Long gone are the days of scouting malls and holding open casting calls. Today’s casting agents are looking to social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Facebook and Twitter to discover new talent. According to Mitch Gossett, senior VP of CESD Talent Agency and former talent agent of Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, his agents spend their time scouting social media feeds for the next big star. “The social media stars that we scout don’t live in L.A. or New York. They come from anywhere.” Talent is just one part of the equation. Agents also explore an actor’s social media following, engagement, and their other interests when filling a role. According to a recent study, casting directors believe talent only counts for 7% of all casting decisions.
Due to this new form of scouting, it is important that aspiring actors have a presence on social media. An actor’s social media account is a tool to help them be discovered, catapulting them to a certain level of standing within the industry. Because social media is a part of the casting conversation, actors should be using these platforms as a way to showcase their talent and personal brand.
- CREATE AN AUTHENTIC BRAND
In order to create a following and attract casting agents, you should create an authentic online brand. To do this you should demonstrate your genuine personality – don’t be promotional. You can use a combination of videos on YouTube or Vine, images on Instagram or Snapchat, or insight on Twitter and Facebook. People follow others who they can relate to or admire. As cliché as it sounds, in order to create authenticity through a digital screen you want to be yourself. Showcase all the things that make you unique not only as an actor, but also as a human being. Share your interests, style, admirations and everyday life.
- FIND YOUR VOICE
It is great to have a list of your favorite influencers and you should follow and support them. But you can’t focus too much on the success of others to the point that you forget who you are. Try to focus on finding your own voice, post about what you believe in and you will create a genuine following.
- SHOWCASE YOUR WORK
One of the more obvious ways to use social media is to show off your talent. Now, this does not mean you should read from a script because you are an aspiring actor. It means you should create content around your talents. If you love to act and direct, then create a short engaging film on your YouTube account that showcases your talents. However you decide to showcase your work, just be sure you are being unique, creative, and staying true to your authentic brand.
- BE ENGAGING
The best way to increase your social media following is to engage with others. There is tremendous value in having direct dialogue with your fans and other aspiring actors or creatives in your industry. If someone comments on a picture, responds to your Tweet or asks you a question on your YouTube video, you should be responsive.
Always remember that behind every follow, like, view and share is another human being just like you. As you grow your following it is important to be mindful of how your actions or words may affect others. Continually ask yourself: how do I want people to feel after they view my posts? Another area you to be cautious of is online bullying or negativity. In this case, you should be strategic in the way you handle online trolls. Don’t allow their negativity or bullying to tamper with your authentic brand. Always stay true to your goals.
- TAILOR YOUR MESSAGE
If you are on multiple social media platforms you should tweak your content and message per platform in a creative enticing way. Each platform is slightly different: what works on pinterest may not work on facebook, for example. Also, think about who your audience is. Are you speaking to twenty somethings who love fashion? Then you should be providing content that speaks to that.
There are many other aspiring actors on social media, each with their own network of followers. If you admire the work of someone else, reach out to them and figure out how the two of you could use your talents to collaborate on a project. Collaboration is not only a great way to increase traffic to your social media accounts, but it stimulates more creativity.
- BE CONSISTENT
No one is discovered overnight. With the accessibility to social media anyone could be the next star. This also means that there is a lot of competition. In order to curate a strong following you want to be consist with the content you push out. This also doesn’t mean you need 100K plus followers on every platform. Stick with whichever platform(s) you enjoy most and focus on producing quality content that is engaging and authentic.
Actors and actresses are becoming social influencers on more than just the big screen, but also on the screens of mobile devices. Casting agencies now think about an actor not just as talent, but also as a brand influencer. They want someone who can help promote a feature film and also endorse a product, all of which can be done amongst the influencer’s social media accounts. In order to get noticed as an aspiring actor, you need to create an authentic online presence that showcases who you are. From creating consist content that speaks to others like you, collaborating with other like-minded influencers and engaging with viewers, you can successfully use social media as platform to land your next big gig.