Someone says you should grow your following. Someone else says it’s a waste of time. One person believes you should be on Facebook but another swears Snapchat is the way to go. How do you know what’s right for you? This article will help you sort fact from fiction so you can take advantage of the tremendous opportunities social media can create for your acting career!
Here are 5 common myths that could be killing your social media success.
MYTH #1: You need to be on every Social Media Platform
Nope. You should definitely grab your username (especially if your professional name is available) on all platforms, but you don’t need to be active everywhere. It’s better to really rock 2 platforms than to get totally burned out on 5. Focus on the platforms that will help you reach your goals faster, not just where your friends hang out.
MYTH #2: Social media is just for broadcasting your projects.
Social media is about having conversations. It’s a dialogue – it’s social! Many actors mistakenly use social media like a television, to broadcast news at people, instead of using it like a telephone, to talk with people. You should certainly share and celebrate your latest bookings, but rather than broadcasting news at your audience, make sure your posts engage and encourage a dialogue with them – like a telephone conversation.
MYTH #3: Social Media isn’t necessary until you’re famous.
We’re seeing posting requirements in contracts at all levels, not just in big blockbuster films and tv shows. I’ve seen contracts for small indie projects and web series where the creators are asking you to help spread the word on social media. Live tweeting requirements are also being written into contracts. It’s not just in the film and TV world; even Broadway has realized the power of social media. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an A-list actor, using social media is quickly becoming part of your job.
MYTH #4: You don’t need a plan, you just need to be social.
To truly be successful on social media you need a #SocialStrategy! You need to make-over your accounts so that people will want to follow you. You need to know the best things to post on each of your platforms that will bring out the ME in your social MEdia. You also need a plan to connect with the people you want to know. That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens by setting up a simple social media system you can easily manage in just minutes a day.
MYTH #5: Building a following is a waste of time.
This one is huge. A ‘following’ on social media is an audience. Every actor understands how important an audience is to their career. There are many reasons to build your audience (none of which are a waste of time). Here are just a few:
- To share something you’re proud of.
- To share your friends’ and fellow cast members’ achievements.
- Get eyes on your crowdfunding campaigns.
- Spread the word about the content you’re creating.
- Bring awareness to a cause you care deeply about!
- If you also teach acting, voice or have a side business, you’ll have an audience for it.
- To increase your visibility, influence, and build buzz for your career.
- To increase your castability.
Of course, if you can’t deliver in the audition room or at the box office (if you’re creating your own content), building a following can be a waste of time. So, if you are going to invest time growing your audience, make sure you ALSO invest time in your craft and the quality of the content you create!
It’s clear that building a social media following is an important part of an actor’s career success strategy. But building one without a plan can be frustrating. To make it easy for you, I created a free web class 21 Ways To Grow a (Real) Following on Twitter to show you how.
Heidi Dean is the industry’s top social media expert for actors and the creator of Marketing4Actors and the Actors Marketing Classroom. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was a professional SAG and AEA actor with 20 years experience in theater, commercials, voiceovers, print, and TV. Combining her years of industry experience with cutting edge online marketing techniques, Heidi helps actors and creative business owners make social media fun, career changing and profitable. You can find out more about Heidi by visiting Marketing4Actors.com.