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Twitter Tips for Beginners (3): #FollowFriday

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Cokie the Cat: Hollywood Insider: Twitter Tips for Beginners (3): #FollowFriday

Friday, October 7, 2011

Twitter Tips for Beginners (3): #FollowFriday

This is Part 3 of my series, "Twitter Tips for Beginners." Today we're going to talk about the #FollowFriday hashtag. 

If you're new to Twitter, click here for a list of my Beginners posts, so far, and you can read posts 1 & 2 before this one. If you're a Twitter Pro, feel free to comment below if you have anything to add.

#FollowFriday (#FF)

#FollowFriday started in January of 2009, when a start-up advisor in San Francisco named Micah Baldwin posted this tweet:

Since then, every Friday, twitterers around the world have been recommending people to follow. If you like someone on Twitter and find their tweets interesting, chances are you'll like the people they recommend, as well.

This is especially true if you have a particular interest or agenda on Twitter. Obviously, I like animals, so I'll follow other animals, and interesting people I come across, too.

Participating in #FollowFriday promotes people you like - and yourself, too, as folks often re-tweet (RT) the whole tweet, exposing you and everyone else in the tweet to even more people, and so on, and so on.


Last Friday I posted this to Twitter:

Yes, that's me wearing a dress. I enjoy wearing the occasional frock. I borrowed this one from @eddieizzard.

All of my Twitter followers who happened to be online when I posted it (I have 4300 Twitter followers) saw that tweet, and some of them probably 'followed' the names they didn't recognize because I've 'vouched' for them - that they're real people, not spammers or annoying freakballs. ; )

Some of the twitterers above re-tweeted my #FF to their own followers, so I probably got some new followers from them, as well, and that's how it works. Some of my other followers will see my tweets, including my #FF suggestions, if they click on my Twitter name to see what I've been up to. 
Let's Try It
I'm writing this on a Friday, but I realize that you may not be reading it on a Friday. If it's not Friday, your time, come back when it is, and join in on #FollowFriday.

If it is Friday for you, let's go. Log into Twitter. From your Home page, type #FF into the 'What's happening' panel/tweet window, followed by the Twitter names/IDs of some of your friends/followers, or other Twitterers that you would recommend to others.

Copy and paste their names into the panel after the #FF, or just type them in. You don't need to put commas between the names but you do need to have one space between each name

Notice the What's happening panel or tweet window at the top. That's where you type your tweet. The 3 tweets below it are in your Timeline, tweets of people you're following. 

140 Characters
With this, and with all of your tweets, you'll need to keep an eye on the number of characters (letters, numbers, or symbols) including empty spaces you're using. You always start with room for 140 characters or spaces. The number you have remaining in your tweet is to the right and just under your tweet window. 

You can shorten and abbreviate words in your tweets, but not Twitter names/IDs, which must always be typed in exactly, including any underscores or numbers in the names, in order for them to link properly when someone clicks on them in your tweet.

Personalizing your #FF Tweets
Let's look at my #FF tweet again:

I've added a little ♥ heart symbol, which I just cut and pasted from the Internet. You can Google 'heart symbol' and you'll find articles that tell you how to make them with your keyboard, but you can also just highlight and copy one and paste it into your tweet. 

I also added 'Good Follows:' just to personalize my #FF a little bit and make it a little more personal - I'm really recommending these particular people. You can customize your #FF tweets, or you can simply type #FF and your list of names.

Now YOU Follow Some #FF Suggestions
The other part of #FollowFriday is looking for twitterers you want to follow, based on your friends and followers' recommendations. When you see someone tweet a #FF list, go ahead and click on the names in their list. Look at the people (pets, companies...) they're recommending and if you like the looks of them, go ahead and follow them, too.

The more people you follow, the more tweets you'll see in your Timeline and the more opportunities for interaction you'll have, whether that's talking about your business, your pet, your favorite chile recipe or what you just saw on the news.

Some people use a service which makes you prove you're a human (and not a computer spamming program) by copying a code called a captcha into a text box. Go ahead and do it. It's no big deal.

Follow Back
Be sure to check your own followers to see if there are new people following you that you want to 'follow back.

Twitter has an arbitrary number of 'follows' they'll allow you per session, so if it says you've 'hit a following limit,' give it up for a while. When you come back and more people have followed you, you'll be able to follow people again. That whole thing's a little more complicated to explain, so we'll leave that for later.

Now go

Questions, observations, suggestions? Please comment below. Thanks for reading!



At October 7, 2011 at 8:12 AM , Anonymous Alfie | Alfie's blog said...

Thank you for explaining this Cookie - I'm an absolute Twitter beginner and was wondering why I kept seeing all those messages today *silly dog*.

I'll re-post this on my FB ( & RE-tweet if I can work it out) so my non techy friends can learn about too!

At October 7, 2011 at 7:21 PM , Blogger Pam said...

Thanks for the twitter tips and for linking up for weekend cat blogging!

At October 8, 2011 at 2:22 AM , Blogger shalloweir said...

thanks for the run down on twitter I don't know how to use twitter at all! but I am learning I have only just started my blog to show my photos with other pet lovers, I found you via the saturday pet blog hop, I look forward to seeing your posts I am now following you on google friend connects would appreciat any feedback on my blog :) as it is all new to me

At October 8, 2011 at 3:24 AM , Blogger Luna said...

Thanks so much Cokie! What a great kitty friend you are! :D


At October 8, 2011 at 1:58 PM , OpenID rumpydog said...

I just started to make FF recommendations- I use @ffhelper to help me. I choose who to recommend and I only recommend those I talk with. One thing about FF that is SOOOOOO annoying is when someone recommends me and then people keep retweeting the recommendation or sending messages back and forth to ALL OF US! People, PULEEZE!

At October 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Prudence said...

Great post Cokie, lots of good info! That's another reason we follow you, baroooo!

At October 10, 2011 at 8:08 AM , Blogger Bree said...

Great tips! What a smart Cookie ;)
I just found your blog and I think that it is great! Cookie is such a beautiful cat! We would love to have you and Cookie on Pet Bytes! Pet Bytes is our social networking website for pet lovers! That way, if you join, more people can learn about your blog! If you plan to join, the website is:

Have a great day!


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