In 2008, 24% of the world used social media. Today, it’s a whopping 81% (and growing). So, love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.

If you love it, like I do - awesome! You may have already begun to tap the amazing potential it has to open doors for your acting career. If you hope social media’s just a fad - it’s not.  But don’t worry! You can reap its benefits without it consuming your life and your time. You just need a plan.

Here are 4 ways you can make social media work for your acting career (even if you hate it).

Start slow. Learn the basics.

Many actors dislike social media because they don’t understand how it works. They sign up for a new platform, spend 15 minutes on it, then get angry at themselves for not being more socially savvy. Sound familiar? You can learn to use social media to create the career you want. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how good you are with technology. Learning a new social media platform is like learning how to ride a bike. It takes time, practice and determination. Trust your training wheels before you tackle the big hill. Start slow and learn the basics of each platform, before you try posting 20 times a week.

Choose your social networks wisely.

Instead of choosing your networks based on where your friends hang out, choose ones that will help you reach your career goals. Without goals you’ll waste your time spending hours lost on facebook, joining every new network that comes along and you’ll hate social media. For example, if your goal for being on social media is to get on the radar of the people in the industry you want to know, then Facebook won’t help much. Twitter or Instagram are better choices. But, if you hopped on social media to stay in touch with the industry people you already know, then using your Facebook profile (in addition to Twitter or Instagram) could be a fantastic way to stay top of mind. It’s better to totally rock 2 platforms then get totally burnt out on 5.

Choose a time everyday to manage your social media.

Choose a specific time to check notifications, messages and engage with fans and followers. Do it all day and you risk getting sucked into the social vortex for hours everyday and hating social media.

To help you stay on track, pair the time you choose with a daily ritual like your morning coffee, lunchtime, or if you’re fortunate enough to be a regular on a TV show, maybe you manage your social media when you’re in the makeup chair (like Kerry Washington does). This doesn’t stop you from hopping on social at other times but it’s important to have a scheduled time it gets done every day no matter what. Other times are just bonus!

Have a plan!

When we go grocery shopping we make a list. When we write a paper we create an outline. But most actors have no plan when they hop on social media. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and this is especially true on social media.

Instead of winging it, choose one platform to focus on. Set-up and optimize that network, figure out a posting schedule, and learn to organize your contacts on that network so you can actually begin to see results for your career.

To make planning super simple for you, I created the Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Actors:

It’s completely free so be sure to grab your copy here.

See you on social!

Heidi Dean





Originally published on Backstage

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