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Backstage Experts

Debunking 5 Myths About Social Media

Debunking 5 Myths About Social Media
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Everyone seems to be talking about social media for actors these days. You hear it’s good for your career/a waste of time/all about followers/not about followers/easy to use/hard to figure out. With all these conflicting opinions, it’s easy to get confused. Once you’ve taken the time to distinguish between fact and fiction, you can take advantage of the tremendous career-advancing opportunities social media offers! Here are five big myths about social media for actors that should be put to rest for good.

Social media is too time consuming.
After acting classes, auditions, and your day job, who has time for social media, right? Wrong! Once you’ve set up your accounts and learn social media 101 for actors, it’s easy, quick, and fun to maintain an active social media presence. Need a tool to help you? Hootsuite helps me save tons of time by organizing all my social media accounts into one convenient dashboard.

“If you build it, they will come.”
Many actors think all they have to do is set up their accounts and start posting their work on YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook and the fans will start rolling it. Simply setting up your accounts will not help build your audience. Even the biggest YouTube stars worked hard to grow their channels after that first viral video. You need to post and engage with your friends and fans on a regular basis to see results on social media. If your goal is to be “social media famous,” you should pick a different goal. Fame isn’t something you pursue; it’s a result of hard work, talent, and luck.

You have to be good with technology.
Perhaps the biggest myth of all! There is a learning curve to mastering social media, but that’s why I’m here to help. Most platforms are actually easy to use once you figure out their language. If fear of technology has kept you from becoming more “social” on platforms like Twitter, fear not! You can get my free video class “Twitter for Beginners.” It walks you through the signup, setup, and account basics so you can start rocking the social media for your career right away!

Follower accounts are more important than talent.
It’s true that social media follower counts and subscriber numbers have helped actors get cast in everything from blockbusters and network TV to indie films and web series, but, at the end of the day, your goal as an actor should be a lasting career, not a million followers. No one will keep watching your work if you can’t deliver on set or onstage. Keep in mind that although follower counts are not more important than talent, they are part of your brand (and your first impression online). If you only have 50 followers, it makes me wonder if anyone cares about your work or if you have any experience or connections in the business. Be sure to collect your new friends and fans on social media with every gig you book.

Social media is a waste of time; I should just be acting!
This myth was started by actors who are either #SocialMediaScared or who tried social media for a few months, had no plan, saw no results, and are now on team #SocialMediaStinks. If social media was a waste of time, Academy Award-winning actors wouldn’t be jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. It’s probably not a coincidence that Cuba Gooding Jr. joined Twitter the same time “The People v. O.J. Simpson” debuted. Social media can be a waste of time if you spend hours watching videos of cats, miniature pigs, or cute babies. However, when it’s used correctly social media can help accelerate your acting career by helping you build relationships, connect with your fans, and increase your influence.

So if you’re tired of all the “mythinformation” surrounding social media, just download my free ebook The Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Actors. I’ll give you the straight stuff so you can start really rocking social media for your acting career today!

Heidi Dean is the creator of Actors Marketing Classroom, founder of Marketing 4 Actors (@Marketing4Actor), and a Backstage Expert. For more information, check out Dean’s full bio

Start your Twitter account off right by following these 23 L.A.-based casting directors! And for more great career advice, watch the video below:

The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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