I have a friend who’s a comedian and he asked me for advice about how best to use Twitter.
Here’s the email I sent him…
For starters, read this.
Your answers to those questions should guide how you use social media — at least if you want to get the most value out of it.
Typically, everybody focuses on getting more followers, but that’s not really how you get value out of social media— followers are a misleading vanity metric.
For example, I have 8,000 followers on my Twitter account but my average tweet only gets seen by about a couple hundred people (because of Twitter’s news feed algorithm) and a “great” tweet will reach around 1,000 people.
Obviously there are exceptions and there’s always the chance something will go “viral,” but even when that happens it rarely translates into anything of lasting value.
This isn’t to say there’s not value to using social media — there’s huge value.
But I think the key to that value is to use social media to reach a specific, narrow target audience and/or use it to connect with individuals you want to be aware of you and connect with you.
But having 100 casting directors and producers follow them could actually help them achieve their goal.
With that in mind, you should target your use of social media to appeal to and connect with those people (as opposed to random people).
So my question for you is really what are your goals at the moment?
Then, you can develop a social media strategy designed to help you achieve those.
Even if your goal is to just build your fanbase the same is true — figure out who is most likely to be your fanbase, where to find them, and plan accordingly.
This is what I’ve done to attract 25,000 subscribers to my For The Interested newsletter.
You might be better off focusing on Facebook.
Twitter’s great and it’s not an either/or, but Facebook is going to be potentially MUCH more powerful for you in terms of growing an audience — especially if you’re willing to spend a little money on Facebook ads (which you should).
Facebook ads are insanely powerful (and cheap) and the best way to reach a specific audience you want to become aware of you.
They’re also the best way to ensure your existing fans see the content you post — which allows you to fully leverage them and get them sharing your stuff.
To run Facebook ads you have to set up a “public figure page” — it can’t run off your personal profile (and you wouldn’t want it to anyway).
This is something you should do anyway because even if you don’t run ads now as part of your social strategy, you’re eventually going to want to promote things like your shows, albums, etc.
Also fyi, Facebook ads really are cheap and flexible. You can run them for as low as a dollar a day.
My recommendation for you would probably be to set up a public figure page and make Facebook the center of your strategy and commit a little money to promoting your posts with Facebook ads (you can still use Twitter and repurpose content there) — it’s just the best way to build an audience from scratch.
I built Connected Comedy largely thanks to Facebook ads and that was years ago — the ads have gotten much more powerful now.
(By the way, the Facebook “ads” are really just promoted posts — they’re content, not traditional ads.)
Some examples of what you could do with Facebook ads…
- If you post a joke about Donald Trump golfing, you could promote it to people who are fans of anti-Trump Facebook pages AND comedy clubs. People who are very likely to enjoy the post.
- If you posted a joke about what it’s like to watch The Bachelorette with your wife, you could promote it to married men who like The Bachelorette.
- If you post something about your dog, you can target it to other people who have that same breed of dog.
- If you want to reach people who are fans of a specific comedian (because they’re likely to enjoy your comedy as well), you can target them specifically.
- If you post something about your college football team, you can promote that to current students at that school who like football (or to alumni).
- If you want people who work at Warner Bros., Paramount, or NBC to see something you’ve done you can target them because you can target by employer and job title.
- If you post a video and want to target the people who watched that video with your next video, you can do that.
- If you have a bunch of email addresses from people who saw you at a show, you can target them with an ad (because you can dump emails into Facebook and it matches them to accounts to target).
There are limitless possibilities — this is why Facebook is worth a gazillion dollars.
Costs will vary depending on targeting and how the post performs — the more people like it, the CHEAPER it is because Facebook rewards you for good content which is amazing.
But to give you an idea…
I have a client who is promoting a post on Facebook designed to appeal to senior level marketing executives.
For $6 today, that post has reached 397 senior marketing executives. Overall, we’ve spent $77 promoting that post and reached 3,170 people in that specific target audience which has generated 103 likes, comments, and shares on the post.
So…what do I recommend?
Here’s what I would do if I were you.
- Figure out who your target audience is and what your ultimate goal is.
- Launch a public figure Facebook page and figure out a posting schedule that works for you. Once a day would be my recommendation, but you could also just do a few times a week. You can schedule the posts in advance if you want — that’s what I do. I schedule a week’s worth of posts on a Monday and then don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week.
- Set aside a budget to promote the posts — $5 per post is a good place to start if you can afford about $150 a month.
- Once each day’s post goes live, you can “boost post” using the daily $5 to reach as specific a target audience as possible based on who is most likely to enjoy that post.
- If you get a post that does particularly well, then consider investing more money to promote it further. But you can cross that bridge when you come to it.
- As far as Twitter goes, you can always re-post whatever you put on Facebook on Twitter as well. Don’t auto-cross post, do it manually.
- Do that for a month and I guarantee you’ll see some results.
One more thing…
If you found this post helpful, you’ll also enjoy my FOR THE INTERESTED newsletter.
It’s a weekly collection of 10 ideas to help you learn, do, and become better at your work, art, and life.