Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Marketing Tip of the Month: 5 Guidelines for Networking via Social Media

In case you haven't heard, Wednesday, June 30th is International Social Media Day! If you aren't hip to the social media scene just yet, it's time to hop on the internet and create your voice-over profiles!

More and more businesses are using social media sites, such a Facebook and Twitter, to offer promotions, and many voice-over artists are finding jobs via Twitter. If you're not visible on social media networks, there's a good chance you're missing out on some great voice over jobs!

Here are a few general guidelines to get you started, but this is by no means a comprehensive list.

1. Get out there and make friends! Create your professional voice-over actor profile on Facebook, complete with your voice over training information, demos, branding, and a way to get in contact with you. Make Facebook friends with other voice-over artists and clients. Be sure to post updates on your "wall" and give people a reason to check out your profile. Also set up a profile on Twitter, but feel free to watch the action before you start "tweeting".

2. Don't post anything you wouldn't want your mother to see ... because she probably will see it! Social media isn't just for college kids anymore. For better or for worse, Facebook is a great way for people to passively stay in touch with one another without actually ever picking up the phone. Plus, prospective employers routinely scope out applicants' Facebook profiles before hiring them. If you think your personal life and beliefs have nothing to do with your professional voice-over work, just ask Lance Baxter why he was fired by Geico.

3. Aim for 80% business, 20% personal. The percentages are somewhat arbitrary, but the point is that you want your professional profiles to look, well -- professional. Add personal information to your profile or post comments about your interests to show that you are human. Clients want to work with someone with a personality, not a machine.

4. A conversation is a two-way exchange. Two-way. Social networking is about building relationships, and relationships depend on dialogue. As someone told me on Twitter this week, his favorite social media tool is the "unfollow" tool that allows him to stop receiving updates from people who engage in "shameless self promotion". Just like no one likes a braggart in real life, it's annoying to see someone in social media only talk about themselves.

5. Stalking people via social media is a form of flattery. If you "follow" people on Twitter, subscribe to someone's blog, or just check out their Facebook page often, it means you value the content they are producing. This is a great thing! Every voiceover artist who engages in social media should be interested enough in what other voiceover pros are doing to follow them. Plus, you never know when you'll get a great idea from a fellow voice-over pro!

Can you think of any other general guidelines for networking via social media? Post them here!

3 comments:

  1. Awesome information! This is also useful for any business out there thriving for growth and exposure. My fav is #4, although all of them are important tools. You have to engage and interact to effectively touch base with your audience.

    My motto has always been... In order to network, you have to work this net...

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  2. Hi Catherine,

    Social media is certainly interesting to monitor and be involved in. How much is TOO much is a good question and has a different answer for everyone. Social media can be a time waste if boundaries are not put in place.

    I have not been sold on Twitter yet and find enough information to further my career on various voiceover sites and blogs. It seems a lot of people will post their same personal or boring status on Twitter as Facebook. Twitter should be engaging - NOT enraging:)

    My social media adventure today was posting my first bulletin on my YouTube channel:
    Who is Steve Nash cheering for at the World Cup? Find out as 2 videos are featured on my June 29th blog entry at:
    http://HasTheVoice.blogspot.com

    Happy Canada Day tomorrow and Happy Independence Day on July 4 to all my US friends!

    Point 4 you brought up is a good one:
    A conversation is a two-way exchange. Two-way.

    My two cents from Canada:)
    Best,
    Ralph

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  3. Thanks for the comments! I've noticed that #4 is getting many thumbs up from people on FB and Twitter. Does that mean too many people are engaging in one-way social media conversations?

    How much is too much? Think of social media as the computerized "water cooler" or "word of mouth" advertising. If you're doing more talking at the water cooler in the office than you're actually working, then you can't be productive, right?

    However, if you're finding out about new jobs, learning what other VO people are doing or saying, or discussing technique or marketing then it can be really useful. It's OK to just follow people in the beginning and get a feel for what's going on first.

    It's important to stay consistent with social media. If your professional accounts are on Twitter or FB, then make sure you mainly stick to professional content. And the content needs to be high-quality *every* time. Among annoying tweets are, "I'm eating a great sandwich right now!" or "My co-worker is talking my ear off..." or "Waiting for a taxi in the rain," etc. -- I just don't really care, and it takes up room on my page. I also don't like to see people unleash rage or use curse words on Twitter. It strikes me as disrespectful and unprofessional.

    YouTube is a great way to get your face and name out there, too! It's so easy to search for anything on YouTube, and it's easy to manage your account. Ralph, I would recommend that you at least get set up on Facebook. Twitter can wait ;)

    Yes -- happy holidays everyone!

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