I often complain about Archie Comics and their pandering social media practices, which got me thinking… what would be different if I controlled Archie Comics social media accounts?
To be clear, I do love Archie Comics for what they produce. A lot of their comics are great escapes from the typical superhero stories that pop up twice a month. Their comics remind me of high school and stress that comes along with it. But as an Archie fan, there are definitely some changes that I would like to see the company make in order to enhance the reader experience, including:
1. Toning down the frequency of advertisments
I understand that Archie Comics, from a business perspective, wants to advertise up-and-coming comics. That’s how I found out that Josie and the Pussycats, Betty and Veronica, and Reggie were getting a new comic, so I have no real complains there.
However, this advertising can be excessive on social media.
Archie Comics shared on Facebook that they will be at New York Comic Con this yea, but instead of accompanying this post with a photo related to New York Comic Con, they instead chose to include a visual advertisement for Archie Meets the Ramones. It’s just not relevant.
The company also over advertises their upcoming comics on social media, an example being the heavy advertising that led up to Josie and the Pussycats first issue (which came out on September 28). Almost every post for the days up until that point was about Josie and the Pussycats, and while I understand the company’s desire to get fans excited for the comic, forcing advertising down fan’s throats is too excessive.
2. Doing memes….but having them make sense.
This the exact thing I hate when it comes to companies trying to appeal to teens/trending topics.
How does this make any sense to someone? I get the beginning is a “funny” reference to Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day and their song “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” but every unoriginal asshole on the Internet uses that joke.
The second part of the tweet is a reference to Mean Girls (one of my favorite movies ever)… another joke I’m totally over.
That last little “buy our comics” bit is so sad and so desperate. This makes me imagine some grown man, probably in his 40s, getting no help from his children on what’s hip, so he’s stumbling around trying to figure it out himself.
How can you do a relevant meme with Archie? Well, the running gag on their Tumblr is that Archie himself runs their social media. If they wanted to be relevant, then they easily could have done a #DescribeYourselfWithThreeFictionalCharacters post. They could have either done three incarnations of Archie himself OR gotten creative and thought of three other characters that might be similar to Archie.
Conan O’Brien chose Archie for one of his three fictional characters, so this would have been the perfect opportunity for the company’s social media page to jump on the trend.
You can be relevant without pandering.
3. Posting fan art.
This one is a little bit of a difficult one.
I feel that Archie could benefit from fan involvement by sharing fan art, but I know the company would never do that. Years ago, they tried suing Fanfiction.net because people were writing fan fictions about their characters, citing that the action would “dilute and tarnish their character.”
You read that right. The company that has had Ashlee Simpson referenced in their comics, did a crossover with Glee and the movie Sharknado, thinks that fans writing stories about characters romantically and/or sexually together would tarnish their character.
I feel like if they did contests for fan art or stories through their social media pages, they could get more fans involved, and it would be a great way to showcase talent.
4. Doing Facebook Live Q and As with writers and artists.
Tumblr recently did a Q and A session with writer Mark Waid, which was very interesting. It made me wonder why these kind of live events don’t happen more often.
Hell, Archie Comics could even do it as a promotional live event with Riverdale with the actors answering questions on the set. This would be a great way for fans to be able to ask questions and feel connected with a comic book brand that has been in their lives for a long time.
These are just some of my ideas with what I would do to run Archie Comics social media. This was mostly in fun, but I think if they did do some of these things, their social media presence would be less cringe worthy.
What changes do you think Archie Comics should make in regards to social media? Let us know in the comments!