AlanGustin Blog2

Would You Kill #FollowFriday?

Posted in Information, Social Networking by alangustin on February 2, 2011

There has been some buzz on several blogs about the value of FollowFriday tweets on Twitter. If you’ve had a Twitter account for more than a week, then you are probably familiar with this “tradition”. These tweets, which usually include the hashtag #FF, most often contain a list of between 5 – 10 Twitter account names, as a mention of people to follow. A typical #FollowFriday tweet looks like this:

Here’s another…

If you notice, this guy has created his own version of #FF which he calls #SuperSunday #Follow, that he tweets on Sunday. Can we assume @alangustin either a) doesn’t have the time to #FF on Friday; b) he wanted to create a unique #Follow tag; or c) he didn’t want his #Follow tweets to get lost among the deluge of other #FF tweets taking place on Friday? Perhaps all three reasons apply.

@alangustin is not the only tweeter who has created his own #Follow tag. There are tweeples publishing #Follow tweets on every day of the week… #I’mHappyMonday; #TuesdayTweeples; #WonderfulWednesday; #ThirstyThursday (oops, sorry… that’s the night I go out and drink); and of course, #FollowFriday.

You get the picture, right?

As I understand it, this practice was started by someone who wanted to recommend certain follow-worthy Twitter friends to everyone who follows him. Not a bad idea. If I form a real relationship with one of my Twitter friends, and I get value from following that person, naturally I’ll want to promote him/her by mentioning them in a tweet. In turn, reciprocation brings more followers to everyone involved.

What has happened, due in part to over-zealous application of the #FF practice, is that now people are literally “spamming” by sending out sometimes dozens of these #FF tweets in a barrage that might contain the twitter names of all of their followers, in the hope that this will easily increase the number of their followers.

All of these well-meaning people, who probably really feel as if they are doing a good thing, may need to take a closer look at this practice, and re-evaluate its efficacy. The spawn of #Follow tweets occurring on every day of the week has prompted some to question whether this practice has simply become “noise” in the Twittersphere – taking up precious space on their TweetDeck consoles and diluting its effect to the point of becoming mundane or useless.

It could be suggested that most of the buzz surrounding this topic comes from those who have been successful at obtaining a vast amount of Twitter followers. Conversely, those of us who have a modest number of followers may gain valuable new ones through the use of FollowFriday. Some, who have already gained hundreds of thousands of followers probably consider FollowFriday to be a major distraction, as mentioned before, and naturally desire less noise among their noise. This is the basic premise of the argument (in my humble opinion), and I think both sides have viable opinions and suggestions that should be considered.

To provide some background, please read these blog posts:
The Chris Voss Show
TheNextWeb.com
F. Andy Seidl

As you can see, there have already been some great blog posts about this topic which contain varying opinions. But some think the conversation needs to continue. For those, I post the following questions, which you may answer in your comment.

What to do about FollowFriday?

Simply copy and paste the questions to the comment box, add your answers, then post your comment.
1) How many Twitter followers do you currently have?

2) Do you post #FF tweets?

3) If you answered “yes” to #2, how do you do it? (i.e., are you selective with your list, or do you include all of your followers by using multiple tweets?)

4) If you answered “yes” to #2, do you get new followers via #FF, and if so, is it a significant amount?

5) If you get new followers using #FF, what do you do with them? (i.e., follow-up with contact, add to list, get to know, ignore, etc.)

6) Do you use #FF on days other than Friday? If so, why?

7) Do you automatically Retweet #FF tweets that mention you? If so, why?

8) Would you consider using #FF more effectively, such as limiting your #FF tweets to Friday only? If so, would you put more thought into your #FF tweets?

9) Do you think #FF tweets (and all similar tweets on other days of the week) should stop altogether?

10) Do you feel you have a “right” to tweet whatever you want, and if that includes #FF, then that’s your business?

11) If you could post one question about this topic (not already mentioned above), what would it be?

Some people who use Twitter consider the social network to be an extremely valuable asset pertaining to forming new relationships – whether business or personal. Others use Twitter for mere entertainment. Whatever your reasons for using Twitter, many wish to keep it alive and relevant. Some think that the over-use of #FollowFriday is ruining the Twitter experience for others. Lately, it seems that #Follow tweets are becoming irrelevant by virtue of mere volume. Should we all consider being more creative in the way we approach gaining new followers? Or should we ignore the self-regulating aspects of a social networking phenomenon like Twitter? Each question produces another. So be it.

Follow Up

After enough comments are in, I’ll tally up the results and publish them in a follow up post. We can then discuss the way we might all agree to change our FollowFriday practices so as not to create animosity among the Tweeples.

Note to readers: I am one person who is guilty of sending the “spamming” kind of #FF tweets. I have been practicing #SuperSunday #Follow for a long time, and now I see that there may be a better way to go about gaining new Twitter friends. I include this note so I don’t come off as a hypocrite. Being relatively new to Twitter, I am always open to the suggestions of others. Some of the opinions I’ve read regarding FollowFriday make complete sense, and I look forward to reading the comments of others who may, like me, come away with a new outlook on FollowFriday. There is also a deeper, underlying topic that this post may bring to mind, and that is: “Does it matter that I have 500,000 Twitter followers if I never interact with them on any level?”

…food for thought. — Alan

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5 Responses

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  1. Brady Darnell said, on February 3, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I rarely use #FF. If I do, I put the suggestees Twitter handle and the reason why I recommend them in one tweet, without any other names. I don’t follow many people nor do I have many followers. I only promote two blogs which I write for fun, so I’m not looking to Twitter to turn a profit either. If I get more followers because my blogs are interesting, great. If not, it doesn’t really matter to me. I certainly would not do the #FF spamming thing to get more follows. Incidentally, my no. 1 reason for unfollowing someone so far: #FF spamming.

    • alangustin said, on February 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      That’s interesting. Thanks, Brady. I’m curious about how many others “unfollow” over-users of #FollowFriday?

  2. Todd Snyder said, on February 3, 2011 at 5:56 am

    ) How many Twitter followers do you currently have? 627

    2) Do you post #FF tweets? I haven’t.

    3) If you answered “yes” to #2, how do you do it? (i.e., are you selective with your list, or do you include all of your followers by using multiple tweets?)

    4) If you answered “yes” to #2, do you get new followers via #FF, and if so, is it a significant amount?

    5) If you get new followers using #FF, what do you do with them? (i.e., follow-up with contact, add to list, get to know, ignore, etc.) add to list and get to know by reading tweets and tweeting

    6) Do you use #FF on days other than Friday? If so, why? no

    7) Do you automatically Retweet #FF tweets that mention you? If so, why?

    8) Would you consider using #FF more effectively, such as limiting your #FF tweets to Friday only? If so, would you put more thought into your #FF tweets? sure

    9) Do you think #FF tweets (and all similar tweets on other days of the week) should stop altogether? no

    10) Do you feel you have a “right” to tweet whatever you want, and if that includes #FF, then that’s your business? no

    11) If you could post one question about this topic (not already mentioned above), what would it be? Are #FF on Friday listings of value or not

  3. Merseyinnovator said, on February 3, 2011 at 9:56 am

    How many Twitter followers do you currently have?
    112

    2) Do you post #FF tweets?
    Yes

    3) If you answered “yes” to #2, how do you do it? (i.e., are you selective with your list, or do you include all of your followers by using multiple tweets?)
    one a week, only one follow, I always say why

    4) If you answered “yes” to #2, do you get new followers via #FF, and if so, is it a significant amount?
    don’t no but probably not

    5) If you get new followers using #FF, what do you do with them? (i.e., follow-up with contact, add to list, get to know, ignore, etc.)
    add to list

    6) Do you use #FF on days other than Friday? If so, why?
    no

    7) Do you automatically Retweet #FF tweets that mention you? If so, why?
    no, what use are they to my followers?

    8) Would you consider using #FF more effectively, such as limiting your #FF tweets to Friday only? If so, would you put more thought into your #FF tweets?
    I do and yes, I do

    9) Do you think #FF tweets (and all similar tweets on other days of the week) should stop altogether?
    copyists should stop

    10) Do you feel you have a “right” to tweet whatever you want, and if that includes #FF, then that’s your business?
    People alway will, i unfollow those who are annoying

    11) If you could post one question about this topic (not already mentioned above), what would it be?

  4. […] care about anymore. It has only been a few days, but out of about 150 people who visited the post “Would You Kill #FollowFriday?” — only four left comments, indicating that the topic has been done to death already, or that […]


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