How to Use Social Media Wisely

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The advent of social media is awesome (yes, I see it as a positive). It can be a brilliant tool to bring people together, touch lives in a positive way, and inform the masses in a timely fashion. I truly love it.

With that being said, learning to navigate this tool has been a process for many of us. How do you reach out? What do you say? When is it too much? Do you even have a social media profile? Do you need a social media profile? Can social media help actors book the role? There are so many questions and so many points of view it can be dizzying.

Every casting director, producer, and studio executive thinks differently on this topic, so prepare to wakame (be flexible like seaweed) on this subject. My feeling is to take it one step at a time, and here are my steps!

Follow individuals who inspire your field(s) of passion

Follow wisely and watch, then encourage, congratulate, and agree when appropriate. Create your professional lists and stay updated on their movements and projects.

Follow trade publications and film festivals

This will help you to be more knowledgeable about industry events, functions, panels, and film, TV, and web series projects. Follow Backstage on Twitter.

Be giving and open

Congratulate others on their accomplishments, work, articles, awards, etc. Send genuine positivity. When appropriate, share information you’ve learned from similar situations.

Check your negative attitude at the keyboard

We attract what we are, so be positive and attract positivity. Consider how you would want to be treated and act accordingly. Look over your social media outlets and if it seems negative, ask a friend or a colleague about how to clean it up. Then be open to said change. Show evolution and growth.

Reintroduce yourself

Professionally, I feel that social media is a great tool for reintroduction. After you meet someone at a film festival or other event, remind them on social media of your meeting and network accordingly. This may change as we evolve and grow so again…wakame. But personalize each message accordingly. No mass social media messages!

Some industry professionals do cast on and from social media, so makes the appropriate lists and handle each person or project individually. Casting social media/Internet stars is a real part of our community, so it’s not our job to judge each other; it’s our job to do our best work and breathe life into every role. Consider the fabulous Golden Globe-winning Rachel Bloom, who was an Internet sensation and used social media very wisely, and starred in her own series, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

I know, I know, all of this may seem like a lot of work but it is our business to take care of our business—and social media has become a major part of our business. Navigate wisely. Be awesome!

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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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Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd
Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd is a Brooklyn-born and raised casting director with more than 24 years of experience in the industry. Byrd has the vision to spot actors who can bring complicated and nuanced storylines from page to motion picture. Her work on the Sundance/Cannes-winning film “Fruitvale Station," Stomp the Yard,” “The Blind Side,” “Notorious,” “Jumping the Broom,” and “Sparkle” prove as much.
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