Social media and word-of-mouth are the most cost-efficient and generally effective marketing and PR strategies we have. People are wary of advertisements, infomercials, advertorials, sponsored posts and everything in between. Although people may not trust ad agencies or big corporations, they do trust their friends. That’s why social media has never been more important for spreading the word about your projects and building your own personal brand.
From YouTube stars who became famous for creating makeup tutorials or playing their video games, to musicians who gained notoriety online first (like Justin Bieber), to actresses who try their hand at web films to gain exposure before being cast in productions, the Internet has opened up a wealth of possibility to aspiring actors, writers, directors, makeup artists, singers, bloggers and more.
But although social media is democratic and cost-efficient, it is definitely not time-efficient. Building a large audience is one difficult task. Creating a large, actively engaged following is an even bigger feat. With limited time and resources, you need to decide which platforms to focus your energy on and which you shouldn’t waste your time on. Read below to figure out which platforms are right for you!
As a publicist, I firmly believe everyone needs a Facebook page. How many times have you been looking for more information on a business, a restaurant, a store or a person and you simply cannot find them on Facebook? Does this lower their legitimacy in your eyes? For many people, this is exactly what happens when someone is missing a Facebook presence. Having an active, maintained Facebook page is as necessary as having good Google SEO, the modern-day equivalent to being listed in the phone book. So create a page and invite all your friends (and friends of friends) to “like” your page. This can be awkward for many people. But I always tell my clients not to feel weird about asking friends or acquaintances to like your page. Chances are, they have asked you to “like” a page in the past – or they will in the future. Facebook karma always comes back around.
Once you have a Facebook, keep it maintained. There’s nothing worse than a poorly updated social media page.
Twitter used to be a social media staple, but now I only recommend it to certain clients. Twitter is such a fast-moving platform. Don’t refresh your page for 10 minutes and you’ll come back to a drastically different newsfeed. Consider using Twitter if your followers are glued to their phones, always need to be “in the know” and are quick to keep up. If your followers don’t use a lot of social media, find it weird that people condense knowledge into 140 characters or simply don’t need constant updates, skip Twitter.
I do recommend Twitter for comedians, writers and other people who need to get by on their creativity and wit. Tweeting funny or relevant one-liners or quips is a good way to get people to laugh and engage with your page, and even retweet and follow you. This is one way to build your personal brand.
As a highly visual platform, I recommend Instagram for directors, photographers, cinematographers, models and actresses. When your work is more visual than verbal, turn here. Instagram’s stunning filters and innovative discovery tools like geotags and hashtags are the perfect combination for someone who has visuals to share. Are you a writer? Taking pics of your script or coffee probably isn’t going to get you noticed. Maybe skip this one.
This one is self-explanatory. If you’re doing anything with videos, you should have a YouTube channel. Yes, you can submit reels for roles, and you can do in-person readings at castings. But this is all a big use of casting directors and directors’ time. Help them out by providing video material online. This can be you doing monologues, scenes from you in movies or plays, a fun web series you do as a hobby, answering fan videos, doing makeup tutorials, whatever. Just show that you know how to perform in front of a camera, and people may come across your talent.
Snapchat is a tricky one. It has a pretty skeezy reputation due to the sexting aspect of the disappearing photos. However, celebs like DJ Khaled have risen in fame due to their use of Snapchat, because the platform gives fans an exclusive peek into the private lives of our favorite stars. You’re sending silly selfies, pics with friends and videos of your ocean view from brunch to your friends? Well, so are your favorite celebs. If you have a solid fan base, giving them little glimpses into your life can make them feel special and cement a stronger and more loyal bond. Just remember to keep the sexy snaps to yourself – or create a second, personal account so your photos don’t end up on TMZ.
What other social media platforms do you use to build your personal or professional brand? Let me know in the comments!