How are these #followfriday tweets useful to anybody?
I’m not trying to pick on anybody in particular, which is why I used examples from multiple users and left out their names. It’s just a good example of how NOT to add value to a communications network.
The Failure of #followfriday
In the past year I’ve watched the #followfriday phenomenon evolve from personal introductions to mass shout outs in an attempt to help other Twitter users grow their networks and become more like the self-proclaimed “power users” or “social media gurus”.
Here are my problems with the aforementioned #followfriday executions:
- It doesn’t tell me WHY I should follow any of these people. Are they helpful, funny, informative, or otherwise unique?
- It FAILS to communicate what they can offer me or what I can offer them. Do they need my services? Do I need theirs? Do we have anything in common other than being one of your followers?
- It doesn’t build VALUE for your followers or the people you “pimp”. Based on my experience with being called out in several mass #followfriday messages, the only new followers it attracts are the aspiring “power users” that follow everybody. Then the cycle repeats itself next Friday.
- It sacrifices QUALITY for quantity. It tells the world that you value a large follower list more than the relationships with the people on that list.
I understand the #followfriday concept clearly: introduce your network of followers to other twitterers that they should follow. Hence the name “followfriday”. It’s the Twitter equivalent of introducing people at a cocktail party and saying, “Bob, meet Sally. Sally also trains racing snails. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about.”
Now You’re Doing It Right
Just like a personal introduction in real life, a #followfriday mention can be a great way to match up people you know with others that can help them or add value in some way. The key is, you have to tell me WHY.
This wouldn’t be a productive post without a proper example of doing it right. Here’s my #followfriday recommendation: You should follow @LimaBeads because Kevin and the Lima Beads team are a great example of a company that treats its customers as people, rather than social media sheep.