Let’s get this out of the way first: it’s pronounced meme, like theme. Here, listen to this: http://youtu.be/3dErjFPTarc (it’s Greek — go argue with them).
Meme can mean a lot of things, like a viral pic (remember ‘ridiculously photogenic guy?’), video (the infamous RickRoll), a phrase (Eastwooding, anyone?), or as shorthand. Even Hillary Clinton became a humorous meme this year. Memes are usually a theme of some sort that people riff on, or discuss and share…A LOT. A meme is when you hear about something going ‘viral.’ It is usually, but not always, accompanied by a hashtag (#) on social media.
I first wrote this article last fall and much has changed since then — welcome to social media! There’s no more #TagItTuesday because Amazon got rid of tags. #MentionMonday is a lost cause. But our focus today is how we as authors can best use known Twitter memes for connection, engagement, and yes, the dreaded P-word: promotion. Using these hashtags in your tweets make them (ergo, you) more searchable and visible.
Let’s deconstruct (in no particular order cause I’m tired):
1) #WriterWednesday aka #WW: This is pretty self-explanatory. Writers recommending other writers to follow. You typically make lists of writers with their handles (or Twitter name, i.e., I’m @RachelintheOC) so they can see that you’ve mentioned them and follow other people you recommend.
Tip: Fit your tweet into 117 characters max. Others will then RT for you.
Tip: As opposed to doing a day full of lists (cause let’s be honest, who has time?), I prefer to do a few tweets throughout the day that includes writers (authors or bloggers) I’ve recently followed, am reading, or who have impressed me in some way. To me, this carries much more weight. I’ll even single out someone who’s really knocked my socks off. It’s a great karma builder, too.
2) #FollowFriday aka #FF: Again, der. Most people, when they start Twitter, get all excited to be mentioned in people’s #FFs and want to return the favor. As you should. My caution here is not to create a stream that’s full of only that. As a fellow tweep, I’d rather know whom you are most impressed with. So the same guidelines apply as in #WriterWednesday.
Tip: Mix in a few #FridayReads tweets on Fridays. What book have you read recently? Link to that person’s Amazon page or website so others can also find out more about the book. Don’t forget their handle also (if you don’t know it, use the Search function or Google it).
3) #MondayBlogs When I first started on Twitter, I participated in #MentionMonday. However, there was lots of confusion about this particular meme because it wasn’t clear that it was a BLOG meme. People would ‘mention’ each other, do sexual tweets, and all other kinds of things unrelated to blogs. So, I abandoned it and made up my own!
#MondayBlogs means you share your latest blog post (shorten the link, please) & RT others who are doing the same. You can certainly post any day of the week and share any day of the week. However, if you participate in #MondayBlogs, share on Mondays with that hashtag and remember to RT others! I also created the Twitter handle @MondayBlogs — cc me there and I’ll RT you for sure! Thousands of people are participating at this point, so join the fun!
Tip: Search on #MondayBlogs (or create a stream on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck) and only RT those who are using this meme. It’s not to ‘share your Amazon or book links,’ either. It’s a blog meme, people!
Okay, I feel better now.
Tip: Post your blog on Sunday (studies show you get more comments on the weekend), but promo the heck out of it on Monday with this hashtag meme.
4) #WriteChat, #LitChat, #blogchat, #amwriting: If you want to connect with other writers or bloggers, these are the top writing memes. People search on these terms (useful for following others), and there are also organized chats in which you can participate.
5) #TellMeTuesday: started by yours truly, use this hashtag to share information or one-sentence stories with others that you wouldn’t normally, whether it’s from childhood, college, sexual, writing quirks, funny – whatever! Use that hashtag and those of us who see it and participate will RT you. Sharing secrets humanizes us – makes us real as opposed to a cardboard cutout.
Tip: Put hashtags at the end of your tweet – many people avoid reading hashtags at the beginning, thinking it’s just spam.
If you’re still confounded by hashtags and memes, check out hashtags.org for specific trending tags. You can also visit QuickMeme.com or KnowYourMeme.comalso to input a specific tag and even attach it to a photo. Other sites, such as LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Facebook (to an extent), know and understand hashtags.
Courtesy of Storify
I hope this helps explain hashtags and memes a little bit more. For any questions or comments, please share below!
Rachel Thompson aka RachelintheOC is a published author and social media consultant. Her two books, A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed are both #1 Kindle bestsellers! When not writing, she helps authors and other professionals with branding and social media for her company, BadRedhead Media. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut.
Buy Now : A Walk in the Snark * Mancode: Exposed