In the last article, we pulled the camera back and chatted a bit about building support structures around your show (rather than altering your content directly). This time, we’re focusing on another critical aspect of said supports: social media.
In this day and age, social media surrounds us. It’s the way we get our news, it’s the way we stay in touch, and most importantly, it’s the way we let the world know what we’re making. Becoming a successful creator requires learning the language of social sharing. Social media management is an entire career in itself; however, there are some quick and dirty concepts you can keep in mind to elevate your promotional game. We’ll break these down into two main categories: how you talk about yourself and how you engage with others.
If you spend any time at all on social media (and if you’re running a show, you should be), you likely have a few accounts that you enjoy following. Certain people always post witty updates, delightful photos, messages of positivity, whatever it might be; these are the people who have mastered the art of talking about themselves. When you put it like that, it might sound a little vain, but stick with me. There are people in the world who can bore you to death bragging about their accomplishments just as there are people in the world who tell fascinating stories about their adventures, and these people are likely doing the same things. However, the interesting person can appealingly frame their information. When you create a show, you must aspire to be the person who frames their stories in such a way as to seem exciting and admirable (instead of vain and pedantic). If this sounds impossible, don’t despair! Designing your social media presence is remarkably similar to creating a story: you aspire to set a specific tone with your narrative and pull people in with generals until you have them hooked with specifics. The best social media accounts across all platforms share a couple of qualities that you can mimic: they have a concise, easy-to-understand brand, and they post content tailored to their audience’s interest. We’ve touched a little on branding in past articles, but it is worth saying again that the themes of your show should be immediately apparent to someone glancing at your page. Your artwork, your social media bios, and your last three posts should be enough to give someone the flavor of your stream or podcast. Secondly, your content must be relevant to keep an audience engaged. Posting pictures of your cute kids is not the way to gain followers for your RPG podcast (unless your show is for kids). Your feed needs to be full of you talking about the content your audience craves and cares to engage with.
Our society should write novels about how to engage with others, particularly regarding internet etiquette. Honestly, the best way to be social media savvy is to understand how NOT to talk to other people online. The best and most shining guideline out there: before you post, re-read what you wrote, and if there is even an inch of doubt that your reply is creepy/racist/hurtful/problematic, DO NOT post it. Reputation is everything in this small community, and an ill-conceived comment or status can ruin your creation’s chances to shine. The second part of this situation goes like this: if you are accused of saying something hurtful, accept criticism and apologize. No one is perfect, and the RPG community is learning how to be inclusive for the first time in decades, so owning one’s mistakes and moving forward is the key to growth. On a lighter note, there is so much room to grow your show by lifting the work of others. Do make sure to let other creators know when you are excited by their work. Follow many people you admire; the “looking impressive with a small follower count” is an advantageous myth. Let many hear your voice and associate it with positivity and community. You must invest your voice in the community if you want the community to invest in you.
Mastering social media is identical to mastering any other social skill. If you cultivate listening and formulate thoughtful responses, social media becomes your best friend for letting the world know about the fantastic things you have unfolding at your table. Have a care, always read twice before posting, and you all will be pros in no time.
See you next time adventurers.
Greetings travelers! And welcome to Beyond the Audience where we take a look at tips and tricks for building an RPG show that is loved by both your players and the larger audience beyond your table.