Many different types of online "influencers" exist, as outlined in this post by @Stephanie Frasco. While this article was posted almost a year ago, the principles still stand true.
An interesting exercise could be to either (a) consider what type of influencer you are (I'm a social butterfly!) or (b) consider what types of influencers you should be targeting to help achieve your business goals through a social engagement strategy.
Here are some of my best tips on what your business goals can tell you about the types of influencers you should target:
Goal: Host events, parties, networking functions to spread brand awareness
Influencers to target: Social Butterflies. Chances are, they know people in almost any major city you'd want to host an event in, and are likely to have large networks of people who will show up. You can take it from there!
Goal: Launch a new technology
Influencers to target: Early Adopters. They spend all of their days on Kickstarter and TechCrunch trying to figure out what the next gadget, site, or invention is going to be and how soon they can get it. If you let them in on your next big idea, they're the ones who will be the most psyched about trying it out and sharing how great it is with the world.
Goal: Validate your value prop/need for your offering.
Influencers to target: Experts/Gurus. These are the ones who people turn to for advice on certain things. If you're trying to convince the market that your product is necessary for social media, then you're going to want a social media expert to agree with you.
Goal: Get popular.
Influencers to target: Celebrities. Everyone loves pop culture. It's human to admire celebrities, and they're the ones that become influencers without even trying. Think about the fanbases of people like Beiber and Lady GaGa. Whatever they say, their fans do. Like Stephanie points out, this could get pricey, but if you've got the money, will result in massive publicity.
Goal: Spend less time & money on word of mouth marketing and online content.
Influencers to target: Content Creators. These are the ones who are constantly writing, blogging, etc. They love spreading the word about things they like, and also make great guest bloggers (hello, #leancontent!)
Goal: Promote your content
Influencers to target: Broadcasters. If your content leads to business leads, you're going to want it to promote it as much as possible. Broadcasters might not always be the ones using your product/service or even maintaining relationships with your brand, but they are the ones who are sharing as much content as they possibly can, and usually have lots and lots of followers. (Sometimes, though, like Stephanie says, they over-share and get lost in the noise. Extra tweets can never hurt, though!)
Goal: Engage your existing audiences and create new influencers & ambassadors
Influencers to target: Your customers! Your customers might not be influencers yet, but they're the ones who will require the least amount of effort to connect with. Once you communicate with them enough, they'll become the next generation of brand ambassadors, and eventually, influencers of your own!