3 ways to add razzle dazzle to your #FollowFriday

I like Fridays. On Twitter, Fridays mean people say nice things about you. And who doesn't like that?

For the new kids in the class, Follow Friday was started by Micah Baldwin (aka @micah) as a way for users to recommend other people who are worth following. And, although most people's hearts are in the right place, the majority of folks just send a tweet that lists a bunch of Twitter handles which precede the hashtags #FF or #FollowFriday (e.g. @kevinminott @staceysoleil @janewmeade #FollowFriday #FF). If you see that tweet, unfortunately it gives you no insight into who those people are or why you might be interested in following them.

Luckily for you, I'm happy to share three stellar examples of how to give your Follow Friday shoutouts a healthy dose of steroids:
1) Kevin Minott's blog post, Twitter Follow Friday Leading Ladies, lists 20 women you might be interested in following.
The visual presentation is spectacular (and, I imagine, a bit time consuming!). Kevin has listed each woman's Twitter bio and also pulled a tweet from each gal so you have an idea of the kind of content you'll see from her. By putting both bits of information in his blog post, people can make an educated decision and connect with those who most closely match their own personal interests.
2) The blog post, This Week's Follow Friday Top 50, was written by Stacey Soleil.
Stacey has compiled a list of 50, yes 50, people worth checking out. She's written a short sentence or two about each person and has linked to his or her blog or website so people can learn more. Again, another very time consuming task (I mean, just inserting the links alone must have taken forever!), but the end result is extremely useful. You can browse Stacey's list and easily pick out the folks who might be of interest to you.
3)  Jane Meade wows me every Friday as she tweets Follow Friday recommendations with a lot of love. I call her approach, The Follow Friday Tweet with Heart.
Jane has only 140 characters in which to convey her message, but she uses each word skillfully. When you see her Follow Friday stream kick into high-gear, you'll get a nugget of insight into each person she recommends. Because she takes the time to write a brief note about each person, I've been able to find some great, new people to follow. 

So, let's get today's Follow Friday started on a good note. Who do you recommend on this fine day? Feel free to put your suggestions in the comments below if you got 'em!

32 comments:

  1. Stacey's Follow 50 was hilarious!

    Unfortunately, unless it's someone that I know closely, I'm not so sure I actually follow the person(s) recommended. It's much better when a post is written about a person giving a little more warmth details as to who they are, why we should follow them.

    In any case, cheers and happy Friday!

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  2. You are such a sweetheart Amber! Ironically I had JUST put out a tweet asking people if they even CARE about #FF anymore. Little did I know your post was about that very topic. #GreatMindsThinkAlike? Or maybe it's #TiredMinds? -xo

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  3. I enjoy the mystery of clicking the name, not knowing what to expect. Whether I will be disappointed or thrilled to find a new and interesting person to follow. I find the surprise, intriguing.

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  4. Interesting. I have to admit, unless there is some indication as to who the person is (like sometimes someone will include me in a #FF with the heading "writers"), I never just blindly click on a name. You're obviously a thrill seeker! ;->

    Thanks for chiming in!

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  5. I vote for #GreatMinds!

    I think if #FF has lost its fizzle it's because people have become lazy about it. With a little effort, EVERYTHING is better, regardless of what it is! That's why I'm happy to include your blog post. It's a great example of how great something can be when you put some thought and effort into it.

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  6. I agree that details as to who the person is definitely helps me make a decision, as well. @Funtime7777 up above seems to be adventurous, but I'm not sure how many people are mystery lovers like he/she is.

    Thanks for the comment, Ricardo!

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  7. As a newbie, you'll find that there are lots of nice people out there to help you navigate the Twitterverse! And, you'll quickly see that #FollowFriday frequently kicks into gear late Thursday because of the different time zones. As for Jaden and Will Smith, I say "yuck", too!

    Thanks so much for adding to the discussion! If I can help you get passed the learning curve on anything, don't hesitate to send me a tweet. I promise, you won't feel like a newbie for long ;->

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  8. Great insights here. As a result of this post, I will work harder to keep the Follow Friday cache there by putting more effort into how I present my Tweeps.

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  9. Patricia, thanks for adding to the dialogue! I just loved the way Kevin, Stacey, and Jane went the extra mile. And, Jane puts such thought into her tweets every week.

    I'm sure YOUR tweeps will appreciate the extra cache ;-> Thanks so much for commenting, Patricia!

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  10. Why Amber, you sure know how to make a girl feel special! My truth is that I would not be worthy of your compliments were it not for Scott Stratton (@Unmarketing) who periodically posts about the importance of giving followers some info about the Tweeter we're recommending for #FollowFriday. He's one of thos "Big on Twitter" types who's not above giving some help to a new Tweeter.

    I've appreciated all of the wonderful people on Twitter who have taken the time to share what they know about how to navigate the Tweet Stream in a socially acceptable manner.

    You sweet Amber are now right up there on my list of Twitter Greats! Keep up the good work and definately keep writing your wonderful blog! You are an inspiration. love.jane

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  11. Jane: I've noticed for quite some time how great you are about sending thoughtful and helpful Follow Friday tweets. Your effort has not gone unnoticed!

    I didn't realize Scott tweeted about #FF, but I'm not surprised. I am a fan of his and I always appreciate that he advocates for people to be real, present, and engaged.

    It's been a pleasure getting to know you on Twitter and seeing you at tweetups! Thanks for being a solid example of everything that's RIGHT about Twitter. ;->

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  12. Hey Amber,

    Another great blog post. Thanks for sharing and I completely agree. #FF should be razzle dazzled. In #SMMOC, we had that very discussion and decided to call them Referral Fridays meaning who do you refer as a great person to follow and why. I guess it's the same concept but forced people to write a little more about them.

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  13. Sounds like you guys are tackling some good topics over there!

    I mean, I think if a person gets a generic #FF they generally appreciate it and it's a nice thing to do. But if you really want to connect people, you're right, the key part is the referral.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject, Sukhraj! Always appreciated!

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  14. Aw, thanks Joan ;-> @DagmarBleasdale & I recently connected through Twitter. That's what I love about tweeting, you can meet so many great, new people that you'd never meet otherwise!

    Thanks so much for chiming in on our discussion, Joan! Hope to cross paths at a tweetup real soon!

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  15. Traci: I'm always glad when a Twitter newbie chimes in so I can offer some words of encouragement.

    Don't let yourself be overwhelmed by it all. Just jump right in and join the conversation. Reply to people who say something that resonates with you, make lists so you can follow the topics which interest you, and remember that Twitter is essentially an online cocktail party. Don't be afraid to go up to anyone and say hi! Most people will reply in kind. Overall, Twitter has a LOT of fantastic people to connect with and soon enough you'll have your own little network of people whom you come to rely upon and look forward to seeing in your Twitter stream!

    Thanks for the comment, Tracy! And don't hesitate to tweet me if you ever need help with anything Twitter related ;->

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  16. So true about the diminishment of #FollowFriday. I suspect it also has lot's to do with there being less of a Race to see how many followers one can get. With all of the Automatic Programs that UnFollow gobs of people who choose not to follow all Tweeters (unless they follow you), the Follower numbers just do not escalate as swiftly as they used to. Now my numbers rise more with Quality not Quantity Followers ... in the main.

    And now there's #Hashable a new Twitter App that is still making itself known.

    Still, a kind word is a kind gesture for #FollowFriday. It's kind of like a Hand Written Thank You note. It will never be out of style.

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  17. I'm with you. Quality over quantity. I've seen someone grow his numbers by 30,000 in the last two months. Obviously, you don't do that with quality connections.

    And, I love your analogy. A thoughful #FF tweet is, indeed, like a hand-written note. So very special when you get it. Thanks for taking the time to bring a little class and refinement to a tech-heavy world, Jane. :->

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  18. Thanks for the test from Disqus. No email notification, but I see the comment on my disqus moderation page.

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  19. P.S. New comments between Disqus and Blogger still won't sync. I've refreshed the query for days and it says "searching", but they never appear. When I loaded Disqus, all old comments appeared. But since it's been up and running the last week, new comments won't appear on Blogger.

    >>> Everyone else, sorry for the comment thread here. Giannii is helping me with a commenting glitch.

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  20. Thanks, Amber! This is really helpful information to those of us just beginning in the social media world and who are just a little overwhelmed by it all.

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  21. Joan (@geminijoanlany)October 27, 2010 at 6:01 AM

    What a great article, Amber! I haven't been a fan of #ff for the reasons you mention --- the long string of twitter 'handles.' With some more thought perhaps I'll even take a stab at it! Of course, @JaneWMeade & @StacySoleil are exceptional tweeps and super tweeters!!! Also, thrilled you 'know' @DagmarBleasdale (do you know her personally or only in the twittersphere??) She is one of my favorite bloggers on topics close to my heart!!! Hope to see you at a tweetup soon, Joan

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  22. How timely....I am definitely the new kid on the block and *just* today I started noticing the #ff and #followfriday thing. So glad to find your post because the #followfriday and #ff search with lists of names starting with Jaden Smith promoting Will Smith wasn't doing it for me. I definitely agree a hint about the person makes it more interesting. .... Well, I see it's still Friday where I live so I guess I'll do a shout out :)

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  23. Amber:

    Great post! Thanks for swinging by and mentioning it in the comments today. It appears ,many of us are growing tired of the #followfriday abuse and spam. I'm really looking forward to seeing how my little experiment goes this coming Friday.

    To bring everyone else on this thread into the loop, check out my post today on the #followfriday issue. It appears @unmarketing is inspiring a great many of us to change the way #ff works.

    http://www.312digital.com/2010/11/17/3-reasons-follow-friday-is-broken/

    Thanks again Amber!

    Sean McGinnis

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  24. My pleasure, Sean! Thank you for challenging everyone to do better. And thank you for stopping by my blog. Always happy to do some link exchange for the greater good! ;->

    Good luck with your first #FF blog post! Hopefully, together, we can reinvent Follow Friday into the helpful tool it was initially!

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  25. I love the personal touch of #FF instead of the massed produced @@@@@@@@@@. Another good hit Amber.

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  26. Hi Donna! Oh, I hate those tweets w/a stream of handles. 99% of the time they're from people I don't even know, too! I suspect they're trying to get noticed or something. Very annoying.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Donna. You're a doll ;-)

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  27. Valerie "Terry" EllisMarch 25, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Want to hear from a Congressman the Republican Party considers an up and coming star: http://twitter.com/#!/AllenWest2010 Follow if you dare.

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  28. Hi Amber,

    Thought I would share my twists on how to best use #FF.

    If I recommend someone for #FF I give a specific reason why. For example some of my friends specialize in social media for health care organizations. I specifically call attention to their expertise when I suggest them for #FF so those who see the tweets know why they should follow or even not follow if the topic(s) don't interest them.

    I also find #FF a useful too to introduce people who are coming to Detroit. I recently found someone who is moving here for a new job so I reached out and introduced myself. The conversation took off from there and I used #FF to introduce her to my circle of friends here. Not surprisingly my friends reached out to her and the welcome wagon is moving full speed ahead!

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  29. Great examples, Katie! You're a wonderful connector. That's a powerful skill.

    Glad you're using Follow Friday so effectively. Sounds like you're really maximizing it to bridge gaps and bring people together. That is a FABULOUS thing. Kudos!

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  30. Thanks Amber, I appreciate your kind words!

    I'm applying those connecting principals in real life as well. As I am out and about at networking events I'm frequently asked questions regarding PR, broadcasting and so on. My policy is to answer any question I can and for those questions I can't answer I refer the person to someone who can.

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