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Gini Dietrich

How Our #FollowFriday Recommendations Work

By: Gini Dietrich | April 2, 2013 | 
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How Our #FollowFriday Recommendations WorkAbout four years ago, I got fed up with the way #FollowFriday was done on Twitter and decided to highlight just one person each Friday.

If you spend time on Twitter, you know what I’m talking about. The endless list of Twitter handles with no real reason to follow them, other than someone said so.

In the early days, I kept a spreadsheet of the people I recommended and would do it by city or passion or job or experience, just to differentiate the way I did it.

In this completely fake tweet, I recommended my team so you can see what I mean. Gross, right?

Origination of #FollowFriday

Over time, Fridays became extremely annoying. Not only was your stream full of recommendations for people you didn’t know, you had to respond to a gazillion tweets that included you.

Our #FollowFriday Recommendations

So our own recommendation engine was born. We began to highlight one person and spent 500 words or more describing why we think they rock and the many reasons we think you should follow them online.

Doing it that way allows us to dive deeper into a person’s experience, his or her hobbies, and what we really love about having them around the blog every day.

It also allows me to get to know someone who visits Spin Sucks regularly a little bit better.

You know, that thing called relationship building? As it turns out, it works.

But, as of late, something interesting has been happening.

People are asking me what it takes to get recommended.

How to Get Recommended

This reminds me of the time I asked my sister-in-law what she wanted for her birthday and she responded with, “I was taught never to ask for gifts.”

Fair enough (though I did ask her), but that’s kind of my feeling when people outright say, “When are you going to recommend me?”

If you don’t participate in the comments here, you won’t be recommended.

The point is to introduce community members to one another, not to recommend you because I like you or have fun with you on Facebook or Twitter.

We have a very active community here. People meet one another here, they become friends, they do business together, and they pimp one another’s content, activities, fundraisers, and more.

I love that.

I pay very close attention. If you’re new, we welcome you with open arms. As you comment more often, you’ll have conversations and debate with people every day. You’ll have people tell you how smart you are, you’ll get fired up, you’ll disagree on certain topics, and you’ll even change your mind about some of your preconceived notions.

This is our way to give back to you…to thank you for spending part of your day with us.

If you don’t do that, it doesn’t make sense to introduce you to the crazies community through our weekly recommendations.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

169 comments
Liza Butcher
Liza Butcher

What a great idea! I loved reading about your different @FollowFriday featured individuals.

Karen_C_Wilson
Karen_C_Wilson

I have always liked the way you do #FF. I am not a fan of the twitter influx either, but I hate being that person who never does it, even though I am #FF'd almost every week. I think it's a little like Klout +Ks. An empty recommendation without context most of the time.

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

The group #FollowFriday's can be overwhelming, even if I generally appreciate the original gesture. We took a page from your book. We do one person each Friday -- we don't do a blog post, but we do a few tweets and a full paragraph on G+ and FB. 

juliaprior
juliaprior

Wow. Now I also feel the need to come out of the shadows of my lurking. But only to say that I love how you do Follow Friday. I don't see the point in reading anyone's recommendation unless they tell me why I should follow them, so thank you for doing that.

chriscaval
chriscaval

(Shyly typing with bowed head, eyes peaking beneath bangs.) Hello, my name is Chris and I'm a virgin commenter. I'm ready to take my lurker skirt off and dance on the stage...  

MrTonyDowling
MrTonyDowling

As a newbie I can certainly recommend to 'lurkers' that they should feel free to jump in and comment. I know its a bit off the point, but I think you guys should be commended again on the community you have built here.

If you are going to comment on a blog, this is one of the best to do it on. Its a very tangible thing this community, it stands out a mile after even a cursory glance at each post and the comment section - but equally its not an intimidating thing either. 

They will listen respectfully to what you have to say, and respond in some of the most intelligent ways you'll find on the interweb. Truly a community and truly of value. Its almost feels like a closed forum rather than an open blog.

Join in, the waters great, and this gang certainly do welcome you, where ever you are, and what ever you want to say (within reason) 

Just dont expect them to necessarily agree with you! (my favourite thing about this community) 

biggreenpen
biggreenpen

Well, darn. I guess I can go put this car soap and windshield cleaner away then. Guess I'll just subscribe and interact (skulks away taking her hashtag and two upper case "F's" with her.........)  

:-)

Robb Wexler
Robb Wexler

I think I'm so far behind on my "Follow Fridays" that I"m still FollowingMonday.

Keena Lykins
Keena Lykins

@ginidietrich Post with a Purpose. That's what I tell my clients. I normally ignore FF but thanks for the reminder that it can be a useful tool.

NancyD68
NancyD68

I still remember the August morning that I woke up to find a #FollowFriday post about me. First I sat in disbelief, then I called my boss and told him about it and he asked me what the big deal was. That was when I knew that job was never going to work out. :)

At the risk of sounding sappy, it totally made my day when you did that for me. It made me feel like someone was getting the real me behind the sarcasm and silliness. It also showed me what people really and truly thought of my blog. I really need to get back to blogging  I think.

So, I have to say, I found Spin Sucks by accident, showed up every day and began demanding cake. The best Gini could offer was a picture of one. I have to say that I think its kind of weird in a bad way to ask for the #FF. I never asked and never even thought to. It blew my mind and made my day when it happened.

jessica ann
jessica ann

love your recommendations. quality peeps + thorough introduction = real deal community. keep 'em coming!  

DaxNair
DaxNair

Agree with you that the impersonal approach to FF that you see today does not work for most people. Especially when the recommenders themselves do not follow the recommendees! Heard you on Six Pixels a while ago...

sherrilynne
sherrilynne

Great philosphy. I always read your  FF features.

Rodriguez247
Rodriguez247

Best part of this article... the fake tweet engine, oh the things I can do with that. ;) I like your recommendations, and some have inspired me to do more. Keep them coming. 

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

You left out that unless I receive significant cash gifts, I mean grants, and cupcakes I will block all nominations.

bobledrew
bobledrew

Whatevs. My only suggestion for Gin & Topics got ignored, I probably don't comment enough to get, as Konopinski says, "SpinSuck'd"... I'm just a lonely little petunia in an onion patch. 

susancellura
susancellura

Gini, This does not surprise me. Your team is very thorough and I read every recommendation to learn about the person and decide if following him/her will benefit us mutually. 

KateFinley
KateFinley

So ... you do like me though, right? Right?? Ha!


My first thought is why would you ask but I guess people ask to be recommended on LInkedin, etc. In my case, I didn't even have time to think about how to get recommended. You slapped that surprise on me so fast I could barely manage a thank you. Talk about early Christmas. 

xoxo

bradmarley
bradmarley

Let's me be the 27th person to say that I love how you've turned a lame Twitter thing into a valuable tool for networking, not to mention highlighting interesting peeps.

PattiRoseKnight
PattiRoseKnight

I wonder how long it will take us to come up on a Google search when someone Googles "crazies"....LOL!

DwayneAlicie
DwayneAlicie

I have to send this to my mom, because when I told her why I was having such a great day on March 15, she said, "Ohhhh. I see. But what IS it?"

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

Oh Ms. Dietrich. Of your myriad wonderful ideas, this tweak on an annoying twitter tradition is certainly one of your best. You are truly gifted in your ability to build relationships. I remember how special I met when you first followed on twitter, replied to my comments, found me on Face. Then to get the chance to meet you in person and hear you speak was exciting enough, but the next day when you gave me my Follow Friday shout out, I literally cried. It was so kind and thoughtful. Beyond that though, it speaks to me of your secure confidence. You have the strength to lift others up, rather than cut them down. I admire that trait in you greatly. Through your community, you have connected me to other Crazies who are just as kind and thoughtful, smart and opinionated, although no one lets me chastise and debate them like you do. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. 

JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

There's nothing more annoying then having someone tell you how great they are. Second place for annoying goes to someone who asks what they need to do to be considered great.

I was just talking to someone about job interviews yesterday, and I mentioned that I've had a radical shift in how I think and engage in them. So often we get caught in the "telling trap" where we say things like "I increased customer retention by 23%" or "I worked as an X for 3 years." If we are passionate about what we do and can explain how and why we are engaged, then we don't need to tell so much because they'll see what drives us already.

So in a way the answer to people who ask you about FF is: be good because you want to be good. If you do anything else, hasta la vista.

MattLaCasse
MattLaCasse

I actually stole this idea from you @ginidietrich about a year ago for one of my clients. We highlight a favorite brand or person each week. I've been doing themes with them (e.g. people who inspire their work, best taglines, best campaigns, etc.). It's worked out very well. People as who is going to be recommended on Friday quite often; and it's a really fun post to write.

lizreusswig
lizreusswig

I LOVE this and your FF's are so much more meaningful!  

Did you really keep a spreadsheet for FF's?  Really? LOL  

(oh and to the rest of the Spin Suck community...am I the only one who noticed "crazies" - just sayin!)

bigboxcar
bigboxcar

I enjoy the #FollowFriday posts you write. It's not a bad idea to "take back" the #ff bit, but I did wince a little before I read the first one, thinking it would just be a stream of people's names! It's always good practice to back up any recommendation, so kudos to you!

bdorman264
bdorman264

And then there was me; somehow I slipped in the back door....did you know I got over 1,000,000 follows after being featured?...ok, how about 7...and only 3 were spam. 

I think it's a great tradition and it's stands out from the rest. You are very generous in your praise and support and that's why you are beloved by so many. Even if that TV gig looses steam, I think you'll still have a place in social. 

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

I love how you've given a tired Twitter tradition and given it a whole new relevance with these focused recommendations.  

When I'm having a crappy day, I pull up the post when *I* got SpinSuck'd. :)

Latest blog post: Poetry Friday: Ezra Pound

KristenDaukas
KristenDaukas

Nothing guarantees an influx of new commenters like telling people to comment to be included in #FF :) You know I"m just joking with you Gini.. I love you more than my luggage.

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

I love FollowFriday posts too. And like @katskrieger I've gotten to know a lot of people through this community. 

JayDolan
JayDolan

People still do the list of handles? What's wrong with them?

I can't remember the last time I was featured in ANY #FollowFriday. That's probably a good thing for everyone.

Lara Wellman
Lara Wellman

The comments in your posts are always so interactive, I love it! I will admit that I don't comment much, a anywhere, but someone always replied when I comment here. It really does make me feel welcome and more inclined to comment again!

I also hate #ff with a long list of names. At least explain who they are!

Jack Giesen
Jack Giesen

Asking for a recommendation seems similar to pitching stories without thinking what's in it for the blogger or journalist. Not a great plan.

tnfletch
tnfletch

I found your blog a few weeks ago and I'm really enjoying your topical and useful content. I love the #FollowFriday feature and find it so interesting to learn to from others and see what they are doing and creating in the world. I agree the #FF feature on Twitter is very vain and useless for those who are trying to connect with like-minded people who can inspire us. Thanks for sharing great content!

annelizhannan
annelizhannan

I find your Follow Friday's one of the best features of Spin Sucks. I gave up on the torrent of noise on #FF on Twitter a long time ago but always enjoy reading about your selection for the week. It offers me the value of human quality rather than simply a handle. And for me it works as I frequently follow but for those to ask for a recommendation would only burst my bubble of richness and sincerity.

glonigro
glonigro

Your take on #FF is well thought out and makes excellent sense. I don't really participate much in #FF, but once in a while I get introduced to a whole new set of people on Twitter and I reciprocate. Generally speaking though, I don't really participate. 


adammbsmith
adammbsmith

I was planning to keep guest blogging awesome articles until I felt I was worth of a mention.
Then I'd ask very nicely... and pitch another awesome article at the same time

How does that sound? :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] communicate regularly. Just ask Gini Dietrich. Her community isn’t just hers. It belongs to any of us who participate in the comments over on Spin Sucks. Many of my readers here are people I met over there. If you don’t blog […]

  2. […] started back when I read and commented on this post by Gini Dietrich about her Follow Friday philosophy. (Follow Friday or #FF is a Twitter tradition that indicates the […]

  3. […] the spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday, but taking a page from Spin Sucks’ more thoughtful approach, I offer to you each week one communications blog, Twitter account, or website that offers great […]

  4. […] the spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday, but taking a page from Spin Sucks’ more thoughtful approach, I offer each week one communications blog, Twitter account, or website that offers great […]

  5. […] reality, I’m not going to follow someone unless you give me a compelling reason to, an approach Gini Dietrich also prefers. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I usually recommend just one person […]

  6. […] the spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday, but taking a page from Spin Sucks’ more thoughtful approach, I offer each week one communications blog, Twitter account, or website that offers great […]

  7. […] the spirit of Twitter’s Follow Friday, but taking a page from Spin Sucks’ more thoughtful approach, I offer each week one communications blog, Twitter account, or website that offers great […]

  8. […] like the way SpinSucks #FollowFriday recommendations work. Each week a member of their community is featured in a blog post. A much better way to […]

  9. […] communicate regularly. Just ask Gini Dietrich. Her community isn’t just hers. It belongs to any who participate in the comments over on Spin Sucks. Many of my readers here are people I met over there. If you don’t blog […]