Initially building a media list for a PR campaign can be incredibly time consuming. It takes a lot of looking through Cision, Google, and any other resources you may have access to, and filtering down from a large list. This becomes more challenging when you’re looking at social media influencers since there’s just so many more to pick from.
We talked to 70-80 PR professionals over the summer, and learnt about their workflows and any tips they might have. We reviewed the best advice they gave us - and here they are!
Finding influencers on Instagram
Instagram has an incredible feature where it can recommend you who to follow based on a particular Instagram account. To try it out, open up the Instagram app on your phone and open up a contact profile. I’m using mustafaseven as an example if I’m looking for a travel influencer. Then, I can click the dropdown icon next to “Following” and a window with “Suggested” accounts pops up (shown below).
This is particularly useful to start expanding your influencer list just by finding a couple seed influencers. You can start with influencers with large followings (as seed contacts), and quickly find more niche influencers very quickly. I was able to build a list of 50 travel PR influencers in less than 10 minute just by starting with a couple influencers.
Don’t do the heavy work yourself - let some of the recommendation tools Instagram and Twitter have built do the work for you.
This tip is a little more time consuming than the Instagram one, but it can assist you in building a media list if your focus is Twitter influencers. You can apply a similar trick to the one we walked through on Instagram, but for Twitter. A handful of agencies I’ve talked to setup new Twitter accounts for each of their campaigns. Then, they begin following influencers they’d like to reach out to (here you need 50-100 initial contacts to get started).
The magic comes in when you have a good base of Twitter influencers you’re following. The “Who to follow” feature on Twitter is incredible when you’re following highly curated list of influencers (shown below). You can click “View All” and you should be able to capture more influencers that way. As your following count grows - the Twitter product will also get better.
I follow a ton of journalists on this Twitter account - so the recommendations are very skewed. But, this is the result I get:
I was able to click and “View all” and find more recommendations! I saved their first name, last name, publication, and Twitter username.
If you’re working on a long campaign or have an initial seed of Influencers - I’d love for you to try it!
Narrowing your list
Now that you have a large list of influencers for your campaign, you have to figure out a way to narrow them down. Personalized pitches are always the way to go - especially to niche influencers. It’s in your benefit to select a small number of influencers, and pitch to them each individually rather than sending out mass emails.
Some agencies I’ve spoken to have figured out a good way to narrow down influencers in a particular topic based on engagement on the platform. They’re always looking for people who have successfully created a community and actively engage with it. Follower count could be important, but if you find an influencer involved in a local community with high engagement - that’ll be just as good if not better!
Let’s say I have a huge list of architecture influencers. Let’s take the list below to be an example. I limited it to 4 influencers so it’s visually easier to show the method.
The numbers here can be anything. You could be looking at influencers with 100,000 followers or at influencers with 100. We gathered the data on how many likes and comments each of them were getting on all of their posts today. The trick is to understand how you can measure engagement (in a vague sense) with those metrics.
There definitely are more methods of understanding and evaluating engagement (looking through and reading comments, etc.), but this helps when you have a list and want to pitch to the ones most solidified in the community.
Let’s look at 4 ratios we can create:
- Likes to comments: Shows how many likes they’re getting per comment. The lower the number is the better: a lot of this influencers followers are posting on the image they’ve posted.
- Likes to posts: This helps you evaluate how many likes they’re getting on average on each post today. This number is arbitrary to you depending on your requirements: if you seek a high number of likes for your client or not.
- Likes to followers: Shows how many likes they’re getting per follower they have. A high number here means a high percentage of their followers like their pictures.
- Comments to followers: Shows how many comments they’re getting per follower they have. A high number here means a high percentage of their followers comment on their pictures.
I’ve taken the information in the first image, and translated it here:
In this example, we can see that Evan Troxel (etroxel) has a high engagement rate in comparison to the others. Evan is getting a high likes to followers ratio and a low likes to comments ratio. Evan would be a great person to pitch since Evan’s influencers engage with Evan’s content.
Hope those tips were useful for you! We have the functionality of narrowing down your list built into our platform, among other ways to as well! In addition, we also pull in Instagram and Twitter feeds for your entire list. So if you have a lot of contacts that you need to keep up with - get in touch with us!