#Follow Friday; Has It Gotten Out of Hand?

Having recently completed another feverishly paced Follow Friday, I was inspired to write this post.FollowFriday on Twitter is a great way to get introduced to and to meet new people.  Unfortunately many people feel it has gotten out of hand and has become automated.  What do you think?Follow Friday (#followfriday) was started by Micah Baldwin (@micah) in January 2009 as a way for Twitter users to recommend people who they enjoy following to their own followers. As is typical of any good idea in Social Media,  FollowFriday  went “viral” and became a global phenomenon.  Starting on the second FollowFriday, Twitter was exploding with recommendations from around the world.

I believe the idea of FollowFriday is incredible and I love participating. I typically receive well over one hundred new followers on FollowFriday and I do my best to engage with each one of them personally. Remember, Social Media is about engaging the people that follow you! FollowFriday gives Twitter users the opportunity to make a personal recommendation on people that they believe other users should follow.Think about it; in January 2009, FollowFriday started out as an idea with a single tweet!What is the Future of FollowFriday?Along with fellow Twitter friends, I have seen a trend that could, and some say already has, lessened the effectiveness of FollowFriday.  I am talking about the automatic RT (Retweet) of FollowFriday recommendations.  We have all seen them and we have been included in these types of tweets.  People that just automatically RT a list of recommendations, even if they are not following or connected to anyone in the list!  Remember, Social Media is about engaging; how is this engaging?  How can blindly RT’ing a list of recommendations add any credibility to your Tweet or provide another Twitter user with any true recommendation for the persons listed in the original Tweet?How Do You Process Your FollowFriday Tweets?This past #FollowFriday a friend asked me how I responded to all of my recommendations and new followers and managed to keep it personal.  My answer?  It takes a lot of work! With around a hundred recommendations on a typical Friday, which is less than a lot of other Twitter all stars, I take the time to respond to each recommendation or shout out because I believe it is important.How Do Make the Most Out of FollowFriday?

  • DO NOT just list a bunch of names! Make personal recommendations for the people that you engage with and can easily recommend.
  • Start your #followfriday tweets with the #followfriday hashtag so that everyone that follows the hastag will receive the tweet.
  • Follow up – enough said.

Social Media, business relationships, personal relationships and life is about engaging, conversations and following up.What do you see as the future of #FollowFriday?  How do you respond to all of your recommendations?

Comments

  1. Carl Ingalls says:

    If someone recommends me in a FollowFriday tweet and they explain why, I thank them for the FollowFriday *recommendation*. If someone merely mentions me in a list of names, with no explanation why, I thank them for the FollowFriday *mention*. Other than that, I pay no attention to any FollowFriday mentions. They provide no value. – Carl Ingalls

  2. Julia Rosien says:

    John,You’ve addressed a number of issues that are key to whether #followfriday will continue to be a viable way to find great people to follow.It has become a spam contest of sorts and it’s difficult to weed out the authentic posts from the ones playing the game. I think you’re right though – #FF recommendations must be about individuals and why they brighten your world.A random string of peeps is neither helpful or all that pleasant to read.I recieve many, many recommendations and it’s a struggle to thank each one – but I try. I have to admit to being frustrated when I thank someone via DM for their recommendation only to see that they’re not following me.Great job on this subject John!

  3. I agree with you John. I am just now processing all the recommendations and follows I got from last Friday. I used to send a personal welcome message to each new follower but I just can’t scale it anymore, and I don’t want to use any auto-DM tools. Pretty soon the hottest job on the marketing is going to be Social Media Secretary!

  4. Monica Diaz says:

    When I first started on Twitter, #FollowFriday was one of the best ways to find new people. As you begin engaging it gets easier to get introduced, people find you…I try to keep in mind that there are always new people that will benefit from it. I strive to make every Twitter interaction (including #FF) meaningful. Lately, I make notes during the week of people I want to make sure to mention. I have also used Mr Tweet or personalized recommends when I can, but good old fashioned lists work for their simplicity and they will continue to do so if what you mention here continues to be said. Thx for a great post on the subject, John!

  5. Carl Ingalls says:

    If someone recommends me in a FollowFriday tweet and they explain why, I thank them for the FollowFriday *recommendation*. If someone merely mentions me in a list of names, with no explanation why, I thank them for the FollowFriday *mention*. Other than that, I pay no attention to any FollowFriday mentions. They provide no value. – Carl Ingalls

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