Please join me in welcoming the talented and funny Angela Ackerman to Magical Musings today. Angela is an author of fiction and nonfiction, and I was first introduced to her by my MM buddy, Edie Ramer (thank you, Edie!), who gave me a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. If you’re a writer, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy to add to your keeper shelf. I’ve included the blurb for and link to this great resource below.
And now, here’s Angela with some easy, helpful info on Twitter…
We’ve all seen them in our writerly twitter feed…hashtags like #MM (Mention Monday), #WW (Writer Wednesday) & #FF (Follow Friday) paired with a slew of twitter names. Most of the time, these bland follow requests slide past in a haze, unless they happen to be addressed to us. So if these weekly follow shout outs end up as white noise most of the time, why do them?
Easy–the three C’s.
CONNECT: Most people on twitter follow more people than they could ever hope to interact with on a daily basis. The #FF grouping is a perfect way to send someone a shout out to let them know you’re thinking about them. Done right, a #FF/MM/WW acts like a welcome mat, inviting a conversation to follow between you and them.
CREATIVITY: The problem with the #FF type mentions is that most people use them wrong. A shout out that is only a hashtag followed by names is not as personal as taking the time to say something meaningful, funny or unique. I think with twitter, we have gotten into the mindset of cramming as much into each 140 letter tweet as possible, ergo a single #FF followed by 8 or more names. This is why the #FF becomes noise in the feed.
If you want to make people sit up and notice your tweet, get creative. Use some of your precious 140 letters to tell people WHY they should follow. E.G.: #FF these incredibly talented writers! Or have some fun with it: #FF Possible Cow Tippers or #FF ers smart enough to still be alive at the end of a Horror Movie! Tweets like this will be noticed in the feed AND get a response from the people you mention. This is also a great way to encourage conversation and make the people you tweeted feel special because you exercised some creativity to spice it up.
CARRY FORWARD: Wish you could get a few more retweets? One of the best ways to achieve this is to apply a bit of strategy with your #FF/MM/WW’s. When you add a bit of creativity to your tweets, 2 things happen. People who notice them in the feed click on YOUR name to see what other kind of funny #FF you’ve written. Also, the people who you mentioned in your #FF often do as well. So, if you finish off all your #FF mentions with a tweet you would like to see retweeted (maybe a link to your blog, etc.), these people will all see it because it’s your last tweet. And unless it’s some sort of annoying promo, they will often RT it to ‘pay-it-forward’…neat, huh?
The idea behind #FF, #MM & #WW is sound–giving someone you care about a shout out & send traffic their way. So, beef up your mentions by adding some creativity and personality, and not only will you make people feel special, you’ll encourage conversation and maybe get a few more RTs, too! Who knew so much could be done through a simple tweet?
How about you–do you use the #FF type mentions? Are you a fan, or no? Tell me about it!
Angela Ackerman is a Canadian who writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult. A strong believer in writers helping writers, she blogs at the award winning resource, The Bookshelf Muse and is co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression. Angela is represented by Jill Corcoran of The Herman Agency.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is a writer’s best friend, helping to navigate the challenging terrain of showing character emotion. This brainstorming tool explores seventy-five emotions and provides a large selection of body language, internal sensations, actions and thoughts associated with each. Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment.