How to Find Influencers on Twitter

Following a tip-off from webmetricsguru (Marshall Sponder), I've been trying out Tweepsearch as a method of finding influencers in various vertical industry niches. He suggested that Tweepsearch's results,...

TweepsearchFollowing a tip-off from webmetricsguru (Marshall Sponder), I’ve been trying out Tweepsearch as a method of finding influencers in various vertical industry niches. He suggested that Tweepsearch’s results combined with an Excel spreadsheet are the most effective free method of quickly identifying the movers and shakers in a specific industry or for a chosen topic. And you know, I think he’s right.

While the UI could be improved, this isn’t one of those crappy, two-a-penny social media search tools that have sprung up recently. It’s a proper search tool that not only enables you to search for Twitter users by name and keyword (mentioned in their Twitter Profile) – it also lets you drill down and search within a Twitter users’ Followers or Friends. This isn’t at all apparent from the site, or it’s basic Help page, but with a bit of playing, you’ll figure it out.

By searching first for a user (e.g. oursocialtimes), then using some of the site’s search syntax terms – e.g. only:followers – you can get to some really interesting results. For example, the search term:  “social media” only:followers  shows you how many of your followers have mentioned the term “social media” in their Profile. You can then filter the results according to how many Followers they have, thus producing a list of the most “influential” Followers you have on the subject of social media. These people are ripe to have relationships cultivated with them in order to maximise the viral spread of your “social media”-related Tweets.

You can also use Tweepsearch for location searches – e.g. to find all your Followers who live in your town (Meetup anyone?) – and to get a list of your mutual connections, to see who’s not Following you, or who you need to Follow. It’s uses for adding to your Friends and encouraging more Followers are varied and valuable. In short, it’s all you need to find out who’s who on Twitter.

I’ve tried a few of these services, including Twinfluence and TwitterCounter, but this is the best yet. It’s also quicker and cheaper than most social media monitoring services. Give it a try and drop me a comment with your thoughts.

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  1. Avatar

    Azeem Reply


    We are building something similar, although very much focussed on business and finance verticals. We’ve found you need to do more substantial semantic analysis to really grind out who is valuable. Follower/following ratios being only one part of the equation.

  2. Avatar

    Luke Brynley-Jones Reply

    Interesting. At first glance your service, Viewsflow, looks more like an Alltop or Postrank-type social filter for business articles, rather than a means of finding influencers. But I need to try it out properly.

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    Alison Lapping Reply

    Looks like a good tool, but am concerned about how accurate it is, as I can’t find my own Twitter accounts on it?! A system like this needs to be as up to date as possible in order to be useful, as Twitter etc changes and develops at such a fast rate.

  4. Le Blog de Synthesio » Blog Archive » 3 ways to identify influencers in social media Reply

    […] influencers on Twitter that are within your scope, but there are other tools available such as Tweepsearch, Klout, […]

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    imeyesite Reply

    Import all your keywords into a single (or multiple) adgroup. An adgroup can hold up to 2000 keywords so you may need to have more than one.The keyword grouper will then give you the possibility of importing text ads in each new adgroup to be created.

    But the best keyword research tool, the most appropriate keyword research software is imeyesite.

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    Stuart Felkner Reply

    TweepSearch is great! It is the only program with a large index of Tweeters that allows you to filter by location, and followers. However, does anyone know of a way to filter by location, followers, and last tweet or update? I have been having to use Twitter for this and it is very time consuming. The “last updated” feature on TweepSearch is not up to date. Any suggestions?

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    Avalaunch Reply

    Tweepsearch seems to be out for the count. The better bet now is probably Klout.