How to Find the Influential People on Twitter

How to Find the Influential People on Twitter

PR writer Carlo PandianWhen it comes to connecting with people on Twitter, the old cliché comes into play once again, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know.” As a PR director, the people who you want to be connecting with are the people who are the “influencers” in your particular niche.

What does it mean to be an influencer? It means someone who has established themselves as an expert in a particular niche and perhaps has done some sort of important work within the niche. They are the people who might even be often interviewed or invited to speak about the topic they are experts on.

Influencers are the Twitter users who have thousands of followers and who are respected and admired within their niche. Their opinions are regarded as gold and if they endorse something you can be sure that their followers within that niche will follow their recommendation.

These are the people you want to be talking to, because they will be the most useful public relations connections to have in the particular niche you are interested in. However, the big question is where to find them? How do you figure out who these influencers are so that you can build a rapport with them?

Here are some public relations tools that you can use that will help you to find the most influential Twitter users in any particular niche.

Twitter Search

Your first strategy should be to use the search function on the Twitter website itself. You will be able to find the biggest names within the niche by performing a hash tag search. You could also use a social media dashboard application such as HootSuite or TweetDeck which will allow you to monitor certain topics and trends.


This Twitter application allows Twitter users to tag themselves according to the topic categories which they fit into. You can use WeFollow to search through these tags and find the most influential users within any topic.

You can also use this application to see the users who have the most followers in that category. You might find that just because someone has the most followers it doesn’t mean that they are the most influential person. However, it can be a good indicator.


This website allows you to search more than two million Twitter users who are listed online. The users are tagged with their most common niche, which could be anything from sports to travel to writing. You can perform a search for a specific niche or check out the available tags.

This application will also allow you to see the topics, links and trends which are hot on Twitter at the moment.


Sulia is designed to be your “Personal Expert Network” and it gathers information from millions of Twitter users in order to determine the experts on different subjects. This information is then filtered into channels that you can search through. This is one of the fastest ways that you can find very influential people on a given topic, including powerful celebrities and bloggers.


This program allows you to search through all Twitter profiles for important keywords. For example, if you sell professional quality make up kits you can search through to find all professional makeup artists who might be interested in your product. Followerwonk will tell you the screen name, location, influence and real name of the user as well as information on their number of Tweets, number of followers and how old their account is. This can be a very useful way to find some relevant people on Twitter.

Last but not least, when you are searching through Twitter for influencers, make sure that you are only selecting the people who are actively engaging. You can tell who is engaging and who isn’t by looking at their recent Twitter feed. If they Tweet regularly and show plenty of communication with other users, it is more likely that they will respond to you. Go ahead, strike up a conversation and make that influential connection.

Carlo Pandian is an online PR expert for Media Recruitment and writes about careers in the media and communication industry, public relations and social media trends. He’s a big fun of social media analytics to measure the effectiveness of online PR and marketing campaigns.

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