I’m Not a Social Media Expert… I’m Just an Actor Who Plays One on TV
Time to hit you with the hard truth, and if you’ve spent time in the industry you probably already know. Casting directors most certainly look at an actor’s social media pages as talked about in this article. They are not only trying to gauge your socialabily and character, but often followers can translate directly into ‘butts in seats’ as they say.
I already hear you shouting, “I’m an artist! Do not reduce my craft to a popularity contest!” I totally agree with you. I recognize that you have chosen one of the hardest professions to break in to. I understand that you deal with rejection on a regular basis, it is the nature of casting. This is more than a career, it is a passion. But even with acting, the ability to market yourself is being wholly integrated with the internet. If you just don’t want to deal with social media you’ll be putting yourself at a huge disadvantage. So let’s talk about ways you can make your social media work toward a more fulfilling career in acting.
What are the Best Social Media Platforms for Actors?
All of them. Okay that’s not helpful. Right now the best performing platform is probably Instagram but some might argue Twitter. BTS (behind the scenes) photos are always engaging on Instagram and it’s a great way to connect and tag your castmates and crew. Twitter on the other hand is great for building followers but it is really all dependant on what you have to say. Let’s remember to stay positive, even on a tough shoot. Bad mouthing a current production is never a good look and other production companies might catch wind. Snapchat is also a fun way to show off wonderful BTS moments with your fanbase. Instagram and Snapchat are definitely beneficial for younger actors but before you starting thinking ‘this is ageism,’ I have some good news about Facebook.
Overall engagement among younger audiences is still falling on Facebook. However, Facebook still has a very active and engaged older audience. Not to mention the fact that the Baby Boomers practically invented celebrity worship. The idea of following an actor that you like, even a local one, is much more likely among older demographics. More so than younger generations who might follow a few of the mega-stars. When asked why they follow these celebrities they will often say it is their personality or wit that they enjoy, not their celebrity. That’s why comedic actors generally do better with their social media than serious Oscar contenders.
On to Diva Free Social Media
So we’ve talked about the best platforms to build an audience and fanbase but we can’t neglect the industry. That’s where LinkedIn comes in and it doesn’t operate differently from any other industries. This is where you want to put your professional hat on and network, network, network. Professionality is still a huge component to a successful career in acting. Connecting on a professional level with producers, directors, casting directors and other actors is still a must.
Get Behind The Ones Behind The Camera
I probably should of mentioned this sooner but I actually have some experience in film. Mostly behind the camera but I have a few acting credits to my name. I can tell you that I’ve been on some sets where the line between actors and crew have been firmly drawn. However, the best sets, in my opinion, are the ones where actors and crew mingled freely. There will also be a firm distinction between certain departments. Actors tend to be more artistic in nature where as many other departments are much more focused on the technical.
Both cast and crew have one thing in common though, they both love and are obsessed with filmmaking. So it is imperative that you never neglect to take the time to build those connections with your crew. Ask them to follow you on Instagram and Twitter, they’ll often have no problem sharing and liking your post. They are a great way to build an engaged audience. Just remember to reciprocate, crew have their social media needs too.
You’re a Method Actor, So You Should Have Method Social Media
Okay so maybe you’ve heard of paying for followers on social media and you might be asking yourself, should I pay for followers? Well just remember that if you’ve heard of it, chances are so have others, including those casting directors. Sure you can pay for likes too but ultimately you know the engagement is super shallow. They don’t actually feed into the feeds of the community you really want to engage. However, even if your goal is just to impress the few people who legitimately search out your profiles. As soon as they realize you have fake engagement you’ve muddied the waters of your real engagement.
Let’s look at it this way. Say that you are in the running between two other actors. The casting director looks at all of your profiles, one has 2,000 followers, the other 3,000 followers and you have 12,000 followers. Looks good initially, but it’s a little suspicious. Some of your followers might be from India or some might only have 1 post with 4 followers. Suddenly, the 4,000 legit followers you have get lost in the mess. Doesn’t look so good now, does it?
Ultimately, you have to figure this out on your own. Whatever you think is right for you. However, if you do decide to buy followers or likes please, only do so modestly. Don’t over do it.
You’re Not Just an Actor, You’re a Brand
Actors are people and you certainly don’t want to be typecast as only one character but I think you get the point. I know you want to focus on the acting stuff and not so much on personal brand management. In fact, isn’t that what why you have an agent? Sure, but the most important question is what is your agent doing to promote that personal brand on social media. I’m not merely referring to what your agent is doing to promote their agency, but you! Every actor is different and I don’t think it is too much to ask they they work with you to develop a social media strategy.
As you might be well aware, businesses and brands will gladly pour money into social media marketing in hopes of a strong return on investment. Personal brands can do the same. If you feel that you just aren’t equipped with the time or energy to manage all these accounts. You might consider hiring someone to manage that brand for you. All you need to do is figure out the potential income from those acting gigs you’re missing out on and figure out if the $200-$500 a month is worth it. Chances are, it will be.
Luckily, Social Media Can do as Much for You as You Do for It.
The great news is that social media is putting more power into your hands to control your destiny as an actor. However, it isn’t only about who follows you but who you follow. As a marketing agency that regularly shoot commercials we post our casting calls on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all the time (super plug: if you’re an actor, totally follow us.) Those casting calls appear directly in the feeds of actors who follow us and we honestly appreciate every one of the submissions we receive. We do the majority of our casting this way and we don’t plan on changing. You should make it your goal to follow every casting agent, producer, performance art agency, marketing agency and production house you can find. You never know when that casting call just perfect for you will appear.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to improve your social media, watch some of Michaelene’s Vlogs like the best time to post on social media.