In a way, the long process of sifting through talent can be viewed as a luxury the America’s Got Talent team holds. From mind-blowing performances to some acts that leave you in a whirlwind of confusion, the number one TV show of the summer aims to find the nation’s next $1 million performer.
I have been fortunate enough to work as a social media coordinator for the upcoming season of the reality hit. The exhilarating moments I have spent working on set, have not only provided some of the most memorable experiences of my career, but also taught me a great deal.
After dealing with countless contestants who are vying for the celebrity judge’s approval – and ultimately America’s – one thing became clear. People were not utilizing the easiest marketing tool available. Social Media. Not only is it free, but it has the ability to instantly connect you to millions of people who have the potential to be your next biggest fan. (FUN FACT: Twitter currently has over 645 million users).
Building a fan base is an important part of blooming in the entertainment industry. If you want to grow as a performer, you need a support system.
To my mind, the “big 3″ in the social media world are: Twitter, Facebook (Fan Page) and Instagram. Here’s 6 ways to utilize all they offer and boost your career right from your couch (or the nearest Starbucks if you’re fancy and like to work from there). For starters create professional accounts on all three.
- BRAND YOURSELF. As a performer you are a product. I know, it’s weird to define yourself as such, but it’s true. People will invest in and follow a “brand” they like. With that said, you should use the name you want to be known as. Don’t have your twitter handle be – @nutellalover612 (I apologize to whoever’s name this is – we all love nutella). Instead, make sure that you have one consistent name across all social media platforms that embodies the essence of you. This will make it easier for people to find you. If your name isn’t available a good thing to do is make it “The (insertname)” or “Official (insertname).
- BE ACTIVE. We all know those people who upload their every thought into cyberspace. I’m sorry but we really don’t care that you got “e;Snow White” in the “e;Which Disney Character Are You?” quiz. Being active on social media simply means you should generate interesting content to post and then post frequently, but not too much. Check out social media pages similar to yours for an idea of this balance. As a professional, you want to be sure to post things that your demographic (or fan base) can relate to.
- BE CAUTIOUS. I think it goes without saying that you should never post anything that can be taken the wrong way. People are getting fired more frequently because of social media mishaps. Your accounts are a direct representation of you. On AGT we have to make sure that people are not posting information that could spoil the upcoming episodes. If they do, that is potential grounds for elimination.
- LISTEN UP. Social media is social. It’s about interacting. Therefore, you should be in correspondence with other professionals in your industry. If you’re an actor, follow other actors and people in the entertainment industry, and then talk to them! Some film and TV projects are now even using social media to announce and cast auditions. On Twitter, it’s great to “e;Favorite” and “Retweet” others as it not only gets you on the radar, but beefs up your own page.
- #HASHTAGS ARE YOUR FRIEND. A lot of people don’t realize that hashtags are not just fun little anecdotes to end your post, but the gateway to followers. Use hashtags that are trending to join popular conversations and power words in your field to link fellow professionals to your page. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all thrive on hashtags.
- A PHOTO SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS. In a world infested with social media posts, it’s imperative that you stick out. Photos can allow you to do this. Post shots that your fan base will find interesting. A red carpet moment? A Backstage laugh? Whatever is going to make you pop. For Instagram, clearly it’s all about the photos, but make sure to link them to your Twitter and Facebook!