An Expert's Social Media Checklist for Establishing Your Online Presence

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Social media is an effective free tool for helping actors accelerate their careers. However, it can also be confusing and time consuming. My essential social media checklist for actors will help you create social media accounts that more clearly reflect who you are, help grow your fan base, and build lasting industry relationships.

  1. Claim your name! Claim your username on all platforms! If someone has your name, add your middle initial, “actor,” or “official” before your name. When a new platform pops up, claim your name even if you’re not sure you’ll use it! Use to see if your name is available on multiple platforms.
  2. Add your headshot! Your profile photo should show what you are most castable as! Don’t use different headshots on different platforms. McDonald’s doesn’t use different logos for different locations. Your logo (headshot) should be the same across platforms.
  3. Your photo is your first impression! Headers, cover photos, and channel art should show us the essence of who you are! Use the correct size for each platform. Current sizes (in pixels) are: Twitter header photo (1500 x 500), Facebook cover photo (815 x 315), YouTube channel art (2560 x 1400), and Google+ (1080 x 608).
  4. Write your story. A professional bio is your introduction. It expresses your uniqueness and passion and makes us want to follow you! Use career-specific keywords like “actor,” “SAG-AFTRA,” or “voiceover.” Here’s how to write your Twitter bio for actors and how you can make your Instagram bio stand out.
  5. Add a link to your actor website! If you don’t have a website link to your IMDb, Backstage talent profile, YouTube channel, or elsewhere, then set up a website right away. Remember your website is home base for all your marketing materials.
  6. Add your location! If a platform lets you add a location to your profile, do it. This helps you connect with like-minded people in your area—which could mean more opportunities!
  7. Choose your platforms! It’s better to give 1,000 percent creating connections on two platforms than burn out using five! On the platforms you’ve decided not to use right now, add your profile photos, mention in your bio that you’re not active on the platform, and link them to where they can connect with you.
  8. Find your friends! Networking with new people is great, but don’t forget the connections you’ve already made! Connect your email and social media accounts to each platform.
  9. Discover new friends. Find new like-minded people by using hashtag searches on Twitter and Instagram as well as search groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to expand your existing circle of friends.
  10. Get organized! Keep track of new people you meet on social media by organizing your friends, followers, and fans into lists so you can easily find them.
  11. Find the “me” in your social media. Successful social media accounts have a distinctive tone, voice, or style. Are you funny? Snarky? Inspiring? Your unique qualities will set you apart from all the other actors online.
  12. Create a posting strategy! Decide how often you’ll post. If you already have Twitter followers, Followerwonk will tell you the best time of day to post so you can maximize your engagement and reach! If you have a Web series or YouTube channel, tell your fans how often and when you’ll release your videos.
  13. Limit your automation! Avoid using auto direct messages and automatically thanking everyone who follows you. These actions appear insincere, rarely help build your fan base, and may get your accounts suspended. Instead, be aware of the connections you make and respond if it’s appropriate.
  14. Set up a system! Checking each platform all day is time-consuming. Using a social media management system like Hootsuite lets you see multiple social media accounts in one place (including messages, posts, lists, and mentions), saving you hours every week.
  15. Be social! Take part in industry Twitter chats, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, or even Pinterest groups to meet new people in the business! Check your mentions and notifications regularly! Retweet, reply, and react!

If you need help finding your voice, designing your headers, figuring out what to post, or building relationships, let’s chat about setting up a comprehensive social media strategy for your career, or learn on your own with my step-by-step video tutorials in my Actors Marketing Classroom!

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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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Heidi Dean
Heidi Dean is the industry’s top social media expert for actors. She was a working professional actor for over 20 years and a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. Now she combines her years of industry experience with cutting-edge social media strategy to help actors open more doors for their careers.
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