Ah, Twitter. There are so many well-meaning ways we create to connect that, if not handled properly, can do more harm than good. Last week, in Be a Tweep, Not a Tool–How Hashtags (#) Can Win Friends and Influence Enemies, I explained what that # thingy is, what it does and how it can get us digitally tarred and feathered if we engage in certain hashtag behaviors. Technically, this was Part One, though I didn’t know it at the time. A lot of folks wanted to know about the #FF (Follow Friday) and how this should be properly handled….thus, I bring you Be a Tweep Not a Tool Part Deux.
So what do we do about Follow Friday? What is it? Why would we use it? How do we use our Tweeting powers for good, not evil?
What is Follow Friday (#FF)?
In an effort to help all our friends know more people, we can use #FF (Follow Friday), #MM (Military Monday), #WW (Writer Wednesday) and on and on. When we see # conversations like these it is intended to assist us in meeting new people…like a mixer on Twitter. Yet, executed improperly and others will feel as if they are being blasted with names and drinking from a digital fire hose.
How can #FF make people
want to set us on fire dislike us?
One thing we must be mindful to remember is that not everyone 1) knows what #s do and 2) not everyone has Tweet Deck or a similar application. Why is this important? Well, a Twitter friend is only useful to us if he or she is actively participating. If we clog up their entire stream with name after name after name for apparently no reason, our actions will probably make them hate Twitter and hate us.
Most of us are gravitating to Twitter to have conversation and get a look at the links our friends found worthy of sharing. To have a peep butt in and blast us with 300 of their coolest friends can get…annoying.
Go back to the image I presented earlier….a mixer. Would you like it if somone you knew walked up to you and your friends, interrupted and said, “Hi, I would like you to meet Sally, Jim, Dave, Martha, Sheila, Jane, Henry, Fabio, Xena, Jack, Naomi, and George”?
“Um nice to meet yo–”
“Oh, and then I also think you should talk to Ursula, Victoria, Derrick, Nancy, Shawn, Kirsten, Beatrice, Larry, and Paula.”
“Well, we were just talking abou–”
“Oooh, and I almost forgot Mary and Thomas and Vernon and Yvette, Ralph, Sarah, Misty, Jojo, Steve, Barry, Patrick, Wayne and Quinton.”‘
Oh, and then Mary says, “Thanks for introducing me to Thomas, Vernon, Yvette, Ralph, Sarah, Misty, Mojo. Steve, Barry, Patrick. Wayne and Quinton.”
“And you simply must meet Ingrid, Shawn, Flip, Skippy, and Lunesta.”
“Yes, but when you interrupted I was actually talking to–”
“Oh, and make sure you become BFFs with Alice, Harry, Inglebert, Ernie, Chad, Frank, and Lulu.”
“I give up. I hate you all.”
Regardless how well-meaning your friend was, would this approach make you want to meet any of these people? Let alone become intimate and close friends?
Too often #FF makes me feel like I am back in high school….or giving a speech at the Oscars. Not only do I feel the need to recommend anyone who has ever spoken to me on Twitter, but then I need to thank them in return????
Oy vay! It makes me not want to #FF, #WW, or #MM at all….but isn’t there an alternative?
YES! So instead of feeling obligated to recommend every person we have ever tweeted with, let’s look to…
Being a Savvy Social Tweep
The Savvy Social Tweep takes time to do introductions properly. He knows who he is introducing and works the “room” like a pro. Instead of interrrupting with a blast of names, Savvy Social Tweep is more deliberate and personal. He has the ability to make others feel like a million bucks, so his tweets are priceless.
“Excuse me, but it is #FF. You really must talk to @ClayMorganPA. He has the most amazing sense of humor and every word he tweets is gold. Now, what were you saying?”
Savvy Social Tweep knows that less is more and quality is far better than quantity. He might only have a handful of recommendations, but others take them far more seriously because they are hand-crafted, not blasted off an assembly line.
Also, because most of us fear failure and rejection and probably rarely get complimented, when others go out of their way to say something genuinely kind, sweet and complimentary….we are going to SAVE that tweet and that Savvy Social Tweep will always have a warm place in our heart.
Savvy Social Tweep is more highly regarded because he is clearly paying attention to others, and he has this rare ability to make others feel important and valued.
Twitter can have peer pressure. We feel the need to recommend everyone, and why wouldn’t we? There are so many AMAZING people on Twitter, how can we choose? We no longer have to. Well, not in the same way, at least.
If we only send out a handful of crafted recommendations, then others are less likely to feel left out, and more likely to want to make that elite list of ours. It is sort of like, no reasonable customer expects a cobbler who makes boots by hand to turn out a hundred pairs a week. Yet, if an assembly line fell short of that mark, we’d assume something was wrong. If we deliberately craft our recommendations, chances are, they will be more prized and valued.
And just to finish off with a laugh, check out this FUNNY Oatmeal cartoon about the perils of #FF . Thank you Katja!
So what are your thoughts? Feelings? Opinions? Do you feel like you are drinking from the #FF Fire Hose and it makes you dread Fridays? Share! I love hearing from you.
And to prove it and show my love, for the month of December, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of December I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left to write great books!
This Week’s Mashup of Awesomeness
America the Booty-Call by my running mate Piper Bayard. America is a proud nation of hard-working decent people and we are NO ONE’S booty call. Remember Bayard-Lamb 2012 At Least We’re Not Them
Writing Advice that Will Save You Five Years via Glimmertrain
The Art of the Creative Pause (+ Not being Amazon’s Bitch) by Justine Musk
Step One in Marketing Your Book by Lit Agent Chip MacGregor
10 Creative Ways to Express Your Inner F-Bomb by the hilarious Jenny Hansen
Books vs. Movies: To Kill a Mockingbird by Tim O’Brien
Wonderful inspirational piece Putting Words in God’s Mouth by Jennifer K Hale
Fun writing exercise by Annette Gendler Shades of Gray
HYSTERICAL post by Myndi Shafer The Grinch is Pregnant
Could You Hunt Trolls? by Alicia McKenna Johnson. Yes, the title alone deserves a shout-out.
Th XOJane Real Girl Belly Project Part 2 Awesome stuff!
WONDERFUL post by Marcy Kennedy Who’s Your Unicorn? (Caution: Get tissues before reading)