Influencer marketingInfluencer marketing is all the rage these days. You can see why, as it is essentially having well-respected types sell your brand for you. Where once brands would have had to pay for that privilege – be it through celebrities or bloggers – now they can enjoy all the benefits at a fraction of the price. Having these “everyday” consumers rally behind your brand can have just as large an impact, too.

How conceivable is to get these influencers on board? It’s anything but straightforward, but there are ways and means to encourage influencer engagement.

These tips taken from the Business 2 Community website are some of the best I’ve come across on how to engage influencers on Twitter:

1. Cultivate relationships before you “need” them

Influencers often need a fair amount of “buttering up” before they’re willing to give your post that retweet you crave. After all, people rarely do something for nothing. Don’t do anything too shameless, though – simply following them, retweeting a few of their posts or linking to one of their articles can prove enough. Essentially, you’ve got make it in their interests to follow you back.

2. Target accessible influencers

Before deciding to target an influencer, take a look at their timeline to see how readily they retweet others’ posts. If they only do so once in a blue moon, there’s probably little value in making a beeline for them.

It’s much the same if an influencer boasts a million followers – you’re going to struggle to make it onto their radar, as the likelihood is they are getting hundreds of requests for a retweet or mention every day.

Compile a list which primarily comprises most-like-to-engage types, with a handful of users who might be out of reach, but are worth chasing on the off-chance you get lucky.

3. Carefully construct your “ask”

It goes without saying that going straight in with “Please retweet” without any prior communication will likely fall on deaf ears. Influencers will either think you’re trying too hard or “What’s in it for me?”.

Instead, invite them into a conversation that will be of interest to them. Indulge them a little by asking for their expertise and why it is you need their help. You’ll also need to make it known how you’ll use what they provide, i.e. where it’ll end up, as this could be crucial in their decision on whether or not to respond.

4. Quickly follow-up their response

If you’re going to spend a bit of time targeting influencers, don’t then waste that good work by being slow to respond when they do return contact.

If they’ve provided you with some insight: thank them initially for their contribution, then follow it up by showing them exactly how you used their expertise – whether that be in a presentation to your colleagues or in practice.

From there, be sure to carve out ways to continue the conversation. You never know, they might come to you to ask for a favour before too long…

What tactics do you use for engaging influential personnel on Twitter?