Social Media: Do's & Don'ts for Artists
Social media serves as a platform to develop your brand, engage interest, and of course promote your product/project. I highly encourage actors and other artists to be careful about the content they place on their professional pages (websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc). If you’re an artist with an online presence, it means you are looking for exposure, work, and to further expand your project/career. Always keep in mind that in addition to potential audiences, and supporters, influencers such as casting directors, producers, agents, managers, and other key industry professionals are looking at your platforms. Some actors will argue that they have the right to express their opinions and feel censored when I advise them to be aware of the things they share on social media. You can still have a distinct voice and style without straying from your purpose. Here are my suggestions on a few elements that should be front and center on actors social media channels and points that you should stay away from:
1) DO post headshots, production pictures, and promo videos regarding current, past or upcoming projects.
Images help people make a connection. It becomes monotonous, if you’re only posting text.
2) DON’t post photographs of you (or anyone else) half nude, smoking, drinking and or doing anything else in your personal life.
Unless the characters in the play are doing the Full Monty, smoking, drinking etc, these activities are not related to your brand. If your goal is for someone to cast you in a film, they want to know about your acting skills, and professional experience, not what kind of cigarettes you prefer.
3) DO mention other shows you have attended and theater/entertainment projects you support and include pictures from the events.
Whether it’s for film, stage or a commercial, acting involves collaboration. Casting directors and producers are looking for talent, but being a team player is a huge factor in this field.
4) DON’t place anything hateful or negative about your colleagues online.
It is disrespectful, hurtful, and reflects badly on you. If you go see a play and did not enjoy it, try to find a positive point about it or don’t say anything at all. Think about it, would you want to cover/review someone that was badmouthing others? Would you want to invest time and money in an actor that is going to disturb the production process by creating gossip or mistreating other members of the company?
5) DO highlight when members of the industry, journalists, bloggers and other high profile individuals attend and/or support your events and publicly thank them.
Remember, that all of the above referenced professionals are EXTREMELY busy people and they receive dozens of invitations on a daily basis; they could be anywhere else, yet they decided to support YOU.
6) Unless your brand is specifically correlated to religion, politics, drugs or sex, stay away from these.
I promote several projects that tackle ALL of these topics and I post about them SPECIFICALLY as to how they relate to the individual project, and facts I find, not my personal point of views on them. For example, I worked on a show about the late rapper, Tupac Shakur and among the themes were all of the above. My social media campaign referenced these directly from the context of the play, research about Tupac, and my client’s goals.
7) DO provide detailed information, such as dates, times, venue, and tickets in reference to any shows you are in.
A friend of mine who is a casting director recently shared with me that her most common source for finding actors are plays she attends. You want to fill up the entire house and hopefully book some gigs, share your projects!
How does any of the above relate to public relations? When you do anything in the public eye, EVERYTHING is about how others perceive you. I guarantee that building a positive brand will secure more interest from journalists, entertainment professionals and audiences, as opposed to deviating from the path you have established.