How to Make People Laugh in 140 Characters Or Less

Matt Tobey, Head Social Media Writer at Comedy Central brings the funny to the Content Pros Podcast as he discusses how he curates some of the wittiest, bite-sized content around for both Twitter and Vine.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Matt Tobey - InstagramBringing the Funny to Twitter

As the Head Social Media Writer for Comedy Central, Matt Tobey spends a lot of his time thinking in 140-character snippets. With 17 million loops on Vine, he knows a thing or two about how to create 6-second clips that resonate. Drawing on such a rich and diverse library of content, Matt Tobey can speak with authority on creating a cohesive branding voice that straddles that line between funny and inflammatory.

Matt discusses finding his own key to creating entertaining sponsored content, evaluating intangible goals, and creating a Twitter feed that stands on its own while also giving viewers serious calls to action.

Listen in to hear about which Comedy Central shows (new and old) are most popularly used in his social media work and learn some tricks of the trade for using these challenging short-form social networks to benefit your brand.

In This Episode:

  • Should Twitter expand beyond 140 characters?
  • Balancing an edgy brand voice with serving a wide audience
  • What kind of content works best on Vine
  • Creating a stand-alone Twitter feed that also serves your brand
  • Finding the key to entertaining sponsored content
  • How to measure social media success with less tangible goals
  • Creating a cohesive brand voice that represents a diverse company with diverse content


Quotes From This Episode

“If you see a macro with a one-liner on it and it makes you laugh, usually there’s going to be a link to watch that full episode or a clip. So there’s always an opportunity to leave if you want more, but I think what we try to do is give you that choice. You’re still entertained even within the confines of the character limit and short form, but if you’re looking for something longer, then we have that for you too.” —@mtobey

“It’s something that I think about with everything that I write because everything that I write is going out to a large audience and it’s representing a lot of people. At the same time, there is an edge that is expected of us. So it can be a challenge to find that spot that’s respectful and safe while also delivering what people expect from us in terms of bite.” —@mtobey

“You have to think of Vine more along the lines of how you would think of Twitter or how you would think about a funny GIF. It’s got to be a quick take. It’s got to require as little context as possible so that the meat of it, the true message of it can come through. Six seconds is almost no time at all. So I think trying to condense something that is long form down to a six-second Vine is probably not an effective strategy most of the time. If you try to do too much within that limited space, it just doesn’t resonate.” —@mtobey



 What did you want to be when you grew up?

For Matt Tobey, only one dream remains. “I have this drawing that I did when I was in kindergarten where I said that I wanted to be a stuntman. I guess this was my fallback from being a stuntman.”

He contends that the dream isn’t necessarily dead. “I’m still young. I could make the shift. But right now, I’m enjoying this. So the stuntman thing will wait.” We won’t fight you on this, Matt. But while potentially less exciting, Vine-ing seems slightly less dangerous than jumping out of a burning building.

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