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Linkarati

Finding Influencers on Google Plus - Tutorial Tuesday

Andrew Dennis | November 4, 2014

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Welcome everybody to another edition of Linkarati’s educational series Tutorial Tuesday!

In this installment of Tutorial Tuesday I want to walk you through some different strategies and tactics for finding niche influencers on Google Plus.

Identifying the influencers within your industry is important as these are the people that typically have large followings and largely determine what content gets shared widely in the niche. Engaging with these people to build meaningful connections can help in terms of promotion as well as establishing your own authority.

Google+ is a great place to find influencers because typically these people are very active on social networks. While every niche is different and the popularity of each individual platform will vary, Google+ is big enough that it’s always worth at least looking into when searching for influencers.

So, without further ado let’s jump into it!

Step One: Create a Google Plus Account

The first step is to actually create a Google Plus account for yourself. If you don’t already have a Google account you will need to go here to sign up for one. A Google account will give you access to a number of Google products, including Google+.

Once you have your account, log into your Gmail. Then, from your Gmail you can log into G+ by clicking the +(Your Name) in the top right corner. For example:

Top of Inbox with Arrow

Clicking here will log you into your Google+ home stream and you can begin to look for industry authorities.

Step Two: Search for Influencers on Google Plus

From the “Home” page on G+ you will need to first navigate to the “People” section. Locate the “Home” icon at the top left of the page, underneath the Google logo.

Google Plus Home Stream Cap with Arrow

Hovering over the icon will cause a drop-down menu to appear, from which you can click on the “People” icon.

Google Plus Drop Down with Arrow

You will now be taken to a page that shows “suggestions” for people you may know on Google+.

Sifting through these suggestions could potentially lead you to some niche influencers, but if you are just starting out on Google+ and have no followers or don’t have anyone circled already these suggestions might not be entirely relevant. Google Plus suggestions are generated by a few different criteria, and if you are just starting out there might not be enough for Google to go off to provide the most relevant suggestions.

Instead it might be best to perform a more specific and manual search, using the “Discover” tab.

Google Plus Discover Tab with Arrow

The “Discover” tab will take you to another page that looks similar to the suggested people page. However, now you can filter by a number of categories on the left-hand sidebar.

Google Plus Discover Page with Arrow

There are a wide range of broad categories to sort by, but clicking on your corresponding category will show you some of the most prominent profiles in that particular niche.

For example, if you worked within the weddings realm, you could click on the ‘Weddings’ category and find this page.

Google Plus Weddings Page

Immediately we see Ryan Brenizer’s profile is featured four in from the left.

Google Plus Weddings Page with Arrow

By clicking on his name, we get a quick overview of Ryan’s profile along with the recent posts from his stream.

Google Plus Ryan Brenizer Overview

Looking at the overview we can see that Ryan has over 150,000 followers, so it’s fair to say he is likely an influencer within the wedding niche. We can also see that he has 591 people in his circles and chances are some of these folks are influencers too!

To take a closer look at these people we need to go to Brenizer’s profile, by clicking the “View profile” link.

Google Plus Ryan Brenizer Overview with Arrow

Once we’ve navigated to Ryan’s profile we can see a brief snapshot of the people in his circles on the right.

Google Plus Ryan Brenizer Profile Cap with Arrow

If we click on the link (591 people) listed there it will bring up a page with everyone in his circles.

Google Plus Ryan Brenizer Followers

We can then dig into this list and possibly find more influencers as authoritative people same to run in the same “circles” (pun most definitely intended) as other authority figures. Again, if you look at these peoples’ profiles you can see how many followers they have and easily spot potential influencers.

Step Three: Search for Influencers within Communities

Another great way to find influential people within your niche on G+ is by searching in Communities.

To find the Communities icon, we must again hover over home icon.

Google Plus Drop Down with Arrow Communities

Following this link you will arrive at the “Communities” page. Similar to the people page, you can look at communities that G+ has recommended for you.

Google Plus Communities Page with Arrow

Clicking on “Recommended for you” will generate a list of communities relevant to you (again based off similar criteria as suggested people). For example, here is what populates for me:

Google Plus Suggested Communities

Not quite sure what the “Astuces G+” is all about, but you can see the first two are SEO related. However, as mentioned before if you are just now starting out on G+ there won’t be a lot for Google to reference for these suggestions.

Again, one option is to simply filter by the categories provided below “Recommended”. But you can also get more specific here by utilizing the “Search for communities” box.

Google Plus Communities Search box with Arrow

Using the search box you can filter for results specific to key terms or phrases within your niche. For instance, if we go back to the wedding example from before we could search for “wedding photographer” and get these results.

Google Plus Wedding Photog Results

Immediately we see the “Wedding Photographers” community which has over 14,000 members. It’s likely that some there are some industry influencers engaging within this community and we can find them if we click on the community.

After arriving at the community page we can examine its members by clicking on the member count underneath the community name on the left.

Google Plus Wedding Photog Community Page with Arrow

Clicking on this link will take to a page that shows all the members in the community.

Google Plus Wedding Photog Community Members

While you could go through and look at each person’s profile, that will take a very long time. For a quicker way to find potential influencers, first look at the Moderators of the community as these folks are often industry leaders. To restrict your results to only Moderators simply click on the drop-down menu labeled “Members” and switch to “Moderators”.

Google Plus Wedding Photog Community Members Drop Down with Arrow

Now you can look at the moderators of the community without having to sift through all the community members.

Google Plus Wedding Photog Moderators

Clicking on the first moderators name (Leo Timoshuk) we are taken to his G+ profile.

Google Plus Leo T Profile

Looking at Leo’s profile we can see that he has over 1,000 followers and chances are he’s fairly influential within the wedding niche.

And there you have it - we’ve just found an industry influencer by simply using Google+!

Conclusion

Engaging and interacting with industry authorities can be beneficial in a number of ways. However, it can sometimes be difficult to identify these people in your specific niche. The various social media platforms are great for finding influencers, and Google Plus is no different. To start searching for and finding authority figures within your industry, follow these steps:

  • Utilize the Discover tab to find prominent profiles within your niche
  • Once you’ve found one influencer look in her circles to identify more
  • Find authorities in relevant Communities
  • Check moderators of popular and relevant Communities
  • Look under suggested people after finding a number of relevant influencers
  • Once you’ve found an influencer keep an eye on who creates the content they share

Strategy

About The Author

Andrew Dennis

Andrew Dennis is a Content Marketing Specialist at Siege Media. Andrew is an alumnus of the University of Idaho and consequently a lifelong Vandals fan. When he’s not writing about link building and SEO, you’ll find him interacting over on the Google+ Link Builders community.

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