Okay, let me first start off by saying that I am not the end all be all of social media expertise. If I were, I would have 100 million followers and making bank off of social media.
However, I am proud of the way that I have used social media to put myself out there as a person and as an artist. I am proud of the relationships I have built and the people I engage with. And I am proud of how I have helped people gain clarity about using social media.
And so in today’s blog entry, I wanted to share my point of view as to how and why I use social media. A lot of people have expressed to me their fears, hesitations, allergic reactions, frustrations and confusion regarding social media. Some people would rather spend the rest of their lives in hell than log onto Twitter and deal with hashtags, retweets, mentions and why Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet.
Some people see social media as yet another thing to add to their list of things to do. Some people see it as a cumbersome or unnecessary burden. Or unimportant. Or a waste of time. Many people continue to avoid social media to this day because they don’t want to post pictures of what they are eating at a restaurant (they actually still believe that this is what social media is all about)
I totally get it. I totally get it. I totally get it. I was one of those people who avoided social media like the plague. But then I looked at the word, “social media”, and what it was originally created and intended for: To use media as a way to be social. To use media as a way to connect, listen and engage with people you are interested in. To use media as a way to build exciting relationships. To use media as a way to let people know about you. You control what you want us to know about you.
How awesome is it that social media allows us access to so many people? Direct access to so many people with no gatekeepers involved? Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give us a first-hand, front row access to the people we love, respect and admire. We have access to engage with a writer, a producer, an animator, a senator, a lawyer, a chef, a wrestler, a teacher, a scientist, a musical theater enthusiast, a clothing designer, a dentist, a charity organization, etc.
When I first started using social media, I made mistakes in terms of cringe-worthy posts and a look at me, look at me, look at me approach and more cringe-worthy posts. I am also guilty of posting a few negative rants back in the day. And it’s okay because once I learned about the power of social media and its true intention, I reshaped my approach.
I use social media as a way to engage with people I am interested in. I use social media to stay engaged with what’s happening in the lives of people that I personally know and that I want to know. I use social media to express my voice as a person and as an artist. As a way for people to learn and know a part of me. I realized that I can’t always post about my career. Great, we get it: You’re an actor. You’re a writer. You’re a showrunner. But what other things is Jorge Ortiz interested in? So I find a balance between sharing my artistic journey with things I am passionate about: Madonna, RuPaul’s Drag Race, music, art work, my sense of humor, my points of view, etc.
I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis and I feel that I do a pretty good job of balancing and showcasing both the professional and personal aspects of my life. Again, I don’t have millions of followers (and building a larger audience is the next level of learning and application for me) but I am proud of what each of my social media pages represent. I love that I am able to honestly engage with people I am interested in. I love that I am able to impinge and make honest connections.
I use the word “honest” because social media is about–for me at least–making honest connections. I am following you because I’m interested in what you do. You speak my language. You do what I want to do. I truly want to connect with you. Be honest because people can spot a fake immediately.
I give props and shoutouts to people I admire. I’m clear as to why I’m engaging with them. I respond to things they post that resonate with me. I cheer them on. I laugh with them.
I feel a sense of pride when I look through my Instagram page @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂 because I see the variety and the thought I put into the professional and personal aspects of my journey. And my Twitter too @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂
Connect with people on social media and build relationships. If someone wanted to work with me or target me, they could easily go through my social media pages and find out how to “cream puff” me with at least five different things I am passionate about. “Cream puff” is a term that famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas created as a way to build and further relationships. When you are interested in targeting someone or getting on someone’s radar, you have to listen first and see what they like and what they’re interested in. Listen to them, do research on them so that you speak their language. In this way, you bring them a cream puff that is thoughtful and speaks their language. The person who receives the cream puff will be touched/impressed/honored/appreciative because you’ve done your research and gave them a thoughtful, connected gift.
I always ask myself, “What do I want to express today on social media? Will it be in alignment with my voice and brand?” I really do give thought to what I want to express and reveal about myself on social media. Many times, I’ll create my social media plan for the week on Sundays (but I still allow room for inspiration to come in as well throughout the week)
What do I want to express? Because truth be told, people are listening to me. People are watching. People are looking. What do I want to express today? Is it on brand? Is it a reflection of who I am? I want to use social media as a way to engage and build relationships. I also want to use social media as a way to share my journey as an artist and the things I am interested in. On the other side of the coin, I also know what I will not use social media for (e.g. I will not talk about politics, religion, etc.) These are topics that I don’t want to present on my social media pages.
So, for those of you who are reading this and have a profound aversion to social media, I hope this encourages you to give it another try. How can you use social media in a meaningful way that adds something to your life rather than it being a burden or a subtraction from your life? What is the voice you want to put out there? What do you want to share with us? Who do you want to engage with? Who do you want to build relationships with?
And most importantly, have fun! The world is at our fingertips!
You can follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts at @jorgeortizactor