Wow. What a profoundly challenging time we are in. Health and safety are of course the #1 priority right now, but we also know many of you find yourselves at home looking for productive ways to move your career forward.
Social media has become essential to a performer’s career. And while most artists and entertainers say they know they “must” use it, many are confused, overwhelmed, or concerned about doing so.
As such, we’ve put together a few tips to make that process easier, and more enjoyable, while you work from home. At TSMA, we mainly focus on Instagram, but many of these tips are applicable to all platforms.
1. Refresh Your Profile
Does your Instagram profile match the quality level of your work? We all know first impressions can last a lifetime, and asking yourself these questions is a great way to get started:
- Is my profile photo hi-resolution, engaging, and cropped appropriately?
- Do I have my correct name as a performer listed on my profile?
- Is my account handle easy to read, and does it include my first and last names?
- Is the bio on my account accurate, up-to-date, and fun?
- Does the bio include my geographic location so people know where to hire me?
- Does my bio include some emojis to support the international audience on the platform?
- Am I appropriately leveraging the link in my bio, ideally by posting my IMDb vanity URL? (e.g. imdb.me/ryanwalker)
- Have I archived my old and lower-quality content from the page?
- Am I following too many people?
- Do I have Story highlight albums up on the page with the best of my story content?
- Have I designed custom cover images for the Instagram highlight albums?
The “algorithm” on Instagram prioritizes profiles they deem to be complete, so optimizing your profile can make a major difference.
2. Be Consistent
Active accounts have higher chances of being seen on discover pages, or trending on hashtags. All social media platforms have algorithms that prioritize content from accounts that use the platform regularly. So use every part of a platform (e.g. posts, stories, IGTV, story highlights, etc on Instagram), and post as often as you can maintain quality content.
We find that posting every 2-4 business days on Instagram, for example, strikes a good balance without burning through all of your content.
Be sure you’re posting during peak engagement times (Thursdays and Fridays are 18 percent higher), and focus extra energy on the social platforms most relevant to your goals. Instagram is still the most popular platform for Influencers, due in part to its higher engagement rate, visual mediums, and monetization opportunities through partnerships and IGTV.
3. Engage. Engage. Engage.
It’s called social media for a reason. Respond to engagement with engagement. That means liking and replying to comments, even when it feels like you’re typing “Tysm! (heart emoji)” over and over. Make the engagement authentic, consistent, and true to your brand. Remember, these are other actual human beings on the other side of the internet.
4. Practice Authenticity
Some people go to social media to complain. Some people try to keep a positive public face all the time. Social media is not the place for oversharing or negativity, but it is a place to be authentic. You can stand for something, just stay consistent and have long-term career goals in mind. Think to yourself, if a casting director saw this content, would it hurt my chances for landing my dream job?
And remember: don’t buy your following! It’s very easy to discern if a following is organic. A purchased following will significantly harm your credibility and ring hollow and inauthentic.
5. Collaborate With Other Actors and Content Creators
Strategic collaborations between creators can help everyone massively grow their following and fast track success. We call this “cross-marketing”, and it is actually the foundation of how we grow our accounts at TSMA (tsmagrowth.com).
Get creative! You might not be able to reach out to up-and-coming photographers for trade shoots right now, but consider how else might you be able to collaborate with fellow artist.
6. Try Out New Platforms
There are new social platforms coming out all the time, and occasionally one of them sticks, like Tik Tok. Pick these up early when they have smaller audiences. (And be sure to reserve your handle!) Then when they gain traction, you already have momentum.
At the same time, don’t abandon the “old” social platforms like Facebook. Just be aware of what the platforms are built for; Facebook is great for networking with a smaller number of people, while Instagram still dominates when it comes to building an audience or fanbase for your career.
7. Get Help When You Need It
It’s hard enough to launch a career as a performer, and we know you don’t have time to do everything. Maybe this means hiring a social media company to take over your digital presence, or it can be as simple as reaching out to some friends with similar goals to brainstorm content ideas and keep each other accountable to posting content on a regular basis.
Social media for actors is a complex endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow the above steps, you’ll find it’s usually fun and rewarding, and you can avoid the drama. Remember, as a professional, your social footprint is your portfolio, your resume, and your marketing. This is your chance to show yourself at your best!
Stay safe. Stay socially distanced. And see you on social media!