Social Media in Acting
If you clicked on this blog, maybe you are just a really strong “Kristen Brock supporter,” (thank you, I love you) OR you ALSO want to know what role social media plays in the career of an actor or performer in the 21st century. Well, I’m certainly not an expert at this topic and will not claim to know everything there is to know - I’m not sure anyone does. I believe we’re all in a period of learning, but I do have lots of experience and insight revolving around the impact of social media. It has changed and developed rapidly in even the last 5 years and will only continue to grow from here. Keeping up with trends, new platforms and marketing strategies is going to become very important for our futures - whether we like it or not.
The million dollar question: “is social media becoming an end-all-be-all in the entertainment industry?” My personal opinion is no… but I do think it is an incredibly powerful tool.
Growing up as a total show off, social media was right up my alley from the day I discovered Instagram in 2012. Similar to the rest of my generation, that developed into a whole lot of other platforms as well. Each similar in some ways, but all offering unique differences that make them individual and valuable for sharing materials while also highlighting different things. Lots of platforms have developed over time and have tried to incorporate lots of new app abilities. Ex. Instagram offers all sorts of features that it didn’t use to - combining apps like Tik Tok (reels), Twitter (subtexts) and Snapchat (time-limited stories) all in one place. Due to these transitions, I have limited which apps I market myself on. I don’t need 10 different apps all doing the same thing… I have just enough apps to cover all of the age ranges, connections and streaming opportunities I need to be successful for MYSELF. *Remember that… “success is measured by you and you only.”
These days I focus on my personal website, Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook (partially) and Youtube. Please note that even my “personal” platforms are always kept in a professional manner for potential employers and coworkers to see.
My Website: This is my digital theatrical Bible and is my primary work page. My website has downloadable PDF’s of my headshots and resume. It has a range of reels, photos and materials all in one place. This is my main platform and #1 marketing tool that I update with theatrical work ONLY. It is easy to find and is edited weekly/monthly with my newest work, materials and latest news.
Instagram: This is my most used social media platform. This highlights my day to day life. I think of Instagram as a digital/public diary for all my friends and supporters. I post both personal and professional things on this page - but I do not overshare. Everything I post would be considered appropriate if a potential employer happened to come across it, but it is a way for the world to see me in my natural habitat. I have booked jobs through Instagram!!
Tik Tok: I use this as a creativity outlet. It is for personal use and for FUN! I post lots about my travels, my friends and some theatrical advice from time to time.
Facebook: FB is probably the social media platform I use the least, but I still find it incredibly valuable. I’ve used Facebook for so long and have lots of friends from the industry, as well as access to older friends and family members that might not have other social medias. I have Facebook linked to most of my other apps and upload everything to FB directly from other apps… I also post my big updates on here!
Youtube: This platform is for my influencer jobs and doubles as a creativity outlet (very similar material to Tik Tok, but more in depth and in greater detail). I share tips, advice and stories from a range of travel to theatre to my every day life. I have many sponsorships and partnerships that are fulfilled through my Youtube vlogs. I have also booked jobs through Youtube!!
Additional Online Platforms I find useful for my job outside of your typical social media:
Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.
Social media has lots of pros and cons. It is important to note what those are to be able to properly navigate the best way to professionally market yourself and equally allow yourself to have a personal platform as well.
It’s incredibly easy to be seen and discovered. Trending posts can be seen by millions of people. This is a given!
Instant and FREE engagement with your audiences! You can view and interact with other performers as well, making yourself friendly and relatable.
You have an interactive portfolio for professionals and employers to have access to at their fingertips… it is easier than ever to be discovered.
Auditions are often discovered and found on social media these days. It is no longer uncommon for companies only post their audition announcements on their social media pages!
The freedom of posting on social media becomes a little more limited because now it is a portfolio of your work.
Opinions are inevitable and people will assume what they want to assume… and there’s really nothing you can do about it. So, making sure your words cannot be misconstrued is important. Do NOT overshare and keep your tone of voice professional.
You may not understand how to market yourself yet! And that’s okay. There are so many ways to learn.
Tips for the Pros:
Research yourself! It is so helpful to see how you are perceived. Sometimes you don’t even realize what absolute dirt Google has on you… they have collected some pretty embarrassing 12-year-old selfies of me that I would love to never see again. You’d be surprised - look it up.
Pay close attention to your content. Think before you post. (I know I sound like your mother right now… but she’s right. Love you, mom). Once it’s out there you cannot take it back! I have witnessed too many people ruin their reputations because they posted something without thinking about it… Even when they delete it 2 minutes later, someone has seen it. Just trust me on this one.
Balance Work and Life. People want to know you are a real person! After all, they are hiring PEOPLE they have to spend time with or hiring people to spend time with their friends and colleagues… Be an interesting human being. Share your best work, but also share your hobbies, interests and friends.
Social media is certainly a vital part of the marketing strategy for performers, but it is not a solution or a deal breaker concept. While social media can be an effective tool for performers to reach a wider audience and build a fanbase, it is important to remember that it is only one piece of the bigger puzzle. Building a successful career in the performing arts requires a multifaceted approach that includes honing one's craft, networking and creating opportunities for oneself. Reputation is one of the most important things a performer has… there are multiple ways of controlling your reputation and lots of factors that play into it that go far beyond social media.
It is essential to realize that relying solely on social media can be misleading, as it may not always translate into real-world success or tangible opportunities. People's success is not your failure.
Social media is a highlight reel of someones life. They aren’t sharing the bad auditions, the rejections, the hard days… would you?
Ultimately, social media should be seen as a tool to augment and support a performer's career, rather than a substitute for the hard work and dedication required to succeed in the arts. By striking a balance between social media and traditional methods of networking and skill-building, performers can maximize their chances of success and build a sustainable and fulfilling career in their chosen field :) Work smarter - not harder, babes xo