Mining Twitter Influentials

Those of you who have heard me pontificate on the state of PR in 2011 will no doubt have heard me say that even with all the disruption, my clients still clamor to see their products, services and POVs positioned positively in the media.

And hopefully that positive media attention will measurably accrue to their bottom lines and reputations. I mean what’s the point (and your worth) in generating media coverage that doesn’t produce a redemptive result?

Of course, the media landscape itself has changed dramatically as have the strategies we deploy to build that media presence. (Think original content creation, syndication and socialization.)

We’re in an era when individuals with large Twitter (and blog) followings have the capacity to catalyze conversations more readily than mainstream news coverage. Just consider how quickly Jeff Jarvis’s #F*ckYouWashington tweet set tongues-a-waggin far and wide. (The hashtag appeared in 100,000 tweets and counting.)

Are my clients asking me to bypass NBC “Today” or USA Today? Hardly. But the identification and engagement of online influencers as a means to create a groundswell of awareness and action has become an essential PR competency, not to mention an industry. My friends over at Converseon, which offers its blue chip clients some very sophisticated conversation mining tools, pointed me to Ken Burbury’s wiki list of social media monitoring solutions.

More significantly, we’re finally seeing some action in the Twitter-mining space for identifying influencers. Granted Twitter’s archives only goes back so far, but there are a rash of new tools available to help distill actionable data. Here’s a (nowhere near complete) rundown of Twitter influencer mining tools, and a few for blogs too:

  • Listorious – Search over two million top Twitter users
  • Muckrack – Discover what’s happening right now in the world of journalism. (Keep an eye on Muckrack for even more PR-beneficial product enhancements.)
  • TweetLevel – “TweetLevel is a Twitter measurement tool” that hopes to give Klout a run for its money.
  • Follower Wonk – “Meet the first miners of the new social graph” (@rww via The New York Times)
  • Tweet Grader – “Twitter Grader is a free tool that allows you to check the power of your twitter profile compared to millions of other users that have been graded.” (Searchable too.)
  • Twellow – Find Twitter users anywhere.
  • Siftee (beta) – Master your social web
  • Twitalyzer (premium) – Twitalyzer’s Search functionality combines current search results from Twitter Search with Twitalyzer data.
  • PeopleBrowsr (premium) – Identify top influencers, map degrees of separation, see your interest graph and find your brand champions.
  • mPact by mBlast (premium) – It’s a great resource to read articles by the top influencers on any subject, and engage with them.
  • PeerIndex (premium) – Identify and engage the authorities relevant to your business
  • Traackr (premium) – Find the influencers who matter most to you.
  • BlogLevel – A nifty little [blog] measurement tool from Edelman.

For more Twitter tools covering just about any need, be sure to also check out oneforty.

Two more from Buzzstream’s @PaulMay

  • Formulists – Organize, manage and expand your Twitter community through smart Twitter lists
  • Export.ly – Export.ly makes it easy to get useful social media data.
    Analyze your Twitter audience, Facebook fan page, and more with an awesome spreadsheet full of data. Easy “pay per export” model.

1 Comment

  1. paulmay
    August 4, 2011

    <p>
    </p><p><span>Two that I’d add to the list are formulist and export.ly.  </span><span>formulist gives you tons of ways to find influencers and then turn them into lists.<span>  </span>You can make lists of people based on keywords in their bio, their location, etc.<span>  </span>You can take other people’s lists and merge them into a single list (for example, if you find two really good lists in a vertical, you can merge them into a single list) search to find out who someone talks to/retweets most and turn them into a list, etc.<span>  Export.ly lets you </span></span><span>export your following/followers/lists to excel and creates summary reports.  The reports are excellent, but I’m more interested in the raw data that’s exported.  I use it to export lists to find the people who are most frequently included in other people’s lists (i.e., I use formulist to copy lists, export the lists using export.ly and run pivot tables in excel to find the ones included in multiple lists).</span>

    </p>