Friday, September 18, 2015
@Foodimentary, My Dear Hopkins
LUCY BURDETTE: A couple of weeks ago, I got the most interesting Twitter message from a man who said he was a huge fan of my books, in fact he wanted to be in one. Intriguing right? Then I looked at his Twitter profile—800k+ followers—on a site best known for tweeting his rendition of food holidays. (Think National Key Lime pie day, of which there isn’t one presently…) I researched further and decided you’d like to meet John-Bryan Hopkins too. Welcome John-Bryan!
So first question, how in the world did you get started with food holidays? Have you always been a food person? Do you cook or are you mostly an eater?
JOHN-BRYAN HOPKINS: Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I’m a founder of a food related website Foodimentary. To say I was an 'early adopter' of social media would be an understatement. On Twitter @Foodimentary was one of the very first ‘food’ related Twitter accounts EVER. Within 2 months of being on Twitter I became one of the top 100 Twitter accounts in the world and was rewarded many awards/articles by many major news organizations. I’m known for Tweeting food related things that are universal, like National Food Holidays.
I started researching food holidays when I joined Twitter. From the very beginning people really responded to Food Holidays. They are a universal way to talk about food. In a medium when there is sometimes not a lot to talk about, food holidays are a great go to retweet. No cooking, sharing of food advice or recipes necessary.
Cooking is something I do almost every day, I have a passion to eat 'in season' but otherwise it’s not a huge passion. When you write about food every day…cooking can sometimes feel like work when you really want to just eat.
I’m a food trivia nut! My passion with Foodimentary is to create an ‘ah-ha’ moment in food. Like: Did you know that Grapefruits got their name? Spanish explorers saw them hanging of the trees: ‘Like clusters of grapes’ This translated into ‘Grapefruits'
LUCY: How does a food get chosen for the calendar? (I know you mentioned that Key Lime pie doesn't have it's own day, and we need to fix that!) And what if there's already something on the calendar that day? And what if someone with another calendar disagrees with your choice?
John-Bryan: Well, there are many sites who have 'food holidays' lists. Most lists are the same. I think that since Google adopted my Icalender of holidays last year. That pretty much solidified my list as the rule.
When I started working with food holidays, the calendar was far from full. I created about 120 food holidays so far. Celebrating foods that people crave and enjoy. There are many food holidays over the years that were about foods out of season( National Strawberry Day was once in February) or foods we no longer eat.
Now a-day, I take foods off my list and adjust the calendar every year to keep it current and relevant. If noone retweets or shares my post, then I need to find a more relevant food.
LUCY: Your bio says you are a social media consultant. With 866,000 Twitter followers, I think we could safely say you're an expert! Can you share some tips for writers who are struggling to make an impact with their social media activity?
John-Bryan: Do not be afraid to tweet to an author or famous person. Sometime if it’s the right question or subject manner, you might get a response.
Too many tweets means lots of people unfollowing you and there goes your audience…
Find a network of fellow writers, publishers and talk to one another. Make your tweets to read as a conversation that the reader is privileged to.
Hashtags and trending topics will make your posts more visible. Put those at the ends. Photos make for great tweets too.
LUCY: You are a big fan of Key West as I am. What are your favorite haunts on the island?
John-Bryan: I love Key West, Especially in the winter. It’s my 3rd home as far as I am concerned, 2nd being my lake house. My husband and I always stay at The Gardens Hotel. We always stay in the main house with a balcony overlooking the central gardens. They play jazz there in the back yard and serve drinks. The locals come out in droves. This helps me feel as if I lived there than and not just a tourist…that feeling is addictive.
Lucy: Thanks so much for visiting! Ladies and gents, he’ll stop by to answer your questions. What is your favorite food holiday? (And yes he is going to be a character…He asked at exactly the right time. He is running for Fantasy Fest King in KILLER TAKEOUT.)