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 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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