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FollowFriday and Twitter Memes

FollowFriday and Twitter Memes

Twitter Memes are trends, activities or sayings associated with Twitter. It might be something you do individually (such as the “5 things you don’t know about me”), things that have grown up around Twitter that make it more useful (Retweets and Hashtags are two examples), or might be something people do as a group for fun.

One of the most popular Twitter Memes is Follow Friday. It is a group thing where everyone suggests other Twitter users to follow, each Friday. One problem is inevitably you are going to NOT suggest someone, who will then feel bad – is there a way to make it fair and not have people feeling overlooked?

I asked my Twitter followers today and here were their suggestions:

  • Opt out – Just don’t get involved
  • Categorize – So perhaps you would have “PR Twitters” or “Scottish Twitters”
  • Only new Twits – Recommend the people from the last week who made an impact
  • Helpful Twits – People who helped you especially this week
  • Most interactive – Suggest people who had the most conversations with you
View Comments (31)
  • Hey Chris, good post and great list of reasons…it’ll help others better understand the meme.

    In my e,experience people seem to get their shorts in a knot over #followfriday as much as they do when they don’t feel the twitter ‘love’ when someone doesn’t follow them back.

    Personally, I think about my followers, my audience, and what they would like to see from me. I recommend other twitter users who I found of benefit to me, and would likely benefit my audience.

    Keep up the great work..

    — Brad

  • In a less-metropolitan and less-tech savvy region, community-building may be even more important and/or beneficial. So, I’m doing my best to foster more of that community spirit by making it a point to suggest other Twitter users from my local area.

  • I go with a mix of people that I’ve had the most conversations with, and people that I’ve found to be the most helpful. I also try to focus on newer users or users that don’t already have a lot of followers, since the whole point is to introduce someone that your followers aren’t already following.

  • Chris,

    #FollowFriday is getting so ubiquitous that it could be loosing it’s “freshness” if it hasn’t already. This means that there’s a huge opportunity for creative individuals who can join the stream, but differentiate themselves in some way.

    One thing that @sarahrobinson did, which I think is brilliant, is to create #tweepletuesday. On this day, she goes beyond just listing people. She puts some real thought into who she knows, and then introduces people who might otherwise not know about each other.

    As you’ve taught me, value is the key. What can be a truly useful contribution to #followfriday? I think if people rack their brains on this, then #followfriday will avoid becoming stale.


  • Yes, the #followfriday hash tag has become famous and has gotten everybody excited about sharing their recommendation on to the twitter stream. I even made a post on to my blog regarding the hashtag as more and more people were inquiring about it. Well just as what i said on the post. My rules for recommending would be the following:

    1. The person has helped me grow in terms of knowledge on my chosen field of interest
    2. The person is very engaging
    3. If i know that my other followers will definitely benefit from following the recommended tweeple

    I do make a conscious effort when making my recommendations to make sure that the experience is worthwhile for others as well. I have had the great opportunity of learning and meeting good twitter citizens because of #followfriday and would like it to continue to be worthwhile.

  • To be honest I just don’t get involved. I find more value in occasionally going through the lists of people I already follow, or following someone who looks interesting as the result of a re-tweet one of the people I already follow does, or simply when someone I discover elsewhere on the web has published their Twitter username,

    I find FF a bit contrived, but that’s just me. :)

  • I always pimp people on Twitter, because that’s just how I am. Follow Friday serves a need – plenty of people are new to Twitter or looking for more people to follow and it gets people to tell them who to follow – something they may not otherwise do. Every time I recommend someone, other people complain I didn’t include them. Oh, well. Since I had some family just join Twitter last week, I posted a whole list of my favorite funny people to follow –

    Of course, you can always follow me if you like 140 character jokes.


  • I tend to ignore the tweets that just list a bunch of names but give no reason why they’re being recommended. The ones that I pay attention to are the ones that tell me why those people are being recommended. “Follow these guys for great info on marketing …” or “These folks always have great info on small biz …” Tell me why you’re recommending them and then I’ve got more incentive to check them out. The people you’re recommending will benefit from this, too.

  • Honestly, there are some fantastic people out there to follow- however I rarely participate in #followfriday because all of my followers are special in someway and I feel that I’d rather not lose the bond I have with some of them due to just suggesting a few of them. If anything I’d say… follow all my follwers, they rock, and if someone in particular is just awesome, I thank them and let them know it regardless if its friday, tuesday, or which ever day.

  • Great. Thanks for this post. I’ve tried to get people to change the blanket #followfriday with no Context for a few weeks now.

    I always use a context:

    – Great linkers
    – Politicos
    – Journalists
    – Advocacy
    – News feeds


    How about #UnFollowFriday?

    Shaun Dakin

  • Honestly, #followfriday never seemed to be such a big deal. If the people that I enjoy ‘talking’ to suggest others during #followfriday I check them out and follow them if they seem interesting. After all, Twitter is about communicating. It’s an easier way to navigate my way to those whom I may share an interest with then clicking through the endless page of users.

  • I never gave it any thought. I figured I was giving a shout out to the people I’ve found the most helpful this week,and who have a special spot in my heart (ah!) But I think we make too much of these things because frankly, we’re all too busy. There’s a lot more in the world we can get upset about, n’est pas?

  • I wondered what the HECK #followfriday was all about. Thanks so much for the great explanation!

  • I also recommend people use context, I run and harvest the tags associated with the tweet like so:

    #followfriday I recommend @user1 #entrepeneur #webdeveloper @user2 #php @user3 #wordpress.

    Now, those users are associated with those tags on my site. This allows users to see the top recommended people tagged with “php”, etc.

  • I think I’ve found a new maneuver. I got some follower email. I go to their profile and click message. But, I find out in a minute that I can’t message them unless I follow them. I understand the DM, but this is just @, so what the heck. Either I don’t thank them, or what. No, these are not people I’m going to follow for whatever reason.

    So I send them an @ from the normal command line. If I understand this now, I’m in effect saying that these people are worth following. Ouch!

    I’ll be more careful going forward.

  • For me, FollowFriday is a way to show my gratitude to folks I have enjoyed or learned from. Throughout the week, as I think, “Wow how cool!” I do two things. First, I thank that person right then.

    But then I also scribble my thoughts into a word-processing file. On Friday, I can then thank that person by telling the world why I think they’re terrific. “I follow @abcdef because he always makes me laugh.” or “I follow @ghijklm because he gave me the best marketing advice EVER this week.” It’s fun to be able to re-thank folks, days after the fact, to show that I really do appreciate them. (Isn’t Social Media supposed to be about relationship-building?)

    Now, for my favorite thing to laugh about: supposed marketing experts who just lump a bunch of names into 2 or 3 tweets, w/no explanation. In the “teaching by example” department, you have officially severed yourself from your purported marketing expertise, landing squarely in the Epic Fail pile.

  • Thanks for the explanation for Follow Friday. I had seen it, but the people who were doing it were just lumping a bunch of names without any explanation, so I didn’t see any value in it.

    The idea of listing one or two and explaining why has more value to me. If someone gets “jealous” because I don’t list them, then they have more problems than I want to deal with.

  • My feeling is that when something gains too much of a following, like followfriday, its most likely time to look for the next new trend. Generally when tools like this become highly saturated, they lose their desireablity.

    I don’t use it that often right now. I am curious though, what do you feel the next trend in twitter will be?

  • I always felt that it was just a bunch of people spamming some those keywords to create a “follow train” and eventually became very popular.

  • Hi , thanks yo and there should be a Follow Friday page, like Thursday Thirteen. I have been thinking about creating one, but I do not have the time

  • And my england thanks you posting.

    But, I find out in a minute that I can’t message them unless I follow them. I understand the DM, but this is just @, so what the heck. Either I don’t thank them, or what. No, these are not people I’m going to follow for whatever reason.

    So I send them an @ from the normal command line. If I understand this now, I’m in effect saying that these people are worth following. Ouch!

    I’ll be more careful going forward

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