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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, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

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. 

Robb Wexler
Robb Wexler

@ginidietrich @MrTonyDowling If the people here put up with me they will put up with anyone. I set the bar......as well as having spent a lot of time at the bar.........usually before posting comments.

biggreenpen
biggreenpen

@ginidietrich @biggreenpen I didn't hear a THING. Honest to god. And there may or may not be a "Writing with Big Green Pen" notepad in the mail to you. JUST as a hello, of course. NEVER as a bribe. :-) :-)

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 […]