Social Media Common Sense & Secrets
By Wil Foster, Creative Director, SEEN Model Management
I wanted to highlight 5 secrets and common sense points when managing your social media activities based on my professional experience. I’m going out on the limb here, and will be a bit brazen. I can’t be meek on this topic because if it’s importance developing your brand as a model. Rest assured, I’m not attacking anyone with my opinions however they are based on research and doing this professionally. Think of my comments simply as recommendations not laws carved in stone. Use them, do more research, tweak some of the recommendations, but bottomline, your social media presence and activity is important in this industry.
Wil’s 5 secrets:
1. Post when your audience is active
2. Don’t be boring
3. Get over yourself
4. Be transparent but also smart about what you share
5. Keep it simple
As a caveat, there are probably 60,000+ individuals & organizations willing to tell you what to do, what not to do & when to do it. They use buzz works like “we can help you grow”, “we’ll enable you to become an influencer”, “you’re IG is great, but we can help make it outstanding”. They will offer to run schematics, offer advice and draw pie charts on why they are the best person or company to help boost your social media presence. But at the end of every pitch is a price tag. Bottomline, their motivation is $$$ and honestly nothing they offer is unique versus what you can do yourself with a bit of research, time & patience.
OK, so here goes:
My 1st secret is to determine what time of the day / week your audience is active and post on your socials during those times. I regularly travel thought-out the country. When I travel, I post at times to take advantage of when my audience is active in their area & time zone. As an example, if I’m in LA and I want my audience in Indiana to see a post at 5pm I post it at 8pm LA time. During a recent trip to Australia I purposely posted in the middle of the night in Australia so my posts would reach my intended audience during the times they were active on their socials. If your audience is in your time zone then post when they are active. I also created paid promotions to hit during those peak periods to help amplify my posts. It’s really is just common sense. You want someone to notice you when they’re active. Do a bit of research and find out when people you follow or want to follow you are most active. Be active & post at the same time.
My 2nd secret is “Don’t be boring”. Post interesting or informative topics or images. Don’t post just to post. Again, common sense but you would be so surprised how easy it is to slip up and get this wrong. In this industry throw in a mix of photos of yourself in various scenarios. It shouldn’t to be all glamour city or high end photoshoots. Throw some photos just doing every day activities. If you’re an animal lover show people your pet. Have a cool hobby? Show people how cool it is. Play sports? Show it off. Give them a peak into your world. Become a real person to your audience. Trust me here, your audience is smart and will know if you have staged and curated every photo or try to be someone you’re not. Nobody wants that in their timelines.
My 3rd secret is to “get over yourself”. Don’t be cheesy! Wow, did I just say “don’t be cheesy”? YEP, and I mean it. As much as you think people want to see your rear end in that new bikini, taking a milk bath with rose pedals floating around you, or standing with that typical “influencer” smile while holding a cup of coffee in the setting sunlight -they aren’t. Oh sure, they’ll throw you a like or some rad comment, but honestly the only people interested in that type of post are you, your partner, and that creepy guy you hear so much about. Guys…this goes for you to. Ok, I get it you go to the gym. Everyone knows you’re jacked but don’t go overboard. Unless you’re selling your services as a personal trainer or that’s your brand don’t overdo it. Occasionally? OK, but not your entire timeline.
I’m going to get extra real with you here. In my opinion this is the serious part ... listen to this, take it in and let it marinate a bit … don’t only post pictures of yourself or only talk about yourself. The only people actually interested in seeing only photos of you are your parents, some of your friends and your partner if you have one. Mix it up a little & refer back to secret #2 about not being boring. Also, avoid fishing for complements. Let people know the real you and build those REAL connections that will lead to REAL castings, jobs and placements. Be the REAL you at all costs.
Secret #4 is to be yourself, but don’t be too transparent and share everything. It can definitely cost you. Remember, ANYTHING you post on the internet will be around forever. I am a true believer in being 100% yourself. However, not everyone believes what you believe or respects everything you do. Especially in this hyper fueled, hyper sensitive society we live in. There is no soap box like social media, so be mindful that everything you put on your timeline will be viewed and judged by others. This has the potential to impact your brand. As a model, you want to develop your brand. Don’t let your social media posts that may be off-putting to your audience negatively impact your ability to get booked or get placed.
I’ll use myself as an example. I primarily shoot dark, extremely moody portrait work. It’s what I like and what my audience wants. However, I don’t complain when I don’t get wedding work & I don’t get mad that I never get booked to shoot summer family photos in the park running through sun drenched fields. Outside of my audience sees my work and often gets scared off. This also plays out with the words, comments and rants we put out on our socials. If I am constantly spewing negativity or inappropriate comments I’d be foolish to think I’ll be perceived differently. Remember, people’s perception of you is their reality. Don’t be a fake version of yourself but my advice is to be mindful about bitching and throwing yourself out there. Remember, you are a professional model and clients are looking at you and what you post. Do they want to be associated with your social media brand?
Still here? OK, my 5th secret is to embrace K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). When it comes to your social media postings “get in and get out”. Nobody wants a novel. Nobody wants a paragraph of hashtags. Tag the primary participants but not everybody and their dog. Nobody cares that you went to the grocery store and bought a packet of marshmallows. Be interesting and memorable, but don’t post just to post. Stick to a schedule that works for you and your audience. Mix it up. Be you. Mix your modeling photos with everyday life photos and posts. Add a cool quote or repost something that impacts you or is about your personality or brand. Don’t be stale because you want people to be excited to see your posts. Just KISS. Don’t look thirsty for likes or follows …. it shows.
Bottomline, you want real connections and friends. Stop worrying about how many people follow you or get frustrated because people aren’t commenting or liking your images. Just focus on being yourself and real connections that you’ve made. Be you and have fun being you. If this is how you are seen on your socials then you are successful.