Your working life on social media
Lets face it, today everything you do shows up online. If you are doing things right as a freelancer, people follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Etc, but while thats mostly good it can also be a red flag for producers who don't enjoy your online appearance, especially if you have a lot of friends and followers. These days, several hiring outlets are monitoring your pages to see if you are worthy of employment and what sort of character you are. I believe these assessments aren't always fair since your working life and social life are usually completely different worlds, but you will still be judged for it regardless.
If you are a working professional in the industry whether its a dp, gaffer, director, producer, actor, etc, here are some helpful hints to keep up a professional appearance online without having to bury yourself under all sorts of pseudo names and privacy to avoid your future employers spying on you. Thing to remember is that people that are interested in working with you will constantly be monitoring you and checking up on what you are doing. So hopefully these tips can help you secure those clients and maintain a great social online presence without losing the freedoms of speaking your mind.
1. Don't talk trash. Everyone is always watching you and trash talking others personally or saying negative things about a production will most certainly guarantee you being blackballed. Don't post negative experiences or post pictures from set depicting unsafe or non ideal situations from set even if they really make you angry or dumbfounded. Somebody who knows somebody may pick up on the post and word gets around very fast. Nobody wants a negative nancy on set. Your goal is to be a working professional, not a liability on set.
2. Keep it PG-13. Watch the vulgar language and posting nsfw videos. While to most they may be amusing, It could offend and detract future clients from approaching you.
3. Avoid posting about touchy subjects (Politics, Religion, sex). While it it is important to speak your mind and have an opinion, sometimes those things will quickly get you on the no thank you list. Especially if it shows lots of people disagreeing with you about things and getting ugly. keep all those conversations to private messages.4.
4. Have a professional presence. We've all done good and bad work. But be able to recognize what makes your shine and what does the opposite. Realize when you should post your work and when it might be better to skip it. Create a separate page for your craft and cross promote. Make sure to post links to your work, reels, articles, imdb creds, press, etc. Also engage with your followers positively by posting topics than can have discussions. Just remember to keep the convo moving in a progressive and neutral way. Engage with your working peers. Post comments on their work that are uplifting. Try to build relationships with everyone and anyone you can. Relationships are built to last so don't treat them as such. Help your peers as much as you can. Put people in touch with others. Doing solids for your peers goes a long way and will probably come back to you in a positive light.
5. Keep the personal stuff to a minimum. Don't blow up peoples Facebook feeds and twitter and instagram with tons of pointless information about eating granola, or petting your dog, or getting coffee again. Also its not a place to air out your dirty laundry. Best bet is to just chat about the personal stuff with your family and friends face to face. It'll make you feel much better and keep you from eating so much ice cream. Posting some of the irrelevant little things is fun and ok every once in a while, but don't make it a habit.
6. Be entertaining. Its great to post videos and articles that are funny and entertaining as long as they are safe for work. It feels great to make others laugh and think and learn, so don't be afraid to be that guy/girl that gives peoples day a jolt of fun and excitement. With more and more time spent online these days, its nice to get a little entertainment while you are working.
7. Be mindful of your activity. Remember that Facebook activity and privacy isn't very good. So if you are online looking at some weird strange stuff, avoid liking pictures and commenting on them. Chances are your activity could end up on somebody else's wall who doesn't like what you are looking at or who you are associating yourself with. Just remember that every action you'll be held accountable for.
Hopefully these tips will help you turn your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter into a professional page that can promote you as an artist and filmmaker but allow you to keep your individuality and not have to manage 20 pages to keep your personal and professional separate. Social media gets me 90% percent of my work as a DP so it's very important to keep it balanced and positive. A good reputation goes a long way still, don't forget that.