#followfriday is a great idea, at least on paper. You recommend your favorite tweeps for others to follow. It’s all about sharing, right?
In practice, it doesn’t really work like that. Most people just mindlessly flood long lists of Twitter usernames every Friday, forgetting that Twitter is a social media, not a broadcast media.
Twitter users have started skipping the recommendations just like they skip blatant marketing tweets. One Friday I received seven #followfriday mentions – and not a single new follower.
So how could we make #followfriday more social and thus more useful?
I propose using a personalized approach to #followfriday. You ask others for recommendations (such as “female sports bloggers” or “witty dads from Arizona”), either as a normal tweet or by posing a question to someone. They reply with names of Twitter users – preceding the initial @ with a period or something else, if they want others to see their recommendations. All tweets should be tagged with #ff or #followfriday, of course.
This would decrease the annoying flooding and increase the odds of the recommendations actually getting read – and make it much more sensible to track #followfriday recommendations from strangers.
Obviously you could also send your followers a recommendation even without any prompt. Have several followers who love reality shows? Introduce them to each other! By doing this you not only help others, but boost the chances of them a) introducing good folks to you b) recommending you to someone else. And of course, you come off as a nice, helpful person, which doesn’t hurt whether you tweet for a company or just for fun.
Feel free to post your own recommendation in the comments – but keep it to a certain niche, whether that’s female sports bloggers, witty Arizonian dads or people posting great silent movies on YouTube.