With the explosion of social media platforms in the past couple years, it can be very confusing to figure out exactly what you should post on which platforms. In my previous post about how to get more traffic to your website in 5 days, comedian Derik Boik asked the following question in the comments, which I think is a frustration shared by many of you:
I think (emphasis on think) that my website is pretty good. I am not a web designer, I just bought a URL and used Word Press to build it, BUT I think it looks okay and is easily navigable. Also, my goal in making it, was for it to be for “fans” and have a separate tab for “booking.”
So, my home page is a blogroll. And the posts I put there are interesting updates like “I’m hosting the Otto & George show tonight” or new videos I’ve created, etc. I write short essays and articles (with pictures) all the time but I post them on my Tumblr: http://www.newsgood.tumblr.com.
I decided to keep all of that stuff separate from my website but was I wrong? Should I be posting all of that on my website too? I agree that it would make my website more dynamic and current, in fact I’d probably have something new to post every day. But, is it okay for your Tumblr and website to be almost identical? I feel crazy. I like the name NewsGood (because it lets readers know that the stuff will be topical) but should I just change it to DerikBoik.tumblr the way your Connected Comedy Tumblr is just an offshoot of your website?
Here’s my dilemma (and possibly the topic for your next article): I have a website, a Tumblr, Facebook (a personal profile AND a fan page), a Twitter and a YouTube channel. What stuff do I post where? Which stuff should I NOT post on what? What should be posted on multiple places and what SHOULDN’T be? Help.
It’s a great question and in order to answer it, I thought I’d spell out exactly how I personally recommend you use each individual social media platform to get the best results. Please note this isn’t the only way you can use these tools, but it’s what I’d recommend to get the most out of your efforts.
Your personal website is by far the most important thing you have in your social media arsenal. It should function as the hub of all your activity, the base of your operations, and your goal should be to get your fans to visit it often – which typically means regularly posting new content to give them a reason to come back on a daily (or at least weekly) basis.
The majority of your time, effort, and resources should be put into creating and promoting the content that lives on your personal website. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest is that your website is the only actual “property” you will fully own and control on the web – forever.
The problem with focusing your efforts on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and trying to make them the hub of your online presence is that you’re ultimately building on a platform you don’t control. At any point, those services could change the way they operate and/or decline in popularity and the value of your presence on them can disappear in an instant.
Just ask any comedian who spent a lot of time on their MySpace page how that wound up working out for them in the end.
Your website is your real estate – invest in it and you’ll reap the rewards over the long term. Every other thing you do on social media will be done as an offshoot of your website.
Twitter works best when you use it as a tool to facilitate conversations with fans and other people. Anybody in the world can see your tweets and contact you through @ replies on Twitter, and you can also start up conversations with anybody the same way. I’d recommend you use it for that purpose.
It’s fine to post jokes and occasionally promote your stuff, but you’ll really get the most out of Twitter if you use it as a way to seek out people with similar interests (using Twitter’s search function) and interact with them.
Think of Twitter as a tool you use for conversations, and you’ll find it to be a much more effective tool than just using it for promotion.
Unlike Twitter, Facebook isn’t quite as good for facilitating conversations. However, its strength is in helping you find new fans and in introducing them to what you do. Running targeted Facebook ads is an incredible way to grow your fanbase and one that I highly recommend.
Also, Facebook is far better than Twitter at enabling your community of fans to engage with each other. Whether through your Facebook fan page and/or through a group, you’ll want to use Facebook to ignite conversations and build a sense of community amongst your fans. You may be the leader of the community, but it’s not just about you. It’s about something bigger because you’re ultimately connecting people with a shared viewpoint and sense of humor…with you at the center of it all.
To do this, you’ll want to post regular Facebook updates that encourage engagement – ask questions, have contests, create opportunities for your fans to talk about themselves and each other. It’s fine to promote your content sometimes and link people back to your website, but remember that your Facebook efforts should be at least as much about your fans as it is about yourself.
YouTube is your video platform – period. If you make videos of any kind (and you should), you need to post them on YouTube. It’s fine to also post them on Funny or Die, or Break, or Vimeo, or some other video sharing sites, but you absolutely must also post them on YouTube if you want them to be seen.
Not only is YouTube the biggest video search site on the web, it’s also the second biggest search engine (after Google) of any kind on the Internet. Not posting videos on YouTube is inexcusable.
Also, when you do post your videos on YouTube you will want to use the YouTube player to embed those videos on your website because you really want the YouTube view counts to be as high as possible. For example, if you upload the same video to YouTube and Funny or Die, promote the YouTube version to your fans/friends. Those views will ultimately be more important to you than the Funny or Die ones.
On YouTube itself, you want to encourage people to subscribe to your channel because more subscribers equals more views. Also, you want to engage with commenters on your videos, leave comments and subscribe to other people’s channels, and generally try to become a part of the YouTube community – a community which can be very insular at times.
If you’re going to launch a Tumblr blog, there’s a couple different ways you can use it. First, you can use it as the base for your own website (as long as you have your own domain name). Personally, I’d recommend using WordPress to power your website, but it’s ok to use Tumblr if you prefer.
If you’re not going to use Tumblr to power your website but still want to have a presence on the site, it’s fine to set up a separate Tumblr page like I’ve done for Connected Comedy. if you go that route, I’d recommend using your Tumblr to share links to the content on your main website and to share some smaller content (like photos and videos) that may not necessarily warrant being posted on your main website.
Also, a presence on Tumblr will allow you to easily reblog content from other people’s Tumblrs that you may follow with just the click of a button. It’s basically an easy way to have a presence on the site and become part of that community without having to put a ton of time and effort into it.
Again, there’s no real “rules” for using any of these services to further your career, but I do believe that if you follow these strategy suggestions you’ll wind up having a lot more success than you otherwise might.