ffs do your #ff’s properly!

If you’re a twitter user you’ve no doubt noticed and taken part in the week’s #ff hashtag event, which stands for follow friday. I remember when I first joined twitter, logging on on a friday to see all these #ff’s and wondering what the heck it all meant and having to ask someone!

For those who don’t know or are confused by all this activity, basically the point of follow friday is to champion those who you enjoy tweeting with and who you think others ought to follow. Done correctly this means that people receiving ffs should get some new followers as others will check them out and decide to follow on the recommendations of others. The follow request will give clear reasons as to why you should follow, e.g.  ‘for the best accountancy advice’ or ‘for fun and frank tweets about running a small business’.

But it rarely works this way.

Instead, the true spirit of follow friday seems to have been altered into a way of people just thanking others for things, or even worse just giving a great big list of people a general thumbs up. Nice, but slightly missing the point.

Be honest, If you see a tweet that begins #ff and then a long list of twitternames, do you ever click on them all to see who they are? I don’t – who has time for that? And if there isn’t even a reason given, like ‘foodies I follow’ or ‘funny people’, then there isn’t even any context at all as to why you ought to be following them. Not great. And yet we have probably all done this.

I have even seen people giving an #ff to someone to thank them for their #ff! what the hecky thump is the point in that?! Why would I follow someone because they gave you an #ff? Does this make any sense at all?! Oh and please don’t retweet tweets where someone has given you an #ff, your followers don’t really need to see that, just thank the tweeter directly and leave it at that.

If someone writes an #ff like the one below, taken randomly from twitter today, I probably would look and then might follow if they were of interest to me;

#ff some fantastically inspiring creatives who practice what they preach @the_bungalowhttps://bit.ly/js1yyk

This #ff is personal to the bungalow, gives me a reason as to why I might like to follow them and a link and therefore an opportunity to find out more.

I genuinely think that people do the list thing because somewhere the idea that follow friday is about thanking people seems to have slipped in and this has almost become the reason for doing it. I KNOW most people do #ff’s this way now but it doesn’t make it right. It’s just pointless as it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to, which is to encourage the following of folk you like.

I don’t want this to turn into a gigantic #ffing rant or to offend anyone currently doing it the list way:) And of course if someone includes me in one of their lists I thank them because they are paying me a compliment and that’s lovely.

I guess I am writing this post not to be ‘right’ and point out that you might be ‘wrong’ but just because I would love to see more genuine, thought out #ff’s so that I can find other interesting tweeps to follow – you probably follow lots of people I would find useful and interesting and might even want to do business with or collaborate with, but how will I know if you don’t tell me?

And yes, I know it’s more time consuming to do this individually but to my mind it’s better to single out 5 tweeps and give good reasons to follow them than to do a couple of tweets listing all those you like tweeting with or want to thank with no reason or incentive for others to check them out.

maybe if we all did this, we’d all find many more interesting and useful people to follow and our twitterverse would be even more enjoyable…

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