#FollowFriday (also known as #FF) was created in January, 2009, by @Micah, a fabulous fellow to follow, himself.
The idea of #FollowFriday is to recommend your favorite twitter users (aka: tweeters or peeps). You can find #FollowFriday tweets by searching for the term at http://search.twitter.com, http://www.TweetDeck.com, or http://www.followfridays.com.
#FollowFriday gets tons of tweets (often thousands per hour), so to help you steer clear of overwhelm, find lots of new peeps who share your interests, and have a ton of fun in the process, I’ve created this list of my Top 10 #FollowFriday Tips.
Above all: Relax and have fun! There is no way you can keep up with #FollowFriday, so don’t even try.
1. Recommend your favorite peeps. Don’t just be a lookiloo. Join in the party by recommending people you like. It creates good karma, strengthens your relationship with your followers, and gets your face seen, in the #FollowFriday timeline, by potential new friends.
2. When recommending someone, say why. #FollowFriday is a high volume tweetathon. It helps the peeps you’re recommending stand out, if you say a little bit about what they’re into or why you’re recommending them. It can be because they’re funny or informative, because of the subject they tweet most about, or because they’re your next door neighbor.
3. When looking up #FollowFriday add keywords of interest to you, such as: writing, blogger, photography, social media, real estate, news, or New York. You’ll get a smaller, more targeted response that includes recommendations that you're likely going to want to follow.
4. When looking up #FollowFriday add the user name of someone on twitter that you like. You’ll see who your friend is recommending (high praise, indeed), who your friend is being recommended by (be sure to check them out), and who is being recommended alongside your friend (chances are you’ll be interested in following them, as well).
5. Don’t forget to check out, and follow, the peeps who are making the recommendations. If you’re skimming through a page of #followfriday tweets to see who’s being recommended, and someone (or someone's tweet) catches your eye and interest, be sure to check out the person who had the good taste to make that recommendation.
6. Send a hello tweet. Finding a new peep to follow is fun, but making a new friend is even better. Don’t just hit the “follow” button, say hello. You can’t DM someone who isn’t following you, yet, so send them a public hello at their @username. Or better yet, check out their home page and respond to something they've said, ask a question, or start a conversation based on mutual interests. This is the best part of #FollowFriday (although you may want to wait until Saturday to say hello, as conversation tweets can sometimes get lost in the high volume lovefest that's #followfriday).
7. Send a thank you tweet. Being recommended by someone is a huge honor, so say thank you when you can. I say "when you can," because #followfriday's gotten so popular, and retweeting #followfriday recommendations has become so big, that it can feel overwhelming (in a wonderful sort of way) when you check out your Mentions box (@YourUserName) and it's full of #followfriday tweets. So send thank you tweets when it feels like a fun thing to do.
8. Stretch yourself, and have fun with your follows. It’s a party. Be willing to say hello to, and follow, people who have different interests than you, or who are in a different business. People who you might not ordinarily meet, or follow. If someone you like and respect recommends someone, then connect with them. That’s part of the fun of twitter. Reaching out and making connections with all kinds of people.
9. Check in several times during the day. Because of the high volume of tweets during #FollowFriday, it can be overwhelming. So follow along for as long as it feels fun and comfortable, then go off and do other things. And when #FollowFriday pops to mind during the day, check in for a little while and see what’s happening.
10. Retweet. If you find a recommendation valuable, then retweet it for your followers. Although #FollowFriday focuses on making new friends, it’s also an opportunity to deepen connections that you’ve already made. (Remember to only use 120 spaces in your #followfriday tweets to leave room for retweeting.)
I think retweeting #followfriday posts has become so popular for several reasons:
- It's a way to provide valuable content to your followers (giving them good people to follow)
- It's an easy way to say thank you to the people recommending you
- Showing that others are recommending you is a form of social proof that your tweets are valuable
- It's fun!
And don't forget to follow me on twitter: @WritingSpirit
(For more writing and twitter tips!)
2 BIG Bonus tips:
#11 Every week recommend a few people in individual tweets. When you recommend only one person per tweet, you have more space to say how wonderful they are and why you're recommending them. These tweets stand out and are more likely to get the attention of the person you're recommending, and the people who read them. They're also more likely to be retweeted, which gets you out in front of more people.
#12 Post #followfriday recommendations on your blog. This gives you an opportunity to go deeper or wider with your recommendations. You can either pick 3 or 4 people to highlight and write a paragraph about each of them, or pick a topic and make a list of the top 7, 10 or 25 people to follow for that interest. It's a great way to both stand out from the crowd on #followfriday, as well as get lots of people to go to your blog.
@WritingSpirit on twitter