Our recently launched social media influencers report tests how effective nine of the leading social media monitoring tools are at identifying influencers.
While these tools – Attensity 360, Brandwatch, Radian6, Alterian, Scoutlabs, Sysomos, Synthesio, Social Radar and PeerIndex – are certainly market leaders and offer comprehensive, cross-platform social media monitoring and influencer identification, they all come at a price.
So is there a way of finding influencers without paying for tools?
In a word, yes. There are a plethora of free (or free to a certain level of service) tools that you could use to identify social media influencers. However, unlike the tools we tested in our report, very few of them work across the different social media platforms and most focus on one particular area of social media – mostly Twitter, but some also do blogs and forums.
And, as with all tools, the data and results require human analysis to ensure you identify the right people.
Here’s a list of some of the free tools that could be used to find influencers (in English language):
- Addict-o-matic – produces a a consolidated page with search matches across blogs, Twitter, Digg, Flickr and more.
- Alltop – the online magazine rack search for influential bloggers listed by specific subject and topics.
- Blogpulse – an automated trend discovery system for blogs. It analyzes and reports on daily activity in the blogosphere.
- Boardreader – search engine for forums. Get fast and quality search for your own forum.
- Buzzstream – helps you build a dossier about your influencers.
- Dailylife – search news and editorial commentary for influencers in traditional media.
- Facebook – use the “search” function to identify topics and people who are talking about them.
- Google – possibly still the ultimate free tool for finding influencers, especially since the launch of Google Blog search, Google Realtime search and their “Discussion” search option.
- HubSpot Twitter grader – check the power of a twitter profile compared to millions of others that have been graded.
- IceRocket – search social networking sites and blogs to find influencers and online creators (people who upload images or talk passionately on a social network about a brand).
- Klout – currently the most respected measure of Twitter influence, Klout allows users to track the impact of their opinions, links and recommendations.
- Lijit – build relationships with the online influencers and connect directly to their audiences.
- MentionMap – visualiser tool that allows you to quickly assess the most influential people on Twitter.
- Monitter – monitor Twitter for key words, phrases and topics that are being discussed online.
- ObjectiveMarketer – find your influencers and amplifiers across various social media platforms.
- PeerIndex – helps you discover the authorities and opinion formers on a given topic.
- PostRank analytics – discover your influencers, identify which social networks give you most traction and benchmark yourself against the competition.
- Pulse of the Tweeters – uses data mining and sentiment analysis to mine millions of tweets and find the most influential people on Twitter.
- Socialmention – features an interesting combination of metrics including reach, sentiment, passion, and strength for blogs, Twitter, news, images, video, and audio.
- Social Profile – keeps you informed of other peoples’ activity in the social web.
- Social Seek – helps you find out who is making the most noise about your brand.
- Technorati – considered to be the leading blog search engine – useful for finding influential blogs.
- TipTop – Search for current trends and topics of interest.
- TouchGraph – interactive graphs to help visualise links and for mind mapping.
- Trendistic – find out the what the most influential topics of discussion are on Twitter.
- Tribe Monitor – measure presence across several different social media platforms.
- Twazzup – real-time news based on Twitter focused sentiment, top links etc.
- Tweetlevel – measures an individual’s importance on Twitter.
- Twendz -helps see who your influencers are on Twitter.
- Twitalyzer – Twitter focused tool looking at influence, impact and engagement.
Please let us know if we have missed any and we’ll add them to the list. It’d also be great to hear any thoughts you have about these tools, particularly if you’ve tried using them to find influencers.