How to Find Influencers on Twitter

twitter influencersWho are the key influencers in your industry on Twitter that you need to connect with?

Networking with people who have a large audience, and whose audience pays attention to what they have to say, is very useful for you, when their audience is your potential audience!

But before you go off and build these relationships, you need to put in a bit of work upfront to identify who these influencers are.  Of course, we have some tools that will help!

The idea for this post came from my friend Ramon De Leon



1. Twtrland

Twtrland is a powerful tool for analyzing Twitter accounts (and other social networks are now supported).  It divides people into over 40,000 categories so you can really distil down and find the right people in the right categories.

You start off by searching for influencers based on category, and then you specify the country (this is optional).


Search based on skill and country


You are then presented with a list of search results.  You can see on the right-hand side that they are rated by amplification, reach and relevance. You can sort the results based on these ratings.


twtrland influencers

This is your core list but now you can start filtering the list further


Here’s what you can do with this list:

a) You see there are some additional filters on the left-hand side.  The filtering is really powerful: for example, I could say that I’m only interested in entrepreneurs who are involved in social media and live in Nova Scotia in Canada.

b) Add these to a list – You can create your own private list so you keep track of these influencers once you’ve found the right people.  You can even export this list to an excel file.

c) View a a full profile of each member on the list, including stats on their activity/engagement and details of their top posts.

Twtrland has a very extensive database with some great filtering options.  Well worth exploring.


2. Little Bird

I recently tested out Little Bird and was impressed by the results it achieved.  It identifies influencers by seeing how many other influencers are connected with them.

It makes sense that, if you’re influential, other people who are influential will follow and engage with you.  Littlebird works out a score called an ‘Insider score’ and displays people based on this.

The higher the insider score within your category, the more influential you are considered to be in that category.

LittleBird Insider Score

Find the insiders!


Other features of Little Bird:

  • Popular content – When you identify an influencer list, you can see the most popular content they share.  This is probably going to be great content for you to share out also.
  • Discover people to connect to – You’ll find out, based on your influencer list, who you are not following that you should be.  So it’s a good way of identifying new, relevant people to connect with.
  • Blogs – You can browse through the latest blog posts by the influencers.
  • Country filters – You can filter your influencers by country if there’s a specific country you want to target.
  • Export reports – You can export the reports you produce (this depends on your subscription level).

3. FollowerWonk

FollowerWonk is owned by the guys at Moz who have a range of tools available for social media and SEO.  One way of finding a group of people is by creating a filter.  Within the filter you can set the topic, location, follower count, following count etc.


followerwonk filters

Apply a range of filters to get the best results


Here’s an example of the results available with the free subscription; more information is available with the paid subscription.


followerwonk list

View a filtered list that is sortable


Other features of Followerwonk:

Compare users –  You can compare up to 3 users to find out who their common followers are.  This is a great way of finding relevant people to follow.  Pick out 3 of your influencers and find the people followed by all 3 of them.

Analyze followers – Analyze the followers of any particular Twitter account. Find out their gender, location, follower count, social authority etc.

Track followers – Show changes in followers over the last 60 days for any particular account.

Sort followers –  Sort your followers by social authority, how old the account is, the number of followers and people they are following, or the number of tweets.

4.  Twitonomy

Twitonomy provides very detailed profile information on Twitter followers.  If you find an influencer and want a very detailed profile analysis, this is a very useful tool.

One really useful way of finding influencers is to identify the people who a key influencer talks to on a regular basis.  The following shows an example of who a user is retweeting the most and who they are replying to the most.



This is who the person is interacting with the most


When someone becomes influential, they cannot possibly reply or interact with everyone.  Imagine following 100,000 people and trying to keep up!

So what they typically do is create a filtered list with people that they do want to make sure to interact with.  Because of this, these are the people they tend to interact with the most.  They share their content, reply to their tweets and thank them for sharing their content.

So, finding out who they are talking to regularly is a good source of influencers.  These may be high-profile influencers, but it may also be people who are not yet that high profile, but are being watched by the influencers!  These are the up-and-coming influencers and/or people who have access to the influencers, so it’s worth connecting with them yourself, too.

5. SocialBro

SocialBro provides very good filters based on searches you perform on Twitter.  You can search profiles based on the keywords in people’s bio and location, and then sort this list based on a variety of categories.

The influence filter is based on an influence-scoring mechanism called ‘Kred’, where people are rated out of 1,000.  This is not a perfect rating system (neither are similar systems like Klout, Peer Index etc.) but this, together with other filters applied, can help find some great people worth connecting with.



There are really good, comprehensive filters available through Socialbro


For example, you could show people who have a Kred score of above 800, who appear in over 1,000 lists, and who have 5 times more followers than the number they are following.


Influence marketing is all about identifying who has influence within your industry or niche and marketing directly to them.

Think about it like this: there are influencers within most niches or industries on the web and they have an existing audience, so the ultimate aim of using these tools is that you will be able to tap into that audience and use it to market your products or services.

The tools help find influencers.  They are not the 100% solution but they are a good starting point.

What’s next?

Think about how you can be more strategic with the people you connect with on Twitter.  Have you spent time figuring out who the influencers are within your industry?

Based on this post, why don’t you start building that list?  Use a tool such as Hootsuite to create a separate column with all the influencers you are targeting, so you can start tracking them.

Or you could share this post.

Or comment below, we always love to get your comments.



  • Judy Gombita

    I can’t help but notice how many MALE faces are in your Influencers examples (despite the fact that women “hold up half of the sky” and/or are responsible for more than half of all purchasing decision). #justsayin #notinfluenced

    • Ian Cleary

      Yes totally non intentional!

  • VincentWright

    FANTASTIC share, Ian

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Vincent.

  • venkyiyer58

    What’s your recommendation, Ian? Which of the tools you have written about is the best?

    • Ian Cleary

      That’s a very hard question as they all are very useful. I like them all for different reasons!

  • Bryan Collins

    I like Followerwonk as you can use it to identify influencers and then pick the best times to send your tweets.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Bryan, a lot of support for Followerwonk!

  • AmyVernon

    Followerwonk is my favorite. Love, love, love them. I used to use TweetSpinner, which was created by the Followerwonk folks before the Moz acquisition. A lot of its best qualities were pulled into Followerwonk after it was sunsetted.

    I think it’s time to check out LittleBird again. I was underwhelmed when I gave it a spin a while back.

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Amy
      Yes I like Littlebird and I don’t use Followerwonk enough but will go back to it!

  • Angela Pitter

    Both Followerwonk and Twitnonomy are my favs. With Followerwonk I like how you can compare the followers of 3 users, but I also I appreciate their “Social Authority” ranking. You’ll see people with tons of followers but low ranking, which typically indicates low engagement with their network. And with Twitnonomy I like to see which tweets of influencers were retweeted and favorited the most and how often they tweet. I’ll have to check out LittleBird as well.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Angela! Comparing the 3 users is a really good feature!

  • Steve Ardire

    @Tellagence predicts behaviors, shared interests, relationships to find the right influencers and harder to detect Micro Influencers ( read ) that these other tools don’t do well.

    • Ian Cleary

      Very interesting Steve. I reviewed Insightpool recently and they try to identify the micro influencers. People that have smaller followings but are very focussed on the specific topic that a brand is interested in. They also get good engagement but from a smaller group. I think this is going to be really important to identify these going forward. Thanks for your great feedback, Ian

      • Steve Ardire

        Ian welcome and absolutely right on micro influencers which is mostly not done well but important for specific topics, communities, and brands. If you want to Tellagence review demo like you did for Insightpool send email to Matt Hixson CEO

        • Ian Cleary

          Great thanks Steve.

  • junaid ahmed

    You rocked once again! This is an amazing informative post. Reading this post let me believe that every marketer must follow your blog to know the trends of social media to bring perfect social media activities. Thank you for sharing some good things here.

  • Amanda Webb

    I love FollowerWonk but I’ve also been using Topsy recently to identify influencers using search results.

    I’m dying to try Littlebird too, just need some time to sit down with it. Thanks for all the recommendations.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Amanda. Topsy was bought by Apple recently so we’ll see how long it lasts. Littlebird is powerful!

      • Amanda Webb

        I saw that and have been wondering ever since what they are planning to do with it!

        • Ian Cleary

          Probably not a lot for a while but I don’t see why they would keep the public version open if they are using it for their internal use (which I think they are doing!)

  • Joey Gedgaud

    These are type of tools that will make a person successful on Twitter and use it to improve their profiles and influence. FollwerWonk was helpful and thank you for showing use these new tools.

    • Ian Cleary

      You’re welcome Joey.

  • Jessica Smith

    Great post, Ian. I agree that using tools can determine Twitter influencers and will ensure that your efforts will be directed to the right audience. With these tools, you only have to worry about how to engage your influencers and keep them interested.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Jessica.

  • Cassandra Hayes

    Hi Ian!! Thanks for an awesome post!!! SocialBro is definitely a good platform for discovering new and influential users :)

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Cassandra, yes I like Socialbro!

  • BigcomDevloper

    Great post here Ian, So now you’re new on Twitter & don’t know anyone except your usual group of friends.You want to connect with the interesting people but don’t know where to start, and we got many ideas from this blog.

  • Belinda Summers

    Thanks for the list. I guess being connected with influencers are ways to make you one of them. :) It’s good to have tools like what you mentioned above. Easy to catch the fishes.

    • Ian Cleary

      HI Belinda, if you build relationships with influencers you will become an influencer!! Ian

  • Hisocial

    Hi Ian, excellent and very useful article, especially for those who are starting to develop their online strategy and online presence, it’s always good to keep up with the leaders of the industry one is interested in. Thanks for sharing the tool suggestions.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you so much for your feedback!

  • brbordallo

    Hi Ian, great resources and very well explained.

    I’d like to ask you something about influencers. The problem I see with this tools is that each one chooses its own metrics to determine who is an influencer (follower number, listed number, retweets per tweet…etc). If you had to find your influencers which metrics will look for?

    • Ian Cleary

      Interesting question. I use the tools to identify a short list and then analyze the results. For example, socialbro will let you check kred, followers, lists etc which will give you a good idea but you’ll still need to analyze results.

      Thanks, Ian

  • kizi3

    This is very useful article. Thanks for sharing the information.