Five Social Media Tricks and Tips From A Mighty Wind

 

 

A lot of you know might know actress Jane Lynch because of her role in the hit television show, Glee. However, my love affair with Jane began quite a few years back. She worked her way into my head and heart through all of her roles in the films of Christpher Guest.

Jane Lynch isn’t the only one who has graced the screen along with Christopher Guest. In fact, he has a whole posse who does his movies with him. Other names you might recognize include Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and Fred Willard.

These actors, and others, star in one of my favorite Christopher Guest films, A Mighty Wind. As it happens, this movie can also offer you some interesting ideas on how to achieve Social Media success.

1. Rejoice in improvising: One of the most amazing things about films like A Mighty Wind is that the actors all improvise, not just on their own but with each other. There is a general story line and they take it away from there. Approaching your Social Media presence in the same way can exponentially increase your enjoyment, your success, and your ability to engage with others. In this context, improvisation can mean straying away from talk that is just about your business. Leave the company line behind a few times a day and talk about things other people love to talk about. Your story line is always intact, but stretch it out a little!

2. Pick up the slack for those in your group: If you watch A Mighty Wind really closely, you can see at times that one actor will kind of go off track or not be able to think of something to say. Flawlessly, the other actor or actors in the scene jump in and complete the person’s sentence, just like friends do in real life. On Social Media sites, there are lots of ways to do this. You can literally help someone finish a thought if they are struggling with a blog post. You can add a comment, which picks up a conversation in the post and extends it to other places. If someone asks for help, you can swoop in and offer it. It doesn’t have to be an event. Just let it happen naturally.

3. Have Fun: One of the reasons I love A Mighty Wind so much is that you can almost feel how much fun all of the actors are having. They’re acting, they’re singing, they’re working in smaller ensembles but then come together as one big ensemble at the end, and they just seem to enjoy every minute of it. Are you having fun with Social Media? I mean, sure, it’s work-related for a lot of us, but really, what could be more fun than getting to know new people every day, talking about stuff you like, and counting how many fans and followers you have? Enjoy the ride, and it will show!

4. Showcase multiple talents: Speaking of singing and acting, all of the songs in A Mighty Wind are original to the cast members. Kind of disgusting to have that much talent in one cast, isn’t it? But on Social Media sites, it can be really helpful to play to more than one strength. Write different kinds of posts. Use your ability to introduce people to each other, or prove your credibility in an area that most people would guess you know nothing about. Surprise people!

5. Have a point: For all of the joy and fun in A Mighty Wind, there are a few morals of the story. I mean, let’s think about Harry Shearer’s character deciding he needs to spend the rest of his life as a blond, female folk singer! But actually, there are other lessons in there, too. The story of Mickey and Mitch showcases how people who create the illusion of love can actually come to believe it. The big party before the night of the concert touches on the fact that real folks musicians often are left on the fringes of what is popular. Social Media offers you a lot of power. You can use your voice for whatever purposes you deem fit. While you should have fun and not take it all too seriously, you should have an anchor that keeps you generally on track. It might not be a straight path, but it’s a path nonetheless.

What other lessons can you pull from this fantastic film? Or maybe another Christopher Guest film floats your boat even more!

I’d love to hear about it.

 

  • Improvising, I bet many “old school” people shiver at the sole thought of that. When you’re used to set every strategy in stone it’s kinda hard to let your creative side out.
    I too believe that, even with a written strategy, there’s plenty of room for improvisation in social media. First because you can’t predict everything (in fact, you can hardly predict *something*), second because things are a lot more boring when they are already decided.

    • Hi Gabriele!

      You’re right – the improvisation factor is what scares a lot of people in terms of Social Media. You’re not just just dealing with your own improvisation, but you’re also dealing with everyone else’s! Yikes. However, if you don’t improvise, you really are just serving your audience a steady dish of stuff they *technically* could find elsewhere. That’s not very exciting 🙂

  • Margie, this is so spot on with what social media is! A Mighty Wind is the PERFECT movie to explain social media. It is a production that turns into a movie, but it is a “framework” around which the actors create a conversation. Sure, they need to start at one point and get to the end, hitting the “checkpoints” along the way so the story actually goes in the direction the writers want, but what they do along the way is all improv. And improv ain’t easy! A lot of people need a script. But for those who don’t, watching it is pure magic.

    Wow! Best 5 points on explaining social media ever! I’m happy to have been your “Yes, and…” (but now I’ve got Corn Wine running through my head… it’s not on the movie, it’s in the outtakes… and that is probably a whole other blog post! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUnEF492eAs )

    • Holy smokes, I’ve never gotten to see the outtakes. That’s an outtake?!? So freakin’ brilliant.

      Very glad you liked the post. I’ve had this rolling around in my head since our conversation 🙂

      • The whole outtakes part of the movie is like that. Worth watching because you see the character development as the actors are going through the process as well.

  • Suzanne,

    What a refreshing post. I have to say that the key for me in this is “have fun.” Just ask my wonderful wife Cassie about this one. I tend to be a pretty serious guy and I have to constantly remind myself to have fun. Social media has become a great avenue for testing ideas and opening up to others. It can be a scary process as you let go of things, but in reality it opens you up to so many possibilities. It is all part of losing the ego so you can let loose and have more fun.

    Awesome ideas!

    @jwsokol