The Best Part of each Friday is when I log on to Twitter and see 52 links to posts about the rules for using social media. Many of these posts are written by self proclaimed Social Media experts who claim to make their living by advising businesses and people on their social media strategy. Color me dubious but I don’t think that most of these experts are earning a living through their social media work.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe more than a few people have managed to capitalize on the social media gold rush. Maybe some of these experts have figured out a way to leverage the interest into something that pays. It wouldn’t be the first time that I have been wrong, but judging by the ongoing posts by mommy bloggers about a desire to be paid for their work there is little evidence to suggest that I am.
It is probably unfair to poke fun at those who designate themselves as Social Media Experts but I almost can’t help myself. What sort of qualifications does it take to become an expert in the nascent field of Social Media. Are universities offering a B.S. in Social Media. Can you earn a masters or a doctorate. Maybe you can. Maybe I should google it and see what happens. A little research is often the difference between a blogger who has credibility and those who do not.
But we’ll save that discussion for a different day. Instead let’s talk about Follow Friday and whether it serves a purpose or not. As indicated by its moniker Follow Friday is a weekly event on Twitter. In theory it is a way for your followers to find new people to follow courtesy of the recommendation that you offer by promoting them in your twitter stream. The real question is whether the theory translates into a practical and useful application.
During the past year or so I have read a number of posts by people who think that it doesn’t work anymore. The central tenet of their complaint is that Follow Friday has turned into a time in which people churn out lists of names without supplying a reason why people should follow them. I can’t say that I completely disagree with it. Sometimes when I review my stream it is nothing but names.
I am not pressed for time that works for me. I’ll click on a name and review their profile to see if they’re someone that I might be interested in following. But given a choice I’d much rather see a reason for following than just a name next to the Follow Friday hashtag. The extra effort lends more weight to your recommendation. It makes it a little bit more credible and enhances the likelihood that I’ll follow them.
But I wouldn’t say that this is a rule for using Twitter because I see Twitter the way that see most social media. There are no rules to refer to. At best there are guidelines that you can follow or to use tired business jargon, Best Practices.
For me it all comes back to a question of whether I am making effective use of Twitter and other social media tools as they relate to my personal goals. I am not sure that the current practice of tweeting lists of people for Follow Friday is doing that for me. It has some use for building a communal feeling among the daddy bloggers, but beyond that I am skeptical.
What do you think?