At first, it’s enticing to use the same pan-title approach across all platforms, because it saves you time. But any community manager (you know, people who get paid 60k to watch out for brands’ social media channels) will tell you that the key to cracking sharing sites, apart from original content and your engagement with the community, is to create dedicated content. Dedicated content refers to all the specifics that differ between sharing sites.
An example of dedicated content across sharing platforms
For example, let’s say you’re posting webcomics to Facebook, Twitter and 9Gag. The comic doesn’t change, unless you want to go that one step further and tack on a site-dedicated image or script below the comic, perhaps calling readers from that specific platform to action (“find me on Facebook”, “limited edition prints available at…”, “dinosaurs are a conspiracy”). What changes will be the title and if there is a description. If you’re posting a comic of Mario submitting Yoshi to a cock fight, the difference between these three platforms might look like this:
Twitter: “What did Mario say to Yoshi at the cock fight?”
9Gag: “When you realize your childhood game character heroes are being revamped, again”
The easy way out is to use the same text for all three platforms: “Mario and Yoshi”. Or something like that. But your comic will have more success if you think carefully about how that specific community will react to the association between the text you choose and the image you share.
Here’s what I know
I can’t claim to know exactly how to crack each site. But I can share with you what I think I know, and you can experiment with that and if it works for you, maybe come back here and validate some of this in the comments section.
Here is my ever-evolving strategy for posting to these different platforms. I will use the real posts behind a comic about mosquitoes to illustrate in these examples:
I keep it simple on Facebook. I use the naming convention that I’ve settled upon for titling my comics. Typically, it’s something short, detached, and will later be used on some of the subreddits.
I’ll admit that I have not figured out Twitter yet. It’s a slow-growth platform for webcomic artists, as far as I can tell. Very few comic creators who have 10,000 followers on Facebook have over 2,000 on Twitter.
In terms of title conventions for publishing webcomics on Twitter, I write something that leaves the reader at least somewhat curious.
I use Imgur to post comics to Reddit. I hadn’t given much thought to Imgur’s non-reddit community until one comic hit Imgur’s front page. I think that the best titles to use on Imgur are longer, full sentences. The passive one-word title just doesn’t seem to do it. Also, in the description of the image, there’s plenty of space to pitch your comic to the readers who care. And look, this sentence didn’t even make the cut.
The mosquito comic got over 1,000 points on Imgur, 66 comments and over 1m views.
Naturally, Reddit comes after Imgur, if you read up about how to use Imgur to post comics to Reddit. Naming conventions depend on the subreddit. In the mosquito example, I used the same short name of the comic on both /r/comics and /r/funny subreddits. Especially on /r/comics, the most successful naming conventions are the short, lowercase, detached titles. Again, though, there has to be that limbo joke between the comic and the title, and intrigue enough for someone to click on it.
9Gag‘s is a scrolling community, and if your title doesn’t speak to them, the comic won’t work there. In that sense it’s the same as Reddit. The title and the image need to create a joke apart from the comic. The difference is that on 9Gag, the most successful posts have longer titles that use this popular construction of “When you’re doing A, and B happens,” or, “Am I the only one who does B?”, or, “I ask my girlfriend A. She said B, and gave me this”, or “Posting comics to 9Gag be like”. Ugh.
Well, if you can create some relation between your title and the comic that speaks to the scrollers, then you’re in. Here’s what the mosquito comic did:
Funnyjunk isn’t all that different from 9Gag. You can name your comics following those same guidelines. Here’s what I used, and it got some 1,000 thumbs up:
I’m always on the lookout for more places to share my comics. I used to post to Memecenter, but they brand uploaded images with a little logo of their own, so I stopped sharing there.
It’s really weird to get millions of views through Imgur, Reddit, 9Gag and Funnyjunk, and to then never see the conversation into Likes or Follows. It’s just part of the game, and the game takes patience. I hope this article has been of help to some of you.
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