A Professional Dancer:
With a few simple tools such as Facebook and Twitter, you can promote yourself as a dancer and connect with several other people in your industry. You can post your performances to get a bigger fan base and connect with those who may have information on the latest auditions in your area.
Similar to the above, teachers can promote themselves and connect with people in their industry. They can share ideas, thoughts, and concerns with teachers from around the world. Teachers can also stay connected with their students, but make sure you check with your studios policy on contact with students online. My suggestion is create a separate Fan page or Twitter account, keep your personal life personal and your contact with your students professional.
Can do all of the above plus created networks, blogs and of course websites for their business. Please see my networking list in my previous post for examples. What I have done, and what you will do over time, is narrow down the sites you use for networking. If you have experience with social media you know that it can become a bit overwhelming and time consuming, a great example of less is more and quality not quantity.
Find Out What Works Best For You and What Doesn't.
For me it's convenience, that's why I love and stick to my Facebook Fan page, YouTube and Twitter accounts for networking. What's great about these three is you can sync your accounts, which saves time. Then of course we have the Blog and Ning Network. What I recommend doing is keeping things clean and simple all on one site. I did this on my personal site and plan on doing it for the studio soon. You will notice that I have a blog and network all in one place on one site, that way it eliminates your customers and fans from having to navigate away from your main site and eliminates you having to post in several places. With my dance studio I would no longer have to have a Ning network or a blogger account, it would be all in one place as I said before.
Narrow Down Your Network
For help and support I've narrowed down my list to Dancestudioowner.com and Danceadvantage.net. Now especially, there are tons of sites and blogs to lend a helping hand and give advice to the dance industry. Again, find what suites you and makes your experience convenient.
What to Keep Your Eyes Open For
It's ironic because at the same time I was asked to be a guest blogger, my circle of online dance buds did a Social Smarts Live Chat . This very informative event was hosted by Nichelle of Dance Advantage, Suzanne of Dance Studio Owner, and Marc of Tendu TV. By visiting the Social Smarts link you can get the opinions of some great people who have experience with Social Media and Dance. Social media is open for anyone, and we are all here for different reasons. My advice would be to surround yourself with people of similar interest and common goals... not to far off from how you would conduct yourself in "real life."
Social Media Etiquette
This is something I would like to give my opinion on for those of you just starting out. I know you are excited and see many benefits and opportunities. Just remember that you will build a reputation online just as you do out in the real world. Be polite and courteous of other peoples time and what you ask of them. A few examples...
- Do not tweet to often and flood peoples stream with tweets
- Do respond to relevant questions or posts
- Do not beg for followers or people to participate in what you are doing
- Do remain professional at all times
- What do you hear of more often, a person reading the yellow pages or a person googling the information they need?
- What do you see more often, a person reading the newspaper or someone with and ipad, personal reader, or iphone?
- How are the younger generation communicating, through telephone or real life conversations or by Tweeting and Facebooking each other?
- How has our lines of communication changed, do we talk on the phone at all anymore or do we just text?
- How has our society evolved as far as communication and advertising?
- Is Social Media right for you and your business?
As I explained before, we will all use Social Media for different reasons. Some are trying to sell a particular product, some simply want to socialize, and some are here just to get themselves out there and known. I happen to like keeping it fun, I'm not pushing my studio or myself in anyway, I just hope people become more aware of my presence and if I happen to get a new student or client this way, then great! Social Media for me is just an addition to the advertising we do already and a fun way to share ideas and meet other great dance industry people.
I shall leave you with two perfect examples of what I'm talking about.
First example, My Ning Network...
"Thank you for your support in my effort to create a positive, motivating, non competitive place for us to interact and share our love for dance. My goal is to be well known as a encouraging support system to our Dance community, and best of all, its Free! Help me in my effort and ask others who love dance in NJ to join too. Get yourself a badge or send them and invite. Questions, comments, suggestions are always welcome. I look forward to hearing from you all. Peace, Love, Dance!"
Second example, Why Dance Matters ... a virtual event that rallies the dance community online created by my friend Nichelle of Dance Advantange. This was an amazing event to participate in and witness...the love and appreciation for dance was overwhelming! Below are my contributions to the event...
I hope you find this post and information useful. For me this was just another effort to spread my love and passion for dance. Thanks to Backdrops Beautiful for the topic and opportunity to be a guest blogger for their site. I thank you all for reading and as always...
Peace, Love, Dance!