In an age when technology and social media dominate, proper use of these wonderful inventions is crucial for success. When used properly, social media can be an unparalleled tool for marketing and networking. For professionals in the acting business, an active social media presence is crucial. Actors can communicate with potential employers such as producers and casting directors via social media. Because of this possibility, it is important for actors to maintain a positive appearance on these platforms. If an actor is constantly complaining about unimportant personal problems on his Twitter, when a casting director looks him up they will see that side of him. This does not give a very good impression and could potentially cost him a job. On the other hand, an actor who uses his Twitter to promote projects and connect with fans will be looked upon much more favorably.
Crafting a Profile
There are many factors to consider when creating a social media profile. On Twitter, many followers will turn on notifications for certain people whom they follow. It is important to keep this in mind. Many people will want to keep these followers and have them continue to receive notifications. To do this, the followers must not feel overwhelmed. They do not want to receive twenty notifications each day from the same person. It is important to keep a moderate amount of posts. In the same way that some would be irritated by constant posting, others would be irritated with posts only once or twice a month.
On social media platforms such as Facebook that feature a profile page, this is a crucial first impression. A profile picture is meant to give followers an idea of the person whom they are following. A picture of a flower or a smiley face does no good here. The best option is a friendly-looking image of the person who runs the account. If it is an account for a company or organization, the icon or logo is a good choice. Cover photos are another opportunity for a taste of what the account is about. For actors, the cover photo is also an opportunity to promote a current project.
As previously mentioned, it is important to be mindful of the frequency of posts. The content is also important. For businesses, sponsored posts that clearly explain the business are useful in moderation. The occasional informational post will remind followers about the business, but when they become too frequent they are annoying or get tuned out. Periodically posting positive reviews is a good alternative. This reminds followers about the business without being repetitive. An added benefit of posting reviews is that it makes the reviewer feel included and valued. For individuals, followers want to be able to relate, so it is important to portray a certain level of humanity. Professionalism is also important, however. Content should be worth reading. Speaking up for a cause is different from complaining about an ex-girlfriend. Actors and other public figures can use their following to help others as well as for personal gains.
On many social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, posts with pictures are more eye-catching than those that contain only text. Not all posts should include a picture, but they are beneficial when used appropriately. In the same vein, text posts that are too long (such as those that merit a “read more” button on Facebook) are easily overlooked. Followers want to read content, but only if it does not require extra effort or time. This is one way that social media has been a detriment to society. Attention spans, especially for posts on social media, are extremely short. If someone does not know what a post is about in the first three seconds of looking at it, chances are they will move on without reading the rest. Twitter is very good at avoiding this problem. The character limit attempts to keep posts short enough to be read consistently. There are ways to get around the limit (e.g. strings of tweets, screenshots of more text, etc.), but these methods should be used sparingly or these posts will also be passed over in favor of shorter ones.
Followers and Following
There truly is no one clear way to attain followers, but the aforementioned methods can help. Another thing to consider is who to follow. For actors, it is often beneficial to follow other industry professionals – other actors as well as producers, directors, and casting directors. If a director is thinking about casting an actor and discovers he already follows him on Twitter, that could give the actor an advantage, or at least cast him in a better light. Following people that could potentially become colleagues or industry contacts is always a good idea, even if they are not an actual friend or acquaintance. The lines here are a little blurry, but it is generally easier to follow someone on Twitter or Instagram than to try to get them to accept a friend request on Facebook. Many people feel that Facebook should be used for more personal matters while Twitter can be more professional, but this is completely a matter of personal preference.
Sponsorships and Product Promotion
Some celebrities use their posts to promote products or services. This is risky territory. While it may be lucrative to be paid by a company in return for featuring their product in a post, followers often see these posts only as advertisements and can find them annoying. The text that goes with a post such as this is important. When it simply states the name of the product or “I love it,” it appears to be an ad. Other times, a personal touch can make a post seem more like genuine excitement about the product (even if it really is an ad). Consider this (real) example: “This lip balm by winky_lux is amazing! It works with your natural pH to create the perfect shade of pink for you. And it has a flower in it mean how cute thanks to octoly for sending it to me to try and share my opinion!” The first two sentences alone would seem like an advertisement only. The personal touch comes in the excitement about the flower in it. While the caps lock can sometimes be perceived as shouting and unnecessary, this post seems more like she was actually excited about the product.
In conclusion, social media is a beneficial tool for marketing and networking, provided it is used in an exciting and professional manner.