How (and Why) To Stalk Influencers

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Recently, someone asked us at Raven, “How is the smaller marketer supposed to get an audience?”

While there are hundreds of tactics, there’s one way that always works: building relationships with influencers using social media marketing and monitoring tools, like Raven.


Here’s the scenario: You’re trying to draw attention to your brand. Your goal is maximum brand visibility. So you start by spreading the brand message to your known audience — employees, customers, partners, etc. They’re most invested in your brand and most likely to spread your message.

But influencers are like megaphones. If you can find one to spread your message, they’ll amplify it to the widest possible audience.

Score an influencer, and you’ll score maximum brand visibility.

In a recent Raven online training class, we explored more than a dozen tools and methods to find influencers and stalk them by uncovering their content, interests and relationships. Watch the video recording for fresh ideas and practical advice.

(As for how to build relationships with influencers, that’s a topic for another day.)

5 More Resources To Explore

We spent most of the training class exploring tools. As many as we reviewed — such as Icerocket, Sonor Solo and Newsle — there are more worth a look. Here are two more tools and three helpful guides you should explore:

  1. Rapportive: At some point, you’re going to want to email your influencer. Install the Rapportive browser extension and use it with Gmail. Take educated guesses at email addresses, and Rapportive will show you if you’re right. Plus, it’s a great tool for at-a-glance contact information, including social accounts and recent email exchanges.
  2. Talkwalker Alerts: Wondering if your Google Alerts are pulling in everything? Set up the same search and alerts at Talkwalker’s free site. Then compare results. You’ll probably turn up a few new influencers for your topic.
  3. The Giant List of Facebook Graph Search Queries: Use Facebook Graph Search to find influencers, and start with this list from Joe Youngblood of WrightIMC. As discussed during the training class, be sure to look at the Likes of your influencers to find common ground or conversation topics.
  4. Stalking for Links: There’s a lot to glean from an inspection of the slides from this presentation by Wil Reynolds, founder of SEER Interactive, especially if you love RSS and spreadsheets.
  5. My Social Media Monitoring Schedule: The Day, The Week, The Month: Take a look at how our former Community Manager used Raven to nurture customers and brand advocates.

10 Raven Tools That Help You Find and Stalk Influencers

Several of these tools were demonstrated in action during the live training class, so be sure to watch the video recording for walkthroughs and more details.

  1. Persona Manager: Start with their Twitter handle — many people use the same username when possible. Results are broken down by interest categories, and that’s a good way to learn some of the hobbies and passions of your influencer.
  2. Research Central: Who’s ranking for a specific name? You can search Google, of course. But from within Raven, just head to Research Central and enter any person’s name (or, say, their Twitter handle). Click on the Competitors’ tab. You’ll immediately see a list of the Top 25 websites ranking for that name based on data compiled from Bing, Majestic SEO and Moz.
  3. Site Finder: Use Site Finder to reverse-engineer the websites that are linking to (and ranking for) any name. You’ll find relationships between people and/or organizations that you might not have uncovered otherwise.
  4. Link Manager: Store links to all the articles that an influencer publishes or is mentioned in. Then create some custom statuses — think “Need To Share” and “Shared” — and use the Notes section so you and your team can keep up. In time, asking for a return favor will be easier if you can mention their article or an article about them that you found interesting or shared.
  5. Contact Relationship Manager (CRM): Raven’s CRM was built for SEO, social media and content marketing needs. So it pulls in the live stream and data for your influencer’s Twitter account; it helps you create recurring tasks related to a person; gives you places to leave notes about a person for team members to see; links to any content related to a contact that you’ve added to Raven’s Link Manager; and incorporates Message Templates for consistent communication.
  6. Social Monitor: You can use Social Monitor to find influencers (via topic or industry monitoring) and to track mentions of influencers (via name or RSS monitoring). Get creative with the advanced Social Monitor options to create a search as specific as this: “For the phrase “electric cars”, only return results from people with Twitter accounts that have between 1,000 and 4,999 followers.”
  7. Twitter: Speaking of Twitter, did you know that you can do advanced Twitter searches and create/edit Twitter lists in Raven? Or that you can add a person to Raven’s CRM from the Twitter tool? Use advanced searches to find influencers. Use lists and the CRM to keep track of them. You can also look at any public lists that another Twitter account has created or belongs to — a great way to find out who your influencer thinks is important and any co-influencers.
  8. Social Stream: With Social Stream, you can wrap up ALL the monitoring that you’re doing for a topic (to find influencers) or of an individual (to find mentions) into a single real-time view. It’s maximum automation for the fastest results.
  9. Task Manager: Assign yourself tasks to follow up with influencers. You can even set them to be recurring, such as “@ reply Influencer X every week on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays on Twitter.” Raven’s system will alert you when it’s time to do that relationship building.
  10. Site Auditor: Run a Site Auditor crawl on your influencer’s website. Take five broken links that the audit uncovered and go find the correct links. Email your influencer with a note like, “Came across these broken links on your site and thought you might appreciate the updated URLs.” If none of the “correct links” are yours — if you’re totally selfless here 😉 — you may have the beginning of a good, honest relationship.

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Every Thursday at 11 a.m. CST a Raven expert teaches a new training class focused on making you a smarter marketer. Sign up here.

Previous Marketing Flight School sessions

Have ideas for other Raven training sessions and the topics you’d like to see covered? Let us know in the comments!

Man and megaphone photo from Flickr’s Very Quiet, featuring a Creative Commons attribution license.

  • Emmett Smith

    Sometimes I think influences feed off the rest of us.

  • Greg Dixson

    some good tips and tools there Arienne. I’m now going to mash up some RSS feeds 🙂