When I started on Twitter, I reached out to people by finding a person in a conversation with my friends and then clicking on the follow button.

That never seemed like enough.. almost immediately I decided to go one step further.

The get to know a new twitter friend process goes like this:

  1. Click on the name of a person I don’t know from an interesting thread
  2. Read their profile page and look for a  link to their blog or anything that they care about
  3. Read till I find something interesting, copy the URL and Tweet about it
  4. Include the @ handle at the end saying “thanks” and then the handle
  5. Leave a comment if possible on the person’s blog

It wasn’t always blogs, but in the early days, I was there to connect with bloggers, so that was my favorite. I also connected on Facebook or LinkedIn when I could.

It didn’t take long and I had tweets thanking me. Even when I didn’t, I felt great sharing new finds with my friends.

Interspersed with this, and the conversations I had, I’d  often say “Follow @coachdeb. She’s cool” or something like that  (NOTE: that’s pretty close to the first tweet between my future co-author and I).

In January 2009, @micah noticed how many people weren’t spotlighting other like this and suggested we tell others about our friend on Friday. The #FollowFriday (also called #FF for short) hashtag and phenomena was born.

While I often quipped how this was what I did everyday.. I thought it was great that we were sharing that ethos with all the new people coming on Twitter. Trouble was, pretty soon it got very hard to see messages through all the #FollowFriday

In Fall 2009, Twitter added LISTS and @Scobleizer suggested we put our “Tweeps to follow” on lists. I tweeted this several times, and noticed that the fad has died down some, but every Friday, we see plenty of  the tags.

No one wants to complain about the clutter. After all, each tweet is an endorsement. I sincerely appreciate all the people who take time to tell other about me.

An even better alternative…

“Use Follow Friday to Get More Blog Traffic”

In an excellent post, @ChrisBrogan shared an idea that you see used on this post. He suggests that instead of #FollowFriday list tweets, we take a few minutes to write about the people we are suggesting in a blog post, and then tweet the link.

@coachdeb (my co-author for “Twitter Revolution: How Social Media and Mobile Marketing is Changing the Way We Do Business & Market Online”) and I saw bloggers talking about bloggers and it was a staple here back in 2008. When I saw @ChrisBrogan’s post, I dropped what I was doing and wrote this article.

I like the style Chris used to with a list and reasons to follow. I like bullet points and numbered lists because they are easy to read and people reading tend to use them as a checklist and are more apt to follow up.

My own style is usually more narrative. So you are seeing my list as I tell this story.

Please, if you haven’t already.. GO BACK and follow all the  people in this list. While you’re at it, try the process I described above.. leave a comment, say something nice, be creative and get in a conversation.

Then, use this on your own blog. Write up who you would like to recommend, and tweet about it.

Extra credit. Pus a Twitter friend and brief description as a COMMENT here. I usually don’t recommend putting URL’s in comments (the exception being when the blogger asks for them) … but TODAY, I WANT YOUR URL COMMENTS.

Tweet about this post so others can try this.

And by the say.. this method isn’t just for Fridays… it works everyday, and works better the more you do it..