Want to find influencers? Maybe you're a brand with products you want to promote. Or maybe you're from an agency and need to find influencers to fulfill your clients' marketing needs. Whatever your case, there are various benefits of influencer marketing, such as increased trust among consumers or more efficient targeting of your target audience.

But all that depends on finding the right influencers, and that's where Heepsy comes in. In this article, we'll walk you through how to find influencers using our AI-powered search engine.

Step 1. Register or log in to Heepsy

If you have an account, log in to Heepsy. If you don't have an account yet, create one for free on the Sign-up page. Fill in the requested info and verify your email to create your account.  You'll immediately get a free trial, which lets you access 500 search results and 3 influencer reports (you access reports by opening them or saving the influencer to a list).

Step 2. An inside-look at Heepsy

Once you log in, you'll see the main page of Heepsy's search engine. Heepsy offers search and analytics for four networks: Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. In this article, we're going to pretend we're searching for Instagram influencers.

The main screen of the Heepsy platform.

Let's break down what we're seeing in the above image:

  • The tabs at the top let you choose what network you want to search for influencers: Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, or Twitch.
  • The search bar below that is where you can search for a keyword, category, or handle.
  • Beneath the search bar are filters, which you can activate to narrow down your results according to your target criteria.
  • Below the filters you see some general influencer results (these have not been filtered in any way yet).
  • At the top right, there is a link to My Influencers. This takes you to the lists panel (more about that later).
  • Next to My Influencers, the email address you used to create your Heepsy account (in this picture we've redacted it for privacy reasons). Click this for a dropdown that takes you to Account, Billing, or to log out. On these pages, you can manage your account, buy or change plans, and add company information to generate invoices.

Step 3. Filter and find influencers according to your target criteria

You wouldn't open Google unless you knew you wanted to search for something, right? Heepsy is the same: to run a successful search, you first need to know what you're looking for.

For example, what category of influencers do you want- fashionistas, foodies, gamers? What location? Do you have a specific follower count or engagement rate in mind?

The more you define your campaign before beginning influencer discovery, the easier it will be to search.

How to find influencers by handle, category, or keyword

To start, if you want to find a specific influencer, just type their handle into the search bar. It's best to search with the @ symbol at the beginning so the system knows you're looking for a handle. But, if you forget it, click where it says "Handle" to search for your input as a handle.

Heepsy searching for the handle @selenagomez.
Heepsy searching for @selenagomez.

You can also search for both categories or keywords with the search bar. Categories are broad, top-level content themes applied by Heepsy's algorithms. Think things like Food, Sports, or Beauty. Keywords are specific words used in influencer profiles. For example, if you search for the keyword "baking" you're going to only see influencers whose profiles specifically mention the word baking either in their biography or content.

Let's say you're a fashion house and you want to find influencers to promote your new shoes. In this case, you'd want to search for Fashion. As soon as you start typing it into the search bar, you'll see some suggestions pop up. Click where it says Fashion to see all the influencers whose profiles relate in some way to clothes, accessories, or style.

Heepsy searching for the Fashion category.

Or, you can simply click the search bar to see a list of common categories. Make sure you have the Category tab selected.

Heepsy showing commonly used categories.
If you don't type in anything and click the search bar, Heepsy will suggest some common categories.

Finally, to search by keyword, type in the word you want to search for and hit the Keyword tab. You can also click the Keyword tab and see the most recent keywords you've searched for.

Heepsy searching for the keyword "baking."

How to find influencers with search filters

Let's develop the example a bit more. You want to find fashion influencers from California who have between 5K-10K followers and a high to very high engagement rate.

Engagement rate measures the level of interaction between an influencer and their community. It is an indication that their audience is interested in their content and trusts their opinions. The ROI on influencers with high engagement is almost always better than those with low engagement.

Anyway, to run this search, we'd set the relative filters to only show us influencers who fit those specifications. The short video below shows you how to activate those filters within Heepsy.  Don't forget to click Apply after each.

There are various filters to choose from:

  • Followers allows you to control the number of followers the influencer has.
  • Publications lets you select a post frequency or the date of the influencer's last post.
  • Engagement lets you search for an engagement rate range (i.e 2% - 10%).
  • Influencer Type can show you only Instagram verified accounts. Or, it can show only influencers and hide brand accounts. Heepsy includes brands in the search engine because we've seen some client brands looking for other brands to collaborate with on social media events or giveaways.
  • Contact allows you to filter for influencers who have public email addresses or accounts on other social networks like Twitter or Facebook.
  • Audience gives you control over the demographics of the influencer's audience. Set their age, gender, location, language, and interests. Make sure the influencer's community matches your target audience.
  • Authenticity lets you weed out influencers with low-quality or inauthentic audiences.
  • Promotional Activity controls the cost estimate per post or the percentage of branded content on an influencer's feed. This can give you a sense of how an influencer's past collaborations performed.

Filters differ a bit for each network. In other words, the YouTube filters aren't exactly the same as the Instagram filters. The best

Finally, the filters you can use depend on which plan you have. To find out more about our plans, check out these articles about the Starter Plan, the Business Plan, and the Gold Plan.

Step 4. Analyze influencer profiles on the spot

When you run your search query, influencers first appear as search results. These results show the most basic stats, like location, categories, followers, and engagement rate. Results also show you the influencer’s handle, and an aesthetic preview of their recent content.

Each Heepsy plan has a limit on how many search results you can access per month. So if you're thinking of subscribing, review the plans to see which best matches your needs.

2 samples search results on Heepsy.

For more detailed information, click one of these results. It will open the influencer's report on Heepsy.

The influencer report

The Heepsy report gives you the full stats on an influencer's profile. Like search results, each plan has a limit on how many reports you can unlock per month. You unlock a report by either opening it or saving the influencer to a list. Now, let's take a look at what a report includes.

At the left, you have some basic information about the influencer, like:

  • The influencer's handle, which links you to their Instagram profile.
  • The categories that apply to their profile and content
  • The location where the influencer is based
  • Their number of followers, which gives you a sense of their reach.
  • The number of profiles the influencer is following (this can show you if the influencer uses the follow/unfollow strategy, which is an inorganic way to get followers)
  • Their overall engagement rate
  • How many posts per week the influencer publishes on average
  • The biography information they have on Instagram
  • Their contact info (email address, website URL, and other social networks)
Sample Heepsy report.
A sample influencer report from Heepsy.

To get more detailed analytics about an influencer's profile, navigate the tabs at the right. Here's a brief overview of what you'll find in each tab:

  • Publications - Stats about the influencer's engagement, their posting frequency, and their promotional activity
  • Audience - Info about the influencer's audience and their connection to it, like follower growth over time, audience demographics, and audience authenticity.

Now, let's look at exactly what metrics each of these tabs contains, as well as how those metrics can help you decide on the right influencers for your brand.

Publications tab

This tab provides information about an influencer's likes and comments, posting frequency, and promotional activity.

Engagement rate

Engagement rate measures the interaction between an influencer and their audience. Heepsy shows you both the exact engagement rate percentage and a comparison to other Instagram influencers with similar follower counts.

Beware of low engagement, as it either shows that the influencer's followers are not interested in their content or that the influencer bought fake followers.

Likewise, look out for extremely high engagement. If an influencer's engagement rate is far beyond the average for their follower segment, they could have bought fake likes or comments. Heepsy will show you when an influencer's engagement rate looks suspicious.

Where to find: Publications → Likes and comments

Comments/likes ratio

This ratio is a comparison of comments and likes and gives you a sense of if the influencer has active followers. Also, some influencers buy fake likes but not fake comments, and a low comments/likes ratio can potentially reveal that.

Where to find: Publications → Likes and comments

Photo and video post metrics

This section shows you the average likes and comments for an Instagram photo post by this influencer. If they upload videos, you'll see the same analytics for video posts, too.

Post metrics by type

Where to find: Publications → Likes and comments

Posts per week

This shows you how often an influencer posts per week. If an influencer rarely posts, they might not be committed to their profile. If they post very often, bear in mind that your brand's content would have less visibility on their profile feed. Here you also see a comparison to other influencers, so you can get a sense of whether or not the influencer is active.

Where to find: Publications → Post frequency

Publication recency

This gives you an idea of how recently the influencer last published and compares this to other influencers.

Where to find: Publications → Post frequency

Engagement of branded content

This engagement rate is related only to content where the influencer has tagged a brand or collaborator. This metric could give you an idea of how well the influencer could perform when producing branded content for your company.

Branded engagement stat

Where to find: Publications → Promotional Activity

Quality Score

This is an aggregated metric based on various factors. It shows you the overall quality of the influencer's audience and their connection to it. We recommend you look for influencers who have at least a good quality score.

Heepsy quality score

Where to find: Publications → Promotional Activity

Cost estimate

Please note that the cost estimate is just that: an estimate that you can use as an idea for how to open negotiations with influencers. It's not an exact figure, and you might get different prices when you reach out to influencers.

Where to find: Publications → Promotional Activity

Brand mentions

These are recent posts where the influencer has mentioned a brand or collaborator. Keep in mind that not every brand mention here is necessarily part of a paid collaboration. Influencers sometimes mention brands to get their attention, or simply because they're fans of their products.

This information shows you if they have been collaborating with your competition or brands in the same sector. By analyzing the performance of this content, you can get an idea of what to expect from the influencer should they collaborate with your brand.

Where to find: Publications → Promotional Activity

Follower growth rate

This graph shows how an influencer has grown their follower base over the last year or so. Ideally, you want to find influencers who have positive and stable growth.

Follower growth on Heepsy

Look out for any sudden spikes in growth. In the absence of a giveaway or viral moment, these could show that the influencer bought fake followers.

Where to find: Audience → Authenticity

Audience authenticity

Influencer fraud continues to be a thorn in marketers' sides, so do what you can to avoid it. One way to check that an influencer has real followers is with Heepsy's audience authenticity analytics.

Audience authenticity on Heepsy

The pie chart shows you which percentage of the influencer's audience appears to be real. We recommend that you find influencers with as authentic an audience as possible but with at least 80% real audience.

Where to find: Audience → Authenticity

Audience demographics

Heepsy shows you a breakdown of the age, gender, location, language, and interests of an influencer's audience. This helps you ensure that the influencer's followers match up with your target audience.

Audience location data from Heepsy

Also, check that the demographics here make sense with your campaign goal. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, make sure the influencer's audience comes from countries where people can actually buy your products.

Where to find: Audience → Geo, Demographics, and Interest

Step 5. Add your favorite influencers to a list and compare their stats

When you find influencers who look like the right fit for your collaboration, you can add them to a customizable list within Heepsy. There are two ways to create lists:

  1. Click My Influencers at the top of the screen. Go to the left-hand side and click Create List.
  2. Or, create the list at the moment you add an influencer to them.

To save influencers to lists, you have two options:

  • The folder icon on an influencer's search result
  • The +Add to list icon on an influencer's profile
How to add influencers to lists on Heepsy.

To remove an influencer from a list, click either of those elements again. The folder icon will be green when an influencer is added to a list, and black when they're not.

To see your lists, click My Influencers. Here you can analyze your current list or select any of your existing lists from the menu at the left. When you add influencers to a list, you can easily compare their core stats. You'll also see aggregated metrics, in case you want to get a sense of the total possible impact of your campaign.

A sample list on Heepsy.

Additionally, you can add additional information with the icons at the right-hand side of each influencer's name and stats:

  • The folder icon, once again, lets you remove an influencer from the list
  • The Status button lets you change the influencer's status to discarded, to be contacted, proposal accepted, or proposal rejected

Finally, if you have the Business or Gold Plan, you can download lists as CSV or XLS files. These downloads include public contact information, which means you can use that very spreadsheet to set up automated outreach.

Some other cool features

There are a few other Heepsy features that can make your influencer discovery more efficient. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.

Bulk actions

Select various influencers and edit them in bulk: add them to a list, delete them to a list, or move them to another list. Bulk actions save you time by reducing the amount of manual work you have to do to organize influencers.

Save a search

If you know that you’re going to be running the same search various times, you can save it to use again in the future. Choose the “Save search” option at the top right of the search panel, and name your search. Later on, choose your search from the dropdown to run it again.

Add or update an influencer

Found an influencer on social media who you can’t find on Heepsy? Want to refresh an influencer’s Heepsy data? 

You can add influencers by entering their handle in the “Add influencers” section found at the top right of the screen. Or, click the “update” button on an influencer report to request an update of their info.

Download search results

If you are only interested in capturing the basic information about influencers, you can download search results from Heepsy. These downloads will include what you see displayed in the search results: handles, categories, locations, followers, and engagement.

To download results, click the “Download all” button found next to the number of search results. You’ll see a message confirming that you want to download these results before actually doing so. 

If you don’t have enough results left for the month, you can buy more. Or, try downloading fewer results by ticking the influencers you want to download or by downloading one page of results at a time.

Conclusion

That's it! If you're not clear about how the platform works, remember you can sign up for a free trial to get a feel for Heepsy before committing to any monthly plan. Or, if you prefer to speak with an expert, book a free demo with our Sales team. They'll show you around the platform, answer any questions, and run through the different plans we offer.