Why Newbies Should Ignore #FF on Twitter

#FF_Friday Today when I was going through my Twitter stream I clicked on someone who I thought was interesting. But before I follow anyone, I always  glance at their Twitter stream to see what they tweet about. I want make sure they are going to provide me valuable content. I noticed in this  person’s feed that they had used #FF (Follow Friday) last week. I looked up at their follower count and noticed they were following 2000 people  and had around 1,600 followers. I knew why they put out a #FF, but I wanted to know who gave this person such bad advice? His problem is  that he more than likely hit the Twitter limit.

 What’s the Twitter limit?

Twitter says: “The rules about aggressive following and follow churn still apply. In addition, every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve followed 2000 users, there are limits to the number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user and is based on your ratio of followers to following.” You can read their whole spiel here

The bad advice he probably read or heard

The bad advice this Twitter newbie probably followed was that he should put out #FF and hope that those he mentions will retweet his message and hence follow him back. That way he can follow more people. He also seems to be fascinated with the number of followers he has, most people are when the start out. But don’t be dazzled by folks that have tens of thousands of followers. Chances are they started out way before you did and it’s taken them years to build that following. No following comes overnight unless it’s fake.

Why it’s bad advice to use #FF as a Twitter newbie

This is bad for two reasons: 1) does anyone even still use #FF anymore? It’s so 2010 and it looks like you don’t know what you are doing. 2) Even if you do put a #FF out there, in the very least (I beg of you), tell people why they should be following these people you are recommending we follow.

What could he do to get more followers?

He can do a lot of things, such as:

  • Retweet other people
  • Reply to other people
  • Participate in Twitter chats
  • Participate in online commentary or comment on blogs using  his Twitter login credentials so that it links back to his Twitter profile easily
  • Add his Twitter account to his email signature and to his business card
  • Add his Twitter link to his website, page, LinkedIn profile and other online profiles
  • Guest blog/contribute to something that is in his niche and make sure his bio has his Twitter profile in it

The point is, he doesn’t have to use #FF. Social media is about building relationships and online communities, it’s not about likes, comments, shares, followers, or fans. Get tips like this and more in my new book, Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field — Social Media Fundamentals for Business on Amazon.


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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.