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I’m back with another installment on how people in the entertainment industry are getting it done with social media.

Joel Bryant is an award-winning actor and producer. He starred in the award-winning web series, After Judgment and is producer and star of the award-winning web series, Suck and Moan. And, if you look at his IMDb page, his body of work speaks for itself.  To say that Joel knows a lot about social media, is an understatement. I sat down with Joel recently to chat social media.

“When MySpace came out, I was curious about social media,” says Joel. “What I found out was it gave me the opportunity to reach out and be friends with a favorite band or a friend I haven’t seen since high school.” Joel initially liked the ease of social media to be able to reach out and engage with people in an informal way.  He further noted that “it also seemed like a very relevant way to do business.”

After MySpace, Joel jumped on the bandwagon with Facebook and Twitter. The web series community has really capitalized on the effects of social media to build an audience, create a brand and meet and collaborate with other Internet content creators. Joel agrees. “Being the lead in After Judgment gave me access to roles in other web series, a nomination for a 2009 Streamys award, and an invitation to join the web community.”

Joel really likes how easy it is to engage and have access to people through social media. “The accessibility to people and the ability to engage with them are key for me. I enjoy chatting with and meeting people who are passionate about those things they enjoy, because I am passionate about what I enjoy. It’s great having an environment to share things with like-minded people.”

Joel has really seen some great benefits from social media over the years. For example, Joel wanted to do a show in Albuquerque, NM, his hometown. With the help of social media, Joel was able to put out the word about this goal, make solid connections, and he realized the dream of bringing his comedy show, which he performs in along with his wife, actress Deven Green, to the fine folks of Albuquerque. Recently, Joel was offered an opportunity to perform on Broadway in Neil LaBute’s play, “Fat Pig”, all courtesy of a post that a producer-friend had posted on their Facebook “wall” six weeks prior to him landing the role. “If I wouldn’t have seen that post on Facebook, I wouldn’t have pursued and ultimately landed the role.” As of the date of this column, the play has been put on hold  until next season, but thanks to the wonder of social media, Joel will soon have his Broadway debut.

When I asked Joel what it takes to be successful with social media, he responded with “you need to be genuine and there needs to be a legitimate connection, you have to have something in common.  Don’t beef up your Facebook friends and Twitter followers for the sake of increasing numbers, there has to be a reason to communicate.”

The consensus of the people I speak with about social media believes there has to be the right combination of communication and promotion, too much promotion turns people off, but not enough engaging bores people.  Either way, it has to be the right mix. And usually that comes down to what your social media goals are. Joel also adds that “if you are smart about social media, use common sense, stay in touch, are sincere, nice, professional and genuine, you will reap some fantastic rewards and be successful”.

 

Joel Bryant can be found on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/joelbryant.

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Author: Susyn Elise Duris

Susyn Elise Duris is an actress living in Los Angeles. She loves all things Pittsburgh – especially sports and technology. When in Pittsburgh, she is usually at The Church Brew Works, one of her favorite hangouts. She can be reached at her website or on Twitter.