Actors need to come up with a plan for their social media marketing and networking. If you have one, we’re going to test it out right here. And if you don’t, well, let’s enter the 21st century already!

One thing that the majority of working actors has in common is that they are all social media savvy. They Tweet, they share, and they post. If you want to become a working actor, isn’t it obvious that you need to replicate as many of their habits as you can?

I use social media to promote projects, stay connected to industry members and build my network. Here’s how you can do the same thing. Let’s break this up into three parts.

First, you’re going to search out all possible past contacts and connect on as many social media platforms as you can find. This is a lot of work. The most common mistake in this part of the plan is to be too conservative in your coverage. Join every major social networking platform there is because everyone has their own preferences and if you are going to treat this like a business you are going to have to get past personal biases and do what it takes to connect with everyone.

You should maintain profiles or pages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and any other sites you can find as well as any new sites as they pop up. Some industry members may use one site a lot while others frequent a different site. If you are going to be doing your best at this then you will not just put up a Facebook page and hope people use Facebook. Use them all.

Once you have all the platforms set up, it’s time to search for everyone you have ever worked with and invite them to connect or just follow them. Subscribe to their pages, send those friend requests and get ready to start scrolling! If it helps at this phase, make a list project by project of all possible contacts and friends.

You are also going to maintain all your existing contacts. This is going to require a lot of “sharing” and “liking” and “re-tweeting.” Reciprocity is the key. While there are no guarantees, you can only expect a shot at social media support if you are also supportive of your contacts “likes” and interests. If you want them to share your posts, you must share theirs. Pretty simple.

Finally, and perhaps the hardest part is searching for new contacts. This is tricky because you don’t know these people. They are friends of friends, suggested friends and people you are aware of who you would like to network to. The good news is that many industry members want a ton of followers and “friends” so they will take you in. If I am selling classes, don’t I want to build the biggest social media network I can? If I have a blog or a book (I have both, by the way) don’t I need to promote them? Social media is the best place for me, and you, to develop our businesses.

Engage! Not to sound like Captain Picard on Star Trek but you can’t just build this network and then go make a sandwich. You need to be up there every day letting people know what you are up to and follow what they are doing. This will not only connect you to everyone better, but it will keep you “in the know” on what’s going on in the business.

You cannot take breaks from social media for more than a couple of days. This is the same kind of faulty logic that leads to actors taking breaks from submitting. You need to be consistent. This pursuit requires daily sacrifices. We all do it. I am on social media EVERY day. I am on there on Christmas. I am on there on my birthday. I am on there on YOUR birthday. You only need about five minutes per platform so it is well under an hour a day.

Youtube is now a mandatory site to be on and it is wise to start your own channel. Many actors are putting demo footage up there. Others are shooting short projects and posting them up there to boost subscribers. You can then post links to these videos on other social media platforms to draw people to your channel.

In just the last ten years, the world has changed drastically for actors. Social media is no longer a choice. It is here and it is here to stay. Are you?

 


 

Mark Sikes began his casting career in 1992 for Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Corman. In the past 25 years, he has cast over 100 films as well as television series, commercials and web series. He has cast projects for Tobe Hooper and Luke Greenfield and many others. In the past few years Mark has also produced four feature films.

Based in Los Angeles, Mark has cast films for many markets including the United Kingdom, Peru, the Philippines and Russia. Domestically, he has cast films that shot all over the country in Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Virginia and multiple projects in Colorado.

He currently teaches three weekly on-camera, audition technique classes in West Los Angeles.  Follow Mark on Twitter @castnguy.

 

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