Earlier today I saw an actor request a plea to his FB friends that his reps told him he needed to severely boost his social media following on all platforms. I rolled my eyes at this but then thought about the frequency that I’ve been seeing this, with more actors getting concerned of their follower base and even more actors I know buying their followers (you can’t fool me, I’m aware of how the ratio science works!)
While this has been an ongoing raging debate about the importance of followers, I’ll go ahead and offer my 2 cents on this matter, which has been backed by numerous industry folks in the casting and executive level:
* Without a doubt when it comes to low budget webseries or ULB films with no real names attached, the importance of social media followers will indeed play a factor and thus breakdowns that require actors to have at least “100k followers” is taken seriously. However, without being too entirely dismissive of those who do these types of projects, most of these times they do not go anywhere nor are they of any quality substance.
*As for projects that are on the higher scale ie. primetime TV shows and studio features, your social media following will matter less. I have seen numerous times of actors nabbing big roles with no social media presence whatsoever, more often than I have seen actors with “large” social media followings booking those types of jobs. Yes, you can probably say, “But that big time actor got that gig because he has 2 million followers!” and to that I will respond with “But that actor is already a known name so this point is moot.” And there’s also “But that YouTuber got a part in that comedy studio film!” and I respond with “But he’s been doing it for YEARS and consistently puts out product and has developed a fanbase with his materials. What have you done besides posting selfies and inserting #soblessed and #actorslife?”
*Please, please, pleeeeeeeease don’t waste money buying followers and likes. I know this acting game seems to be nothing more than a popularity game but don’t cave in. On that related note, using services that boost your IMDb starmeter is a complete waste of time and money. The only people who care about Starmeters are actors, who see how their ranking has gone up or down every Sunday night. I know this because I do this, like an addict who needs another fix.
*To bring back from my observation of that actor mentioned above, any rep who demands that you need to up your social media following is not a rep who’s properly doing their job. Like reps who request actors to do casting director workshops, talent reps who do that are not properly doing their jobs. What they SHOULD be doing is to pitch us and get us into the room via their own negotiating talent & our acting materials. I have seen my manager and other excellent reps pitch acting friends with no reel, no Union status, and no credits for big time movies and TV shows. The idea that reps can only do their jobs if you only have a sizeable social media following is idiotic.
*Your craft, attitude, and professional consistent followups will be the key factors to continuously pursue that elusive acting career in a successful manner. Everything else is just noise, even this social media follower hublabloo.
SIDE NOTE: if you are getting a large amount of followers because you consistently put out social media content in the form of viral sketches, vblogs, or similar web content, by all means that is awesome and does not fall in the category desperate actors who demand a following when all they have selfies, pictures, and non-interactive content. Actors who have succeeded in this manner are folks like Issa Rae Presents, Anna Akana, and Flula Borg.