How To Use Follow Friday For Maximum Twitter Influence

Today is Friday, so it's the perfect time to talk about Follow Friday. In case you don't know, Follow Friday is the name given to a Twitter update that suggests people to follow on Twitter. For example, if you know someone who shares valuable social media tips, you might post a Tweet like this one. Or if you know someone who Tweets about how to take good photographs, you might post a Tweet like this.

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Compare those Tweets to Tweets that contain a long list of people to follow, like this one. I like those people and their Tweets, but I have to remember that I'm not Tweeting for me. I'm Tweeting for my followers. And when my followers see that Tweet, it will be completely useless to them.

Who will click on all of those people's Twitter handles to investigate whether or not they should follow them? Not! So help your followers and friends out on Follow Friday by doing these simple things.

  1. One person per follow Friday. As @NanasGiftNook said in reply to my Tweet about this issue, it takes additional time to Tweet a Follow Friday that includes just one person, but you get what you give, right? Are you on Twitter to add value or not? It takes time to add value, right?

    If you invest your time to inform your followers, they will invest their time listening to you.

    Now, you could include two or even three people in a Follow Friday Tweet, as was done in this Tweet. (Thanks Beth!) That's obviously better than a long list, and it does say that the people included “know business,” but that still doesn't say much. What do those people know about business? How to start one? How to market one? How to sell one? How to blog for one?

    Sharing more specifically why you think your followers should follow someone is much more effective at helping people decide whether to make the follow.

    Are people you recommend worth a full 140 characters? Using them increases your influence quotient while also helping your followers make good Twitter decisions.

  2. Use hashtags. Use hashtags in your Follow Friday so that people who use hashtags to follow topical discussions on Twitter can learn about a new person who shares their interests. This is a great way to increase your Twitter connections because if someone sees that you are connected to someone they might be interested in following, they may be more likely to follow you since you made the connection for them.

    When you add more value, you get more value!

  3. Be helpful, really helpful. A follow Friday with a long list, followed by a note that says something like, “Great peeps!” (like this one) are not only useless to your followers, but they're useless to the people you are recommending. A Tweet telling people to follow 8 people is just not helpful. In fact, @SironaSprings says she ignores them completely. (She's not the only one!)

    So if you really want to help a friend or business colleague on Twitter, pretend you're at a networking meeting and you want to introduce the group to your friend. You wouldn't include her name in a long list. Instead, you'd introduce her by name and give people an idea of why they should listen to what she has to say.

Follow Friday is a great tool, but like anything else, it's only useful if you make it that way. Taking the bit of extra time (and it shouldn't take you too much time to type 140 characters!) to better inform your followers and help the person you are recommending comes back to you in the form of increased social capital and more influence, which leads to more opportunities to connect and do business with people who can make a difference in your life.

To sum things up, SavonFaire said this about this method of using Follow Friday: “I like your more informative #FF posts. I will definitely consider that in the future. Makes sense to include more info!”

Question: What do you think? Do you take the additional time to add value to your Follow Friday Tweets? Why or why not?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.