Have you wondered with this #FF (FollowFriday) is all about on Twitter? Maybe you see it every Friday but aren’t exactly sure of the benefits of this popular Twitter practice.
For those of you that are out of the loop, when you see “#FF” on Twitter, that’s a nice shout out from a Twitterer telling their followers that the mentioned users are worth following.
“FollowFriday” on Twitter is a great day for engaging with people in your network in a positive and friendly way. It can also be an extremely effective way to grow and strengthen the connection you have with your friends and followers if done properly.
Doing this for others greatly enhance your chances of having it reciprocated for you in future Follow Fridays.
THE PROBLEM OF #FF
There are a couple issues with the status quo and the popular methods of doling out the “Twitter salute” each Friday. Here are a few problems I have personally noticed:
1. There are too many people being shouted out to in one post.
2. Your followers don’t know why they should follow these people.
3. Your followers aren’t following the people you suggest to them.
Is it the end of the world or really a bad thing if you shout out to a bunch of people in one post with no rhyme or reason? No, but it doesn’t accomplish the implied goal of attracting more Twitter followers exceedingly well.
I chose not to post pictures of users exercising less-than-stellar techniques, but you have seen them many times before. 140 characters of straight Twitter IDs will NOT get anyone followed. Trust me on this!
THE SOLUTION TO MAKE #FF WORK FOR YOU
Winning over the attention of your target market in 2011 has been like trying to flag down a plane by waving your arms. In a forest.
You can’t reasonably expect people to check out and follow every user that gets a #FF on Twitter, so how do you go about ensuring they do actually follow-through on the follow and why should you even care?
The simple reason is reciprocity. A fellow tweep remembers when you give a #FF and it means even more when it actually has a positive outcome for them. Social media is all about seizing every opportunity to get in front of more eyeballs and a great way to do that is by having more people on your side that feel good about helping you spread your message.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to optimize your Follow Friday:
1. Tell people why they should follow the users you suggest with your #FF – When you mention somebody on Follow Friday, you should get in the habit of telling people why you are suggesting they follow them. Even though this doesn’t necessarily build your following, it helps strengthen your relationships with your connections with other Twitter users. What goes around, comes around and adding a simple compliment to your #FF can go a long way!
Here are a couple of great examples:
Don’t you wish you got more comments like these every #FollowFriday? Genuine and informative…textbook execution of a great shout out!
2. If you are mentioning more than one user in a #FF, try to make them relevant. We all break this rule once in a while and there is nothing really wrong with that. The bigger problem is that there isn’t much right with it, meaning it often fails to generate interest in the suggested users.
Here are some great examples of including multiple people in one post the right way.
This is effective because you immediately capture the attention of all fitness enthusiasts by telling them these users are all fitness pros. A much better way to spread the love!
This is a really nice way to mention multiple people on Follow Friday. Quite often you might want to suggest certain people simply because they’re funny or say interesting things. This is an ideal way to spotlight those tweeters and help them out!
3. Have a genuine interest in your friends and followers’ success
Don’t get me wrong, the gesture of giving a #FF will be well received by the person you shout out to. What I’m trying to encourage is for you to consider taking a real, genuine interest in the success of the people you recommend. Extending this philosophy into real life will yield great results in your professional and personal relationships too.
This is honestly the key to true social media success. You can’t get anymore social then that! Being fake will quickly reveal your ulterior motives, no matter how well you think you’re hiding them.
Don’t miss an opportunity to shine the light on a great tweep!
Trust me. What goes around, comes around….
So The Next Time You Decide To Give The Gift of #FF…
Shouting out to someone on #FollowFriday without telling people why is like throwing a surprise birthday party for a loved one but forgetting to tell their friends when to show up.
If you really think someone is worth following then help them make use of your gift by attaching a small comment, compliment or sentiment to show some human character in your recommendation.
It will always be much easier to get other’s attention by trying to help them rather than help yourself! If you still aren’t convinced helping others is the best way to help yourself then click here to read this blog.
What was the best mention you have ever gotten on FollowFriday? Share with us in the comments below!