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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#SocialNetworking... Commandments #2 and #3!

For those of you that missed the first blog, I'm offering a few helpful hints to my Actor/Writer friends who operate under the false assumption that Twitter, Facebook and similar sites are just for staying in touch with people they already know. 

Social networking plays into publication, distribution and even casting!  When I've suggested various niche actors for projects, producers and directors have asked me how big their Twitter Following is.  If you're the one directing an actor, that's something you might want to check out too!  On to the tips...


Thou Shalt ENGAGE with your audience.

Engage – it’s not just a word that Picard uses to power upthe Enterprise.  It’s YOU interacting with your Followers/Friends and those you Follow.  And don’t just engage with people you already know.  The secret of Twitter is engaging with people more famous than you and hoping that they Favorite, Reply to or Retweet one of your comments to them.  You need to make a little effort.  Use your @ button and tag some people.  Use your imagination and get ‘quippy.’  Check out what’s trending and play Hashtag (#) games. Will each Tweet result in increased publicity?  No.  But those who do not try are those who will not succeed – ever!

After playing #OtherStarTrekFilms, I had several 'Favorites, Retweets AND New Followers!
“But I post things and no one ever comments back,” you whine.  Okay.  Yes – that happens.  Try tagging people in the post that you think will be interested in your comment.  Also, try asking questions.  People love to give their opinions.  They sit around ALL day waiting for someone to ask for it, and when no one does, they post it on Facebook anyway (usually in the form of a Meme that they really, really relate to…) Beat your audience to the punch and ASK them for an opinion.  And here’s another hint: The more benign, the better. 

“Do you think we should have stronger gun control laws?”  Well – this may elicit a large response from people who read it, but it will also turn into a cyber blood bath as your Blue State and Red State friends duke it out online. 

Hamburgers or Hotdogs?  Which go faster at your cookout? – MUCH Safer – just watch out for venomous vegans…


Thou Shalt Stay True to Thine Brand…

If you don’t understand how this works in social networking, check out George Takei.  You don’t need to know or care about Star Trek past, present or future.  But that man understands his brand.  90% or more of my friends follow him because he posts funny, nerdy and poignant things daily.  Some of my most successful posts are things I’ve shared from his updates. 
He's even written a book on how he's conquered SocialNetworking's #FinalFrontier!
Now, if you’re branding as a horror writer, this wouldn’t work for you.  You’d have to find someone who is known/respected in your genre’s community and follow his or her lead.  YOU are a complex individual with a wide range of talents, skills and interests. Your online BRAND should be a very simple, predictable, tapered down version of you that represents your preferred working genre.  It’s a single facet of you – nothing more.  It’s your ‘announcer voice’ – big, two dimensional and easy to understand.  That’s why it’s good to maintain separate accounts for professional promotion and ‘just your friends.’  Don’t muck up your interactions with too much stuff from the ‘inner’ you when what you need to do if focus on your brand.


  1. I love George Takei's Facebook posts. Yes, I originally started following him because of his role in Star Trek, which was a HUGE part of my childhood (now entering its 52nd year), but he's become so much more than that now. I had a similar experience with Roger Ebert, who in my opinion transformed himself from an excellent film critic to one of this country's most important essayists and a damn good author.

    1. I too worship at the alter of Gene Roddenberry! When I was a kid, my dad was a Point of Contact for one of the final locations in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home aka The One With the Whales... It was my gateway drug! A Social Media Manager for a larger publication Tweeted to me today about how Social Networking gives artists unprecedented power and control over their own brands. I think both George and Roger are excellent examples of men who have used these platforms to reinvent themselves and enjoy broader success!