I get asked this question a lot. It’s one of a handful of abbreviations used in Twitter that bamboozles new users, and then they avoid using it. Which is a shame, because Twitter is a really great place to be as I’ve explained on many occasions.

I remember the very first time I saw #FF messages. My Twitter feed was littered with them but I couldn’t figure out what it all meant. I felt left out – what is #FF? How do I get one? What am I missing?!

A short, dirty guide to #FF…

#FF is short for #FollowFriday. It’s a Twitter trend created back in 2009 by Twitter users that has since become a customary Friday activity.

An #FF is a shout out, a show of appreciation, a nice thing to do.

Each Friday, you recommend Twitter profiles that you appreciate and enjoy to all of your followers. The idea being that your #FF recommendation will encourage others to check out that profile, generating more followers for them. See? A nice thing to do.

The # (hashtag – read all about them here) is added to create a clickable link and group all the #FF (or #FollowFriday) messages on Twitter together making them easily searchable.

The best ways to use Follow Friday

If you want to send an #FF, simply add #FF (or #FollowFriday) to your message, the @name of the person you are recommending along with a genuine reason for your recommendation. Like this:

good ff example

Tip: Try to include just one recommendation per message, rather than a message full of @names which is often counter productive, like this one:

bad ff example

Lots of people do the latter. You’ll rarely get a follow from a group recommendation like this one above – there are way too many choices, and Twitter is too fast for making choices.

The only decision to make is whether to click on ‘that’ message or ‘this’ one, and if you’ve suggested 5 #FFs in one message you’ll be ignored or worse, labelled a spammer. Whereas, by giving a legitimate reason to follow someone people are more likely to listen.

Looking at both of these messages above, which one are you most likely to act on?

Sending a mutual #FF simply because someone has #FF’d you is not an authentic reason to send them one too. Don’t make this your reason for doing so – others will see through it and won’t appreciate a suggestion to follow someone who tweets nonsense all day. Please, be considered and genuine in your recommendations.

Lastly, If you’re lucky enough to receive an #FF, thank the person in a reply tweet, like this one:

nice ff reply

Now you know all about #FollowFriday, who will you be showing your appreciation for next time?

Why #FF is good for your business

Not only is #FF useful for personal use, but it’s an excellent practice in your business.

By implementing it, you can receive a tons of new quality followers over time, use it as a great way to recommend a fellow business that you feel strongly about,  gives you a chance to thank others for retweeting your content and at the end of the day, someone might #FF you back if you give them a shout out!