#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?