A guide to free and easy influencer research tools

Follower count is no way to determine someone’s true clout on social media. Try these platforms, hacks and work-arounds to get a true picture of his or her online might.

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A sponsoring company at a recent tech industry conference had a massive LED “leaderboard” showing the top influencers tweeting about the conference.

There were a few people I recognized, but quite a few I didn’t. I asked the administrator what constituted an “influencer” by their definition, and the woman told me “number of Twitter followers.”

At this point, please insert a mental image of Mark Schaefer as a cartoon character that just drank a gallon of hot sauce. You know, steam out the ears, eyes popping out on springs—that sort of thing. I was embarrassed for this Fortune 500 company that equated Twitter followers with influence. That is so 2011.

Today we need more than that. The problem is, for cheapskates like me it’s getting harder to find free tools to use. As influence marketing has gotten hotter, the prices have gone up on great platforms like Traackr and Appinions, which don’t even offer free trials any more.

Here are a few work-arounds for people trying to get a handle on influence marketing on the cheap.

Free influencer research tools

1. Fake guru sniffer

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