Follow Me!  

Posted by Jonathan E Johns in , , ,


If you're a tweeter (Twitterer?) and you have been around for at least a week, and you have at least 5 people that you are following, then you should be aware of Follow Friday.

One feature on twitter is the Hashtag, which is this: #. With this feature, you can put a hashtag in front of any word, or series of words (With no spaces) and it becomes a topic. When you want to search twitter, you can simply search for a term, or you can search for a hashtag term. So, on Follow Friday, you can search Twitter using; Follow Friday, FollowFriday, #FollowFriday, or #FF. This may seem confusing, but in a social media product which limits you to 140 characters, there are always options.

So, On Follow Friday, which is every friday, you can suggest to your followers who they might follow, according to your recommendation. If you are following me, and I suggest you follow @playpumps for example, I might post this:

@jonjohns65 Follow Friday @playpumps This company makes real change in real peoples lives. Genius, Generous, Water for Children. Follow, Donate. #FF

Now, everyone who follows me sees a snippit of a description, and my opinion as well. But best of all, I have added some keywords, such as the aforementioned Follow Friday keywords. I also left some space in the tweet (Less than the 140 character limit) for others to simply retweet my tweet.

So here is the fun part, if I am wondering who I can follow that might interest me, how can I find someone? Well, first off, on Friday, I will usually get a list of Follow Friday tweets from those whom I follow, and since I am following someone because they interest me, it is likely that I will also be interested in who they are interested in. But I can also quickly and easily search the entire twitterverse for any twitterer who has tweeted a Follow Friday posting.

In the search box I can enter any of the Follow Friday Key words, and end up with something close to 1 million tweets int he last 30 minutes. The problem here, though, is that I see Every tweet that has the keyword in it. I only want to see Follow Friday tweets for things I am interested in. So I refine my search to something like; "Follow Friday" Funny.

This should give me a list of tweets that have Follow Friday in them, and the word funny too. Which should lead me to a bunch of tweeters that are funny, according to someone. I can do the same with any keyword I want, such as; Blog, Interesting, smart, clever, movie, music.

The real issue is that folks who post twitter messages on Follow Friday tend to do it the 'wrong' way. Most often a search on Twitter for "Follow Friday" or "#FF" results in a post something like this:

@Tbryar Follow friday @_Erica_Celeste @allgoldenskies @Charliexoh @Heatharrrrgh @sydneyfamous @Killing_Zombies @cassiestein @MadiRigh

Now, at first glance, this is a lot of folks being recommended. But I know nothing about these people. The poster has entered no information for me to learn anything about why I should follow these recommendations.

There are numerous web pages out there teaching twitter memebers how to use Follow Friday 'effectively',

Mashable (http://mashable.com/) posts his article explaing a bit about Follow Friday:
http://mashable.com/2009/03/06/twitter-followfriday/

And a sort of How To here:
http://mashable.com/followfri/

This great page here shows the most popular Follow Friday mentions on twitter
http://topfollowfriday.com/

And another type of semi-official site:
http://followfridays.com/

But even with all this information out there, there are scores of Twitterers out there simply posting lists. And I think it is a very ineffective way to post. It seems to be a kind of generous thing to do to mention someone in a Follow Friday Post, but it is kind of like sending someone a postcard from your vacation with nothing written on it. It isn't enough to say I should be followed, tell them WHY I should be followed!

If you have searched, and read a few tweets suggesting you should follow someone, you should simply go to that persons twitter page, and read some of the tweets they have posted. Are these posts things you want to read? If so, give them a follow, but if not, save yourself having to un-follow them later, and give them a pass.

All in all, Follow Friday is a trend, a habit, and can easily be the highlight of someones week. And if you are influential enough, or a clever enough tweeter, a mention on a follow friday post can change someone's tweeting experience forever! Imagine if someone with 5,000 10,000 or 100,000 followers mentioned YOU to be followed on a Follow Friday! Your followers might jump from 80- 2000 in one day! And now you are not just posting about what you ate for breakfast to your friends and family, but to thousands of people you do not even know.

If online social media is truly a Vanity Faire, then this could be a fateful, and life changing event for you. Or at least, you might meet some cool people, and feel important for a while.

Finally, If you mention someone in a Follow Friday post, you yourself might gain some new followers from people searching out new tweeters to follow who find your suggestion a good one!

This entry was posted on Friday, October 16, 2009 at 1:06 PM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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