Did a “Little Bird” Talk to You About Social Selling?

Content marketing and social selling are all the rage lately. But in order to actually take those terms to heart and do them takes a lot of diligence and powerful tools. This review is for a new service, Little Bird, that is a search engine to find influencers. They start with the content and tie into the social graph (the stream of one individual as well as others in that topic area) to determine who you should listen to.

Little Bird is the best tool I have found for finding experts on a particular topic. Sure, I can do a Twitter search, but that’s pretty limited and just brings up people who put the term in their bio or a recent tweet. But what if you want to find people with real expertise, with real influence? You could look at their Klout score, but that’s still slightly suspect, frankly. The only way I have found is Little Bird. You start by running reports on particular topics, as you see in the screenshot below, then you can drill down further.

This blog post by one of the Founders, Marshall Kirkpatrick, is an excellent overview of why you’d want to try it out: I Found the Leaders in My Field, Now What?

In a nutshell, Little Bird can help you:

  • Find new leaders to follow.
  • Create an influencer engagement game plan.
  • Discover your freshest connections.
  • Find top people to reach out to by Twitter Direct Message.
  • Research someone else’s connections.

social selling

You can see below some of the topic experts Little Bird found for me on Customer Satisfaction. These are a few of the people who are Most Followed:

social selling

 What I Really Like:

  • You can discover influencer connections on multiple social networks (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and more.)
  • Cool visualizations to explore topical communities (I couldn’t do this on my own, with my trial plan, but Marshall walked me through a detailed demo).
  • See how you compare with a topic of interest. For example, I wanted to see how well I am engaging in the customer satisfaction space for my new site: Satisfaction Scale. I found that I still have a long way to go as you can see below.

Then I asked Little Bird to compare me to this topic of Customer Satisfaction with its 72 experts. It found that I was not following as many as I would have hoped. But, the great thing is — it helps me to engage with those people. Not in this case, but some of them might be prospects or good people to blog about or whatever reason you have for finding experts.

social selling

What I Would Like to See:

  • When you do the compare function and it brings up the experts you are following and not following, it would be great to hover over the profile photo and simply add the person to your Twitter following. As it works right now, nothing happens on hover, but it does take you to the Twitter site which is a slow way to follow new people. You can see the people in other function areas by hovering, but still it takes you offsite.

Overall, if you are in the marketing, sales or communication space, Little Bird is an invaluable tool. There’s a 7-day free trial, after you get into the private beta, then it is $50/month for an individual plan and $250/month for a small business plan.


TJ McCue TJ McCue served as Technology/Product Review Editor for Small Business Trends for many years and now contributes on 3D technologies. He is currently traveling the USA on the 3DRV roadtrip and writes at the Refine Digital blog.

11 Reactions
  1. Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Thank you TJ for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review and for the suggestions. I hope your readers here will find Little Bird useful in content creation & curation, competetive intelligence and lots of other scenarios too. We regularly hear people say it makes social media for business easier, faster, more lucrative and more fun. Thanks again!

  2. What a great tool that I’ve never heard of until now. Thanks for the info.

  3. TJ,

    To be honest with you, I never heard about Little Bird before. I’m still waiting for the access, but I think as I am always finding leaders of my niches to connect, it’s a very useful tool allowing me to do just that.

    So, thanks very much for that!

    • Hey Ivan,
      I’ve never heard of Little Bird either. My question is just how many social networks can one manage effectively? I think I’ll stick to my stand-by networks for now.

    • Hi Ivan, it is a super useful tool. I would be interested to hear what you think after you try it out.

      Ocha, thanks for your comment, but to make sure its clear: LittleBird is not another social network. It helps you mine, explore, the networks you are part of, to find and develop new relationships. It is a bit more than that, as the review explains.

  4. This is a cool tool that I’d not heard of. I would think you could use it the opposite way, instead of just selling, you could use it for Brand protection. Getting a high-level influencer saying good things about your brand to offset people who are out to slam your brand.

  5. Thanks, TJ.

    Never even heard of this product, so thanks for the intro. This will be especially helpful to me as I move from simply creating content to more curation. Looking forward to investigating 🙂

    • Thanks Craig. It is definitely a useful tool. Curious why you are moving to just curation — besides that it is a huge trend — what made you decide to do that? Feel free to share on Twitter. I’m there. A lot.