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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Market Your Acting Career (Tip #6): Facebook Pages

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Recommended Reading:
Facebook Marketing
Idiot's Guide to Facebook
Facebook for Business

If you are on Facebook, you have probably noticed invitations cropping up that say, “Someone wants you to be a fan of *** “ or News Feed items that say, ” Your friend has become a fan of *** “ I’m here to tell you a little bit more about these Pages, and how they can be effective marketing tools for your acting career.

What is a Facebook "Page" and how is it different than a Personal Profile?

Facebook defines their Page and its uses as: "A Facebook Page is a public profile that enables you to share your business and products with Facebook users. Create a presence that looks and behaves like user profiles to connect and engage with your customers and amplify your voice to their friends."

How is this different than a traditional profile?

First, traditional profiles are designed for individuals to maintain personal relationships with their friends, family and co-workers. If someone wants access to your information, they send you a friend request, and you have to approve them in order for them to see your full information. For Facebook Pages, no one needs permission to access your information- they can simply go to your page and the information is revealed to them. Further, they can sign up to become a ”Fan” which allows your Page’s posts (statuses, photos, videos, notes, etc) to show up in their news feed.

Why set up a Page when you already have a Profile?

The best part of the ”Become a Fan“ element is that this acts as an official ”opt-in.“ When someone becomes a personal friend, they are signing on for status updates about your day to day life, but may not be interested in the minute details of your acting career. But if they sign up to be a Fan of your Facebook Page, they are opting into communications about your acting career, so you can market away- worry free!

In addition, you want to make sure you are in the middle of the action. Most large business have a Facebook presence for their companies, and your company should be no different.

What are the basic tools available on Facebook Pages, and how can you utilize them for your acting career?

Info
This is where you share all of your vital information, including a personality-driven bio, links to websites, and contact information.

Status
Pages have status messages, just like personal profiles.

Wall
This is where all of your posts will appear, news feed style, on your Page. You can sort to view by only your posts, or your posts mixed with your Fan’s posts.

Photos
Self explanatory. For my Page, I have created separate albums for different types of work (headshots, print, theater stills, film stills, etc.)

Videos
Facebook has a great interface for your videos. Upload individual clips in addition to your compiled reel.

Notes
This is exactly the same as the notes feature in your personal profile. Type something into a note, and when you post it the contents will be published in your fans’ news feeds. This is a great way to share news with your Fans, and all notes are archived chronologically.

Events
If you have a show or air/screening date you want people to catch, use the Events feature, which will log the event on your page and allow you to send invitations to your friends. Note: One big problem with Events & Pages is that, at this time, Facebook does NOT allow you to use the ”Invite“ feature to notfy your Fans about events (crazy, right?) It is a bug I have complained about numerous times, but it has never been fixed. However, they do allow you to invite your Personal Friends, and Facebook also allows you to publish the event to your Fan’s News Feeds. It works- not as smoothly as I’d like, but it does the trick.

Networked Blogs
if you have a blog, you definitely want to sign up for Networked Blogs and get it linked up to your Fan Page. Then, every time you publish a blog post, Networked Blogs automatically pulls the feed and the blog goes into your Fan’s News Feed. (One hiccup- if you ever make changes to an old blog post, those blog feeds are pulled as well. So, don’t be surprised if you find multiple blogs posted in your news feed if you’ve made changes/updates.)

Discussion
This is a place where your fans can have discussions, presumably about how great you are. =)

Reviews
This is a place where fans can write reviews or testimonials about your work. (And, no, they do not allow you to write your own reviews. I tried...)

Links
Same as your Personal Profile. Post a link via your status, and it automatically gets archived in the Links section.

Updates
Have you ever noticed that when you go into your Message Inbox, there is a little tab on the left side that says ”Updates?“ Yeah, me neither. The ”Updates“ feature is designed to be a newsletter for your Fan Page, but I find it clunky and easily overlooked. This is mostly due to the fact that Updates are not set up with individual notifications being sent to your Fans. For this reason, I have ignored Updates completed and worked, instead, using Notes.

More Applications
There are hundreds of other applications you can add to your Fan Page (including an MP3 player for audio clips, YouTube Video console, games, calendars, slideshows, etc.) To see a full list of options, click ”Edit Page“ underneath your Page’s Photo.


So, as you can see, there are lots of different ways to use a Facebook Page to your advantage. Leave me a comment if you have any questions, and Happy Marketing!

UPDATE: Check out my blog post on "8 Ways To Promote Your Facebook Page."

Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.


3 COMMENTS - Click to READ:

Megan Hyatt Lewicki said...

Hi! I love this blog! I wish my professors told me all of this stuff! I'm graduating in May and then moving to Chicago to begin my acting career...at least that's the plan? Anyways, do you recommend creating a fan page and inviting people to "become a fan," opposed to using your profile and inviting people to "be your friend," and if so why?

Erin Cronican said...

Hi, Megan- welcome! If you plan to use Facebook to market your acting career, I would suggest setting up a separate Fan Page. That way, you can keep your personal profile completely personal and then your Fan Page can be open to everyone.

The Fan Page allows you to promote your acting career fully without worrying about alienating people- when someone joins your Fan Page, they know that they are signing on for news/updates about your career, and they can always choose to leave the fan page when/if they are no longer interested in the info. When you "friend" someone using your personal profile, they aren't necessarily expecting to be inundated with information about your acting career. We want to avoid any possible tension from the promotion of your career.

I hope this makes sense- best of luck to you with your move to Chicago- how exciting!

Monologue Videos said...

Great post. Also aside from creating your own fan page, search for other fan pages and facebook groups related to acting and join them. Leave your facebook fan page link there. Type in "Casting Directors" in the Facebook search and watch all the pages popup. Join them and post your link to your fanpage or links to your demo reels, auditions on YouTube.

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