SOCIAL media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn can be brilliant tools for your showbiz career – but how do you get the best out of them without wasting time and effort?
Mandy News offers up 10 tips to master social media use for your entertainment industry career.
1. What do you do?
The first thing to make clear to your users is what you do. Are you a camera operator? A stage tech? An actor? If you're using social media as a professional tool, you'll want this to be obvious. Not only does it communicate your title to the world but it also makes you much more searchable.
2. Are you really doing it?
Listing yourself as an actor, director, writer, musician, camera operator, VFX artist or theatre technician is fine but if you're still on the rise, you must ask this question: are you doing it? If you're not, find work on small plays/short films/tiny gigs to keep your muscles flexed, to expand your network and so that you're posting about having awesome work, not about Fido getting muddy in the park.
Personal pictures are fine too! But if you're using social media as a professional tool then you'll at least want some slither of an idea that you're actually doing what you say you are.
3. Who are you?
Whether you love a pithy dig at politicians, funny fail videos or constantly sharing pictures of your camera rig/editing suite or yourself backstage, make sure you're posting things that you want to.
Do not try to post/share content that you see does well on other people's profiles but doesn't genuinely interest you. This will only leave you unsatisfied and followers – who followed to trace your unique journey/sense of humour etc – will lose interest seeing what is essentially a copy/paste account without a sense of itself.
4. Don't leave it too long
If you're going to do this then you'll need to bear in mind that most social media platforms algorithmically reward you based on the amount you post. Unless you're Jared Leto or Madonna – i.e. you have a large following – swanning off for a month just won't cut it. We don't want you to become addicted to social media, but we don't want you to lose out because you couldn't be bothered to post for a few weeks.
5. Don't post for the sake of posting/Keep the quality up
People are inundated with pictures, videos and text on social media. The best way to get yourself unfollowed or ignored is to post something just to fulfil a quota. Yes, we just told you to post regularly but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper or wait until something worth posting comes along. If you post something for the sake of it then you are just diluting yourself.
6. Pick your platforms wisely
Not every entertainment industry professional needs picture and video-based platforms like Instagram or Snapchat. By all means, feel free to sign up, browse around and see if you're compelled to post and interact with the community. It might be that Facebook and LinkedIn is enough for you. Twitter might be the one that gels.
See what fits you. There are plenty of people working in great entertainment industry jobs that don't use social media at all.
7. Don't get lost
Go on your phone or desktop, post what you intended to and get back off and back to your tasks. Social Media is designed to keep you locked in. Chances are, you'll visit one of the platforms and various enticing images, offers and videos will spring up in an attempt to keep you on the platform. Be ruthless, post your post and get back to what you were doing.
8. Focus on the work
Social media is marketing and self-promotion. It is not work. Pictures – no matter how flattering – of yourself at home not working are meaningless to fellow professionals and are only a waste of your time. Work, getting work and doing your work excellently is your priority. Posting about it is just a nice, little marketing bonus.
9. Think before you post
You know where this is going. Don't get drunk and post nonsense on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat or end up needlessly arguing with a stranger online because you're bored or frustrated. Employers might not hire you. Fans may unfollow. If you don't want to use social media as a professional tool then set all of your accounts to private.
10. Switch up the content
The internet offers a variety of magical things – pictures, GIFs, videos, articles and text posts. So offer them up yourself (if it fits with your brand). Having a range of different styles of posts will encourage people to revisit.
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