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FollowFriday: Why It's Brilliant & How it Can Be Improved

Follow Friday has become a leading Twitter phenomenon. Simply put, every Friday, you recommend people that you enjoy following and tweet it with the hashtag #Followfriday, so as to categorize them and make them easily searchable. This whole trend started as a simple idea, and you can read about it here. In my opinion, this concept pretty much does a good job of defining the Twitter mentality, and is borderline genius. Why is it so smart? Recommending people to follow every Friday helps three different groups of people in one little sentence of 140 characters. Actually, if I am going to be precise, the sentence should be between 125-130 characters, so as to leave room for a retweet. So, if I tweet something for example, and I think it is worth spreading, I should leave space for the next person to write the characters RT@Hilzfuld and then quote my tweet. So who benefits from Follow Friday?

  1. Recommender: This is the least important out of the three, but when you tweet and recommend someone, that person then sees it, and either thanks you at the very least or recommends you to his/her followers, in the best case scenario. However, it is not the thank you or the recommendation that matters, it is the fact that you are "giving back" to the Twitter community, and just like in life, you should not give in order to receive, but getting back is always fun. It is never a good thing to be a taker and not a giver, so continue to recommend for the sake of giving, but you are sure to benefit as well.
  2. Recommendee: This is an obvious one. When you recommend someone, they will inevitably get more followers. Now, I must emphasize, the number of followers is not really what matters, what matters here is that they are now enhancing their Twitter network and broadening their reach by adding people with whom they can now communicate, thanks to your recommendation.
  3. Followers: As of now, there is no one best way to find amazing people to follow on Twitter. This is even more true this week after Twitter changed the whole way replies work. Till this week, you could see who your friends are talking to and follow those people, but now you will not see any replies to people you are not already following. Anyway, its true that there are sites like Wefollow and the obvious Twitter import tool, but nothing compares to following someone who was recommended by a friend whose opinion you value. So when you recommend someone for Follow Friday, you should know that you are doing your followers a service by giving them interesting people to follow.

Now that we established why Follow Friday is a great tool, I have some thoughts on how to improve it. My first suggestion and one that I have implemented weeks ago is to recommend one person per tweet with a reason explaining why to follow them. Most people tweet a long list of people and attach the hashtag, a method that I think is less effective. How do I know if I want to follow these people? Who are they? Do they interest me? If you tweet one recommendation per tweet and a reason, I think people will really respond to your recommendation and follow that person, assuming of course, that person interests them. Another way to enhance Follow Friday is to change the hashtag from #Followfriday to #FF or something else shorter. We are working with a very tight limit when tweeting, why take up so much real estate with the hashtag? Now, the problem is that Follow Friday is already well established so to change the tag will be problematic. If it is not adopted by all, it kinda defeats the purpose. So, as much as I believe in my own Twitter network and their ability to retweet this post, I am pessimistic about this suggestion being accepted by all, so just take it for what it is. In summary, Follow Friday has become a Twitter staple, and the first thing I do on Friday mornings...It is an important and fun way to keep Twitter going. Join the fun and recommend your favorite tweeps every Friday.


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