One of the Twitter traditions I share first with clients is Follow Friday.
It’s simple. On Friday, send a Tweet that recommends other people to follow on Twitter. Include the hashtag #followfriday in your tweet, or better yet, #ff, which saves you a few characters. It looks like this:
Follow Friday was created in 2008 (Mashable has the origin story) and has been one of the most consistent traditions (some call it a game) on Twitter ever since. Who you choose, how many people you recommend, and how often you participate are completely up to you.
This is social media karma and curation at its best. Trust me, the beauty and benefits of the game will become clear to as you get a few rounds under your belt.
6 TIPS FOR A BETTER FOLLOW FRIDAY
1. GIVE CONTEXT. Group like accounts. Give a reason why you are recommending these people by adding an additional hashtag or description. In the example above, I added #humor. Try these – #location (#hudsonvalley), occupation, specialty (#politics, #nptech), #donors, #advocates, #customers or #clients, #foodies, #runners, #yankees.
2. HAVE PURPOSE. Be strategic with your groupings. Use them to highlight clients, donors, volunteers, thinkers, influencers, show gratitude, give respect, welcome newbies, wake up a Twitter account you think should be more active.
3. SHOW VARIETY. Recommend big accounts and little accounts. Your recommendation could attract the attention of someone influential or bestow credibility to the small but mighty Tweeter. Also, mix it up. Don’t do the same recommendations every week. It’s OK to repeat, but the same #ff every week is a bit lazy and dull.
Use Follow Friday Helper (pictured below) to get easy recommendations based on who’s mentioned you recently.
4. RECIPROCATE. Minimally, review your Mentions on Twitter to see who recommended you. TopFollowFriday (pictured below) is a tool that will show you #followfriday recommendations, but not those tagged with #ff, so it’s only a partial record. It does go back in time more than other apps, which helps you find and recommend your longtime followers. Definitely thank the people who recommended you, and consider recommending them in return.
5. GIVE PROPS. A slight variation of Tip #4. When you are recommended, check out the other people recommended in the tweet. If you end up following those folks, give thanks for the recommendation! EXAMPLE: @HeyAwesomePerson, I followed @WickedSmartPerson from your #ff list. Thanks!
6. CURATE FROM TWITTER LISTS. This is how I do much of my themed #ff recommendations. I go to my Twitter lists, see who’s tweeted interesting stuff lately, and recommend those people.
For example, during Hurricane Irene, there were a few heroic Tweeters who made it their business to get the word out on road closings, water advisories and rescue and recovery resources. I made a list, checked it twice, and made #ff recommendations.
Have any tips to add, or experiences to share? Share them in the comments section.