I hope you guys know that when I ask for feedback and suggestions, I take it very seriously and keep a running list of all the requests. I’ve had several over the past few months about social media. For those of you who don’t know I’ve been working in marketing professionally for over six years now at agencies, in-house and consulting for all kinds of brands around the world. I’m so excited to unite two aspects of my life in order to best serve you all!
So, this particular question summed up the basics of many that I’ve seen. It goes like this:
“Please give me some direction on social media. What to post? When? How do I make the most of hashtags? Am I annoying? Why aren’t people commenting on my posts but they are on other people’s?”
Okay so let me say first of all….WOOF. That is a big question and I could talk all day getting into the nitty gritty analyzing different people’s social media accounts. While there are some differences for each person when it comes to strategy, there are a series of best practices that need to be understood before paving your own way.
1. What to post?
The short answer to this question? Create content that has value. Value can mean many things: value can mean it’s entertaining, educational, inspiring, funny, heartwarming, eye opening, a literal piece of art, and so on. We each have unique thoughts and experiences and expertise in this life and that reflects in the type of value that we bring to the table. Your value might look different than mine and that’s okay, just make sure that you’re giving your followers something. Make it more than just a post, make it an experience.
I fully believe that actors should aim to serve their followers with things they will benefit from several times over before trying to sell them on anything. So find that sweet spot of what will show off your unique brand, your skills, and what makes you special while also providing value to your followers. When you zero in on what that sweet spot looks like for you, you’ll have your social media content locked and loaded.
On social media, consistency is key. There are algorithms in play on all major social channels that we have very little influence over. They can change in an instant and then we’re all left stumbling through the dark trying to figure out what the next move is. But one thing we’ve noticed helps you out with the algorithm gods is consistency.
You want to be predictable for the algorithm to understand. When the algorithm knows what to expect from you every week, it’ll be more likely to make your posts visible to your followers. So if it’s within your ability to post once per week every week around 6pm, do that. If you want to set a schedule of four posts per week in the mid-morning, do that. But whatever you choose, make sure you can stick to it as consistently as possible. There is way more to dig into when to post that we don’t have time for so we’ll get to that in another episode if you guys are into it!
3. How do I make the most of hashtags?
This is another big question that I could get really detailed with. But for today, let’s focus on these key areas. Posts that make an impact are able to connect with their target audience by utilizing all the functions available on the platform you’re using. So you want to make sure that your target audience can find you and resonates with your message.
To make sure you’re being seen, you need to harness the power of the location tag, and hashtags. Location tags are another way that new followers can find you. That location tag doesn’t necessarily have to be where you’re posting from either! Be strategic. If you know there are some people living in a certain region who might be into what you’re posting, use that location to better help them find you!
When it comes to hashtags, make the most of them. Think of who your dream followers are. What hashtags would they use? What hashtags are directly related to your post that you can harness? If those hashtags aren’t directly related to your post and brand, don’t use them! Instagram in particular has been known to penalize users for picking random hashtags. Also- do not use hashtags with a million other posts attached to them. Your post will most likely be lost in the crowd and not reach your audience. Stick to more attainable hashtags, typically under 500,000 posts.
4. Am I annoying?
Honestly, this is a two-sided answer. On the one hand, it can actually be really good to check in with yourself every once in a while and take a look back at some of your previous social media efforts with a critical eye. Genuinely ask yourself – if you were a stranger, would you want to engage with this social media account? Do they make you feel good? Are they adding to your life?
One of the biggest turn offs on social media is being salesy. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely a way to market yourself and your projects, but most of the time I see it done in the worst possible way. If you’re begging people to like a post or watch your movie, if your sliding into everyone’s DMs with a generic mass-message advertising something, then yes…quite frankly you are being annoying and hurting your brand.
Now on the other hand, if you’re being a decent human being and not spamming people with your ego, you might still feel a bit self-conscious about showing up on social media and sharing some posts you might not be used to. And I get it! Social media can be scary and there are people out there who can be really hurtful and judgemental.
But honestly, fuck those people. We have no time to worry about that handful of assholes because we are all here for a much greater purpose, and we have the choice in regards to who and what we want to fill our lives with. If you are approaching social media with pure intentions. If you are seeking to engage and connect authentically and lift others up, I promise you, your true intentions will be understood. Don’t worry about being annoying. You do you. Create good stuff. Be kind. And you’ll be golden.
5. Why aren’t people commenting on my posts but other people’s?
Okay so first of all, I’d advise you in the kindest way possible to stay in your own lane and stop comparing yourself to other people. Unless you’re looking to learn from their strategies it’s quite frankly a waste of your time…I mean playing the comparison game doesn’t change a thing about your situation ever, does it?
What I can tell you is there are some ways to boost engagement on your own social media accounts. First, you’re wanting more comments on your posts, but have you been commenting on other people’s? I believe that you reap what you sow on social media so be generous in leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s posts.
In fact, I’d challenge you to leave genuine comments every day on the posts of 5 people you already know and 5 people you don’t currently follow who might be interested in your content. And when I say leave a comment I mean a good comment. And that’s one that isn’t just an emoji or one word. Really think about the post and leave a 2-3 sentence response- or ask them a question. You want to actually engage not just leave random comments. If you’re feeling stumped, think about how you can make that person’s day just a little more positive with your interaction and go from there.
There you have it, 5 ways to level up on social media to better market yourself as an actor and make genuine connections. If you liked this episode on marketing, be sure to send me a quick message on Instagram to let me know and I will gladly make more episodes on this subject! You can connect with me @itsaslateofmind or @alison_haselden. You can also get tips, tricks, and free resources every single week straight to your inbox when you sign up for the Beyond Acting email list! You can get your name on the list via Instagram or my website.