Social Media – many of us are addicted to it and end up scrolling for hours when we only meant to spend a minute checking out someone’s page or profile. And yet, when it comes to promoting ourselves or our voice-over business, it can be hard to know how to proceed and we end up floundering in digital space.
There are so many choices of platforms and avenues to travel, but in the short time of this blog, my goal is to give those of you who are wringing your hands at the thought of social media a simple understanding of how it works, and those of you who are excited at the prospect, some clarity of the process.
Let’s start by defining a few terms that we definitely need to understand.
First, we have followers. Followers are people who “follow” or “like” our page. We have followers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. On LinkedIn, we have “followers” as well as “connections”.
Next, we have engagement. Engagement is when someone likes, comments on, or shares something that you’ve posted.
Views represent the number of people who have viewed or seen whatever you’ve posted.
And finally, we have algorithms. This is what seems to confuse us the most. Algorithms are internal systems within a platform – like Instagram or Facebook – that control who sees a specific piece of content. These algorithms decide which content zooms to the top of a feed and which falls down to the bottom. Of course, we want whatever we post to be at the top.
It’s really important to know that just because you have a ton of followers, that doesn’t mean that all of them will see your posts. It doesn’t mean that they will all be engaged, and it doesn’t mean that they’ll start buying your voice-over services right away.
The key is to make sure that once you have followers, you work to make sure that the content that you’re posting makes those algorithms happy in order to push your stuff to the top so that more people will see it. Not too complicated, right?
We can’t just hope our stuff goes viral and that everyone loves whatever we post. There may be a few people who get lucky, just throwing it out there to the wind, but in general, winging it is not a strategy.
So here are a few general tips. Social media algorithms are constantly changing, but these key points will help your posts perform better.
First, we want to make our content as highly shareable as we can. This means we want those who see our posts to share our content on their page or with their friends.
Second, have a strong headline. It helps get your messaging across faster, which is important as people tend to move on within seconds. This will raise the shareability factor and make folks more likely to stop and check out your post.
Next, it’s important to connect with your audience. This can be done through humor, or maybe a touching or emotional post. We want to make them feel something. This grows both engagement and shareability.
Now this is a very important one that I didn’t really think about at first: you can’t assume that everyone is watching your videos with sound. If you want to make sure that your message gets across, especially on Facebook or Instagram, use subtitles.
Another way to engage your audience is by adding a twist, or an unexpected ending. Give them a fun shocker at the end of your videos every now and then.
It’s also important to know that you can’t force people to share, like, or follow. Don’t go with the obvious “follow me” or “please like.” Instead, think of creative and outside the box ways to engage them and draw them into performing whatever action you want them to take.
Look at the social media accounts of others who are successful. What are they doing? You don’t have to invent the wheel. Maybe borrow a few ideas that you see are working for them.
Test different approaches or styles. Do you notice more engagement when you add your dog into the mix, or perhaps when you talk about your audition failures? Note what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Bob and weave a bit until you find your sweet spot. Experiment, test, and repeat what’s working.
And finally, be authentic. If you’re genuine and connected to yourself, it’s easier for others to resonate or connect with you.
I hope some of these tips help you to fuel new ideas and please those pesky algorithms.
Social media, with a strategy, can help you to build your brand – and building your brand can give you a stronger foundation for a longer career.
Take your time and create the best experience for your audience, while focusing on who you are. Above all, have fun!
Robin Brooke is a voice-over actor, theater producer, and inspirational coach based in Virginia. Connect via Instagram @babblingbrookevo