NOTE: This article was written in 2011. A lot has changed since then, but the underlying principles remain true.
When people ask me how they should “do” social media, I usually tell them to think about the people they follow on social media and why they follow them. It can be especially helpful to look at two people or companies with similar goals and see how each of them try to accomplish those goals using social media. Inevitably, you can learn as much from somebody who’s doing a great job with social media as you can learn from somebody that’s not.
To illustrate my point, I thought I’d share with you a look at how two Los Angeles comedy clubs – The Comedy Store and The Hollywood Improv – are using Twitter at the moment. They both have the same basic goal of getting people to come to their clubs and see shows, but as you’ll see their approach to Twitter is completely different.
Here’s a look at the last 10 tweets from The Improv:
And here’s a look at the last 10 tweets from The Comedy Store:
Which one would you rather follow?
I’m guessing the choice is pretty clearly The Comedy Store (sorry, Improv – I still love you too). Here’s a few reasons why:
• The Comedy Store tweets about more than just itself. Five out of the 10 Comedy Store tweets are actually retweets of other people and comics’ tweets. Even if they’re about the Comedy Store, there’s a feeling of a community and that they’re not just talking at you, they’re talking with you. By comparison, none of the Improv’s tweets were from anybody but themselves.
• The Comedy Store gives me something, the Improv just asks me for something. Two of the Comedy Store’s tweets are links to things I may find interesting that have nothing to do with their shows. They’re giving me “content” that I might like and I’m getting something out of following them besides just show updates and requests for me to buy tickets. On the flipside, every single Improv tweet is about one of their shows and asking me to go to them.
• The Comedy Store keeps it fresh, The Improv says the same thing over and over again. If you look at the Improv’s tweets, you’ll notice that in their last 10 tweets four of them are the exact same. And three more of them are also the same. That means that basically 50% of their last 10 tweets are just repeats of things they’ve already told me. Not only is that boring, it’s probably pretty annoying.
So why should you care?
Even if you don’t run a comedy club, you can probably look at the differences between how these two clubs are using Twitter and think about what you’re doing with your own tweets. Do you tweet more like The Comedy Store or The Improv? And which would you rather be? Just something to think about next time you’re crafting your 140 character bits of hilarity…