The question career-minded actors are asking isn’t “To be or not to be on social media?” It’s “Which platform(s) should I be on?” But how do you know if Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube is the best place for your #actorlife?
Here are the pros and cons of each social network and why they may (or may not) be good for your acting career.
Facebook is fantastic for staying in touch with people in the business you already know. If you’re just starting out, you can have followers on your profile page instead of creating a separate fan page.
You can use Facebook Live to live stream your latest gig or create your own series, and if you have a page for your web series or theater company, you can access the Facebook Ads platform which has great audience insights and tracking information.
Except for groups, Facebook lacks the direct access to industry professionals that Twitter and Instagram give you, making it hard to contact people you don’t know. Since you must have a profile, adding a Facebook page can be a lot to maintain with your other social media platforms. Growing an audience is also hard to do on Facebook without paying for ads.
On Twitter you have direct access to people who can hire you—and you don’t even need to follow them! It’s easy to organize the people you know and those you want to know into lists so you can interact with them and stay top-of-mind.
It’s also the easiest platform to grow an audience on. Because Twitter gives you a full bio, website link, header photo, tweets that contain photos, videos, and live video streaming through Periscope, there are lots of ways you can show the world who you are!
Though it’s worth the effort, Twitter is less user-friendly than some of the other platforms. Fortunately, I de-mystify it for you in this free Twitter for Beginners class here.
Like Twitter, Instagram provides direct access to the people who can hire you. A growing number of industry pros (especially ages 18-29) are now on Instagram. It’s fairly simple to grow an audience on Instagram and, if your strength is visual storytelling, it’s the platform to be on.
You can’t organize your followers on Instagram without a third-party app, and Twitter provides more opportunities to network. Twitter and Facebook’s user search are more advanced so it’s hard to find people if you don’t know their username. If you run your social media from desktop, Instagram may not be for you since it’s primarily a phone app and has limited functionality on desktop.
Snapchat is where the millennials (18-34) are. If you’re on a show aimed at this audience, consider making Snapchat the core of your social strategy. Many content creators are finding creative ways to create “snapsterpieces,” and the Tribeca Film Festival recently added a category for Snapchat Stories. If you create your own content, Snapchat could be a place for you to stand out.
It’s difficult to network on Snapchat without using third-party apps or directories. You also don’t have direct access to users if they don’t allow it in their settings.
YouTube allows you take charge of your career by providing an outlet for the work you create. Setting up your own channel is fairly simple, and YouTube makes it easy to promote your content on your other channels so your audience can find you. Posting on YouTube also helps your search engine discoverability (within YouTube and on Google).
When weighing the pros of cons of each platform for your career be sure to ask yourself these three questions:
Do the industry pros I know and want to know spend time there?
Do my fans spend time there?
Is it a platform I enjoy?
Still not sure which platforms are right for your acting career? My fun (and free!) Social Media Quiz will tell you which platforms are perfect for you.
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.