Follow Friday: ImprovBoston

The Cambridge comedy club likes the idea of their social media being a "virtual laugh factory."


Two comics throw down at ImprovBoston’s 2013 Face Off event. / Photo by Ryan Kelly Coil via ImprovBoston on Flickr

Follow Friday, At a Glance
Connect with ImprovBoston on social media:

facebook Facebook
twitter Twitter

Some might argue that social media was made for comedy. Twitter, especially, shows how 140 characters or less can spread laughs like wildfire. For Cambridge-based comedy mainstay ImprovBoston, that’s no exception. With a long list of regular comics to retweet, IB is an excellent account to follow if you’re looking for a case of the funnies.

Here, ImprovBoston associate producer Mac Gostow talks to us about IB’s “virtual laugh factory”:

How many people run ImprovBoston’s various social media accounts? How do you manage all of them?

The social media is split between two of us—Tom, our managing director, and yours truly. For Twitter, we use Hootsuite and schedule that week’s tweets in advance, and then also respond to day-to-day interactions as the week moves forward. For Facebook, we are all admins on the pages, and we have separate pages for our big events and festivals—either event pages through the main IB account or fan pages for the festivals. One example is the upcoming Boston Comedy Arts Festival.

What are the goals for ImprovBoston on social media, and where does your content come from?

Our goals are to increase our exposure and branding while also making sense of the more than 20 shows we have a week. We do the latter through many information-based tweets that feature who is performing in each show every night. We love the idea of our social media being a “virtual laugh factory,” and while most of our content coming from our account is more information-based, we love to share humorous tweets put forth by our several hundred performer community members.

In three words, describe the voice and tone of ImprovBoston social media.

Playful. Informative. Engaging.

Which social media account is the strongest channel for IB? In other words, if you had to pick, which one is the “must-follow”?

I think Twitter because we have the largest follower base there and have the strongest level of interactions. But Facebook is also very current. We have community forums—an open group for every IB community member—and a closed forum just for IB resident cast members where communications are carried regularly as well as show pitches, ideas, insights, and other fun things.

What social media platform do you think lends itself best to comedy?

Twitter, by far. Facebook is less sharing of content on our end. With Twitter, every comedian has 140 characters to share their “bit,” and many of the tweets we see and retweet end up being snippets of standup acts. Check out @DanaJayBein for some examples of this. Dana is the creator of our StandUp program and the creator/host of the People’s Show (StandUp) on Sundays at 9 p.m.

Any recommendations for other funny accounts to follow?

Dana’s is solid. A former mainstage cast member Robert Woo’s is fun too—@TheAsianSlant—as well as current mainstage cast member Sam Ike—@TheSamIke.

What are the most hilarious things you and/or your team have ever posted?

We like to think the funny comes from our performer/community base, and we are just the sharers.

What’s the weirdest, most surprising, or most outspoken feedback you’ve gotten via social media?

I haven’t seen anything too crazy of late. Many followers use us to know when friends are performing and who’s on for shows, so we don’t get too much weird stuff directed right at us.

Comedy can sometimes rub people the wrong way or be lost in translation. Has that ever happened with IB’s social media? How do you handle that?

The lack of tone (and inherent ambiguity) in social media can be tough sometimes—how can you get humor across when you can’t hear someone say a joke? Sometimes those inflections can be the difference between something being funny or something being rude on social media. But the comedy world is all about having thick skin. We love our community and followers dearly and know that it’s all in good fun.

Since you’ve been with IB, what has been your personal favorite thing to share on social media?

Our IB ComedyCamps were featured in the Globe a few weeks back, and I was very eager to share this awesome story that showcases the powerful magic of comedy for youth and families.


Responses have been edited and condensed.