If you’re lucky to be successful in your career, you will have a number of fans. Some may might even build a website or set up Facebook Fan Page so they can talk about you to their hearts content with other like-minded people. Being commercially successful in your line of work or ‘famous’ is an essential element to the longevity of any artist’s career. It translates into box office return, sales and viewing figures. Producers will love you and your talent even more, if you can bring this to the table.
Gaining a fan base can happen quite easily if you land the right job, but harnessing it as part of your own ongoing publicity is a much more difficult process and is one of the main reasons why any professional artist should ensure they control it. As much as social networks are forums for people to come together to talk about the things they love (i.e. you) there are concerns in allowing fans to administer this message on your behalf. Yes, they’ll be committed and may offer to do it for free but are they shaping your message or their own? Consider the following about fan managed Fan Pages:
1. Is Your Mum Speaking For You?
If you don’t have someone in control of your Fan Page that isn’t you or someone you trust implicitly, then you at least need someone who can communicate your tone of voice. Otherwise, its like having a mother speak for their son in front of a prospective girlfriend – with similar cringe-worthy results. They may have all the good intentions in the world but don’t necessarily know what you’re thinking or the facets of your personality you’d like to convey. A professional online publicist will insist on working closely with you to develop your tone of voice.
2. Outside vs Inside Voice.
Official Fan Pages speak from the source which adds all important credibility to your voice and news, where as a fan managed Fan Page will speak from the outside looking in. The public and also media want online news sources they can rely on and trust so failing to provide this source increases the risk of the wrong information about you getting out.
3. Robert Pattinson Is More Than Just A Vampire.
Fan Pages are usually created after you gain notoriety in a particular role, meaning the focus of news can be biased towards this or be nostalgic in tone with less emphasis made on your wider achievements or future career plans. As an artist, you should be looking forward and ensuring your fans know about your future career movements all the time, as well as acknowledging your past career achievements.
4. What Do You Mean I Can’t Say That?
Some news is incredibly time sensitive. Securing new jobs or finalising contracts and deals may hinge upon your discretion and understanding of when certain news can be made public. Fans who run these pages aren’t journalists so don’t necessarily understand or respect news embargoes – they’re usually excited about getting exclusives ahead of everyone else. Unless you or your agent have a close relationship with the people who run these types of Pages, having no control could get you into trouble and inadvertently make you seen as untrustworthy and unprofessional.
5. Vocation or Job?
Fans who run Pages aren’t being paid to look after your presence online, so it’s up to their discretion how frequently they post content and what they talk about. Having a social media manager means you have a professional who is required to consistently look after the message you want to deliver online. You need to ensure a Fan Page with your name on it is never out-of-date, so make sure the person managing it never loses interest or goes AWOL.
These are just a few considerations when deciding who looks after your online voice and these factors apply to Twitter and other social media platforms too.