Dayne Shuda

I'm the CEO and Founder of Hunting Business Marketing. A marketing membership site for hunting industry leaders.

The #1 Secret to Follow Friday Success

Have you ever been the lucky recipient of a #followfriday or #ff from a friend on Twitter?

It’s a great feeling when someone goes out of their way to recognize you as a resource for great insight and connection on Twitter. Recognition for being someone worth following is great for those trying to figure out the point of Twitter.

However, the common practice for a typical #followfriday tweet is to pack as many of your favorite followers into 140 as possible. While this strategy is great for pinging people in your network to let them know you’re thinking of them, it also can appear cheap and potentially a little off putting if the group of folks you include don’t have much in common.

Now, it’s rare that folks are actually offended by being included in a #followfriday. Most do in fact love to be included and recognized in some way by their followers. Some may even get a few new followers because of the referral.

As with most situations in life, however, #followfriday offers people the opportunity to cut through the noise with valuable tweets that create signal and meaning for folks.

The #1 Secret to Follow Friday Success
Something folks love even more than simply having their Twitter handle included in a mass #ff tweet is when someone devotes an entire tweet to something they specifically peg as a reason to follow somebody.

By taking an extra five minutes to break apart your #ff tweets and doing individual #ff tweets instead, you’re showing your followers that you value something specific about what they’re doing. It’s another level of respect you’re paying forward to the folks you value in your Twitter stream.

Rules
1) Use the entire 120 or so characters (How to Get Retweeted – The Formula) to describe something specific and amazing about the people whose tweets you value the most. For my handle (@dayneshuda) I can get away with leaving 15 characters available.

2) Include #ff

3) Include a Website (preferably the actual URL vs. a shortened version…for branding)

4) Give a specific reason for people to follow

Examples

Problogger Follow Friday

Lara Kulpa Follow Friday

Benefits of Going the Extra Mile
I’ve been trying to do this each Friday (although I do miss some) for some of my favorite folks on Twitter and the response has been wonderful and more than I could have imagined.

The folks that I highlight in detailed #followfridays are generally very thankful to be highlighted in a specific way. They seem to appreciate that someone takes the time to recognize their hard work in a field or for being a great friend and someone worth following because of their personality.

Sometimes in response (but never expected) folks have responded with similar, detailed tweets about me. It’s a nice little bonus for making the gesture.

What about your #ff experiences?

Do you leave detailed #ff tweets or the more popular styled #ff tweets?

What are some pros and cons of each?

Related articles on Twitip

#followfriday Revolution

Did @PhilBaumann Just Save Follow Friday?

Follow Friday; Too Much of a Good Thing?

Comments

  • March 20, 2010

    I’m using general #ff because it’s faster… yet I’ve to admit, after reading this I might reconsider my approach.

  • March 20, 2010

    Very true advice. People stop doing #ff with lots of usernames, is just like spam.

  • March 20, 2010

    I don’t have a lot of experience on twitter. That’s why I started to read twitip :) To be honest, I did never think about your #ff ideas. I’m gonna try it today and see how it’ll go.

    Thanks for sharing Dayne :)

  • March 20, 2010

    @Nathan – General #ff is good too. Perhaps a mix of both is one strategy to try.

    @StavroZ – It definitely benefits both the folks you #ff and you. It takes a little extra time and effort, but it’s worth it.

  • March 20, 2010

    I was mentioned by a pretty big tweeter las Friday, but much to my disappointment, I did not get that many follows. I guess I gotta work on making my tweets more interesting–

  • March 20, 2010

    Thanks for posting this – very true. I always try to personalize my #FF tweets but never thought to dedicate an entire tweet to one user. I’ll keep it in mind this week as I read my feed so I’m prepared for next Friday.

  • March 20, 2010

    Some great tips, thanks. Personally I always give an insight into what the person does, for example #ff @exampletag – designer and snowboarding dude.

    I think that no matter how well you word a #ff, people will always go look at that person’s tweets and see if they are of interest to them so I’d not take it too personally if you get #ff’d but gain no/few new followers. We all have different tastes.

  • March 20, 2010

    good information. maybe some people who do “follow Friday” just know that to get a lot of follower alone. they even do not know how to do it right.

  • March 20, 2010

    I tend to do a mix – sometimes I can group a couple of people in a tweet that goes ‘Check out real people training real dogs – #ff @name1 @name2 @name3 @name4′
    Other times I single out a couple people in individual tweets – usually because of an excellent exchange we’ve had earlier in the week.
    And when I am feeling especially rushed, I may tweet the url for one of my Twitter lists – ‘I enjoy the food conversations I’ve been having with (list url) – and I follow them because they add to my day. #ff’
    I often check out one or two new people each week – but pretty much never from someone who tweets five or six list-of-names #ff posts each week. In fact, I’ve been known to UNfollow people who take the multi-tweet, list-of-names approach…volume control. ;)

  • March 20, 2010

    @Gretchen – Good luck trying the new way! I hope it works.

    @Robby – I like that approach too. And you’re definitely right.

    @Pat – A mix is good. And I’ve unfollowed some of the mass ones too include the mass #ff that are retweeted.

  • March 22, 2010

    Great advice! I typically gain anywhere between 20-40 new followers every Friday through my network of #FF. However, I think I’ll try the new system because it does get to look like a ton of #FF spam coming from me. Thank you!

  • March 23, 2010

    This advice was awesome. I’ll be implementing it on the coming Friday.

  • March 23, 2010

    Excellent point!
    I happen to be one of those who thinks the mass #FF shows little creativity and receives little merit, especially when some does 5 in a row.

  • March 23, 2010

    What a wonderful idea. I have only just found out what #ff is! I thought it was something like #ffs! Hahhaha.

    I think it’s a really good idea to list your #ff posts separately as mentioned above and I will be doing so this Friday.

    I hope I’m lucky enough to get some in return! Roll on Friday tweeps! : D

  • March 24, 2010

    Great Tip Dayne! As usual!

  • March 25, 2010

    Last #ff I put everyone in a list but, for the previous couple of weeks, I did about 5 or 6 personalised Follow Fridays and they went down exceptionally well, both with those being recommended and for others not following them, it gave them a reason to check these new people out.

    I think the way to go is to keep my list, which people can check out any time, and then single out some top tweeps for special mentions each week.

  • March 25, 2010

    I have to admit, I haven’t used #ff very much since I started with Twitter. But after reading this, I definitely will post #ff from now on!

  • March 28, 2010

    Good suggestion. I’m new to Twitter and don’t spend a whole lot of time there, but one “con” is that when I see a string of Tweets from the same person, I tend to gloss over them. So if you have more than 3-4 people you’re wanting to Tweet as a #ff. I, for one, might be skipping over them.

  • March 30, 2010

    Great idea for really going that extra mile. Really shows you ,care about and truely have an interest (and knowledge) about someone else. Good way to get noticed and perhaps begin a joint venture partnership.

  • May 23, 2010

    I try to watch how others do things and take the approach that seems to work for them. I had a twitter “influencer” put me in his #ff with several others and it worked very well so I have been using his format.

    Now that I read your article, I think your approach is more persuasive and personal. The extra time in doing it is worth it. At the very least, your follower will see why your value their relationship.

  • June 5, 2010

    I never used #ff in my tweets, i basically add a URL and some hashtags which brand me over twitter.

  • June 17, 2010

    Great idea to add your website domain name to follow friday tweets! I am going to do that this week and see what it does for traffic to my site! Thanks for the tips!

  • July 23, 2010

    Only just discovered #ff and have had great kudos from it. I am new to Twitter, just getting my head around how to navigate.

  • November 21, 2010

    Thank you fort this post.. guilty. I have been pretty generous with #ff with good intentions to recognize and appreciate others; however, I have been a “general” tweeter. I like the ideas and plan to implement. I appreciate the tips.

  • December 14, 2010

    Thanks. I’m new to twitter, and I’ve been curious about the #ff rules!
    Come Friday, I will be ready!

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