Like every small business, comedians know that social media is practically mandatory in order to get ahead. We’re past the days of hesitancy toward having a Facebook page or Twitter account. Today, brands are more focused on how to stand out from all of the noise on social media.
Yet it seems more recently that comedians are owning the social media space better than most small businesses. Louis C.K. went from stand-up artist to online entrepreneur, earning millions in the process.
Every good comedian knows they have an audience to cater to, rather than winning everyone over. They understand that their comedic style is not for everyone, and that loyalty is often more valuable than numbers. Comedians focus on the audience that cares, by entertaining, engaging and providing fresh content so that the loyal fans come back.
There are many ways that small businesses can learn from comedians. Here are five tips you can learn from the funniest people in the industry.
1. Humor Sells
The fastest way to establish a relationship, build trust and get a customer to value your presence is to make them laugh.
Comedians are experts because they are active thinkers. A skilled comedian is confident and aware of what his audience needs. He knows what the next joke in his routine will be — he doesn’t ask the audience. A brand should know what its customers need by studying how they think and how they react to different marketing approaches.
2. Cut to the Chase
When it comes to building relationships and making sales, honesty is key.
Comedians will cut to the chase and relieve the audience by finding clever ways to say what everyone else was thinking, especially when it’s a taboo topic.
People trust online recommendations, ratings and reviews because they’re from real people. That means bad reviews too. It’s uncomfortable for customers to tell you what they don’t like about your product or business. If you recognize your own faults in a brand, it relieves the customer from awkwardness and prevents those who do like to complain from having the first say.
Sounds crazy, but humans are imperfect — and humanizing your brand will ultimately drive sales.
3. Don’t Be Boring
Most comedians are very strategic about promoting themselves on social media. Many of their fans follow them for entertainment, not for links. Bigger comedians who have their own TV show, like Stephen Colbert and Conan O’Brien have a separate Twitter account for the show. Colbert’s personal account is just shy of 4 million followers, while The Colbert Report has almost 278,000.
People want human interaction on social media. Think about what your customers would find interesting by considering how you personally utilize social media. How many times have you felt compelled to engage with basic banner ads or mundane posts on your Newsfeed?
4. Keep it Fresh
So you’ve found something that works. That’s great! Just know that eventually, like any good joke, your content will get stale.
Don’t be a vanilla brand. Your social followers are your audience, so give them a good show. Take bold risks and experiment with what works and what doesn’t. The great thing about social media is that it’s very easy and requires little resources to switch it up.
You can keep the same tone and approach, as long as you understand your brand’s voice — is it observational? Satirical? Does it rely on a character? Once you’ve found the voice, you can play around with different content that represents it appropriately.
5. Cut the Middle Man
Comedians like Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari use social media to interact with fans directly. They understand that making it easier for fans to get what they want means more business.
Don’t make your customers jump through hoops just to make a purchase. Simplify the process and give them a way to interact with you directly.
Extra fees and unnecessary steps, like subscribing to a membership just to pay or forcing them to ‘Like’ you on Facebook, are annoying. You wouldn’t force a person to make those extra steps in a store, and you most certainly wouldn’t force your friendship in the same way upon your own social circle.