I love #FollowFriday on Twitter. It’s fun to see what crazy things people will say about you (i.e. @StayBankdotCom today said people should follow me because I put words in people’s mouths for a living…to which I responded “SPIN SUCKS!”).

But there also is some backlash happening because it turns out that most people just type in as many Twitter handles as they can in 140 characters and there is no reason behind why people should follow someone being recommended. My friend @BillTamminga hates #FollowFriday (which is fun for me because I taunt him about it). My friend @Area224 also hates it because there is no rhyme or reason. He told me last week he was grouped with John Mayer and John Legend. Why? No clue.  So he has created #tlist in order to give real reason for following people…and I’m copying him here (hey – it’s the most sincere form of flattery!).

@DanielHindin I met Dan a few weeks ago in person – he’s as funny and charming as he is online. And if you follow him, you can join #embarrassdanielhindin, just because it’s fun.

@SamBroberg Sam is in the franchise world and does a great job of connecting and engaging.

@EconomyHeroes is a Vistage member and finds great reasons to tweet about people who show they’re helping to turn around our economy.

@Keith_Shay Keith is a Vistage member and one of my dearest friends in real life. If you read our tweets, you’d think we don’t like one another, but we really do. Well, I really like him.

@LauraJDaley Laura was in town a few weeks ago and @JuliBarcelona and I had dinner with her. She brought us both gifts (books!) because it was Juli’s birthday. Also follow Juli because she is a natural introvert who pushes herself out of her comfort box and does so with absolute grace.

@Hollisthomases is a Vistage member and she thinks I have a clone because I tweet efficiently. Maybe you can help me give her tips!

@PaulSegreto is in the franchise industry and writes a blog that is wicked smart, called FranchisEssentials.

@CesLSU is an avid cyclist, workout machine, and he teaches a Mt. Everest SPIN class in Houston. I’ve managed to talk him into teaching it in Chicago when he’s here in June.

@JackMonson is in the franchise industry and is a salesguy you can’t help but love…even though he didn’t bring snacks when he was in our offices yesterday.

@Luiserpa is one of those guys that is brilliant and hilarious all at once. Plus his accent makes me laugh constantly.

@Gofurther likes to harrass me about working out because he used to work in the personal training world. Now he’s a brilliant customer relationship person who has fascinating views on the digital user experience.

@4thGear Randy is a Vistage speaker who lives in Charlotte. I’ve never met him in person, but I hear he’s extremely smart. I like him on Twitter because his online reputation matches what people say about him in real life.

@AceConcierge Suzie was one of my first followers and she always helps me clean my desk when needed (by sending me photos of ardvarks – maybe you have to be there). But she’s a virtual assistant and someone I refer business to if someone needs a VA.

@LorriW Lorri is a client and the COO at Computer Explorers. I’ve gotten to know her a lot better on Twitter and Facebook and love her sense of humor!

@DebCE Deb is the CEO of Computer Explorers. Deb and I met more than two years ago when she was visiting Chicago. She and I hit it off immediately and we’ve been working with them since…plus she’s become a very dear friend.

@Julito77 Julio is in my posse…one of those guys I can always turn to if I need help and he wouldn’t ask any questions. I try not to hold it against him that he’s a Red Sox and Celtics fan.

@BMAMan Blair is a Vistage member and a close friend. When I told him he should get on Twitter, he did – in full force! He’s a very successful business man who pretends he’s just a country bumpkin.

@SarahRobinson Oh Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. She is one of my all-time favorites on Twitter. She’s the creator of #TweepleTuesday and was one of the first I followed. She and I will figure out a way to work together someday!

@EstherSteinfeld This young lady does PR for Blinds.com and she created NotAllCEOsAreJerks.  She has that innate understanding of how true communiation (not publicity) is handled. She’s going to go far!

@AdrianDayton Adrian grew up in Utah (my homestate, too) so I have a natural inclination toward liking him. He now lives in Buffalo, is an attorney, and is building a business to help young lawyers learn how to rainmake for their firms.

@Jlipschultz Jeff and I immediately hit it off because we’re both Cubs fans (though he lives in Dallas) and we both cycle.  I keep telling him to come ride with me, but I’m pretty sure he’d kick my butt. And I’m a sore loser.

@AbbyHarenberg Abby and I met on Twitter and developed a relationship. She did all of the Arment Dietrich professional photos (see them here) and I’ve never been more pleased!

@TimJahn Tim did an interview with us a couple of months ago (see it here) that showcased our culture brilliantly. He’s really good and now I like hanging out with him, too.

@hbrumleve Harry and his wife @erinbrumleve are my closest friends in real life. They live in Denver and I try to vist as often as possible.

@Scott_Farrell Scott and I became friends when he joined the PRSA board a couple of years ago. He’s one of those guys you want to have around because he’s smart, willing to help, and freaking hilarious!

@DelWilliams I don’t remember now how Del and I met, but I love her. She and I do interviews together quite often…mostly to see if we can refrain from laughing while we tape (listen to the latest one here).

@joyfulbathco Rochel was one of my first followers and she’s endeared herself to me since day one. She makes and sells bath salts that have some magical elixir in them. When I have lactic acid in my muscles, the salts magically loosen them.

@LenKendall Len is one of those guys who has a great reputation online. I met him in person for the first time yesterday and he’s one of the few whose personality matches what you think it is online. He’s a special one, that Len.

@HeyClay I met Clay through @justinthesouth because they work together. It’s fun having a mole in Asheville, N.C.

@justinthesouth I’ll never forget that I was in Tampa when Justin and I debated about auto follows on Twitter. Since then, we’ve become as good as friends you can be without meeting someone in real life. Soon, I hope!

@Katjaib I’m not sure how she does it, but this one knows exactly how to make me laugh. Hard. And out loud.

@JeannieCW Jeannie and I have a weird small world thing going on. Her college roommate and I worked together at the beginning of our careers. She also worked with @luiserpa and @gofurther. To boot…she’s a Vistage member and worked with @BLFarris, who I also worked with a couple of years ago.

@BLFarris has one of those infectious laughs. When he laughs, you can’t help but laugh. Plus he’s a great business coach. He always knows how to say, “Stop doing that!”

@jeffmello Ahhhh…Mello. Jeff is co-founder of BuzzCal and one of the most engaging people I’ve met on Twitter. He’s a keeper and I get to meet him in person in July!

@modishplum Jeana is just a must – she’s funny, she’s cute, she’s tiny, and she is the best mom. I heart her tons.

@angelica7641 Angelica is moving to Chicago and that news made my entire year. That’s how much I love this girl!

If you’re not on this list, I swear it wasn’t on purpose. I tried to get through as many people as I have engaged with either in real life or on a daily basis on Twitter. Don’t be afraid to DM me so I don’t miss you next week!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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