|  July 16 2010  |   Blog   |   0 COMMENTS

Our newest member of the team here at March, Rachel Leamon, recently wrote a hugely useful post about 10 Reasons Why PR Should Embrace Twitter. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s good stuff. The response to that post was enormous, which hopefully means more PR pros are starting to use Twitter as part of their PR arsenals.

But like any method for reaching industry influencers, it can be a bear to search out and determine accurately who are the Tweeters that have the most influence in a particular industry or on a certain topic. Wouldn’t it be great if there was, oh, I don’t know, some sort of search-driven Web application that figures all that out for you?

Hey, wait a minute – there is! I learned about Topsy (www.topsy.com) today from GigaOM blogger Liz Gannes’ post on the tool, and as a PR pro I agree with her assessment that it is “super useful.”

Basically, it works by just inputting simple keywords you want to gain influence of, and results are returned in a few different ways. If you click on the “Experts” filter down the left hand side of the results page, it will display individual Twitter accounts and give them a simple rating of how influential they are. You can also use the “Tweets” filter to see how many people have retweeted an original Tweet, which is also a good measure of how influential they are on a certain topic.

As I write this, Steve Jobs just wrapped up the iPhone4 Antennagate press conference and said Apple will be offering free cases to all customers that wanted them. During the conference, plenty of journalists and news outlets were live Tweeting the important details of the event. I started following Wired‘s Twitter feed shortly before the conference because they seemed like a good, influential outlet that would provide good coverage. Towards the end of the conference, I found out about Topsy and did a search for Antennagate. Turns out they are indeed pretty influential on the subject (#2 spot last time I refreshed the page).

I’m still getting the hang of exactly how to use it, but Topsy seems like an obvious choice for making Twitter an even more effective PR tool. We’ll be adding Topsy to our Social Media Tool Academy as it looks like a ‘super useful’ thing to figure out who’s attention is most worth having in the Twitterverse.

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