I am thrilled to share a second Guest Article from the established London talent agency, Winterson’s Agency founded by Niki Winterson. As some of your may know, this is following the article last October on ‘Successful Use of Social Media for Actors’.
If you missed out on their last post make sure to have a quick refresher HERE!
Make sure to check out Winterson’s Agency online!
Successful social media use for actors: Part 2
Last year, we spoke exclusively to the Hannah Cate blog about using social media as an actor, examining the approach you should take – and tonality you should use – to fully optimize your professional appearance online. Here, having expanded our own social media presence significantly in recent months, alongside the more general growth of the agency, we provide a follow-up to that advice analysing the more practical side of social.
Get yourself on Twitter, and don’t be an egg
Personally speaking, Twitter may not seem like it’s for everybody. As the growth of Instagram, and more recently Snapchat has shown, social media and the web at large is becoming increasingly visual.
However, this largely still text-based platform offers significant benefits from a professional pov: you can follow other people within the industry, interact with them directly online, and simultaneously stay up to date with theatres, film companies, and wider organisations tweets to ensure a steady flow of information about your industry is constantly coming through. It also has the benefit of giving you a speaking platform.
So get yourself on Twitter, post a friendly, welcoming photo (remove the egg) and make sure that you have a solid bio stating very clearly what it is that you do, what your unique abilities are, and which areas of the industry you are interested in working in (without simultaneously appearing to niche, and ruling yourself out of certain areas!)
Be Real-life social
Whatever platform you’re using, events can be great for social media. Don’t look at online tools as a way of replacing face to face interaction, but rather a way of amplifying the effectiveness of public gatherings.
Here’s an anecdotal example: if you go to an industry networking event and there’s a hashtag, use it. You may only get the chance to speak to one or two people at any given event, depending on what the set-up is like, but you can always check back through a timeline stream later on, finding an abundance of new people to connect with: they could have been standing next to you the entire time talking to somebody else – but now you have another chance to connect! Always think in terms of tying social media into a social life, and use it as an extension of your networking.
Balance the (Face)books
It can be tempting to bombard on social media, but particularly on Facebook, it is important to remember that you are speaking in a public forum that contains individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and professions. The key to a successful Facebook life is balancing engagement with passiveness, human face/social life updates with work posts, and being mindful always of staying humble. Try not to post every single day, and use updates about yourself and your work even more sparingly. Again, as on Twitter, demonstrating an interest in, and a knowledge of, the issues relating to the industry around you can often be more appealing than promoting your own work.
That said, as an actor you of course take at least some responsibility for marketing yourself and your projects, so be careful not to shy away too much from being vocal about your jobs and your achievements. Like many things, it’s a case of balancing the books!
And finally, it’s important not to put all of your eggs in one basket (just as it is important not to be an egg on Twitter!) Some of the people you need to be connected to in the industry will prefer Facebook, others Twitter, some Instagram. The key is to have a presence on as many channels as is viable, without bombarding on any of them with too much content. This will also help you to stay grounded.
Remember that there is a life outside social media (and a very healthy one from a networking pov at that), and its important to resist the temptation to constantly build and refine an avatar for yourself through any one channel. Being on multiple social media channels, but not of any particular one of them helps to keep the actors name in the conversation, without losing the professional and enigmatic qualities than can often contribute to making that actor sought after.
Thank you to Niki Winterson and In Press Online for putting both fantastic articles together.