algorithm to rank influencers based on the interaction they receive in a specific location.
In this instance, we couldn’t search as specifically as “social media Melbourne” but we were able to access a list of “marketing” influencers in Australia.
Some additional manual filtering would need to take place from here to obtain details like specific city location, but at the very least it does provide another reference point which will enable you to narrow things down.
People often forget that Twitter has an advanced search capability which allows you to search by very specific locations.
In this case, I searched for “#socialmedia, social media marketing, social media Melbourne” and got back a combination of suggestions from Twitter as well as some recent Tweets that matched my criteria.
Twitter’s location search allows you to capture tweets within a 15 mile radius of the location in question which is really useful for brands and businesses that have physical locations and want to identify conversations drivers in vicinity to those locations.
GroupHigh is a fantastic tool which will help you find relevant bloggers and online conversation drivers.
Even though this is a ‘paid’ tool, it provides users with a number of advanced search filters to help develop the most robust list possible.
Again, some manual analysis will be required, but GroupHigh is a tool we use regularly and can’t recommend it highly enough.
In the example below, we used the same search terms, “social media Melbourne” and could break down the results by mentions and core topic.
WeFollow.com is a directory of Twitter users which can be searched by topic specialism and keyword.
It is completely free to use and provides it’s own influence ratings (from 0 – 100).
On this occasion, we ran a search for “social media marketing Melbourne” and got these results back (including the profile of yours truly).
As mentioned up top, influencer identification can be useful if looked at from the right way(s).
A very simple way it can be used is to develop a list of people most relevant to your business that you can follow and engage with on Twitter.
In other cases, it can help develop collaboration projects.
However, these tools are never silver bullets, a great deal of human interpretation and additional research is required.