Identifying Twitter Influencers for Smarter Influencer Marketing on Twitter

Identifying Twitter Influencers for Smarter Influencer Marketing on Twitter


Content manager at Brand24 | Writer & Host of #SocialRecap

As of 2017, there are approximately 69 million active monthly users on Twitter, making it one of the biggest social networks in the US.

Most likely, your family, friends, colleagues, mailman, dog walker – they all have personal Twitter profiles… as well as your potential customers. Consider the steady growth in the number of active monthly users on Twitter for the past 7 years:

chart showing growth of active monthly Twitter users from 2010-2017

Moreover, recent studies from Twitter have shown that:

  • Customers spend 3-20% more on the average price of a product or service when a brand responds to their tweet.
  • Users are 44% more likely to share their positive experiences – both online and offline – when a business responds to them on Twitter.
    • Correspondingly, they’re also 30% more likely to recommend the business to others and give them high NPS scores.
  • And even when a customer tweets negative feedback on Twitter, 69% of users start to feel better about the brand when it responds to their concerns.

This is why your brand needs to build a strong presence on Twitter.

Especially because Twitter is here to stay

Twitter gave itself an update just last year by extending its legendary low character limit from 140 to 280 characters per Tweet. For anyone who’s ever Tweeted anything that was exactly 140 characters long, you know what I’m talking about. (How often are Tweets coincidentally 140 characters long? Pretty much never. If a Tweet was exactly 140 characters long, it’s because you had to make it fit – by creatively shaving off words & punctuation. Hence, the extended character limit.)

When a company is smart enough to evolve with the market by introducing new features and making necessary updates, you know they mean business.

Now, how do you reach these 69 million active monthly users on Twitter (and this is just the number of active Twitter accounts in the US)?

Twitter influencer marketing

Who are Twitter influencers?

Twitter influencers are experts at engaging audiences on Twitter, and each one is focused on a slightly different topic.

Food influencers in the foodie sphere often dole out cooking tips, share their favorite recipes, and recommend delicious restaurants and food items. Sports aficionados engage conversations about the kind of equipment they use, the gyms they go to, their preferred brand of athletic wear and other related topics. Every industry, niche and brand has its own set of influencers.

Whether they’re working with other brands to increase their brand awareness or generating buzz for their own personal brands, all influencers on Twitter have sizable followings who are more than just numbers – they’re actively engaged users who value and pay attention to what their favorite Twitter influencers have to say.

Now, what should you look for in a Twitter influencer for your own brand? What makes one different from the other?

Who is the ideal Twitter influencer for your brand?

If there’s only one thing I could stress, it would be this:

Not every Twitter influencer is going to be a good fit for your brand.

mystery icon of unknown Twitter user

No matter how many followers they have or how many likes and retweets they get, if the influencers you’re interested in don’t possess the qualities below, they’re not going to be a good match for your brand.

Twitter influencer marketing checklist:

  • Any Twitter influencer that works with your brand should have the same target audience – at least as a subset.
  • Their image or online persona should fit your brand personality.
  • They should genuinely like your brand. You might not see this as a requirement, but trust me – your Twitter influencer will be so much more inspired and create infinitely better content if they truly appreciate your product or brand.

Now, let’s move onto identifying the Twitter influencers who would be a good match for your brand!

How to identify Twitter influencers who match your brand

Identifying Twitter influencers who match your brand is a 2-part affair. Part one is about tracking down Twitter influencers who already know your brand and like it (they’ll create better content when they genuinely appreciate your product). Part two is about narrowing down the list to identify the TOP Twitter influencer who will be the best match for your brand. Social listening plays a key role here.

What is social listening?

Social listening is about paying attention to public online conversations about your brand, company, product, or even your competitors – so you can find key customer insights. It’s a simple concept: by monitoring relevant keywords and phrases online, you find out who talks about these topics, and when and where it happens.

Brand24 also gives you detailed reports & infographics based on your data, along with access to a wide selection of filters that help you zero in on key pieces of information. It definitely beats searching for conversations containing your keywords manually… across 100+ different platforms and websites.

This video clip gives you a general overview of social listening:

Monitor your company online with social listening and get a free report to see where you stand in terms of brand sentiment, customer engagement, influence and social media reach. Data from social listening can also be analyzed to improve your customer service, generate leads, create buyer personae, protect your brand reputation and more.

Now, lets see who would make the best Twitter influencer for your brand!

Part One: Identifying influencers on Twitter who know and like your brand

Step 1. Identify potential Twitter influencers for your brand with social listening

Create a social listening project to monitor mentions of your brand* on the Internet.

*If your brand is still relatively unknown and doesn’t generate too much buzz, track industry keywords for your niche instead. This will help you find industry Twitter influencers who can help you increase your brand awareness by letting their audiences know about your brand and the products and services you offer – in the personal style that their followers have grown to know and love.

Since this is the month for holiday parties, and none of us want to spend too much time cleaning up afterwards… let’s see what’s been going on in the land of festive, red disposable cups. (Hey, Solo!)

Just enter your brand, product, or key industry terms in your niche as keywords and phrases in your social listening project.

What the keywords for tracking a brand like Solo Cup would look like:

keywords for tracking Solo brand - Solo Cup and Solo Cups

What the keywords for tracking key industry + niche terms for Solo Cup would look like:

keywords for tracking industry and niche terms

After you’ve entered all your keywords and phrases, click on NEXT, select the language you want to monitor, and then you’ll find yourself inside your project dashboard. This is where you can see all the mentions for the keywords you’re monitoring.

view of dashboard

I planned ahead and started this project a while ago for more historical data, which is why I already have 2,197 mentions of Solo.

You don’t need to collect so many mentions to find Twitter influencers for your brand, but more data always leads to better and more informed choices.

Step 2. Identify potential Twitter influencers for your brand in the Analysis Tab

To identify the top Twitter influencers who talk about your brand (or niche) most often, enter your Analysis Tab, located on the left side of your dashboard.

arrow pointing to Analysis Tab in dashboard

Brand24 automatically analyzes all your mentions and lists them by order of importance in several different categories:

  • The most popular mentions
  • The most popular authors
  • Mentions by categories
  • Influence of social media authors
  • Most active social media authors
  • Most active sites
  • Most influential sites
  • Context of a discussion

Since you want to find top Twitter influencers, we can set the results in the Analysis Tab to show only mentions from Twitter. From your Analysis Tab, select Filter mentions on the upper right hand side:

arrow pointing to Filter Mentions button in Analysis Tab

A popup window will appear for filtering data. Scroll down and check the box for Twitter under Category Filter. Click on the Close button at the bottom and your Analysis Tab will only display results from Twitter.

View of Twitter box and Close button for pop-up window

Step 3. Identify potential Twitter influencers for your brand with influence score

The top Twitter influencers for your brand will be on your list for Influence of Social Media Authors in the Analysis Tab. This is what that list looks like for Solo:

List of social media authors by Influence score in Analysis Tab

I guess it comes as no surprise that no blogs about disposable silverware made the list, but it is interesting that 5 min. crafts is numero uno. Maybe instead of serving up drinks, more people are using Solo Cups for crafts and other activities? Since customers seem to be interested in what else they can do with with these shiny red cups besides drink out of them, Solo could work with crafty influencers who can show people different ways to repurpose Solo Cups!

If crafts and games aren’t the route that Solo Cup wants to take, they could also look into the other influential authors on the list. It looks like food and drink-related profiles like Del Monte Kitchenomics, Delish, and Recipes from Heaven (among others) have also been mentioning Solo Cup online.

Get a free list of potential Twitter influencers for your own brand. To narrow down Twitter influencers for your product even more thoroughly, create separate social listening projects for each influencer that you’re interested in. Then, analyze their reputations with Brand24’s Sentiment Filter.

Part Two: Narrow down the list of potential Twitter influencers for your brand to find THE best match

Step 1. Identify the TOP Twitter influencer with social listening

Create social listening projects for each specific Twitter influencer you’re interested in. It’s just like monitoring your brand or industry, only your keywords will be Twitter usernames.

keywords for tracking Twitter influencers

Step 2. Identify the TOP Twitter influencer by reputation

As you look over the online mentions for each Twitter influencer, really get to know them and see them from their audience’s perspective by applying the Sentiment Filter to mentions of their names and Twitter handles.

Inside your project dashboard, you’ll see a Sentiment bar on the top right hand side. Move it to the left to see all negative mentions of your Twitter influencer, and to the right side to see all positive mentions. Keeping it in the middle shows you all mentions.

Arrow pointing to Sentiment filter in dashboard

At the top of your line graph showing Number of mentions and Social media reach, click on Show Sentiment to see how your Twitter influencer’s sentiment levels change over time. You can set the time period to see sentiment on a particular day, or view changes in sentiment over a year, weeks, or months.

Arrow pointing to Show Sentiment button in dashboard

If you notice any surges in negative or positive sentiment for a Twitter influencer, check their mentions for that time period to find out what may have caused the sudden negative or positive buzz around them. Did they do or say something to offend their audience? Do they practice behavior that you don’t want associated with your brand?

View of sudden increases in number of positive mentions in sentiment line graph

Compare sentiment (aka reputation) levels for each Twitter influencer to see which one would be the best choice for your brand.

That’s it! You’ve identified the ideal Twitter influencer(s) who would be the best match for your brand!

Highlights: how to identify Twitter influencers for smarter influencer marketing on Twitter

  1. Track your brand (or industry + niche keywords) with social listening to find a short list of potential Twitter influencers who already know and like your brand – because it’s always better to work with friends.
  2. Create individual social listening projects for each Twitter influencer you’re interested in. See what their audiences are saying about them and find the Twitter influencer who is the best match for your brand.

If you haven’t already, create a free social listening project with Brand24 to identify Twitter influencers for smarter influencer marketing on Twitter!