Follow Friday Mistakes on Twitter

Every Friday on Twitter, users on Twitter recommend other people to follow using the #followfriday hashtag. This sounds nice in theory, it gives tweeters a chance to suggest and find other cool people to follow.

Unfortunately, some people do it so, so wrong. Do you make these mistakes?

List a bunch of people without any context – This is when you tweet something like the following:

#followfriday @arandomperson @totallyunrelatedperson @someotherguy @someothergal @whocares @nooneispayingattentionanymore

What’s the problem? There’s no context. Noone knows why you’re suggesting these people to follow. Who are they? What do they do?

More than likely, the people you recommend in this way won’t get a single new follower, except maybe some spammer bots. You could get more followers by tweeting a keyword like “vertigo” and have doctors respond to you.

Too many Follow Friday tweets at once – This is kind of like the mistake above, except multiple times worse. This is when you list a bunch of random people, and then do it again, and then do it again, and again, until your Twitter stream is completely flooded with useless #followfriday tweets.

Challenge? Try this out and see if your follower count doesn’t decrease.

Recommend yourself (and never recommend anyone else) – This is when you say something like the following:

Hey everyone, remember to recommend @themelab for #followfriday, because I’m full of awesome-sauce and I want as many followers as possible!

And after that, never recommend a single other person. To top it off, never even respond/thank to the nice (but deluded) followers you have that actually recommended your self-indulgent self for #followfriday.

To put it simply, you’ll look like a selfish douche and most of your followers will probably be turned off by it.

The right way – Let’s start with an example of a good Follow Friday tweet, and then go over why.
Good Follow Friday

  • It’s put in context – People who see this tweet will have an idea who these people are, they’re familiar with WordPress and/or web development.
  • Only two recommendations – Followers won’t be as overwhelmed as they would be with the recommendations maxed out to 140 characters.
  • It has me in it – This is an especially awesome recommendation because I (@themelab) am recommended in it. It was also not solicited at all (see “Recommending yourself” above).

Conclusion – So any of you who actually still participate in Follow Friday, I hope you found these tips useful. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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3 Comments

  1. then theres the API’s that do spam recommendations for #ff I remember being seeing someones account recommend everyone he made any contact with that week! Including people who followed him.

    1. There’s no doubt Follow Friday is abused by some, including spam bots.

      All the noise just makes #ff lose its value. That’s why I like to see fewer recommendations, and more context.

  2. People who dont care about follower count dropping or increasing, will just use #ff @thisperson @thatperson etc.. because they dont care, because someone out there will take 2 seconds from their life to click on that @whoever and have a read at the bio then decide if they want to follow.

    #ff can be a bit annoying at times, but isn’t that what twitter is all about? :p

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