Everyone keeps telling me I need to use social media if I want better opportunities as an actor. What are the best ways to get noticed on the socials?
First, if you’re not a fan of social media, let me reassure you that a social media presence is absolutely not a requirement to being a working actor. Some people are really good at social media, some aren’t. If you don’t want to use it – then don’t. But if you do want to use it then there are some useful best-practice tips that may be helpful.
If you’re using social media as a professional actor as a way of building your profile, getting noticed, or connecting with industry professionals then the most important thing to remember is that it’s media. They call it ‘social’ media because that makes it sound cosy and friendly but actually it’s broadcast media. Every post, every thought, every picture, every opinion broadcast out to the entire world. Permanently. Sure it begins comfortably enough. Your first friends and followers are usually friends and family members. People who know you. As your social media grows you are connecting with more and more people – total strangers. You are no longer broadcasting to people who know you, but to everyone in the world. And it’s there for all time.
Expect it to be read.
Expect it to be believed.
Expect it to be remembered.
Use the same headshot across all platforms and, if you can, use the same handle. Include a link to your online presence. Perhaps that’s your own website, your page on your agent’s website, your StarNow or equivalent page – make sure that anyone looking at your profile can find out more about you in just one click. It’s all about you, you, you.
Twitter is a great way of posting short form content, opinions, or links to longer content. YouTube is great for showcasing longer form content. TikTok works brilliantly with comedy. Each app has its own personality. Using your social media to highlight and accent different aspects of your creative personality is a fantastic way of demonstrating your versatility.
If you’re using social media to connect with industry professionals or showcase your work then the dictum less is more is a good one. Connect with people slowly. Use social media to learn about their interests, don’t immediately slide into their DMs with your CV because they liked one of your tweets. Be interested in them, don’t just try to be interesting to them. Think about what your social media says about you, what you’re presenting, what it says about who you are and what you’re interested in.
A social media presence is a curated one. In selecting what images we upload, in editing our thoughts to 280 characters, in sharing our opinions – we are curating a version of our lives. I think anyone using social media should remind themselves daily that none of it is real. Most social media encourages us to look at someone else’s life and compare it to our own. Even though we know that it represents an edited, polished, curated life – it sometimes still seems that all social media is designed to make us look at someone else’s life and feel unworthy.
Remember, as I’ve said so many times, your journey is your journey. You can choose where to place your resources and your energy. If you don’t want to spend time on your social media, then don’t. If you do want to use it professionally then make it easy for us to find out about you. Each social media platform tells us a little bit about you – link them all to a central location. Remember that having more followers doesn’t make you a better creative. If you’re spending a lot of time on social media then don’t fall down the rabbit hole of comparing your life to someone else’s highlights reel! Take breaks when it’s not fun. Make it work for you, not the other way round.
Stay connected. Stay creative.
Got a question? Email JBR at [email protected]