If you’re an avid Twitter-er (is that even a word?) then you are no doubt familiar with #FollowFriday. It’s a Twitter tradition of suggesting to your Twitter followers other people for them to follow. Using the hashtag #FF or #followfriday, you’ll see something like this:
#FF @rondawson, @tasradawson @crossingthe180 @teenidentity
The theory is that people who follow me will click through to these fellow Twits and see if they’re worth following. There’s one problem though: often times people will fill their entire 140 character tweet with #FF suggestions. Some go so far as to do 2, 3 or even more tweets in a row to get in all the people they want to suggest. (If you really need to suggest that many people, create a Follow Friday List). Now, let me ask you. When was the last time you actually saw one of these marathon #FF tweets and clicked through to everyone? My guess is few to never.
I wanted to share my personal Follow Friday philosophy. It’s by no means the “right” way to do it. It’s just how I do it.
- #FF is to benefit my followers, not the people I suggest: a lot of people look at Follow Friday as a benefit to the people their suggesting. And it definitely can be. But for me, my primary objective is usually to benefit my followers. If I come across an avid Twitter-er with content I know my followers will appreciate and benefit from, that’s who I will suggest. My followers tend to be photographers, filmmakers, videographers, and small business folks, so I’m going to #FF people with content that appeals accordingly. A secondary benefit is to the person I’m suggesting.
- 1 person per #FF recommendation: When I do a Follow Friday reco, it will be one person per tweet. The reason is because I really want you guys to follow this person. I don’t just want to give a shout out to them and let them know I tweeted them (which, I confess, I also part of the motivation, but by no means it the main reason).
- Who it’s for and why: I try to put in the tweet who should follow this person (i.e. which category of my followers is the tweet for) and why. So I may do something like: #FF reco: if you’re serious about social media marketing follow @michaelhyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson.
- People my followers may not yet be following: Michael Hyatt has over 92,000 followers. Yet, since a large percentage of my followers are photographers and filmmakers, chances are good they have not put the CEO of the largest Christian publishing company on their list of people to follow. So, despite his massive following, it makes sense for me to recommend him. On the other hand, I would most likely never recommend @philipbloom, @zarias, or @chasejarvis. Why? Because there’s a 99.99% chance my followers are already following these guys.
- Someone with something to offer: lastly, whenever I recommend someone, it’s because 1) they have some quality offering (a great blog that’s updated consistently, awesome and inspiring work, etc.), and 2) they are active in the Twitter community. There’s no point recommending someone who only tweets once in a blue moon.
So there you have it. Why and how I do my Follow Friday’s. So, if you’ve ever given me a #FF shout out and I didn’t return the favor, it could be because you’re already too popular. 🙂 Remember, Follow Friday is to give, not to get.
What do you guys think of my strategy? How do you choose whom you recommend on Follow Friday?
It’s a great strategy, and really the only kind I would click!
Carl Reid says
Great advice as usual. Quick question, I’m one of those photogs that started the business with existing social network tools (e.g., facebook, twitter) but I’m curious “If you didn’t have these tools, would you have developed your business differently?”
Ron Dawson says
Hey Carl. I guess the answer to your question is yes cuz I wouldn’t have any other choice if we didn’t have these tools. As far as how I might have developed my business, probably the same way I did before I discovered social media. Networking, networking, networking. Also, I was producing video podcasts as early as 2006 in order to get my company name out there.