No matter how much I talk about how you should do more on Twitter than just post jokes, the reality is most comics still use Twitter primarily as a joke distribution machine.
With that in mind, here’s some ideas for how you can maximize the value you get from those 140-character bits of hilarity you’re crafting.
1. Post Your Jokes As Comments On Relevant Articles
When something big happens in the news these days, comics rush to Twitter to share their joke about the topic with whoever happens to follow them on Twitter. That’s fine, but it also misses an opportunity to post that same joke someplace where NEW people might discover you instead of just sharing it with the same people who already know you.
The next time you’ve got something funny to say about something in the news, go find a popular website that’s written an article on the subject and post your joke as a comment on that article.
This will not only expose you to a new audience that you know is interested in the topic your joke (because they’re on the page reading the news your joke is about), but it’s also likely that your joke will stand out from the crowd of comments since (theoretically) what you have to say will be better than what some other random Internet person has to say on the subject since you’re a comedian.
To give you a sense of the potential audience here, the current article at the top of the Huffington Post home page about Obamacare has 1,700+ comments on it already. And that’s just a small fraction of the number of people who are actually reading those comments. Seems like a good place to reach people with your Obamacare joke beyond the couple hundred people already following you on Twitter.
2. Post Your Tweets Multiple Times
Always remember that a small fraction of your followers (typically 10% or less) are actually going to see your tweets because they tend to only see them if they happen to be checking their feeds when you post them. So, one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your tweet buck is to post the same tweet multiple times.
You don’t have to go overboard, but there’s nothing wrong with posting a good tweet a couple times at different times of the day/week to ensure that more people actually see it. You’ll be surprised to see that the second time you post it will likely receive just as much interaction as the first.
3. Build Your Jokes Into Bigger Bits
Twitter can be great as market research. If you post a joke that does well, try to figure out what about it worked and what resonated with people. Then look for ways to build on it – maybe it becomes a bigger bit in your standup act, maybe it becomes the premise of a sketch video, maybe you can build it into a blog post.
Just because something starts as a tweet doesn’t mean it can’t grow into something much more important.
4. Repurpose Your Tweets In Other Mediums
One of the easiest ways to get more out of the jokes you post on Twitter is to repurpose them in other mediums. It’s likely that lots of the jokes you tweet could easily be turned into funny images, or form the basis of videoblog entries on YouTube, or even become part of a podcast or a book.
And remember, each medium brings its own opportunities to introduce yourself and connect to a new audience – even if it’s with some of the same material.
5. Use Them On Your Website
I covered this in more detail in my post about 7 Reasons The Stuff You Post On Social Media Should Also Be On Your Website so I won’t get into a lot of details here, but I’ll remind you that Twitter is very much about what’s happening right now and therefore your jokes have a very short life-span on the platform. There’s value in collecting and presenting your Twitter jokes in interesting ways on your website that will allow you to get much more out of them over the long run.