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3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Post Your Next Status Update

September 30, 2011

Whether it’s on Facebook or Twitter, comedians spend a lot of time posting status updates and a lot less time thinking about those updates before they actually post them. But, if you take a couple seconds to consider these three simple questions before you post your updates, the chances are your updates will become a whole lot more effective.

1. What’s The Purpose Of This Update?

There’s a lot of different reasons to post updates and all of them have value. But, if you take a second to consider what you’re hoping to accomplish with this particular update then you may find a better way to achieve that goal.

For example, if the purpose of your update is to get people to visit a blog post on your website then you should make sure that an image gets pulled with the link because that will increase the number of clicks you get.

If the purpose of your update is to get engagement to increase your page’s ability to get into your fans’ news feeds, then you want to make sure you phrase your update as a question and/or that it’s something designed to encourage interaction.

If the purpose of your update is to promote an upcoming show, then you better make sure the update includes the pertinent details about the show and that it gives a clear reason for people to care about and/or come to the show.

If the purpose of your update is just to give your followers a laugh, then you better make sure it’s funny.

This all may seem simplistic, but I bet if you check out the updates from some of the people you follow you’ll be surprised at how many people are posting updates that don’t really seem to have any actual purpose at all.

2. What Percentage Of Your Followers Are Going To Care About This Update?

It’s important to understand why people have chosen to follow you and what they’re looking for because the more you can deliver on what they want (and not spam them with what they don’t want), the more likely they will be to keep following you.

For example, people follow Connected Comedy on Facebook and Twitter because they want to hear my take on the marketing and business side of comedy. I find all kinds of other cool and interesting things to share with the world, but I don’t usually post them through Connected Comedy because I know that’s not what people were promised when they followed me. Instead, I share those things through my own personal website (and Facebook page) where people are interested in those things and not interested in my thoughts on the comedy business.

For comedians, this also extends to geographic locations. If you’re performing at a show in New York this week and I live in Los Angeles, I don’t care – so why are you sending me updates about it? Facebook allows you to post updates only to your fans that live in a particular area, so if only 25% of your fans live in New York, why are you posting updates about your New York shows to the other 75% who surely won’t care about them? All you’re doing is increasing the likelihood people will stop following you or hide your updates from their feed.

Any time you’re going to post an update, take a second to think about what percentage of your fans are likely to care about what you post. And if that number isn’t at least 50%, you probably shouldn’t be posting it as an update to them.

3. Is Your Update More For You Or Your Followers?

The vast majority of your updates should provide more value to your followers than it does to yourself. That value can come in the form of entertaining them, informing them, enabling them to interact with you and each other, or a number of other forms, but what’s important is that the value to them is there.

It’s ok to post the occasional update that provides more value to yourself than it does your followers (i.e., “vote for me in this contest,” “please share my video with your friends,” etc.), but if too many of your posts seem to be selfish you’ll wind up losing your followers. On the flipside, if every update you post does more for your followers than it does for yourself, you’ll wind up coming out way ahead in the long run.

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