I’ve never really liked Twitter’s weekly “Follow Friday” (#FF) trend.
— Micah Baldwin (@micah) January 16, 2009
I always found it to be something of a popularity contest, partly spammy, but mostly I questioned how effective it really was. Of course there’s different ways to lay out your #FollowFriday/#FF that I find to be more effective than others. I don’t think a #FollowFriday tweet listing username after username after username actually gets the user very many new followers.
— Faith Petrusevski (@lovelytrinkets) March 31, 2012
But I do find individualized Follow Friday tweets – where you’re listing just one or two people and including a bit about why they should be followed – are a bit better.
— Kikki Planet (@KikkiPlanet) March 31, 2012
Still I rarely participate in Follow Friday but some “different takes” on the trend that I’ve seen pop up recently is catching my eye and slowly making me more interested.
“I’m hoping the platform that made me and my work visible, fueling my later success, will help make a few other people visible who are doing some incredible work while they’re in college or on their off-time. They’re connected, they’re trailblazers and they’re risk-takers. They’re looking for someone to give them a chance.” – Matthew Keys.
And later listed those he recommended that day on on his blog. Now I don’t know how many journalists actually got a job through his Hire Friday experiment (let alone a follow) but the point is that it was a different twist on an otherwise repetitive trend.
Like me, Jeff says he doesn’t get much out of Follow Friday tweets.
“It seems like an empty recommendation, because I can’t see anything about the person being touted.” – Jeff Elder.
So he created a Storify page featuring 11 people he recommends you follow on Twitter. He wrote a small blurb about them and listed a couple of their tweets so you get an idea of the kind of information you’d be getting if you did follow that person.
Now that kind of thing takes a lot more time and effort than your typical #FF mentions, which probably means they won’t catch on as much or as quickly. One of the obvious perks about #FollowFriday is that it is quick. You can be a part of the trend without putting too much work into it. But to me it’s that extra little bit of work someone puts into it, that snippet of information, that different take on #FollowFriday, that would make me actually click on a user and consider following them.
Matthew and Jeff’s versions of Follow Friday have also encouraged me to see what different take I can put on the trend. So what about you? What kind of different Follow Friday have you seen (if any)? Has this inspired you to try something new with your #FollowFriday tweets next week? Or is it too much work to go beyond just listing some usernames (which is fair… sometimes we just don’t have enough time to dedicate to some things and this would be one of them!)
But what are your thoughts on the trend in general? Do you actually find yourself following people based on Follow Friday recommendations?
Also… don’t forget to follow me! ;)