Social Media darling du jour: INSTAGRAM.
Believe me, I know many of you are skeptical that Social Media can have a place in your VO marketing plan. More than a few voice-actors are just downright disgusted with Twitter, and yes, there are some reading this article right now who barely even know what Instagram IS.
- It’s a photo and video-sharing app being used by 86% of the top brands. (info courtesy “Simply Measured“, Q4 2014). Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has blossomed to 300,000 active monthly users, 70 million photos posted each day, and 2.5 Billion “likes” per day.
- Instagram’s success caught the eye of FaceBook, which bought the company in April of 2012 for a Billion dollars.
- Many find Instagram to be indistinguishable from FaceBook, but there is definitely a different vibe, culture, attitude, and engagement with Instagram.
- As with any of the big Social Media networks, make sure you max out your profile: bio, weblinks, keywords, branded #hashtags, and concise brevity.
- Pictures/visuals/video are everything; edited, enhanced, doctor’d pictures with post- produced effects are common, even expected on Instagram.
- Videos are growing on this platform. You get 3-15 seconds. You can upload most any video from your smartphone to Instgram, but use of HyperLapse is popular.
- Hyperlapse is Instagram’s own app for creating stop-motion, time-lapse effects on video.
- Captions, #hashtags, @mentions are all of premier importance
The Voice-Actor’s Place on Instagram
Don’t assume that your brand doesn’t belong on Instagram (or Pinterest for that matter) just because your work is made for the ears, and not the eyes. Video has its place in marketing for ANY voiceover brand, and some of those same opportunities will work, even excel on Instagram.
- Show a personal side. Most all social media platforms allow you to create a brand that is YOU. Your personality, yes, but also your work ethic, your interests, your workplace, and your passions. That doesn’t mean sharing the names and ages of your kids, but it does mean creating H2H (human-to-human) connections that lead to conversations, that lead to relationships, that lead to trust, and eventually the opportunity to WORK together.
- Explain your work. Take snapshots in your studio. What are you working on today? Mention @peers, @clients, and @associates (to the extent that you have their permission). Bring more people into your world.
- Share news of your business. What projects get you fired up? What new equipment do you have? Who are you getting coaching from?
7 WAYS TO USE INSTAGRAM IN YOUR VO BUSINESS
- Add an Instagram page to your website where you can put all your photos as you post them. Then you can capitalize on the use of #hashtags, search, people, projects from your your website.
- We think of microphones as clichè, trite, and overexposed. But the general public LOVES mics. Pose with them, and tell people what your mic is, why you use it, and show a brief video of you in action speaking into it.
- Follow people in our industry who might hire you, or might eventually introduce you to someone who could use a voice talent.
- Unlike Twitter, which has an unspoken rule of never using more than 2 or maybe 3 hashtags…on Instgram, you can use lots. Do so. Flag pertinent followers/friends/people with @mentions. Captions are important. Be creative, concise, clever.
- Post regularly. No magic number here…just be consistent, but not bothersome…effective, and not overly-trivial. Extend your brand. Post your logo here ‘n’ there, or incorporate it within the picture your using.
- Keep track of your progress. Open an account on statigr.am (get it? Stat-igram?). It’s free. You’ll get feedback about which of your posts got the biggest response, the best times of day to post, how your hashtags are being used, and other metrics of Instagram engagement.
- Create your own branded #hashtag and use it alla time. (#CourVO) If done consistently, other people will start using it, and that’s golden.
Honorable mention: link your Instagram account to FaceBook and Twitter (or other social media platforms), for cross-posting. Just be sure you’re not over-doing it with double feedback reverberating posts (spam).
Please post any other practices for building your VO business through marketing on Instagram below in the comments. Otherwise, I’ll see you soon on Instagram!