“Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn’t invent storytelling” – Seth Godin. And neither did Social Media – pretty sure we (actors) did. So technically, we should be the best social media storytellers around, right? Well, there’s room for improvement.
Social media is most certainly a part of the casting conversation – so it’s super important that aspiring actors have a presence on social media.
We should be using these platforms as a way to showcase our talent and personal brand, in a way that’s authentic and true to us. Seems easy enough, however there are many potential mistakes to be made that could ruin a career before it’s even begun. But if done well, social media could also launch one.
7 Social Media Tips for Actors
The Big Bad B-Word
She’s got the booty, the beau and the bub. As well as 500 million followers on Twitter. That’s more than McDonalds, Nike, Coca Cola and definitely more than you (#sorrynotsorry). Kim Kardashian is a powerhouse in the social media realm. Why? Branding. Kimmy K knows exactly who she is, and what she stands for, albeit a somewhat shallow and narcissistic point of view.
For us mere mortals, the social media world can be awkward, daunting and a minefield of social-suicide-worthy booby traps.
So if you’re not a Kardashian, then who are you? And how will you not only navigate this treacherous social media landscape, but frolic in the field with all the other social butterflies?
I’m not qualified to tell you who you are, so I’ll leave that up to you and your psychologist. However I can point you in the right direction. What is your unique point of view of the world? That’s your personality. What makes you laugh? That’s your sense of humour (everyone loves a cheeky bugger). And what do you love? Now that, is your passion.
So now that you know who you are, how will you turn your existential crisis, into beautiful looking content?
Your activity on social media should be more about documenting your journey as an actor, and less about creating content because you feel like you should.
Take desperation out – social media will not solve any of your deep-rooted problems for seeking validation, or lack of auditions. Remember, you’re always an actor, even when you’re not working.
If your feed could talk, it would be saying something like: Who you are, what you do, who you’ve worked with, what you look like, your strengths, and every now and then your quirks and opinions. A valuable step as a part of your individual strategy is to make a list of all the topics you could post about, it will change and grow, but it’s something you can always come back to if you’re stuck with what to post.
And remember, it’s not all about you. No one wants to see 50 shades of you in snapchat filters, they want to see like 10 shades of you, and 40 shades of other cool, interesting stuff.
To share or not to share?
Quality over quantity. End of discussion. Think about what you’re sending out there, who will be receiving it and how they will respond.
1) Does this post add value to people’s lives?
2) Is this information relevant to my audience?
3) Is this image of high quality?
4) And is it ‘on-brand’?
If you answered ‘yass!’ to all of those, then post away.
Death to #actorslife
What you write in your caption is critical because it is representative of your ‘voice’ and more importantly, how you engage with your community.
I believe your caption should be about entertaining, enlightening and connecting with your audience. It should be creative and add value to people’s lives, not bore them to death. A 2000 character caption about your life story, your dog’s life story and your triple shot skinny caramel latte, is only interesting to you. Be authentic to who you are, but keep it casual, keep it short and keep it sweet.
I give you permission to hashtag, on 2 conditions: 1. it’s relevant, and 2. it’s strategic
I have taken up a personal vendetta to destroy the hashtag ‘#actorslife’. Yes, the use of hashtags is undoubtedly beneficial for boosting engagement (posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag). But there’s a myth floating around that the use of generic hashtags such as; #actor, #model, #photography, #coffee and #pugslife, increase genuine engagement. Sure, you might gain a few wildcard likes, or random followers (who will be sure to unfollow you in 24 hours) but these are empty gestures, not genuine connections – and they won’t get you a job.
I give you permission to hashtag, on 2 conditions: 1. it’s relevant, and 2. it’s strategic i.e. using top hashtags that have an engaging community behind them, and are specific to your audience. So, how are you supposed to find these cool, creative and community-oriented hashtags? Check out what your audience, competitors and industry leaders are using. Often, the narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the users are. e.g. #indiefeature #premiere #filmfestival #BTS. And please, for the love of all things sacred, use no more than 8 – I mean it!
First of all, a picture paints a thousand words, and those ‘words’ need to be clear, unique and correctly exposed! Studies have shown that images with plenty of negative space and single dominant colours receive the most likes – so it’s no surprise that the absence of chaos helps the viewer to focus and feel relaxed. No need to go overboard and get a DSLR, your iPhone camera is MORE than enough, #blessed. And if you don’t have an iPhone, well quite frankly, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.
And now for my favourite part – its mood board time! AKA, the perfect excuse to go to Officeworks. Get a pinboard, pick a theme that represents you, and start collecting images that make you tingle (in a good way.) It’s great to have a reference that you can always look to for inspiration, and to keep you on track.
Selfies. This needs to be addressed. Sometimes, selfies are cool, most of time, they’re not. You guys know what the deal is, just scroll your feed – what do you cringe at? What do you love to see? The core mentality behind selfies is to do with sharing yourself in your best light. I simply encourage you to share whatever is beautifully, authentically, 100% you – how’s that for a fridge magnet?
Find and connect with people who like you and who have similar interests as you. If you’re just starting out, these people will be your friends, your work colleagues and your thumbs-up-trigger-happy, serial-liker Aunty Connie. But gradually, you can widen the net. Go fishing for other groovy human beings who have similar interests, who inspire you and make you smile, and hopefully they will feel the same way about you.
It’s a big sea out there, find your tribe.
My final note: whilst it’s difficult to come to terms with ‘selling yourself’, there are definite ways to be social, without feeling dirty. On the spectrum of promotion to honest-representation-of-your-life; us actors need to sit somewhere in the middle: creative self-expression.
And my final, final note: bad social is worse than no social at all – please, be sexy and cool at all times.
See below for permission to stalk: Aussies slayin’ it on Insta!