The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media for Young Actors
In a previous article, we discussed the benefits of building a strong social media presence for young actors. The next step is to outline best practices to ensure that your experience on social media is productive and rewarding. If your child actor is using social media to advance his or her career, the first and foremost consideration is safety. As a parent supervising these accounts, you must strike a balance to be struck between publicity and privacy.
Social media can be a treasure trove of valuable connections and information; but if unchecked, it can also be a Pandora’s box of potential harm. Responsibility is the key to success when it comes to crafting a professional and safe presence for your child on social media.
Have a parent manage the account. Even if your child meets the minimum age requirement for the platform, your supervision will help to ensure they don’t spend too much time on social media, while also allowing you to vet any interactions. Put “managed by parents” right in the bio, where it’s clear. Parents and children can work together on deciding what to post and how to engage with others. The actor can and should have a say in how they want to appear online, but parents have the last word to maintain a safe and appropriate image.
Be wary of location services. Geotags can reveal where and when your child took a picture, and some social media platforms incorporate information about your location into posts. Be sure that all of these are turned off, and only post about events or places your child visited after they have left.
Take stock of your family’s social media. Maybe you won’t reveal any personal information on your child actor’s social media accounts, but if the rest of your family has accounts, those could be connected to your other child. For this reason, it’s important to remove any personal information from other profiles associated with your family before creating new professional profiles.
Post too much. Setting a schedule for social media time would be wise. Your child will have other priorities, such as school and their professional lives. Though social media is a networking tool, it is easy to fall down the rabbit hole and encounter content that would not be appropriate. Limiting the time spent online can reduce this risk.
Make it too personal. While many kids have personal social media accounts to communicate with their friends, their professional accounts should be focused on content related to their careers. Work and personal accounts should always be kept separate.
Let it replace work. Your child’s talent will speak for itself. Though social media can be valuable for making connections, it shouldn’t take the place of the actual work of going to auditions and honing their skills. Professional opportunities can come from social media, but it can’t replace the benefits produced by pounding the pavement and showing up.
With this checklist in mind, you are ready to get started on building a strong and safe presence on social media for your child actor. And if you’re active on Twitter, make sure to follow us here.