For those of you who use Twitter, the weekly Follow Friday ritual is a time-honored way of telling your followers about some of the worthy people you follow. It’s also a horror show of tweets that are nothing but a list of as many user names as the sender could jam into 140 characters preceded (maybe) by the #FF hashtag.
Obviously, the latter way of spreading the Follow Friday love is not very good at all. But what way is good? Well, consider this tweet, from my friend Craig. It is perhaps the finest Follow Friday recommendation anyone’s ever made for me.
Impressive, huh? I certainly thought so when I saw it. But what makes it so good and, more importantly, how can you write a Follow Friday tweet that’ll impress your friends as much as Craig’s impressed me? I can break it down to three things, which I can sum up in one sentence: It’s a purpose-written recommendation focused on one user.
Let me elaborate.
Purpose-written and focused.
I’ll put these two items together since they’re all tangled up together. Just as no-one cares when some celebrity shows up to shill for a product you know they don’t care much about, no one will care if you jam a bazillion names into a Follow Friday tweet. They will care, however, if you take a couple minutes to tell them exactly what you like about the person you’re recommending.
Don’t be afraid to be creative, either. I’ll bet, if you know anything about Akira Kurosawa, Craig’s tweet put a few images in your mind about me and my podcast, The Delivery. I’ll bet that, if you haven’t heard The Delivery, you’re at least a little bit curious to see for yourself if those mental images are true. If nothing else, you know that I do a podcast and that Craig thinks I do a pretty good job with it.
He did all that with a very clever comparison and with plenty of room to spare. That’s good tweeting, right there.
Focused on one user.
Nobody, but nobody, pays a bit of attention to those assembly line, jam in as many names as you can fit, Follow Friday tweets. In fact, I’ll bet they lose the sender more followers than they gain the subjects of the tweet. If you’re going to take the time to tell all the people who think enough of you to follow your tweets about someone else, why wouldn’t you focus their attention on specific people you think are worthy?
Look at it this way. When you recommend a restaurant to your friends, do you blurt out a list of eight restaurants at random? Of course you don’t. Neither would you drag a small gang of people to me at a party and fire out their names then walk away. That, however, is what most people do with the Follow Friday tweets. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself then tell me you’d have any interest in follow someone on one of those list tweets.
Focus your recommendation on one or two (at most three) people and not only will the person you recommended thank you but your followers will as well.
I’ll finish up with this. You can be very useful on Twitter when you recommend good people for others to follow. The more useful you are, the more followers you’ll get. Craig has only about 1,100 followers now, but I’ll bet you that in a few months that number will be much higher because he takes the time to make his recommendations special and focused. In fact, you should follow Craig right now.