Social Media Theater

this post was modified from the original post on my personal blog

For additional context to this post, see the post below on How to get more likes on Facebook

If your entire goal online is to get “likes” or more ambiguously, “generate social influence,” you’ll fail miserably. Or worse, you’ll need to create terrible music videos on youtube and risk both your online and offline respectability.

“If social media content is created and nobody sees it…”

What’s not as intuitive about social media is that while you need content that “doesn’t suck” you also need some audience from which to spread it. The old adage, “if a tree falls in the woods…” applies here. For the aspiring social influencer, if nobody sees your content then the answer to the riddle is “Yes”–it might as well have never existed. Social media, like a live play, requires audience.

The currency of audience…

The quickest way to make a million dollars, is start with 100 million dollars. Instinctively, if you have a pre-existing audience, your social media content will have more leverage. So, if you don’t have a 100 million dollar audience, let’s use the analogy of a live play and walk through how you can get audience.

In order to put on a live play, you need four critical components.
1) You need a stage (platform)
2) You need actors
3) You need a script (content)
4) You need an audience

At a bare minimum, you need these pieces in order to create something that has value. The costumes, lighting, music, is all fluff– or rather, improvements to the “content” component.

In the context of both social media and live theater, the four elements: platform, actors, content, audience are all inter-related. For example, to make the most out of your “space” you need to pick content that works well in that space. For the best delivery of your content, you need have the right “actors.” etc.

So, where should you start? In social media campaigning, people often start with “audience.” (Like my page, like my campaign, like my project!!). This is wrong. And it’s annoying. Don’t promise people you’ll have something of value for them, instead work on creating something of value.

Let’s reshuffle the components of our performance in the order of social media importance.

1) Content
2) Actors
3) Platform
4) Audience

If you build it they will come…

Before I digress, please note that I’m not saying “Just throw your content over the fences and people will find it.” In fact a better way to look at these components is as an equations:

Content + Actors + Platform = Audience

Therefore, the only way to maximize your social media campaigning is to grow (or improve) your content, your actors, and your platform use.

Maximizing your social media campaign involves maximizing the individual components (content, actors, platform) in ways that don’t diminish another component.

If you create the best live play the world has ever seen and everyone who is anyone has heard raving reviews your only going to get 100 audience members a night if your space only holds 100 people. Conversely, you could have the best script in the world and if you put bad actors on the stage people aren’t going to like it (think back to your high school Shakespeare performances).

Social media is often a one man show

You might be wondering why I’ve included “actors” as a component or resource of social media. Considering your social media campaigns, often these involve one person writing or creating content and publishing it to facebook, twitter, or blogs. Quite simply, this is just a one person show.

Outside of my work I volunteer with a “fringe” (that’s an artistic way of saying low-budget) theater company. This “fringe” company performs new plays written by recent college graduates, casts non-professional actors, and performs in a basement theater. It’s a great experience. Now, one of the problems with this company (and most “fringe” theaters) is that they need to market shows that nobody has ever heard of, written by someone they’ve never heard of, to be performed in a space that very few people have ever heard of. Getting audience is tough. There is, however, one tried and true way getting audience. Don’t create a one-man show! Cast a show with as many actors as you can (without diminishing your content or use of platform). Actors are proud of their work. And most of them have friends who are also proud of their actor-friend’s work. It’s not a coincidence that when the “fringe” company performs a show with 15+ actors, every show is sold out but when they put on a show with 5 (or less) actors the performances have a half-empty audience.

To say it more firmly, if your doing a social media campaign for a project (or company) nobody has ever heard of, and you aren’t a crazy famous celebrity, then create a campaign with a huge cast of characters. Get lots of people with passion to help you create and give life to your content because they will be proud of it and their friends (audience) will be proud of it too.

All the worlds a stage…

So finally, if you made it this far in the post, please leave a comment letting me know how much you “liked” it.


1 Comment

Filed under Content Tips, Resources

One response to “Social Media Theater

  1. I Am Going To have to come back again whenever my course load lets up – nonetheless I am taking your Feed so i could go through your site offline. Thanks.

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