With the growing importance of influencer marketing, I still often get asked: Neal, how exactly do we go about finding influencers for our brand?
While there are tools that can definitely help you, hear me out as I explain how to search for influencers yourself using the social networks themselves.
This episode is actually a snippet from a new class I am teaching at UCLA Extension on influencer marketing. Hope you enjoy it!
[02:08] How I Teach Influencer Marketing
[03:29] How to Find Influencers
[05:55] Where to Begin Your Influencer Search
[07:33] Performing A Search In Facebook
[08:48] Finding Different Niches Within the Same Niche
[11:35] Performing A Search in LinkedIn
[12:29] Influencer Search in Pinterest
[14:08] The Core of Influencer Marketing
[14:58] 99-1 Rule
So you've bought into the fact that your business needs influencer marketing. The challenge now is how can you easily find influencers without the need to invest in a tool? Well, I'm going to teach you literally how to do exactly that. In this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast, digital social media content, influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick talking LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, SEM, PPC, email marketing. Whew. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on for expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach, and this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer, here. I am your digital marketing coach, and welcome to my podcast. I mentioned this on my previous episode. And if you are a subscriber to my newsletter content, which you should be just go to my site and fill out the form wherever you see it on the site. You will have known that I just started teaching my first class at UCLA Extension as an instructor in influencer marketing, I have taught at various universities over the years. Well, I'm really excited to be teaching at UCLA seeing that I am here a native Angeleno, Los Angeles, citizen and residents. But also the fact that I'm teaching about influencer marketing, which obviously has been my passion since embarking on writing the age of influence way back in 2018. And publishing it back in 2020. And really talking a lot about it ever since. Looking back at my podcast, though, I realized I haven't talked about influencer marketing recently. So I thought it would be fun to actually give you a preview or a little taste of how I teach influencer marketing. So what you're about to hear is a little snippet of one of my classes. And this little snippet goes into how if I was working with you, and you were representing a brand, how I would help you find influencers for free using social media. What I'm going to talk about is not rocket science, per se. But I'm hoping that if you haven't thought about it, that this will give you another tool in your toolbox to allow you to easily find people that you might want to consider collaborating for, for your brand, regardless of social network. And there's a lot of other advice that I weave in between talking about them some concepts that I think are really, really important to help you best understand and get the maximum ROI from your influencer marketing. So I'm really excited to share this with you. Because I know very few of you have ever taken one of my classes. And unless you're one of the people in this class at UCLA Extension, well, you probably will never have experienced my teaching. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it. And without further ado, here is how to easily find your influencers in social media. Alright, so let's now look at how we find influencers. Well, you know, there's lots of technology out there. But as I said before, some of the technology requires you to have a minimum of X number of followers, or they only looked at Instagram, or they only look at Tik Tok or YouTube, they don't look at a Twitter or a Facebook or a LinkedIn or what have you. So I say if you want to be influenced by someone, how would you find them? If you were looking for influencers? Let's say you have a brand of OSI, right? So you're looking for people that are talking about OSI so that you can encourage them to talk about your brand. It could be coffee, any drink, right, just as an example. Well, if you wanted to find people talking about OSI, and you wanted to be influenced by them, because you want to learn more about who's talking about OSI, and what are the great things, great recipes that you can use with OSI, how would you find them? Well, you would probably log into the social network of your choice, and you would literally do searches for them. So I'm going to show you here this is an example of a search for Hawaii travel tips on tick tock. Now tick tock is so technically advanced as a social network platform. You don't necessarily need to use a hashtag to find content. So if I'm looking for a Hawaii influencer, chances are they're publishing content about Hawaii travel tips, and this is where I would start so we already see A number of videos here that have more than 100,000 views. I'm going to start with those videos, I'm going to look at the content creators. And I'm going to start to compile a list of people that have a lot of followers have a lot of video views that are talking about Hawaii travel tips, or they're talking about whatever thing that we want to promote on social media, these are people that are already talking about it. So therefore, if we're a Hawaiian hotel, or we're Hawaiian Airlines, and we want people to talk about on tick tock, wouldn't we want to work with people that are already talking about that subject that already have built an audience, meaning that, well, if they talk about Hawaii, and every week, they're publishing a Hawaii travel tip video, and the average video views is 100,000, it's a pretty safe bet that if they work with us, and they create a Hawaii travel tip featuring our hotel, or our restaurant or our airline, that it's gonna get 100,000 views as well. So we begin to, you know, if you're looking for influencers, as part of your influencer, marketing strategy, content, part of your final project, this is where you start, you literally take out Excel or Google Sheets, whatever it is, and you start looking at who's posting about the subject who's talking about it, how many followers they have, how much engagement that they have, and other things that we'll be talking about very, very shortly, about these quantitative, these numerical ways of analyzing as one of these qualitative, or qualities, a little bit more esoterical, a little bit more subjective versus the objective numbers. And the numbers don't lie unless obviously, this fake following, but we're going to take that for granted right now. So this is tick tock and yes, you can use tick tock on a website as well. This is an example of a website view. A speaking of on website, this is Instagram, where we want to search by hashtags, that is the default, we have Hawaii travel tips, hey, here's one that has, you know, 5000 likes 74 comments, we probably want to check that as well. Who are these people that are creating this content? And what type of engagement are they getting? Can we find some people that seemed to be publishing more of this content, and therefore we begin to find those that have a greater share of voice. In other words, if we're looking at a week's worth of Hawaii travel tips, or maybe the last 20 posts, maybe there's two or three accounts that are getting 70% of the engagement. Those are the people obviously that have a majority share a voice. And those are the people we might want to consider for influencer marketing campaign. Well, Facebook, Facebook is really interesting. Obviously, I did the same Hawaii travel tip search. And a Facebook obviously is a lot more complex of a social network. But we can begin to see that in addition to, you know, posts, like photos, and videos, and pages and people, we can also find groups on Facebook, a lot of influencers have their own groups. And therefore if we can somehow befriend the group, owner of this Hawaii travel advice group, they have 82,000 members, those people probably hold a lot of influence, and might be able to help us get access to those 80,000 members, which is quite exciting, compared to all the other things that we've been looking at. So another way of finding influencers, Facebook gets a little bit more complex, we can still find, like I said, the posts the pages, like we did with the Tiktok and Instagram, but a another tool to help you find people that have influence because of the groups that they manage. We have YouTube, right, Hawaii travel tips. Once again, this makes it very easy. We see you know, Matt's travel tips, the Hawaii vacation guide that have 10s of 1000s If not over 100,000 subscribers, and their videos are getting quite a lot of views as well. So you're gonna find that there are different niches within the same niche. For instance, we have people, all they talk about is Hawaii travel. And then we're going to find other people that talk about travel. And then once in a while they talk about Hawaii travel, because they've been to Hawaii. So maybe as part of our campaign, we want to go deep with some of the Hawaii travel people. But also we want to leverage some of the general travel people. These are the things that as influencer marketers we begin to think about when we create campaigns and we begin to decide who are the influencers we want to work with. We have Twitter, Hawaii travel tips, Aloha Bruce has been quite influential. In the Hawaii travel space, someone that I actually have met in person. So I know that we have Maui Hawaii, which is not verified, but it's a number of Maui residents that are posting. These are people that also have influenced that we might want to consider as well. And guess what, just because we find them on Twitter doesn't mean that they they're not on Instagram. It doesn't mean that they're not on YouTube. Most influencers are on almost every social network, but some have more influence on some networks versus others. So you don't know what sort of performance you're going to get into work with these influencers, but we want to keep an eye out Have in mind now. And if you think that some of your audience might be on Twitter, will, you probably want to look for influencers there as well. Twitter is also very interesting because we have Twitter lists. So I can do this live in class, and I might, but we have a way here I'm going to show you. So I did the search for Hawaii travel tips, and I found Maui, Hawaii. So what I do now, and this little video that I shot, I'm going to click Maui, Hawaii and go to their profile. When I go to their profile. As I said, Maui residents sharing our favorite Hawaiian island news that looks great, they have 35,400 followers, I'm gonna go to these three dots. And I'm going to see view lists, the first thing you're gonna see are the lists that they created. That is not important, we want to see the lists that they're on. True influencers on Twitter, are on a lot of different lists. So you know, we see some of these might not be relevant, Maui, Hawaii, travel boom, these are people, there are 194 members of this list. And each of these members are considered influential because they were added to the list. So doing an analysis of Twitter lists, there are curated lists of influencers. And if we find the same accounts on multiple lists, then we know that they are probably quite influential. So just something else to think about another tool in your toolkit as an influencer marketer to begin to see who might be influential. And you'll see that this is an example of a list of just general travel where they only had one Hawaiian account, but I think you get a picture. All right, we have LinkedIn. Now LinkedIn is going to be a little bit different. If it is a consumer facing brand, or confute consumer facing topic, you're gonna get a lot of different results, you're gonna get people results in company results instead of post results. So an example Hawaii travel, hey, President at Laser Hawaii, creative producer and travel host, Director of travel and tourism, these might be we see that this person has 6100 followers. That would be you know, nano influencer level. For some of the others, we have to dig in their profiles. But you know, it really depends on the type of company you are and the type of influencers you want to work with. But LinkedIn might be a goldmine of influencers as well. And I want like I said, these are additional tools in your toolkit to allow you to efficiently find various people that are influential in the industries that you are targeting. What about Pinterest? Yes, Pinterest as well. Hawaii travel, we have people that have 90,000 followers, 50,000 followers, 30,000 followers, Guy Kawasaki, where he's more of a marketer, but he was born in Hawaii. So he talks about Hawaii as well. So yes, Pinterest is another way in which we can find people that are influential. And, you know, Pinterest actually generates website traffic, that Instagram or a Tik Tok might not generate as much of So once again, it depends on the objectives for your influencer marketing strategy, which we're going to talk about in week four when we talk about creating an influencer marketing strategy. But once again, this is another network that you should keep your eye on, especially if you're targeting a millennial or baby millennial or Gen X. female demographic, especially if you have an E commerce product, which is Pinterest real strong suit. What about Google? Absolutely. Hawaii travel tips. Who are the blogs that are coming up here? Hawaii troubled kids.com Their number one for this that has extreme influence? Right? You know, they might get 1000 visitors a day to this blog post, they may get 10,000 visitors a day to their blog. So once again, we don't want to ignore this. And Google is another source that we can use to try to find influences. What about podcasts, this is listen notes.com We do a search for Hawaii travel and then boom. These are other areas, we might want to look at these people see who they are, they might be not as large of followings on an Instagram or Tiktok. But they might be reasonable. But guess what? This is the Top 1% Top 1.5% of all Hawaii travel podcasts. So we might want to consider partnering with them as well, if we think the podcast audience is relevant to our target demographic, so lots of different ways to find influencers, there's not one right or wrong way. But this gives you a collection of tools that you can use to begin to discover who are the people talking about a certain subject, and therefore who are the people that we might want to partner with or collaborate with, because they have the ear or the eyes of all these people or you know, watching videos, listening to podcast, watching reels, social media posts, they have their attention. And that is really the core of influencer marketing of leveraging these people that have other people's attention so that those other people can learn more about our brand and products. Now, I believe I talked about this in week one, if not my apologies. But we have the 99 one Rule, which is that only 1% of social media users or internet users are actual content creators. An overwhelming majority of us are lurkers, we watch a tick tock. We watch a real, we watch a YouTube video, but we never like or even comment on it, right? Maybe 9% of us like your comment. I don't even know if it's that much. But very, very few people create content. That's what I want you to remember here, you may think, well, they only have 2000 followers. Well, there are when you get to a certain subjects, there aren't that many people that are creating content around those subjects. And therefore, you really want to treat them as influencer royalty, even if they don't have a million followers, because there just aren't that many people that are talking about that subject online. And therefore, there's fewer choices for your influencer marketing campaigns. So just something to think about even someone that is a nano influencer, because they've been creating content there at the top 1% of social media users, just a concept that I want you to always remember, so that you don't take influence from content creators for granted. All right, that was fun, me going through my course recordings, and trying to figure out what I wanted to share with you. So I hope you enjoy that. And gives you a nice refresher on what you want to be doing with your influencer marketing as it really becomes more and more important for any business, regardless of your industry. And hopefully, I illustrated by even talking about LinkedIn, for instance, that it can be b2c can be b2b, it can be anything. But the core fact is that people are influenced by people because they follow them for a reason. And often that follow begins with a search. So take advantage of that. And it really is a basic concept. But I think it clears up confusion. And it gives you a lot of clarity, and hopefully confidence that you can go out there and find more and more relevant people to collaborate with in social media. All right, hey, do you know that I have a bunch of free resources on my site, Neal schaffer.com, if you go to the main menu, there is a freebies tab. And if you go there, you'll find a few free ebooks that I have a free I have a free email marketing guide, I have a free LinkedIn maximizing LinkedIn for business guide, I have a guest blogging guide, a few other resources, a resource on digital marketing tools that I recommend. So if you haven't checked it out, that will also opt you into my newsletters so that you can keep abreast of what I'm doing in the world. Go to Neal schaffer.com/freebies. That's f r e but that FREB i e s Hey, when I stutter on words, I just want to let you know, I speak Japanese in my household half the time so I actually somewhat have an excuse. But regardless, maybe I'm a natural stutter. There's nothing wrong with that. I don't know. But regardless, that is my disclaimer, when sometimes that happens during my podcast. And you know what, that shouldn't stop you from shooting a video recording a podcast going out there and showing up on social media. Right? There's nothing to be afraid of. It's not a big deal. So I'll just stop there. I didn't want to make a big thing out of it. Just something that I thought about that I do speak Japanese a lot and therefore it can affect when I'm on the fly speaking English. I will you know, even like right now. I'm just trying to think of the right words to say, All right, well, that is me trying to be raw and authentic, as they say in air quotes. But hey, thanks again for joining me on this journey. Man. Next week. Okay, next episode is, well, actually, I should say the next two interview episodes. Okay, episodes number 279. And 281. I get excited for all of my interview episodes. But these two are really awesome episodes. One is about web three, and integrating web three into your product. Yeah, exactly. I think you're really going to be fascinated with how we can leverage web three for marketing. And the next one is I interview perhaps the number one thought leader in YouTube marketing, and it is an amazing interview. I've already recommended it to people without publishing it yet. So make sure you hit that subscribe button is the net net of this and you will not regret it. There's some great content coming your way. But hey, that's it for another episode. Make sure you always, always, always keep your eye on that goal, whether it's influencer marketing or anything digital or marketing related or business related or life related. This is your digital marketing coach Neal Schaffer signing off. 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