I’m happy to introduce you to Liz Estrella-Basilio, who’ll be taking over the blog every Friday starting tomorrow. Liz is my San Francisco partner at Cross Border Communications. Together we work with start-up to multi-million dollar technology companies who want to get their story heard in traditional, digital and social media.
If you’re new to Twitter, you’ll see a ton of #FF or #FollowFriday tweets… on Fridays. This tweet meme is a way for you to share with your Twitter followers whose Twitter stream they should be looking at. It’s a fun way to participate on Twitter because:
- You can give a shout-out to someone who has been helpful to you that week.
- You can introduce yourself to influencers and get on their radar by recommending them. Everyone appreciates being acknowledged, even the A-listers.
- By seeing who your Twitter friends and influencers are recommending, you can find new and interesting people you wouldn’t otherwise know about.
It’s all about building a community you want to hang around with. In short, it’s good PR!
I’m a Twitter newbie myself, but from the perspective of PR, I see a lot of mistakes being made on Twitter — especially when it comes to #FollowFriday.
To help you avoid those mistakes, here are some PR tips to take advantage of Twitter’s #FollowFriday:
1. Be selective.
Choose just one person per tweet to make your #FF feel special. There is no need to fill up 140 characters with as many names as possible.
2. Be compelling.
Always provide a compelling reason why someone should be followed. “She’s cool,” or “He’s hot” simply doesn’t cut it. Try:
#followfriday @name for always sharing the best deals for retail entrepreneurs
My #FF will always give you cool marketing tricks for your new product! Check out @name
To add interest in your Twitter stream, #FollowFriday @name
3. Give context.
If you must recommend a lot of people, try and group them to give context. For example:
#FF green companies…
#FF media moguls…
#FollowFriday biz whizzes…
4. Never do this.
Please don’t give a #FF to “all the people that are following me.” Trust me, I’ve seen this. This just looks like spam, makes you look lazy, and all the people following you won’t care.
5. Plan ahead.
If you won’t be around on Fridays, try scheduling it in Tweetdeck, Hootsuite or whatever social media dashboard you are using. It’s a great way to end someone else’s week, and a nice way to leave your Twitter stream for the weekend.
Remember, it’s not about numbers - it’s about the productive relationships you create.
We’ll be profiling every Friday on the blog interesting media personalities you should be following on Twitter – look out for our first #FF post tomorrow. If you’re wanting to get visibility for your business or are a PR pro wanting to meet media on Twitter, you won’t want to miss it!
And do say hello to me at @lizestrellab.
Got other #FF tips? Leave them in the comments below for all of us to learn from!
PS: Remember to check back tomorrow, when I’ll begin posting my #FollowFriday recommendations of media practitioners for those who want to build better relationships with media. You may just discover a few journalists who would be the perfect fit for your business. Watch out for it!
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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