Social Media: Is It Sharing Or
Show-Off? Well, A Mix Of Both ...
Dave Courvoisier is an addicted blogger about all things VO, and often rouses addicted fans to make pointed comments. Excerpts follow from Dave's recent posts about social media content and a flood of comments ...
By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor
Does it help you or hurt you to see other voice actors posting prodigiously about the work they’re doing …or have just completed …or that they must knock out before the end of the week?
I’d really like to know what you think about that.
Personally, I’m undecided. I’ve been hurt and encouraged by it.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of instructing and mentoring for people trying to learn social media. It’s an explosion of people reaching out virtually, and yet - I feel not so social …almost isolated.
That’s probably what I hate most about being an introvert in an extroverted job: the isolation.
But then there’s the VO-BB and VO Universe, so I can log onto the social networking sites and see how much work all the other VOs are doing, or just completed, or must knock out before the end of the week.
Ya know? Is it sharing - or bragging? Pride -or bravado? Inspirational - or jealousy?
SHARING OR SHOW-OFF?
In a follow-up blog titled Sharing or Show-Off? Dave reprinted real-life tweets from voice actors about their day's activities. "I'd appreciate your reaction," he wrote - and indeed, it came ...
Well, ya’ll have strong opinions, I’ll say that. But everyone pretty much stayed civil and pleasant in their responses to my post, Sharing or Show-Off?
It's interesting that my cross-post of this blog on Facebook garnered even more responses than direct comments to the article. That’s a testament to the power of Facebook, for which I’m beginning to have a greater respect.
At any rate, below, I’m including some excerpts of the comments in no particular order, and without attribution, as a sort of “digest” of the responses.
#1: NOT A FAN
“I don’t see plumbers, doctors, lawyers or almost anybody else blow their horn the way actors do on here and on forums.
"Sorry, but it’s less interesting to me than those stickers on the back of minivans that say, “My son is an A student at Yakima Public School.”
"If you notice, the top professionals rarely if ever talk about what they are doing. If you’re a voice actor, defintitely don’t ask me to be a “fan."
"Now, if it’s something unique, instructive, different, helpful – that’s a different story. Otherwise, it turns me off and I tend to think as someone who hires talent that this person is perhaps a beginner, too needy or a liar. It may backfire more than it helps.”
#2: TWITTER'S A TOOL
“I personally don’t see anything wrong in telling the world what you’re doing – that’s what Twitter asks you to do, after all.
"And if we see Twitter as a marketing tool, then it’s a useful way of disseminating that information in a form that search engines can pick up on, too.”
#3: OLD SCHOOL WAY
“To me, social media generally feels like personal advertising to an unspecified audience.
"Maybe I’m old school, but I still think personal communication is a one-to-one event that requires participation by both parties – ideally in person, next level by phone, and then by the written word.”
#4: NEWCOMER ENJOYS
“As a person very new to VO, I enjoy hearing what people are doing and don’t take it as bragging.
"Some people come across overly-confident, but that's OK. I do think my perception will change when I am working more in VO.”
#5: WHERE'S THE YACHT?
“My absolute favorite is when you see a talent posting everywhere - Facebook, Twitter, blog, message boards, etc. - about how incredibly 'busy' they are with work and how in-demand they are.
"Just when you are waiting to see pictures of their new yacht you see a post from them like, 'OMG!! Just booked a commercial for Bob’s Dog Grooming in Jackass Junction, Alabama!! He says there may be more spots in the future!! So excited!!!' ”
#6: ... OR THE EMMY?
“I think it can go either way. I like hearing updates from people and think it’s fun to keep up with VO friends who are genuinely excited about things they’ve done or are working on.
"But if someone’s posting about how they should win an Emmy or just how fantastically talented they are, it’s a bit much.”
#7: FRIENDS LIKE LINKS
“I like posting that I auditioned for a voice gig. I usually get a few people telling me good luck!
"And some of my friends like when I post a link to the web site of the station I’m imaging, or the video I just voiced for a narration project.
"But I also think that a post or update should NOT just be about the work you do.”
#8: MIXING THE STUFF
“All work and no play makes status updates dull! I always try to mix in stupid stuff with my work stuff.“
#9: ANYBODY CARE?
“My bet is that nobody cares about auditions, unless it’s really huge and they know you well.
"They only want to know if they can hear you on something recognizable. The rest is pointless and makes you look like you’re trying to look cool.”
#10: MORE LIKELY TO HIRE
“Twitter asks 'What are you doing?', so if I’m about to do a promo for Kelloggs, I would tweet something like: 'Next up is a promo for Kelloggs.'
"Two reasons: First, it’s because that would really be what I’m about to do. And secondly, as a networking site, tweeting what I’m doing and for whom is not an arrogant attempt to impress someone.
"However, if I’m a potential client and I read tweets like that, I’m probably more apt to hire that person than someone who only tweets about what they’re doing over the weekend or the movie they saw.”
#11: TOAST THEIR WINS!
“I don’t see anything wrong with people posting about what they’re doing in voiceovers. It’s much better than reading about what they’re eating every morning.
"I, for one, am happy when someone else books a job. At times, I’ve even toasted and celebrated others’ wins as much as, if not more than, my own.
"With that said, my concern is that voice actors seem to want to connect more with each other rather than with those that could actually hire them.”
#12: A GOOD THING
“The occasional self-promotional blurb, in whatever form it takes, is a necessary and good thing to enlarge one’s business.
"Each tweet in your entry taken alone out of the context of the author’s stream means nothing to me one way or the other.”
#13: DON'T SWEAT IT
“A little tolerance is in order.Social media is what it is.
"It is different for each person, so don’t sweat the small stuff.”
#14: FEELING THE LOVE
“I like to post video of projects that have some value as entertainment. I admit I am a bit guilty of the 'Love me! Love me! Love ME!' actor syndrome.
"But lately I feel enough love from real friends and the universe to kinda pull back on that.
"Maybe I should start posting about all the great jobs I DIDN’T get!”
#15: SECRETS SLIP OUT?
“Information about auditions and bookings may be considered trade secrets by the producer or employer.
"I think you shouldn’t brag, even in vague terms, about your accomplishments on social networks until the work is released to the public by the copyright holder.”
#16: IT'S AWESOME
“Honestly, I’d rather have someone else tell how awesome they think I am than to actually claim it myself!
"It makes me work harder to hear it again! It's great to have a mix of posts that show who you are as a person, and not just as a professional.”
ABOUT DAVE ...
Dave Courvoisier (“pronounced just like the fine cognac, only no relation”) is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. Savvy with technology and social media, he also writes “Voice-Acting in Vegas,” an informative and entertaining daily blog of voice acting adventures and industry observations.