Social Savvy

Social media has taken over the world.  Or at least it sure seems like it.   It has changed the way we receive information.  It has become a resource for breaking news, gossip, and way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones.  It has made it possible to communicate with people we never dreamed we could ever talk to.  It has become a tool for businesses to grow their companies and connect with their potential clients directly like they have never done before.   We have also watched social media make and destroy careers, which is the most fascinating part for people in our business.

Quick clarification, when I’m speaking of social media, I mean all forms, but keep Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube on the forefront of your brains.  These social media sites are powerful tools for the 21st century ambitious actor.  These days you can literally build yourself a career by creating video content online and getting people to watch it.   Movies, television shows and commercials are hiring people based on the personalities they have developed online and number of views or followers.  Some production houses are developing television shows based around the videos these influencers have already created.  Youtube now has it’s own network and is producing new content – they’re basically giving these entrepreneurs free reign to develop their own material as long as they can guarantee viewers or subscribers.

In the commercial world, when brands are looking into forming partnerships with influencers (influencers could be celebrities, athletes, hosts anyone who has influence over the masses) they used to make their decisions based on their level of stardom.  Now they look at their social media numbers (likes, followers) first.  They want to know how high the numbers are and how interactive they are with their fans.  This now means “nobodies” are getting major pay checks over “celebrities”.

Now – all of this does not mean I value someone being social media savvy over talent or craft. I just mean it doesn’t hurt to be savvy. And if you are and you are creative – why not use both to your advantage?

It is also necessary to run through the downfalls of social media. As I mentioned in the beginning – it can also end careers, and when I wasn’t even being dramatic (as I have occasionally been called).  For example, I know of an actor that went into a commercial callback for a huge brand.  She basically had the role. She did a great job in the room, charmed the brand while she was there, she was cute and fit the campaign perfectly.  The client thought she was so great, they decided to google her to find out more on her.  What they found was that she was social media savvy and had an active Twitter account as well as a daily blog.  She was SO active on her accounts that immediately after her callback she blogged about how much she hated the particular brand that she had just auditioned for (but would still love to get paid to advertise the product).  Needless to say, she didn’t get the job.  And she burned a relationship with a casting director.  This might seem like an obvious poor choice, but often people use their social media as a constant stream of thought and venting space.  Simply put – don’t.  Be thoughtful, be careful, be conscious, and most importantly, be aware that people are looking you up and judging you by what you post on social media.

Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, hashtags, trends, subscribers, followers, likes… it can be overwhelming.  Learn how to use it and use it wisely.

Social media is a tool. A very important and powerful tool.  #goforthandprosper #maytheforcebewithyou #goodluck   I think you get the point 😉

~ Ashley Partington

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