For the longest time, wrestling has been out of the closet, so to speak and many have had to learn to live in a world where everyone was in on what pro wrestling was. More recently, the wrestlers themselves have had to learn to deal with social media and being one on one with the fans so directly. While I could rant for ages on wrestlers being idiots on Twitter.
The bigger issue is Facebook.
Facebook presents us with interesting problems, but definitely tools that can greatly benefit a wrestler. As a wrestler, your name, your gimmick, your character, however you want to refer to it, is your brand. If you are on Facebook pushing yourself, posting on indy promotion pages with an obvious picture as you, the wrestler, it hurts your brand.
When you use your real name, your main Facebook account, it can send mixed messages. When you are using Facebook to promote your matches and events, it throws people to see your real last name. When you use it in this fashion, and talk in storylines, it kills the suspension of disbelief that wrestling thrives on.
Some things to Consider:
If you are on Facebook as yourself
- You should be a guy who wrestles. Not the wrestler. Here, you can be the guy who plays video games, or bitches about your girlfriend. Don’t kill the mystique of the badass you’re supposed to be.
- Comment in story, or on promotional sites as your stage name. When I see a name that doesn’t jive with the name I know from the flyers and ring entrances, it takes me out of it as a fan. If I see a mystery name connected with a picture of someone I consider a star (and most friends that ask can’t believe indy wrestlers have day jobs) I akin that to my aunt that has a picture of a cat as her profile picture.
- When you “friend” others and fans on Facebook, they take it as that. Friends. How much you privatize your personal page is up to you, but you can easily lock it down to family and friends, lessening the bleed over from your “professional” life.
If you are fortunate enough to be pushing yourself as your own name, you have some more options.
- Are you basically an extension of who you are in the ring?
- Are you dedicated to not get to personal on your page?
A great example of this would be Joe Dombrowski. He may be an announcer, as apposed to a wrestler, but it still applies. Knowing Joe, he’s the same online as he seems to be on the mic. A knowledgable wrestling mind who waxes philosophy and props in the business and sparks discussions. He is transparent and it doesn’t hurt how anything is presented.
What does a Fan Page/Business Page give you the ability to do?
- Be the character online. With pages, you can turn on the “Post as…” option and roll around Facebook as your character, tearing into your opponent on a given upcoming show (hopefully on his similarly setup page or promotion’s site)
- Manage your fan base. It’s the place for your fans to go and interact with you, the wrestler. Never mixed with your personal page.
- Bigger Fan Base. I don’t know how many have this problem, but Facebook limits friends to 5000 before cutting you off from adding. If you make it big and get that many fans, which has happened to local e-celebs like iJustine, you just limited the reach of your brand name. Think to the future.
I hope new, and maybe new to the internet, wrestlers out there may consider a few things like this when they go online. I’ve seen plenty of these questions come up from trainees, or seeing or hearing about the tools being misused.
What else needs to be addressed?