HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Acting class is a great place to network and make friends with other actors, especially when you're new to the market. Once I got to know the actors in my class, I did the next logical thing and looked them up on Facebook.
There's was one big fat problem--hardly any of us had Facebook pages. That meant our only option was to add each other as friends on our personal profiles instead of having the option to network on a more professional level via a like page.
I kept staring at that Add Friend button wishing I had another option. Yea, I got along with a lot of people, but we weren't friends yet. It also occurred to me that casting directors and production teams might be looking for me online and were also stuck staring at that button wishing they had a more professional way to research me.
Could I make my personal profile public? Sure, but I had posts that were really only for my friends and family. Plus, making it public meant that any ol' crazy on the internet could see or screenshot my posts. Did you know that if your personal profile is public, your photos could actually show in a Google or Facebook search? No thank you.
While it's true that you can network just by using your private Facebook profile, it's better for actors to have a public Facebook page for a number of reasons:
Your profile should be private, and your fan page should be public. In this post, I want to give you three timeless Facebook tips for actors that will benefit your marketing efforts. Correctly using social media is crucial if you want to be a working actor versus someone who is just doing it as a hobby because it will give you that professional edge that most actors tend to ignore.
If you want to market yourself better, Facebook is a great place to do it. It's free, and it still reigns as the social media king of the world. With around 2 billion users as of 2017, there's no shortage of potential fans and followers.
You also need to understand that people are looking for you there, especially producers! Here's what a reputable industry source has to say about social media:
"I know firsthand that producers, studios, and networks can and do go through your social media." -Casting director Marci Liroff via Backstage | ET, Indiana Jones, Mean Girls
Even if you don't want to use Facebook as your primary platform, you can use these tips to set up a great looking, professional like page for anyone who inevitably Googles your name. Facebook pages are typically a top hit.
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 1: POSTING TOPICS
So let's dig into these key tips for your fan page! Most actors are confused about what to post on their page that they're not already posting on their profiles. I say avoid double dipping.
There's no reason for people to follow your page if they can see the same info on your profile. Whatever you post on your personal profile should be special for just friends and family, almost as if you're sending them a text.
You need to primarily post on your like page, and rotate 3-5 topics in your posts. The easiest way to get started is to post three times a week, Monday/Wednesday/Friday.
Now assign a different topic to each day, so that you're consistently posting the same type of content like clockwork. Monday could be about your acting. Wednesday could be an inspirational quote. Friday could be an image from your camera roll with behind-the-scenes from your life.
Only one of those topics should be about your actor's life. Notice I said ONE, not all of them. Users go to Facebook to learn about a person, so if you only post about your acting, it feels like there's a giant brick wall between us stopping me from learning more about Y-O-U.
You most likely won't have a new booking to post about every week. Let's follow the example above and say that you decide to post about your actor's life each Monday.
Use this list of ideas for your acting posts:
Use this list of ideas for your personal posts:
The goal of these behind-the-scenes personal posts is to build a relationship with your audience. I wouldn't count sponsored posts as personal posts. Only share products you love that aren't sponsored and don't have affiliate links on your personal post days.
Sponsored posts are promotional, which you can add to the mix once you start doing those. Instead of posting inspirational quotes, you could replace your Wednesday posts with promotional posts.
If you only want to post promotional content once per month, however, then add it to your regular posting schedule, let's say after you've posted your inspirational quote. That way your posting is still consistent and your audience will still get what they expect, plus a little extra.
Do you have more ideas for personal posts? Comment below this post and share! See what I did there? That's a CTA with a question. I still for real want you to comment with ideas, though.
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 2: POSTING FREQUENCY
Facebook announced some big changes, and they probably will again in the future. They're constantly making changes to push boundaries and stay relevant to the marketplace. Back in the day we were told to post 1-3 times per day.
Now, since Facebook is running out of space in the newsfeed, experts say we should only post 1-3 times per week. Less is more. This creates more "room" in the Facebook feed, which will hopefully translate to more of our audience seeing our posts.
What you post will also impact your posting frequency. Facebook uses algorithms to push their latest feature into the newsfeed. So when live video was launched, anyone using live video would be rewarded by Facebook showing that post to more people, whereas they would squash the reach of a still image. That means it would be better to only post one live video versus three still images.
Engagement is the true king on Facebook, though. Even if Facebook is squashing still image posts, but you get likes, comments, or shares on one, then Facebook will say, "Hey, people seem to like this post. Let's push it out into the newsfeed more."
That means that you can really post anything you want whenever you want, but only if it gets engagement, specifically in the form of comments or shares. Just be sure to avoid engagement bait. This is a surefire way to get your posts or entire page demoted.
It's important that you drive engagement with strangers on your Facebook Page, not just with friends and family on your personal profile, or else you will never expand your reach outside of your social circle. That means you may need to tweak your posting frequency based on your analytics, which is only available via a page, not a profile.
Don't let the word analytics scare you. You're primarily looking to see what days and times your audience is active on Facebook, which they show you in easy-to-understand visual charts. I noticed, for example, that not a lot of actors are active on Facebook Thursday or Friday, so I started posting on M/Tu/Wed.
I also noticed that my audience was active starting at 3pm each day and increased activity throughout the evening. It made more sense for me to record live videos around 3pm rather than 10am. Start your posting frequency with a few days a week, then tweak it based on your audience's activity.
For example, if your audience is only active on Mondays for some reason, then it would only make sense to post 3-5 times every Monday rotating your different topics throughout the day.
You can engage with your audience the rest of the week, but it would make zero sense for you to post to your page any other day if no one is there to engage with your posts. Facebook will demote your page if you post and get crickets.
FACEBOOK POSTING TIP 3: POSTING ATTRIBUTION
It's suuuuper awkward when you think you've been interacting as your page, but realize you've been interacting as your personal profile. It's easy to confuse the two if you're using the same name for both. You definitely want to use two different default photos.
Be sure to post as your page and not your profile. There's a difference! This is especially true when you comment on, like, or share posts from another like page.
Unless you need to interact inside of an acting or film group with your personal profile for work purposes, then use a different username for your personal profile as well. Nowadays, a lot of groups will let you join as your page, though. My vote is to separate them as much as possible, which I plan to do now that pages are allowed inside of groups.
In the past, I could only network in groups with my personal profile, so unless the username was the same, it wasn't obvious who I was. If a group doesn't allow you to join as your page, then you need to make a tough choice about using your work name on your personal profile or just not interacting in that group.
When interacting on another page, make sure to change your post attribution from your personal profile to your page so it looks as if your like page is commenting on a post.
You don't want to drive a bunch of strangers from another like page to your personal profile. The goal is to have them hover over your name to see your like page preview and follow you there.
Here are the top reasons to interact as your page instead of your personal profile:
IMPORTANT NOTE: You should download the Pages app to make sure you're always posting and commenting as your like page via mobile. The pages app kinda sucks, but it is great for keeping you focused on only your page. I seriously didn't get distracted by my personal newsfeed for months while using the pages app. It's great for staying focused.
Have you created your Facebook like page yet? If not, do that today. No one will really see it or know it's there before you finish it, and they now offer the labels Public Figure/Actor to make it easy for you to get started.
Once you have your Facebook like page started:
Before you start posting on social, it's important to build your personal brand so your voice and image stays consistent, which will allow you to attract crazy loyal fans and followers.
Remember, you are attracting strangers as followers online, and they do not know you personally. It's hard for them to decide if they can trust you. Think about your own habits. What makes you follow someone or a brand? You feel like you know, like, and trust them.
You need to tap into the research results that companies have spent billions of dollars to learn: consistency builds trust. Whenever you interact with a company, you need to know that you're doing business with the right company. Your fans feel the same way about you.
What if you saw the Pepsi logo but it was purple and green? You would think it's a knockoff, right? You need to create a consistent image online so that people know they're interacting with you and not a knockoff or spam account.
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Personal branding isn't until Stage 3 of your Actor Boss Workflow. See if you need to start with Stage 1 here.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,