When megastar Amitabh Bachchan was trying to land a break in Bollywood in the sixties, other than his immense talent, he had a recommendation letter from the then Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The letter may have helped him minimally and he still had his share of struggles before he found success. If he were starting today, he would’ve probably found it harder to access a filmmaker in the physical world. Ironically, he would have found it super easy to contact the same filmmakers in the virtual world. Most producers, directors or TV honchos are active on social media, either promoting their shows, sharing events or just sharing their thoughts with their networking friends and followers. For them digital media is not just a place to go to at leisure anymore; it is a part of their promotion strategy, either for their production or for themselves. They are sharing, tweeting or streaming on Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter or they have their own online tools like rajshri.com
Social media provides great connectivity to aspirants. It can eliminate many levels of middlemen, especially the unscrupulous ones. You can be rest assured that a genuine and coveted entertainment mogul will someday catch sight your profile or message. However social media is a crowded place. How do you make yourself visible among a million or so followers of a Karan Johar or a Yash Raj films?
Here are some tips to stand out on Social Media:
Be Active, Be Persistent
Like in the real world, you have to maximize your interactions with your target audience. Be active and keep the information flowing. Share new information and respond to postings by those you are following.
A word of caution here. Share information that shows you have command over the subject and your shares exude a certain level of intelligence. If you come across a camera that has new features to ease and enhance shooting, go ahead –share it. Steer clear of personal information. Unless you are a ‘somebody’, no one will be interested in what you had for breakfast or what drink you like best.
Best Foot Forward
Share information of your best work. Videos can easily convey in little time what many words may not be able to. If you have been a part of a popular production or have been felicitated at a decent level, go ahead and share the information. Your accolades will lend you credibility.
It is important to lend your profile a personality to pop out in the crowd. You can differentiate yourself by focusing on your core strengths. For example, if you are passionate about independent films, write about them, how they are made, the business side and prospects of such films. If you are great at comedy, add relevant information to your profile with a comic twist. It will tell visitors right away about your talent at comedy. Many aspirants have attempted, sometimes successfully, to get eyeballs by ‘shock value’. It is a double-edged sword; it can get you instant recognition but may not get you the opportunity you seek. Sometimes a blatantly racy online image can hamper success in your career in the real world.
Make sure you respond to any comments, likes and other feedback you receive if promoting an individual profile. Any interaction, whether conveying a positive feedback or a critique is an opportunity to build relationships. Not all interactions that begin on a sour note remain that way. Some actually turn out to be beneficial long-term interactions. An advantage of engaging through social media is that you get instant reports on how your posted information is perceived. How many people saw it, liked it, disliked it, shared further, retweeted and so on and so forth. You can use the responses to tailor your strategy.
Make yourself visible on networking sites that are specialized for your trade. Hirers and collaborators usually refer to such websites when they are looking to staff up projects. These sites can also provide you with specific information that can prove vital to your career.
Today, Amitabh Bachchan tweets almost daily. Karan Johar has a constant conversation going on with his perpetually growing followers in his virtual community. Even the reticent Katrina Kaif made her Facebook debut recently. If you are not on already, it is time to join the bandwagon.