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In the past six or so years, social media has grown to run the entertainment industry and significantly impact our lives. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for actors — if you know how to use it. As an actor, you need to build a strong online presence. After all, the lack of it through social media dramatically limits your ability to generate awareness for your name and even get noticed by casting directors. Here we have taken a look at the most popular social media platforms to help you choose the one that suits you the best.

Why is social media important?

Whether you want to get cast in more projects or build your audience, social media can help you accomplish your goals. Social media has become such a fundamental part of how we live and communicate that actors can cultivate their audiences and interact with their fans directly, without the need for huge media channels. In a way, social media allows someone with a large following to act as their own mini media agency. But instead of paying someone else to run your campaigns and contact communication outlets to run stories, it can all be done by you.

On what social media platforms should you focus?

Be on the platforms that your ideal target audience use the most. We suggest choosing the most popular ones, obviously. Each of these offers slightly different benefits and you should focus your attention on those that make sense to you personally - twitter if you're great with words, Instagram if you're good with pics and vids, etc. take a closer look:

Facebook. Facebook is the original social media king. It's our number one choice, too. Facebook is especially useful for providing great audience insights and tracking information from Facebook ads. Their video stream service, Facebook Live, provides a lot of opportunities for actors to engage with their fans and cultivate a strong following. We strongly suggest creating a business Facebook account (Facebook page) instead of solely depending on a personal account to promote your acting.

Instagram. When it comes to showbiz and celebrities, Instagram is the number one platform right now, doh. As of June 2018, there are nearly 1 billion monthly active users. As a visual platform, it’s the easiest to upload engaging photos and videos to showcase your journey and interact with your fans.

Twitter. Although it is on the decline regarding attention, Twitter is still a popular platform for actors and celebrities to communicate on; it's the second highest used platform for engaging and interacting with celebrities.

Youtube. Youtube is the number one platform for video content. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself, you need to be there to create easily accessible and original video content. Starting your own Youtube channel is an excellent way to showcase your talent and build your audience to jump-start your career.

There are tons of useless tips&tricks out there that promises to increase your following, e.g., spamming random stuff on your timeline and following every random person you come across in hopes that they will follow you, only to unfollow them after a short while. Some people even use services to “buy” followers, but we strongly advise against that. In fact, Instagram is fighting back against automated apps people use to leave spammy comments or follow then unfollow others in hopes of growing their audience.

Remember, each platform operates a bit differently so you need to know the customs.

The most logical starting point, especially if you’re really new, is to get your friends and family to follow you. That gives you a solid base to start with since people will be turned off or find you untrustworthy if they receive a request from someone with hardly any followers or not many posts.

Then, start with one network and master it. This helps you focus on cultivating and interacting with your fan base in one location. You can always cross-promote your audiences down the line. Consider these tips to build a strong social media presence:

Follow people you genuinely like: artists, musicians, celebrities, influencers, actors, producers, directors, etc. Not for the purpose, they followed you back, but so you can see how they operate and learn from them.

RELATED: The Importance of Social Media by Will Roberts

Make sure you fill out and optimize all your social media profiles thoroughly (like you would fill out your portfolio and your allcasting profile).

Be patient. Seriously, don't quit if you don't see the results after the first couple of months. Building an audience can take some time.

People always seek shortcuts and hacks to get more followers on social media. But there are no shortcuts, that we can say for sure, but here are some key strategies for each platform:

Facebook. Since Facebook is a bit more of a content publishing platform, you need to post stuff that your followers would be more inclined to share to increase exposure and hopefully like your page. Be sure to create a business Facebook page for yourself as an actor/entertainer, and then get people you know to like your page. Then you can upload videos and create live streams to engage with your audience -- videos are a great way to start a conversation.

Instagram. The key to Instagram growth is taking a community approach and using #hashtags. Using the right hashtags that are relevant to your posts and your brand will increase your visibility and help you engage with others effectively. Try leveraging Instagram stories to create intriguing, off the cuff content like behind the scenes or showing your process.

Youtube. To get subscribers, create relevant content that provides either entertainment or educational value -- there are so many beauty bloggers-turned-entrepreneurs and living room singers-turned-superstars (Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, etc.) and you never know when's your turn. Your videos should contain content that people will want to share. Depending on what kind of videos you do, make sure to pay attention to things like the title, description, thumbnail, and tags.

Twitter. Some of the tips mentioned for the other platforms apply here as well. Posting good content that gets people to retweet is a great way to increase brand awareness and potentially new followers. Witty one-liners, serious topics, educated opinions on current events... find what's your thing and do it. Check out Chrissy Teigen's twitter, she's the queen of awesome original content! Hashtags are big o Twitter too so pay attention to what’s trending.

After you’ve figured out which platforms would be the most suitable for you, here’s what to keep in mind when considering what to post:

Who doesn't love a good story. We certainly do. Sharing yours on social media by documenting the process of working your way up as an actor can give you plenty of content to post and create a captivating storyline for followers. If you have an engaging story, people will want to see you grow in your career, so use social media as a tool for telling that story. Also, this way you can track and look back at how you’ve progressed over the years. Remember that behind all the glitz and glamour, actors are just regular people. So don't forget to not get arrogant; humanize yourself, so you are relatable. After all, part of your -- the actor's -- brand is being someone people can relate to. It’s important to reinforce your relatable image because we connect with other people much better when they come across as someone just like us.

Your social media channels are more than just an easy way to share your life with your followers. When used effectively, your social media channels are tools in your marketing strategy for building your brand. The ability to write your own narrative by posting pictures and content that you create and engaging with your followers allows you to remain in control of your brand image. After you have defined what you want to achieve and how you want to be perceived, you want to be sure that whatever you post on social media supports those goals and reflects your brand identity.

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