Since 2009, Twitter users have made use of the now familiar #FollowFriday (or #FF). Like most Twitter trends, it started with a tweet:
A few others hopped on board and a new hastag was born. Some participate regularly and use it effectively, while others use it more like spam. Making a long list of names without indicating why you are suggesting them leaves your audience clueless. Here are a few ways to use it effectively that your followers will appreciate...
New users: If you see a new gallery, institution, or artist you like using Twitter, #FollowFriday lets the rest of the arts and culture community know they have arrived.
Audience sharing: If you have a large number of followers and you'd like to share that audience with a new follower who could use a shout out, this is an opportunity for a mention in your #FF tweets.
Good tweeters: Do you get regular information from someone on Twitter or enjoy someone's tweets? Are there other Twitter users your followers might also enjoy? Mention them! It makes you a good curator of other's content.
Introductions: Grouping a few users together in a single #FF mention is handy when you want to introduce them to each other.
This said, while there are no set rules, keeping in mind the following things will make you a reliable and respected Follow Friday tweeter...
Add value: I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again: it's important to give context to your #FF suggestions. Tell your audience why they might want to follow a person or why you like following them.
Say "thank you": Remember your manners. If someone else suggests you in their Follow Friday mentions, not acknowledging them is like responding to a compliment by talking some more about your next art event. Take the time and show gratitude.
Offer variety: Switch up the people or organizations you mention. Always mentioning an arts organization week after week doesn't benefit you or your audience. Provide freshly curated suggestions.
Be authentic: If you haven't seen anything stellar in a given week, you don't need to mention anyone. Creating a list for the sake of creating a list just junks up everyone's feed.
Here are a few examples of well crafted #FF tweets:
"Look who's joined Twitter It's @ArtGalleryMTL. Welcome! #BelgoBuilding #Montreal #popart #FF"
"Want to keep up w/ #Calgary arts? Follow @ArtCritic @ARTMagYYC @CalgaryGal @CalZine #FF"
"Visited a few fantastic #Museums in the Maritimes last week. I'd recommend @MuseumNB @ShipHistory @FisheriesMuse #FF"
"Great to meet @ArtSpeaker @SmartPanelist @MediaGuy at the panel @ArtGallery last night. All great tweeters! #FF"
"Wondering what's happening in #Ottawa this wknd? @ArtMagazine @CaptitalGurl @OTownBloggr always have something fun! #FF"
Happy Follow Friday!
James Fowler worked in public relations with organizations in various industries to achieve their communications goals and streamline their media messaging, monitoring and metrics. James currently maintains a fulltime studio practice in Toronto and has taken a keen interest in social media and eMarketing. He joined Akimbo in the spring 2011 as Social Media Director.
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