The role of social media in an actor’s career is a constantly evolving consideration, and one that is still relatively new on the scene. With a constant influx of ever-changing advice on how to manage your social media presence effectively, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But if you’re looking to streamline your presence and lay some ground rules, look no further! Here are some quick dos and don’ts to get you started!
- Cultivate your brand. First things first, I would consider creating separate social media accounts for your actor pages that are entirely different from your personal pages. This way you can keep all images, colour palettes, and content consistent with your professional persona. Keep things up to date and current with industry trends. Do remember that the internet is forever, so try to be mindful of what you’re posting even on personal accounts. If you wouldn’t want a casting director to see it, maybe think twice about posting at all.
- Promote your agent. Once a project is fully booked, and only after you’ve been cleared to post approved information and images, it is absolutely acceptable to post a “thanks, ‘Agent’, for the incredible opportunity.” Just make sure to run it by your agent first.
- Post accomplishments. Make sure you maximise your promotion potential by posting your accomplishments (again, if the content is approved) across all relevant professional social media platforms and websites.
- Categorise. Many actors are using a wide range of skills to expand and supplement their careers. But once you branch out into voice over work, audiobook recording, or print modelling, you’re treading in the waters of separate careers. These require their own promotion and hustle. Instead of shoving all your audiobook history into your actor’s website, for example, consider creating separate sites and accounts to promote each endeavour. It feels like a lot of extra work, but in the long run it will help.
- Network. Remember it’s not just about what you’re posting. Follow and connect with relevant industry professionals in your area and nationwide! Listen as much as you post to make sure you keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.
- Post details of gigs. If you post something before details of a gig are finalised, you risk leaking important information, alienating casting professionals, and endangering your job. If you post after you’ve signed on the dotted line (sometimes even after auditioning) you risk violating a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Just don’t do it.
- Post pictures with other actors. It is completely natural to be excited when you book a guest star role on Stranger Things, but please try to avoid posting pictures of you and Millie Bobby Brown. You not only risk violating NDAs or posting project spoilers, but you’re also then likely posting without others’ consent. This is especially tricky and can be unethical if your costars are minors.
- Harass industry professionals. Following and interacting with industry accounts is one thing, but there are limits to when it’s useful. If you’re commenting on and interacting with every single post, it’s going to become white noise at best, and at worst, a serious annoyance. Additionally, if you happen to come across someone’s personal email, it is creepy to use it if they haven’t given it to you directly. Reach out through professional avenues until that time.
- Air dirty laundry. Listen, in the comfort of your own home and with close trusted friends, vent away. This industry is endlessly frustrating, and it’s healthy to get that out. But for the love of all that is holy, keep your ire off the internet. It shouldn’t have to be said, but screenshots can burn bridges. Even if you’re specifically badmouthing one office or individual, other professionals see that, and it can give them pause. They might reconsider working with you for fear you’ll treat them and their projects with similar disrespect.
- Post audition clips. I know it’s fun. I know it can be funny. But please reconsider posting used or unused fragments of your self-tapes. First of all, again, it looks very unprofessional if a casting director were to come across it. And it’s just too easy to let details of whatever you’re auditioning for slip. It doesn’t inspire confidence in casting professionals, and honestly other actors are just going to be annoyed. The safest route is to keep it under wraps.
A good rule of thumb is that if you’re unsure whether something is professionally acceptable, don’t post it. Don’t post things when you’re emotional. Vet posts with the appropriate industry professionals before spreading it far and wide. Keep your tone positive, appreciative and classy. These are difficult waters to navigate, but a little forethought goes a long way!