Greetings, my friends! Here is an article which was emailed to me today. It has been posted in several places on the Internet, but I thought it was worthy to pass along here.
This was written by Joe Dombrowski. I have never met the man, but I hope to meet him one day. He wrote this - therefore the opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Wrestling News Center, the Webmaster, or anyone else connected with this site. They are Joe Dombrowski's alone. However, I agree with everything he says here.
PRO WRESTLERS TAKE NOTE! The Dos and Don'ts of Social Networking!
by Joe Dombrowski, www.facebook.com/joedombrowskiwrestling
One of my many pet peeves lately has been the illogical way many people within professional wrestling treat their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Some have accounts using their wrestling name, yet post information about their private life, 9-to-5-jobs, etc. Some have accounts using their real name, but use it to cut wrestling promos and promote upcoming shows they will be appearing at. Some decide to post cute and humorous comments on the Walls of people they are feuding with, or thank one another for a great match. Some decide to outwardly expose the business by airing dirty laundry, locker room sleaze, or discussing the inner-workings of their match/experience at said show. All of the above is completely counter-productive and potentially harmful to business, both your own and where you work.
The excuse of "Everyone knows" and "The business has been exposed" is complete BS. Your job is to get the viewer to emotionally invest and buy into you specifically and your story. Every post you make that goes against that perception is counter-productive to your own progression and development. It's about building and sustaining an illusion strong enough for your audience to get lost in. They want to believe. If you can't make them, they will go somewhere else.
"I can't make you believe wrestling is real, but I can make you believe that I am." - Johnny Valentine
This point was hammered home to me upon reading something Dave Meltzer wrote -
"I was in a discussion yesterday with the head of a major promotion talking about how that every major company (UFC, WWE and TNA) that has embarked on usage of twitter and Facebook has ended up having their key business metrics (ratings, PPVs) decline, while the former two bring in literally millions of fans. There is a reason why. Stars killing their aura as stars. They get people to talk about them, but they also make people less want to pay to see them because they come across like they aren't stars. Not saying some people don't come across as stars or it's a negative, but the ones that do are the minority."
Although Dave's quote was written in a different context than this blog, I still feel it applies. With that in mind, a few personal bits of advice for professional wrestlers on Twitter...
- Separate business and personal completely. If you are posting under "Wrestling Name", it should only be things that persona would post. Promos, videos, upcoming shows, etc. Nothing you wouldn't say on a microphone or to a fan at an event. Nothing too "inside". If you are posting under "Real Name", keep it completely void of fans and only accept those who know you personally. Which should be two different categories, but that's a rant for another time. Some choose to have a personal profile and a "fan page" devoted to their wrestling. Good call.
- Remember it is beneficial to create an "aura" around yourself. If you spend six days a week in the gym to look like a superstar, then get onto Facebook to complain about the fact you have to do a double shift at Arby's tomorrow, you've just undone all of your own hard work to present yourself in a certain light.
- Treat your public wrestling updates seriously. Don't LOL at the guy you're in a blood feud with and keep it in line with how your character is presented at the actual shows. If not, you undermine and belittle your own character, and make it infinitely more impossible for people to buy into you.
- Don't post that you hated your match, didn't enjoy it, blew spots, etc. If you don't even enjoy your own work, how in the world are you supposed to convince fans to?
- Remember you are a brand and commodity. It is up to you to sell you. No one will do it better than you can. Perception is reality. And you are, even if on a very small level, a public figure. Work to sell that image. Use FB and Twitter as a glorified advertisement to showcase why fans should pay to see you and why promoters should pay to hire you.
With these few mindsets, we can turn social networking from a counter-productive peek behind the curtain into an easy and widespread enhancement for the business as a whole.