|A typical scene around Jackson Square in New Orleans|
1. Be sure to offer a variety of emotional content to appeal to a wide audience. Remember that people relate to people, so letting the public have a view into your private experience can be an extremely relatable asset to promoting your dancing, work, business, and ventures. Unfortunately, it is a harsh reality that many people hiding behind the privacy of a computer screen can become very judgmental of a person based off of the information they share on social media. If you only ever post updates about your successes, people may start to think that you have an over-inflated ego. If a majority of your posts are sad or depress, people may start to ignore your content because they don’t want to absorb your negative mood. If you focus your posts on writing disgruntled messages, people may assume that you are dramatic and unstable. Creating a range and variety of publishable content is a job within itself. You can write a legitimately upset or angry post on your social media here or there (see #7), but be sure that you offer a range of life experiences for your audience to relate to. In summing this up, be sure to come up with a game plan pertaining to the regularity of posts, range of content, and how often you plan to post about certain life happenings.
2. Post daily, but don’t post too frequently. This is one of my ultimate challenges, as I like to share a lot of content. Frequency of publishing engaging material has no perfect formula. It really comes down to seeing what your friends and audience respond to best. If you post too often, followers may feel like you are spamming their feed and unfollow or de-friend you. If you post too infrequently, your public may forget to look for your content or you may fall out of the algorithm that many social media sites rely on to share your relevant content with others. Play around with the amount of posting that your audience seems to respond to and tweak your posts and content from there.
|Rehearsal to Performance of my new ballet (Photo: Eduardo Patino)|
4. If you are feeling angry, hurt, disappointed, or any range of adjectives that could be described as emotional, have at least one sleep before you write any public posts. When you are emotional, you tend to respond by reacting without reasoning. This is often the last thing you want to do. If you sleep on your reaction for just one night, you will likely wake up more rational than when you went to sleep. From there, you can decide whether you still want to follow through by sharing your original reaction, you can temper your original post into something more censored, or you can choose to scrap the whole thing altogether. You don’t want to end up in a situation like the talented choreographer David Dawson found himself in recently. After a London critic wrote a poor review of his work, his stager (who sets his ballets on companies) wrote an emotionally charged comment on the piece sparking great controversy. Mr. Dawson chose to tweet that he would attempt to avoid working in London’s dance scene in response, then almost immediately deleted the post. As he learned, even if you post something for just one minute and delete it, there is such a thing as a screenshot. Trust me on this one!
5. Stay engaged and interact with your audience as best as you can. It is easier to be responsive to your audience when you are in earlier stages of building your social media following. As your following grows, you may find that you are receiving more comments and requests for personal feedback than you can handle. It is important that you continue to maintain some semblance of interaction with your audience no matter how great their reaction may be. While I average anywhere between 2-10 messages from an array of dancers, readers, and listeners a day, I do my best to respond to each of them (even if a few months later). Don’t let these interactions take over the entirety of your work and free time. But do be sure to respond directly to as many people as you reasonably can. It is important to remember that these friends, followers, and fans are the reason that many of us get to thrive in the work that we do.
|Courtesy of @thefatjewish on Instagram|
7. Make sure you are presenting your most genuine self. This is, perhaps, the most challenging task for anybody using social media to enhance or promote their work. Projecting confidence and sharing exciting experiences should absolutely be a part of your social media behaviors. But people are drawn to experiences that they can relate to more than things that are out of their social reach. If you can make yourself relatable by sharing genuine thoughts, successes, challenges, and experiences whilst throwing some unique and intriguing content out there, you will find that you can easily maintain and grow an audience that is emotionally invested in your life’s work.
|Cheers from NoLA!!!!|