So you’ve built your list of influencers (in the case of the previous tutorial, acting agents). What next? Obviously, start following all these agents first. Twitter has limits on how many people you can follow per day, so depending on your list size you may want to only follow 50-100 people per day.
Once you’ve followed them, their tweets will appear in your twitter stream. Simply keep a look out for tweets you can write slick things back. “Slick” can be defined as something that is:
-offering a favor
Look for a way to add value in those 140 characters. Give back to the influencer. I won’t go into that whole thread, but the whole thing about social media is giving before asking/taking. Ping the influencer a piece of information/knowledge that will improve their day. And if you see any opportunities to offer a favor they’d be interested in, do it. For example, if you’re a video editor, and someone put up an unedited clip of themselves at some conference, offer to edit it for them. Favors are easy to come up with. You’re going to need to really learn about these influencers by reading not just their tweets, but their blogs (where many of these tweets originate from). Once you get to know them, you’ll know what to say to them that will add value to their day and what favors to offer. That’s the trick here.
Other than that, keep it casual. Don’t always be on the hunt to “give” hoping to get back. Build a rapport with people that exudes there is no expectations if you communicate with me. So sometimes say basic things, e.g. that you really enjoyed an article of theirs, and that’s it. This way they know you, and when you do offer a favor or say something witty, they know you are one of their most valuable followers and are worth retweeting, etc.
After that, rinse & repeat this process of casual communication followed by insightful/witty tweets, and an occasional favor offer, and eventually there will come a natural time where you can ask for something you need. You’ll find that you build actual relationships with these people and get to know them. So just like in real life, at the beginning of getting to know someone isn’t the best time to ask if they can help you get a job. But eventually later you may be out drinking and your now old friend is talking about how they’re hiring. That would be a natural time to interject that you’d like to apply. Times like this will come up, and you should wait for them, rather than force them prematurely. It’s like being a good boxer: you want to wait for openings to hit your opponent when they throw a punch at you. So be patient and poised and wait for your openings, rather than scare the influencer away by jumping the gun all pepped up. You know! Just like real life.