It’s 2011 and many comics still don’t use social media or they use it, but they’re not sure why or how it should be utilized. Here’s the Why and the How comedic social media…
Why: Comics should use social media because it’s FREE promotion. No other time in history has so much FREE promotion been available to comedians. Radio, TV and print media has never, and will never will offer as much free promotion as Twitter/Facebook/Youtube.
I’m baffled at comedians who refuse to use social media for whatever reason. You may not like Tweeting or updating your Facebook status, and you don’t have to, but this is a trend in comedy that is here to stay. Whether it’s letting your fans know where you’ll be performing next or promoting your blog on your website, it’s promotion and it‘s certainly does more than sitting on your couch.
The bottom line is building your fan base and establishing your brand of comedy. In the 80’s, 90’s, and even today it’s easy for those comics who have been on a sitcom or had national exposure to sell out shows because they‘ve been seen by millions. Let’s be honest, you and I probably won’t have our own shows so this is how we have to build our fan base, through social networking.
How: To boost your social network, hand out website cards after every show you do to drive traffic to your website as well as your social media.
Maintain a Connection With Your Audience
Why: So now you have a few hundred fans, now all you have to do is keep writing jokes until you’re back in their town-WRONG! If that’s all you did audiences wouldn’t remember your name, they’d just remember you as “that one guy”. You must build a fan base, not just a legion of people that have seen you show in order to have longevity in comedy.
How: Once your fans follow/friend/subscribe to you, you must produce new content to keep them interested. It doesn’t have to be much, a video of a new bit, a one liner once a day, or a blog or podcast will suffice. By producing new content, you’re keeping your comedy fresh in your fan’s minds. You may not be in their town for a few years, but you won’t be forgotten.
For Material With a Short Shelf Life
Why: Comics should use social media for those jokes that can’t be told for more than a few weeks before they become irrelevant. You know how hard it is to write a good joke, why not have get as much mileage as possible out of a single joke?
How: For instance, on December 27, 2010 when Natalie Portman announced she was pregnant I posted, “Natalie Portman has announced she is pregnant. In related news Anakin Skywalker has refused to apologize to the Jedi Council for being the baby daddy.” This joke would never be funny or relevant on July 27, 2011 because it’s lost its timeliness. Social media allows you to reach your audience even when you‘re not performing in front of them.
Why: Social media is a great tool for networking. People say it’s all in who you know which, for the most part, is true in comedy. Often times, comics will book their own shows and more times than not, they’ll book comics they have a relationship with, social media allows you to strengthen that relationship.
How: The next time you do a show with a comic you don’t know, get their contact info and find them on social media. Tell them you enjoyed working with them and stay in contact. Doing something as simple as that, may get you a gig in the future or maybe even a couch to sleep on after that gig.
Social media is about building a relationship with your fans and your peers. It’s a new direction in comedy and in order to stay relevant, you must adapt or fall by the wayside.
If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less. -Eric Shinseki
Bio: Characters, voices, one liners, and time-tested monologues-comedian Brent Terhune is the embodiment of all these things and more. Not many comics can pull off Brent’s laid-back style of comedy and still remain just as absurd and funny, but equally relevant and relatable at the same time. He got his start in comedy in Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently studying Communication at the University of Indianapolis. He is also the co-host of the immensely popular podcast that is enjoyed by dozens of listeners, The Interweb Podshow. Whether talking about the everyday struggles of being a redhead, life as a college student and radio DJ, or his off-the-wall Uncle Frank and family, Brent is sure to keep you laughing well after he’s left the stage. For more info visit Brentcomedy.com