When I started using Twitter one of the first uses of hashtags that I saw was #followfriday. What a wonderful idea! It was started by @micah and it is so easy: every Friday you use #followfriday to suggest people to follow. Simple, easy, and fun. An excellent idea!
But why do I say don’t do #followfriday? I started doing #followfriday and send out my first #followfriday tweets just like some of the examples I saw:
After doing a few #followfriday’s I realized that it is not really working. You write a tweet with the #followfriday hashtag and add people you think should be followed and you feel good because you did #followfriday and even better when you receive a recommendation.
But take a good look at the tweet. Why would you follow any of the people mentioned? Because I said so? Or because you like their usernames? And if you receive a lot of tweets like that, who do you follow? A tweet like that does not give you any reason to follow the people recommended.
I agree with @jason_pollock recent Twitter Tip:
Here is a person with more than 52000 followers and he suggest that you add value to your #followfriday tweets. How do you add value to your #followfriday tweets? Look at this tweet by @axito11
and this tweet by @HilzFuld
Both are excellent examples of value added #followfriday tweets. They tell you a bit more about the person and give you a reason to follow them. It is a much better way to do #followfriday than just giving a bunch of usernames.
Speaking of @SmartZombie. He is always creative with his #followfriday tweets and it is very entertaining:
If you see a tweet like that don’t you want to know why does he say that about them? If you want to see more you can have a look at Smart Zombie's Greatest Twitter Follow Friday Shoutouts
@SharonHayes started doing #followfriday in a completely different way. She writes a post on her blog with her #followfriday recommendations and tweet about it. She is doing it this way because “I think that a simple 140 character recommendation isn't enough. Like many others that use Twitter, I believe in quality over quantity” If you see one of her #followfriday posts you will understand what she means by quality!
She also tweeted this tip recently:
Twitter made a change in how replies are handled. If you start with @username only that person, their followers and other people mentioned in the tweet will see the recommendation. You can read more at Sharon’s Twitter Tips.
It is easy to do #followfriday like my first example and it takes a little bit more time and effort to do it like the other examples, but I think most people would appreciate your recommendation more if you put that little bit extra effort in.
So please do #followfriday, just add some value to your recommendations. People that don’t follow you might just start doing it because of that little bit extra that you did.
If you want to, you are also welcome to follow me.
PS. The people mentioned above is also good for #followanytime