Social media is like a necessary evil for comedians; some of us love it whereas others detest its very existence.
You’ll usually find comics ranting on stage about how ridiculous it is their friend undeservedly marked herself as safe or the obvious troubles of a couple posting a slew of “we’re so happy” Instagram photos when they literally told you about their relationship woes a couple of days earlier.
Regardless of your love or hatred for social media, it’s a necessary tool for furthering your comedy career and can really be the deciding factor in being seen and booking work.
I often find it confusing when comics aren’t on social media. With current business trends so heavily immersed in social media it’s essential to utilize it in the hopes of benefiting your career.
Here are some sound tips for utilizing social media the correct way.
Focus on building a following
Especially with comics, building a following is the real purpose of social media. When others can’t catch you on stage or interact with you in person, they use social media to feel a connection.
One of the most notable comics to ever gain fame with social media is Dane Cook as he utilized MySpace to its fullest potential and can really credit the platform for getting him noticed. Cook really helped to revolutionize how we view stand-up comedy with his successful approach.
Building a social media following can be challenging especially if it’s something you have a basic knowledge of, but the best approach will always be doing what is relevant. For example, if you are new to the concept of social media, you might want to begin by choosing the platform(s) that work best for you whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or a combination of various ones.
Once you have chosen your platform, try following relevant accounts and interacting with those accounts so their followers see you. After that you can focus on posting things relevant to you like testing out one liners or even sharing relevant content of others and using hashtags. The more you interact, the likelihood of you gaining followers and your credibility becomes magnified because you are actively engaged.
Remember that you don’t always have to follow back if the account isn’t relevant to what you are trying to achieve. Just because you make a joke about NASA doesn’t mean you have to follow back the astronomy related accounts that followed you as a result of it.
Conduct yourself in a way that is congruent with your brand
This one is a little tricky because it can ride the line of ethical social media behavior, but acting in congruence with your comedy brand is essential to growing and maintaining your following. Just make sure you’re interactions don’t result in any penalties because that doesn’t look good for anyone.
If your comedy brand entails sarcasm, brutal honesty, and dark humor, then you better believe that is what your followers will be expecting.
You never want to come off opposite on social media from what you are in your comedy brand and stage persona because if some people want to see you based off your social presence, then they will likely want to see you perform in person at some point; you’ll have to give them what they came for or be ready for an unsatisfied audience member.
Show your work, but don’t show EVERYTHING
I remember hearing from another comic at an open mic two years ago that he’d never upload his set from his first show.
This confused me because I had my first set floating around on YouTube for about a year and was really proud of it. Fast forward to today and I have actually removed that YouTube video because I am so different as a comic beyond that first set.
This is kind of how social media works: we show the good instead showing what is mediocre or bad. It can be a little fake, but if you’re a comic trying to book work with social media, it’s essential to pick and choose what you put out there based on what you are trying to achieve.
Remember that your work isn’t just relevant to comedy sets. Maybe you were in a YouTube sketch or write for a publication? Anything that is relevant to your endeavors (comics usually have more than one) is game for posting.
Now you have the steps for building your social media following! Go on out there and do it right for you comedy career.
Got questions or suggestions on building your social following? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!