Using an influencer's followers as leads
Lead generation is quite possibly the most common use case for web scraping. This isn't surprising, since not everyone has the means to purchase leads through a data broker. My simple (and extremely meta) use case for today involves finding programmers on TikTok to share a recent blog post I made about web scraping.
My strategy is to identify tech influencers, collect their follower's data, and see who in their audience meets my target demographic. I will get the job done with the TikTok follower scraper.
Identifying web scraping influencers
Since the article I want to share is about web scraping, I will simply type that into the tiktok search bar. Hopefully this will lead me to some micro-influencers with techy audiences.
The first page shows several good targets. Right off the bat I see several potentially relevant videos from profiles with tech-related usernames. A quick check shows that these profiles have followers in the micro-influencer range of 1,000 to 100,000 followers, which is what I'm looking for.
Let's pick 5 and scrape a few hundred of each of their followers. I think I will go with the profiles "codescope", "mavenanalytics", "techfren", "nextframe.dev", and "poieodev".
Scraping their follower data
From the Toughdata dashboard, I can scroll down to the code-free scraper section. I simply enter the username and number of followers I want to scrape from that user in each input, and press scrape. I repeat this for each profile, adding each to the queue. My requests appear in the table below.
Once the task is complete, the Progress (%) column should be at 100 for each task I put in the queue. I also received email notifications when the task completed. Each task took about 3 minutes to complete.
Inspecting the followers for potential leads
I downloaded the data in Excel format and loaded it into Google Sheets to search for techies and programmers. I queried their profile bios and video captions for programming-related keywords. I found many good leads. A few are highlighted in green below.
Reaching out to your leads
It is best practice to warm up your leads before trying to make a sale. This is a huge topic in itself that is outside the scope of the blog. Whatever you do, approach the situation strategically and reach out as an individual. On TikTok, this involves following and interacting with their content. Many of these accounts had other social media linked, or their emails in their bio or video captions. If this is the case, you may be able to approach them via email. Either way, the trove of data you collected from them should be more than enough to help you develop a strategy.