For difficult-to-reach people, you may be able to connect with them via Twitter.
The first step is to follow them. No matter what you do next, if they notice you, you want them to see you are following them, and give them the chance to direct message you on Twitter. Especially don’t make the mistake of sending a direct message to someone that follows you that you don’t follow—they won’t be able to reply!
Don’t fail to follow them and then suggest connecting by email. Some people don’t want to give out their email to people they don’t know, other simply want to avoid it to keep the number of emails they receive low.
How do you find the right people?
You’ll want to be familiar with “How to find and engage influential Twitter users” and “How ANYONE can become incredibly popular on Twitter.”
You have three options for connecting:
1. Connect with someone already connected to them
If they don’t follow too many people, check to see who follows you that they follow, e.g.
If person you want to contact follows someone (an intermediary) who follows you, the intermediary is the person you want to get in touch with.
If they follow a lot of people, look at who they are sending tweeted messages (@replies) to. When you find one, use Twitter search to see if they have communicated with them more than once recently.
2. Connect with them via comments (such as on a blog)
If they provide a link to a website (or an internet search turns up a link to their website) comment on their blog. Particularly if they have a post that is relevant to what you want to talk to them about. If they don’t respond to you, see who they DO respond to, and try to make a connection to that person.
Why not just tweet them?
Some people respond to tweets from people they don’t know, others do not. It can be because they get too many tweets, or because they don’t want to be accessible to people they don’t know. Some just realize that if you make the effort to reach them some other way, it shows you are making an effort to learn something about them.
If you want to tweet them, start by retweeting a few things of theirs to possibly get their attention, and show that you are a real person paying attention to what they are doing on Twitter.
3. What if it doesn’t work?
Try asking your contacts, both on and off Twitter, if they have any connection to the person you’re trying to reach. Reaching people is a networking skill, and networking can take time.
What should you say when you make a connection?
You should spend some time making a connection before asking for anything. Do as much as you can for them before asking for anything. See “An easy way to get someone’s attention on Twitter” for some simple ideas to get you started. Learn more about what you can do for someone by browsing through “How ANYONE can become incredibly popular on Twitter.”
Scroll down to “How to tweet your request for help” at this post for ideas on what to say.