Social media in pro wrestling is of increasing importance to independent promotions; meanwhile, no one is quite sure yet how important it is for WWE.5
Some time ago we passed the point where the internet’s function in the wrestling world was merely that it opened up insider news and rumors to anyone who could get online. In recent years the internet and social media have become a means of distribution with which a wrestling company can reach a significant audience. While it may just be a supplement for bigger companies, for companies that have little or no television exposure, their use of the internet and social media gets more important everyday.
U.S. & Canadian Indies
“In 2015, social media is our driving force behind tickets and merchandise sales,” says Mike Petkovich of the Chicago-based promotion, AAW.
“In my opinion, without social media, AIW and several other independents would be out of business, because it has proven to be invaluable and the possibilities on how it can affect the business overall are endless,” says Absolute Intense Wrestling‘s John Thorne.
“Social media is an incredible tool for promoting live events and selling merchandise, especially on the independent level,” says SHIMMER‘s Dave Prazak. “For companies without a television presence, social media is essential to keeping the fans informed about upcoming events.”
Drew Cordiero from Beyond Wrestling differs somewhat. “Success of live event ticket sales are a lot more dependent on the lineup we’re producing as opposed to whether or not there are fans finding out about the shows,” he says.
Social media isn’t just important to promoters. Petkovich adds, “A pro wrestler’s social media game is just as important as what he does in the ring.”
I first did a study like this on social media followers last May. Six months later, I want to look not just at the raw numbers, but at which promotions made the most progress in the intervening half-year.
Who has the most social media followers?
Who gained the most followers in the last six months?
Social media followers are hard to lose. When your popularity goes away, your social media followers probably don’t. To get an idea of who’s recently gained popularity — or perhaps who’s spent the most on social media advertising — let’s look at who’s made the greatest gains in the last six months.
Please note the latter above chart includes only promotions for which data was collected for the article in May and which also ranked in the top 20 promotions in the former above chart. Unfortunately a few promotions were overlooked in May that I should have collected data for.
Of course these numbers (as well as individual posts/videos) can be manipulated in a number of ways; that’s especially so for Facebook and Twitter touch points, which can be bought with ads from the platforms themselves.
One tactic many Twitter users employ costs nothing. To drum up followers, the user follows a large number of users in hopes many will follow back (often unfollowing those who don’t after a certain amount of time). We can get a pretty good idea of who’s using that strategy right now by looking at which promotions are following a high number of users.
Anecdotally, Pro Wrestling Guerilla feels like the indie with the most interest at the moment. Their high numbers of touch point gains suggest that as well. Of all indies in the last six months, their presence grew the most, by far. They gained over 15,000 touch points, beating the next nearest indie’s progress by about 5000 touch points. Coming off the popular Battle of Los Angeles (BOLA) events, PWG’s YouTube channel subscription count is likely the highest of any of indie (~28,000). That’s especially impressive considering their YouTube channel, for about the last two years, has uploaded nothing but trailers for their DVDs, no full matches or even any promos recently. Their smallest metric of all is Facebook, where they have a smaller following than several indies in the above charts. This hints to me that maybe they just haven’t spent as much money as others on paid ads to gain likes. PWG only follows 36 users on Twitter, so they don’t seem to be gaming that platform for extra followers by following a large number of users.
In raw numbers, CHIKARA is still in the lead for total social media followers. That, though, does not indicate that they’re the hottest independent promotion today in the U.S. The progress they made on social media over the last six months was a meager 7%. Notice too their Twitter numbers are aided by following about half as many people (~19,500) as they have following them (~38,000). For YouTube subscriptions, the metric here that’s hardest to manipulate, they only grew by 4% in the last six months.
Beyond Wrestling’s social media presence growth over the last six months was second only to PWG. Beyond’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube touch points grew by 18%, 16% and 22%, respectively. They continue to be the only indie looked at in this study for which YouTube is their strongest platform for touch points (~23,000). This is an anomaly. For many other promotions, YouTube subscriptions lag well behind both Facebook and Twitter numbers. Again, this is particularly notable considering YouTube subscriptions are harder to manipulate versus Facebook and Twitter touch points.
Combat Zone Wrestling is the only promotion on the chart that we do not have complete data for; we are missing their YouTube subscriber number as it’s hidden on their YouTube page. Attempts to contact CZW to disclose the number were not responded to at the time this article was posted. In May, they had about 22,000 YouTube subscribers. It’s very likely that number increased over the last six months, though we don’t know by how much. Barring a huge increase far above the YouTube increases of any other indie, they rank third here for total touch points, after PWG and CHIKARA. Without knowing their latest YouTube number, it’s difficult to say where they’d rank for gained followers in the last six months, although their Facebook and Twitter gains were each lower than that of PWG, Beyond and CHIKARA.
Gabe Sapolsky’s EVOLVE brand is arguably the most important independent wrestling promotion in the world, considering their still-unofficial working relationship with WWE. EVOLVE’s relevance, though, continues to not be completely reflected in their social media presence when compared to other promotions. As noted last time, there is no active official Twitter or Facebook page for EVOLVE; rather the promotion gets its message out via Sapolsky’s personal Twitter and Facebook pages. However Sapolsky’s Twitter account does have what seems like an appropriately high number of followers (about 28,000). That’s only behind PWG and the gamed Twitter accounts of SHIMMER and CHIKARA, although Sapolsky himself is following over 7,000 users.
Absolute Intense Wrestling
AIW more than doubled their YouTube channel subscriptions over the last six months, adding over 6,000 subscribers to their channel for a current total over 12,000. This is, by far, the most significant increase any indie saw on any platform over the past six months. To get an idea of how much of a surge that is: the next closest increase, by proportion, on any platform was a 41% increase in YouTube subscriptions for Smash Wrestling.
“We just continue to add [videos] consistently and encourage people to subscribe on social media,” Thorne says about the increase in YouTube subscriptions. “We add lots of content under one minute to cater to people’s short attention spans and add a link to subscribe in the description of every video. We make sure to release at least two to three videos a week.”
At least of few of these promotions’ YouTube channels have been contracted by a Multi-Channel Network (MCN), AIW and Beyond’s channels among them.
“I’ve been researching MCNs for quite sometime and we have worked with two so far.” Thorne says. “We recently just left the Freedom! MCN and joined BroadbandTV. I’m still learning about MCNs so I can’t comment on the effect of them as of yet, but BroadbandTV provides us with several tools, such as VISO Catalyst and Epoxy that allow us to optimize our tags and gives us more in depth analytics on what is working and what isn’t.”
SHIMMER ranks high, largely carried by their Twitter followers. As you can see in the “Who’s following a lot users on Twitter?” bar graph above, they have about 42,000 followers, but are following even more: about 45,000. They’re the most avid user of this strategy among these indies. Prazak explains:
“It’s best to have the biggest audience possible viewing your content. Everyone on Twitter, for example, would love to have more people following them. So we follow our fans back. And we also follow other wrestling fans who we hope to convert into fans of our product in general. It results in more wrestling fans seeing what we have to offer than if we acted ‘above the fans’ and maybe only followed a few dozen wrestlers, for example. Social media should be about getting as many people following you as possible, to be engaged by what you share with them everyday.”
It’s a reasonable enough strategy, especially for an indie that needs to reach as many fans as possible worldwide while not necessarily having a lot of money and resources to reach them. However it doesn’t take long to figure out on Twitter (and at least Facebook too) there are a lot of bot accounts out there, so it’s hard to say how many of any of these numbers represent real people. Again, if we try using these numbers to surmise which indie has the most visibility or popularity, the waters are very muddied.
Among others, AAW is using the strategy also. They follow about the same number of users on Twitter as they have following them (18,000). Petkovich says, “That strategy has worked for us. It’s a diligent process choosing who you follow in hopes that they follow you back, let alone retweet stuff you are putting out. We have gained a lot of new followers since we have implemented this strategy a few years ago. I haven’t really seen a downside, just the time put in.”
I tracked Instagram this time; I didn’t in May. Instagram has already exceeded Twitter for total monthly active users. Many of these indies still have either no Instagram account or one that has very few followers and that they seldom update. PWG, SHIMMER, EVOLVE, Big Time, PWS and PWX all have either no official account or one with under 150 followers.
“I may have created [an account] at some point, but never used it,” says Prazak regarding Instagram. “I’ve never really seen the point. I guess everything helps, but between Twitter and Facebook, most of what we post in those places already are photos. Just seems repetitive to also post the same stuff there.”
“Instagram is still something I am trying to figure out as well as Tumblr,” says Thorne. “I’m not exactly sure how important they are, but Instagram is the fastest-growing social media platform, so being on it and advertising AIW certainly can’t hurt.”
If you’re a grassroots company that has to draw from a niche fan base, using an Instagram account can only help. While Twitter seems to have plateaued with portions of the general population, I think, as I’ll argue at the end of this article, there’s something about Twitter that makes it most useful to that niche audience of wrestling fans.
A few promotions have a conspicuously high number of Facebook likes, compared to their touch points on other platforms: in particular, Lucha VaVOOM, Big Time Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Premier Wrestling Experience and Northeast Wrestling. This suggests to me that either a) their respective fan bases are just more engaged with Facebook, and not so engaged with the other platforms, maybe because their audiences are older; or even more likely, b) they’ve spent a lot of money on Facebook ads to promote their pages which hasn’t necessarily translated into relevance among the wider independent wrestling fan base nor into a much better following on their other social media platforms. Big Time and Northeast Wrestling in particular are also alike and different from most of the rest in that they book a lot WWE legends and the most highly priced independent talent recently exiled from WWE; i.e., their attraction is less about building around promising, fresh indie stars, and more about banking on nostalgia and stars who have recently appeared on TV.
Therein lies an important contrast in independent wrestling today. To be crude (there are clearly exceptions and promotions that embody more than one of these), there are three types of indie promotions today: 1) the small “local” promotions that rely heavily on inexpensive workers nearest to their venues, with said workers expected to directly sell tickets to family and friends; 2) the “big time” promotions that draw the largest non-WWE crowds of the year in the U.S., but sometimes aren’t necessarily expected to profit in themselves, which book stars from past eras and the biggest, most expensive unsigned names, and which can efficiently use older forms of media and advertising to get their message out; and 3) the “super indies,” which fill their cards with the most talented independent wrestlers they can afford, deliver a product with a strong emphasis on match quality, and expect fans from not just the immediate area, but from perhaps hundreds of miles away to travel to their events to see a rare form of pro wrestling.
Social media is most crucial for the super indie. For the local promotion, Facebook in particular is useful for raising awareness to those family members, friends and others in the local community who will make-up the majority of the audience. For the big time promotion, while social media is a good supplement, the old traditional forms of media still make a lot of sense. A TV ad during WWE programming might be very effective if your show features the likes of Ric Flair, Mick Foley, Rey Mysterio or Matt Hardy. But for a super indie, a TV ad will be targeting a lot mainstream fans who are less likely to consider a show featuring the likes of Zack Sabre Jr., Ricochet, Chris Hero or Johnny Gargano, wrestlers most of that audience has never heard of. More than that, the super indie hopes to draw partly from an audience that’s outside the range of a local TV ad. Instead, harnessing social media is of the utmost importance for the super indie that needs to engage the niche audience most susceptible to buying their product.
“Years ago, the only way to successfully run an event without the aid of a television show was to hang up posters, distribute fliers, and spend money on newspaper, radio, and TV ads,” says Prazak. “Nowadays, with social media, fans can be immediately informed about the latest developments, at no real cost to the promotion. While it’s wise to continue to put those old promotional methods to use in order to draw the biggest crowd possible, the most efficient way to reach wrestling fans specifically is social media. In the ten years SHIMMER has existed, we’ve never purchased an ad on radio, TV, or newspaper. It hasn’t been necessary.”
About appealing to the type of audience AIW caters to, Thorne says: “Wrestling is a niche, and independent wrestling is a niche of a niche. However independent wrestling fans have a lot of pride. It’s almost like a music scene: you have your mainstream radio music, but there’s a punk scene, a hardcore scene, a hip hop scene, etc. So if you cater to the die-hard independent wrestling scene, you will get their support and they will spend money on you to support your company and what you are doing.”
Regarding wrestlers who mainstream fans might not be familiar with, Thorne says, “There are plenty of guys that maybe haven’t been featured on television but they’ve been grinding it out making a name for themselves, and have developed the following of the fans of the independent scene through social media. Just by having great performances all over the world, that talent will help get eyes on your company. Even if they don’t sell a ticket to a live event, they will most certainly sell a DVD or MP4.”
Social Media Advertising
Facebook’s advertising allows businesses like a super indie to target their very specific audience. The Ads Manager application allows you to target an audience by location, age, gender, and most importantly, by interests. So an advertiser can run an ad directed only at people within 50 miles of the venue, who are also interested in any or all of: WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, EVOLVE, Lucha Underground, etc.
The promoters of AIW, Beyond and AAW say they’ve used Facebook advertising, while Prazak says, “We’ve never experimented with buying Facebook or Twitter ads. Use of a free account has been more than adequate.”
Petkovich says, “Facebook advertising does work if you set your demographics properly.”
Cordiero and Thorne have had varying success.
“We’ve only used Facebook advertising to advertise live events,” Thorne says. “[In October] we spent $200 to advertise Terry Funk, and we didn’t see much of a difference in the draw.”
Cordiero notices the effectiveness of Facebook’s ads have declined. “Facebook advertising was more effective when we first started using it. We’ve used it to promote our Smart Mark Video sales, to promote our website for ticket sales and most recently to promote [Beyond Wrestling’s new video on-demand service] Beyondemand.”
He’s uncertain how effective the advertising is, particularly when it comes to live event ticket sales. “I’ve never seen a single person who bought tickets [to a Beyond Wrestling event] because of a Facebook ad.” However paying to boost visibility of a Facebook post promoting Beyondemand, worked. “We had good response from that. Ten people signed up [for the service].”
When you design an ad on Facebook, you’re given a prediction of how large the audience will be that it will reach.
“I find the range of people that Facebook promises an ad actually will reach, compared to what it delivers, is either on the low end of the range or it just doesn’t reach that range,” Cordiero says. This is just one way he’s found that using social media to promote his company has become illusory lately.
It seems the algorithms that determine how often a post from a Facebook page is seen have changed as paid ads have become more prominent on the platform. Facebook as a free tool is less useful than it was a few years ago. It’s harder to get “impressions” (i.e., an instance of a post appearing on a user’s timeline). “Before, [Facebook] was about creating organic reactions, now it’s not.” The conclusion Facebook probably wants you to come to is that it’s time to fork out some cash if you want to guarantee impressions and promote your product.
Besides that, Cordiero thinks that the more popular social media becomes and the more similar businesses (i.e., indie promotions) use social media, the less valuable social media is as a business tool. “The value of social media is diminished with the increased popularity of social media, because from a marketing perspective, it’s most difficult to get your advertisement [noticed] when you’re placed against other advertisements.”
A paragraph in a recent issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter started: “The British indie scene is strong, both with talent and interest.”
Obviously anyone around the world can follow a given social media account, and the numbers can be manipulated, but it’s still impressive that despite the population of the U.K. (where most of these promotions are based) being about five times smaller than that of the U.S., Preston City Wrestling (PCW) and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) surpass and rival, respectively, the social media numbers of CHIKARA and PWG, which rank highest for U.S. indies.
My European friends suggested to me that the top seven promotions in this chart (PCW, ICW, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, IPW: UK, PROGRESS, Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) and Revolution Pro Wrestling (Rev Pro)) are indeed the top seven indie promotions in Europe. The numbers for top-ranked PCW, though, seem inflated. Note that their Twitter account has about 55,000 followers, but that they following 57,000 accounts. Again, this isn’t a condemnation of the strategy, rather it’s one factor among many that complicates the view if you’re looking at social media metrics as an analog for popularity.
ICW, which just drew a sell-out of 4,000 fans in Glasgow on November 15, places second.
PROGRESS places fifth here despite having the highest average attendance. They draw about 700 fans to each show, according to the Observer.
Most Popular Indie Wrestling YouTube videos (from official channels, only)
There are some patterns as to which videos on these indies’ official YouTube channels get the most attention. Of the top 20 most-viewed videos listed, all but four of them feature either intergender wrestling, women wrestling, hardcore wrestling or a current WWE talent before he or she was in WWE. It’s no surprise then that the most viewed video is an intergender hardcore match.
Most if not all of these videos are being monetized on YouTube. A video that gets as many views as these could make an indie promoter hundreds of dollars. That’s important money for a small, unsteady business targeting a niche audience.
Of these top 20 videos, 10 of them feature intergender wrestling. Another in the top 20 is a woman vs. woman match. Is the novelty of intergender matches really this popular among wrestling fans? Maybe. Is man-woman violence fetishism a factor? Hopefully not. I’ve been told the YouTube analytics data for these videos often shows that a large portion of the traffic watching this type of content appears to come from Saudi Arabia. Is wrestling just really popular in that country? I think it’s likely part of the reason for the popularity of intergender wrestling videos online is that pornography is illegal and blocked on the internet in nations like Saudi Arabia, but apparently videos of intergender wrestling on YouTube are not.
WWE and the Future of Social Media
Social media is essential for the niche indies that operate without the access to the masses that traditional television provides. But for WWE and other companies with a foothold in TV, social media is an opaque adventure, met with as much suspicion as hope.
WWE CFO George Barrios is offering his company’s large social media following as an investment in, not just fan engagement, but future revenue. Barrios’ argument goes: look at cable TV in the 1980s when it was a new form of media. Very little money was made by those who provided content for cable. Now some 30 years later, cable TV rights fees are WWE’s largest revenue source. Somehow, someday, he supposes, WWE will be able to demand serious money thanks to their current social media blitz.
Barrios said on WWE’s recent Q3 conference call: “Wherever the eyeballs have gone, the money has eventually followed. And there is no doubt there are a lot of eyeballs on social media, especially if you’re under 35.”
Is Barrios right? Will having a lot of social media followers eventually drive an important revenue stream? It’s hard today to conceive of a business paradigm, short of the collapse of traditional television, where social media will become so valuable. Arguably, the pro wrestling business has boomed with the advent of new forms of media; television (The Golden Era of Wrestling); cable TV (Hulkamania); the internet (The Monday Night Wars). Does social media — or over-the-top video for that matter — belong in that lineage? Apparently not, not so far.
Any viewer of WWE programming is familiar with how well the company loves to brag about their social media presence. If we look closely, we can see at times they’re exaggerating. They claim to have “over half a billion social media touch points”. Of course this doesn’t mean there are 500 million unique people following a WWE social media account, not that that’s what they’re trying to suggest. However in summing up that number, WWE is counting all of their social media accounts, including the followers of their contracted performers. Upon announcing they’d reached the milestone 500 million touch points last June, their press release did not provide any details on how that number was calculated. Their flagship Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts have a total of 46 million touch points — impressive, but not nearly 500 million.
If we look at page 25 of their current investor presentation, we can see another case where they’re exaggerating:
WWE claims to have more Twitter followers than NFL, ESPN, Marvel, Google and UFC. While they have more followers than UFC and Marvel, their flagship Twitter account does not have more followers than the flagship accounts of Google, NFL or ESPN.
@WWE has 5.8 million followers. Even if WWE added in its largest secondary accounts, @WWEUniverse (2.7 million), @WWENetwork (681,000), @WWENXT (663,000), the total still falls well short of @ESPN’s 23 million followers. Only when they add in the followers of a number of WWE performers do they surpass the brands here that they say they do.
Still, WWE’s social media presence is remarkable. No different from six months ago, to put them all on the same bar graph, WWE dwarfs the other major pro wrestling promotions.
Perhaps the more apt comparison for WWE would be with UFC.
We see here again that social media followers do not neatly equate to more meaningful business metrics like revenue or profit. It’s hard to say for sure due to UFC being a private company, but they’re almost certainly worth much more than half the value of WWE. Social media being especially useful to pro wrestling fans, even above MMA fans, I think is another factor to explain why WWE strongly outpaces UFC here.
Other Major Promotions: ROH, TNA, Lucha Underground, GFW
Despite Ring of Honor exceeding TNA in U.S. TV coverage for about half of the year, TNA is still ahead on touch points. That goes for the progress these promotions made in the last six months, too, though the gap is closer.
Notice YouTube subscribers (the hardest metric to buy) for TNA are still way higher than ROH’s or the others. However, ROH’s Facebook and Twitter numbers had greater gains over the period. Lucha Underground made sizable gains, as well. Meanwhile Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling, with no TV deal and probably fewer resources, is well behind.
Compared with the U.S., social media has developed differently in Japan. Only 17% of the population is on Facebook, as opposed to 58% in the U.S. About 20% of Japan uses Twitter, putting it ahead of Facebook. The country’s most popular social media app is Line, but only New Japan (24,000 followers) and DDT (7,000 followers) have official accounts. And New Japan is the only promotion that seems to have an official Instagram account (18,000 followers).
Like WWE and its pro wrestling contemporaries, New Japan blows away the rest of its field. Any one of their three metrics here is larger than any other promotion’s entire social media presence. Let’s look at the rest more closely.
The first thing that jumps out is that Dragon Gate, arguably the number-two promotion in Japan, is dead last here. Again, to get an idea of how social media has penetrated Japan differently, the presence of all these promotions falls short of all the top twelve U.S. indies. Meanwhile all of them run several shows a month (All Japan’s shaky future notwithstanding), something none of the U.S. indies do, and DDT and Dragon Gate’s biggest events draw crowds far above even the biggest U.S. indie shows.
In Mexico, AAA blows CMLL away for social media far above their difference in popularity. Those more knowledgeable about lucha libre than I suggest it’s because CMLL does little to promote or manage any of their social media accounts.
All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered. – “Understanding Media,” Marshall McLuhan
In late 2013, I tried to hold firm with my clamshell cell phone. In every waiting room, at every idle instant, I was now surrounded by people staring into their palms. They were gazing down, not just to text message the people they knew anymore, like often I admittedly was, but to peer into a mobile opening to the whole internet. “They’re becoming robots,” I righteously judged.
I became a robot with them. I emerged from a cell phone retail outlet, having just bought a new iPhone 5C from a smiling salesman who was all too happy to bestow me with this burden. I sat back down in the car, in the parking lot, for 20-30 minutes, maybe longer, who knows, arrested, thumbs and fingers twitching, eyebrows furrowing as I discovered countless things I didn’t know I needed, near-magic I’d heard was possible but now witnessed for myself. This must have been how ancient people felt when they finally saw the great pyramids firsthand: the highest technological and spiritual work of their time. I glared down in denied awe at the colorful home screen; the app icons’ vibrant culture; the seductive dread that each one of those symbols beamed. I have never returned from this abyss.
I have never been bored since, either. A few months later the WWE Network launched. I don’t know if one had to do with the other, but I gave birth to a new Twitter account on the same day NJPWWorld launched. Before I knew it, I was interacting with people I’d have never interacted with without mobile technology and Twitter; it’s also very unlikely I would’ve ever ended up writing for this website, otherwise.
Boredom was annihilated, maybe right alongside my attention span. But it’s been a rewarding also. I’ve learned a lot by being exposed to the dialogue of other intelligent wrestling fans. When your interest is following obscure independent or foreign wrestling products, it can be hard to find many with a similar passion. Gone are the remote VHS wrestling days of the postal system, email and maybe a few primitive hierarchical message boards. Today hundreds or thousands of people around the world interact and share reactions to wrestling events live as they happen, complete with instantaneously-created animated GIFs.
For those of us engaging this latest form of media, it’s changed the way we consider pro wrestling, too. Because of the internet, and further by the rise of social media, pro wrestling is no longer a mere moral play: it’s an aesthetic one. As the internet has become more pervasive in our lives, so has our awareness of pro wrestling as art form: good matches, good promos, the great performances of heels. It was possible to be aware of this without the internet, but far fewer were.
Above Facebook, Instagram or any others, there’s something about Twitter that lends itself well to wrestling fans.
@adecorativedrop Constant change is better discussed on twitter here rather than spamming Facebook posts to friends and family
— New Jersey Nick (@newjerseynick) November 3, 2015
Unlike Facebook, Twitter allows for faster paced interactions. When I first heard about Twitter and learned what a tweet was, I thought, “What’s the point? You can already post statuses with Facebook. Why do you need Twitter?”
On Twitter it’s a lot easier to post a lot of tweets in a shorter amount of time without feeling like you’re overloading your friends, like you might on Facebook. Go on Twitter during a wrestling event of any significance and you’ll find people “live tweeting” about the event as it happens. Imagine trying to live-Facebook-status a wrestling event.
It’s hard (though still possible) to tweet too much. When I post a tweet it vanishes from my followers’ sight within a few minutes; it’s easily discarded and washed away by all the tweets in your timeline that follow it, in chronological order; unlike Facebook that tries to serve you statuses that are supposed to be most engaging or relevant to you. In this way, Twitter operates more like a chatroom than Facebook. Plus, wrestling personalities, like most celebrities, are easier to find on Twitter, and it’s where they’re more active and accessible — and it’s also where they sometimes embarrass themselves.
@TheFrayMovement @adecorativedrop I maintain that many wrestling fans, like many wrestlers, enjoy maintaining some semblance of anonymity.
— AmplifiedtoJosh (@AmplifiedtoRock) November 3, 2015
Another reason may be we don’t want everyone we know personally (i.e., our Facebook friends) to be exposed to every one of our niche pro wrestling thoughts. Maybe some are still “closet wrestling fans”. Twitter, where you don’t have to use your real name, offers refuge. Besides, Facebook is largely for people we know personally, family members, friends, people we went to school with, coworkers. Twitter is more apt for the true niches that need reach beyond the limits of our geography in order to be formed. How many of the people you follow on Twitter did you met in-person before following? How many hardest-of-the-hardcore level wrestling fans actually live within a 50-mile radius of you? Maybe none. Unless you live in a major city, it’s not many, and even then, not that many. Instead, tap the Twitter icon on your smartphone and expand that radius to the whole globe, and there are thousands.