How To Use Twitter For Actors
Using Twitter as an actor can be a intimidating landscape. Unlike Facebook, there is no clear cut way to create an interesting and successful Twitter account; you have to take the time to find your happy place. This begins with creating a foundation of “best practices”, then applying actor specific techniques after those are mastered.
Remember, this is Twitter, not Facebook.
This may seem like an obvious one, but the way you communicate on Twitter is very different from your Facebook fan page. The most noticeable difference is the character limit. You have 140 characters to present your thought, which may take some getting used to. Tweets also have a very short life span, which makes the time of the day you Tweet important.
- Be professional. Remember, every Tweet is indexed by Google (that means Google users can search for Tweets by keyword!). Also, don’t forget to think twice before retweeting. Even though you didn’t create the original Tweet, you’re still endorsing the opinion by adding it to your feed.
- Have an open conversation. Face to face discussions are not one sided, so make sure that your Tweets reflect that you’re interacting with other Twitter users. This encourages discussion between Twitter users, shows that you have something interesting to discuss, and helps get you followers just by using your account.
- Find your publishing “sweet spot”. It’s hard to know if you’re Tweeting too much (or too little), so try a few different levels of Tweets each week for a few weeks. You don’t need to live on your smartphone all day; it’s all about balancing real life, and your digital persona. Pick topics to Tweet about that your followers are going to find interesting, and avoid silly, or boring topics.
- Don’t be a one track mind. Even if you’re excited about promoting a particular performance of yours, make sure to discuss a variety of topics in your Tweets. If all your audience hears is promotion for a performance without any personalisation or variance, you will start to lose followers. Feel free to bring up topics multiple times, but give yourself a little content buffer to space out self promotion.
- Visually optimize your profile. Make sure to personalize your Twitter profile. Use performance photos, and make sure your spacing is done properly, to maximize use of the space. If you don’t have Photoshop, ask a friend or get a graphic designer to lend a hand. Even if you have to pay someone to help you create a proper background, it will be affordable, and worth it.
Once you have the previous steps locked down, you can get into actor specific techniques.
- Follow a base of industry personalities. Find producers, web series creators, makeup artists, indie filmmakers, journalists, photographers and other crew that are integral to production. Use these connections to learn about their points of view, and
- Be sure to focus on creating a personal brand. Try to build a digital portrait of yourself over time, using Twitter. This means you discuss aspects of your career, such as day to day life. This can include preparing for auditions, what you do in between roles to keep your momentum up, sharing tips to keep your spirits up during downtimes and other things you do from day to day that make you unique.
- Make lists. Organize your industry contacts in any way you find helpful. You can group them by profession, city, project… whatever helps you when you return to access the list.
- Follow industry tip accounts, and search hashtags. If you are looking for ways to fill up your newly opened Twitter account, or just need to beef up your list of followed accounts, try searching Twitter regularly for hashtags like #ActingAdvice or #AdviceForActors, or #TipsForActors. Remember, not everything Tweeted will be by a seasoned professional actor, but a lot of actors with a variety of experience will be sharing what they’re learning.
- Keep yourself organized with scheduled content, as well as live Tweets. Some new users find that it’s hard to remember to Tweet often enough to create a good foundation for your account, to increase your community size. Use an app that offers Tweet scheduling, like Hootsuite, to schedule basic Tweets that aren’t subject to change. A good example of this is scheduling reminders about a performance of yours that is coming up, a share of a link to your actor’s Facebook page, or other things that won’t be changing during the gap between you creating the scheduled Tweet, and the time you plan to have it published.
It takes most users, actors or not, some time to get into the groove of Twitter for actors. Don’t be discouraged, or give up before you’ve given it some time and effort. It may take months to have a fully functioning account with healthy conversations from a reasonable amount of followers, but that is typical.
Stick with Twitter, and Twitter will reward you.