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Follow Friday: what it is and how to make it meaningful

If you’re new to Twitter, you might find it hard to navigate the site, figure out how to tweet in 140 characters, and most importantly, you’re probably wondering who to follow. A popular Twitter meme called “Follow Friday” might be your saving grace. You might just get mentioned and think you’re the coolest person ever to rock a Twitter timeline however since its inception, most people have felt its value drop a little.

Follow Friday began in January 2009 when Micah Baldwin sent a tweet:  “I am starting Follow Fridays. Every Friday, suggest a person, and everyone follow him/her. Today its….”

Back then, Twitter was fairly brand new and his intentions were good. Now Follow Friday has turned into an empire. People are getting lazy and using Follow Friday apps or scheduling these tweets. Follow Friday has become an endless string of people to follow that hardly anyone pays attention to. Would you follow a random list of people without knowing why you’re following them and what value they would provide to you and your timeline? I know I surely wouldn’t and I cringe every time my name is added to that list. Friday is something I look forward to but instead I watch as my Twitter mentions get blown up with #FF threads. I love, respect, and admire these people however I also wish I could educate them on the proper way to mention me in a Follow Friday thread.

Most Twitter users, myself included, will follow someone if you give us a reason. Did they help you on a project? Do they tweet meaningful articles? Are they a comedian? Are they a great conversationalist? These are all perfect examples of why a Twitter user should be followed. Take a moment and think about why you’re recommending a certain group of people to be followed and perhaps only pick a handful each Friday instead of a list of people.

A proper Follow Friday tweet should read like this: #FF: Today I recommend you follow @{twitteruser} b/c they tweet some awesome content & are always helpful.

I have also seen users compose a weekly Friday blog post of Twitter users they have engaged with throughout the week or month that they have recently met, found useful, or they think are great resources on Twitter. Others have created “Follow Friday” lists and will tweet out why these users are in their special lists. The point is: Follow Friday should be meaningful and provide value to your users. Why should your Follow Friday recommendations be followed?

Is there something we missed and let us know who you’ll be recommending this Friday and why?

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