I’m an advocate for bringing Follow Friday back to basics. Tweets should be excellent SEO copywriting, Social Media marketing and communication in 140 characters, never a list of incoherent names. Let’s remember what the ‘FF’ of Twitter is meant to be all about.
As one of twitter’s most beloved traditions, similar to what the prom is to a Hollywood high school, the tradition and original concept has never been about popularity but about celebrating the end of the year – or at least the beginning of a new one. However, realistically, it is about popularity. Twitter has slipped into a bad place regarding Follow Friday, and it might take more than some SEO copywriting to get it back on track.
Tradition on Twitter
First of all, let me tell or remind you what “Follow Friday” is traditionally. It’s about suggesting Tweeple because you like their tweets and think others will too. It’s a little weekly prize, if you will. It’s a call-out for those whom you feel have contributed to the Twitter community in a fun, informative and enjoyable way, that week or in general. This means that you should suggest Tweeple based on their activity ON TWITTER.
Who deserves an Oscar and why?
Furthermore, in the same way as when you are actually giving out a prize or acknowledgment, it’s not just a name. Continuing with the theme of Hollywood, imagine the Oscars being merely a list of names of the winners, not explaining what film or role or position or even category it was that made the Oscar winners special enough to take home that much loved golden metal man. Without the build up, without the competition and most importantly, without the actual acknowledgement for each single one within their own time frame the whole occasion just wouldn’t be as valuable or special as it is. Obvious, right? This means that when you think someone is worthy of a call-out, you should employ some SEO copywriting basics and actually write the reason for that honour and give each suggestion a whole tweet and make it poignant. There’s a reason they won that position. Tell your followers why that call-out is worthy of your weekly prize! And why they should follow whom you suggest.
Unlike the Oscar or the high school prom Follow Friday happens every week, not just once a year. That means it doesn’t have to be a three-hour long fest covering every imaginable category. Imagine having an Oscar ceremony every week! How very boring, time consuming, and even worse – repetitive. Keep it to a manageable 3-5 suggestions per Friday, each week suggesting someone different unless you REALLY like someone.
What Follow Friday is not about
When you look at your Twitter timeline on a Friday, preferably during lunch time, it looks like you’ve landed in a heap of autumn leaves. One can’t see the good trees aka tweeple from all the names that are listed and keep coming, randomly placed next to each other in a stream of tweets. It diminishes the fun, honour and genuine suggestion that Follow Friday is meant to be. So, in order to bring that back, please stop doing the following:
- creating general lists of names to follow
- clogging up the timeline with hundreds of Tweeple names all crammed into several tweets
- suggesting Tweeple you want to please
- suggesting your friends who are never on Twitter just because they’re your friends
- suggesting your friends who are on twitter too much just because they’re your friends. Either they clog up everyone’s time line or they only talk in private providing nothing of interest to a new follower
- suggesting the top ten random Tweeple who re-tweeted you even if they’re semi-spam
- suggesting Tweeple you feel sorry for
- suggesting Tweeple because they suggested you (just thank them instead)
- and in some very bad cases, suggesting Tweeple who asked you to suggest them!