The Sundance Film Festival shows us how traditional marketing campaigns have come a long way in the past few years as the movie industry helped pioneer the shift towards social media marketing. Blockbuster movies such as “The Hunger Games,” the “Twilight” series and even lower budget movies like “Paranormal Activity” all had huge success thanks to their social media campaigns. Social media is even more relevant for independent films whose smaller budgets can limit their customer reach behaviourally, demographically and geographically.
Specifically, at the Sundance film festival this year, the trending topics on Twitter indicate that Shane Carruth and his film Upstream Color have the most social media buzz. Analytics also point out that users are talking about Sundance somewhere between 2-8pm and mainly around Washington, New Orleans, New York, and California.
So what are the best ways to incorporate social media into your movie:
Social media is primarily used in the movie industry to create “buzz” around the newest and coolest films coming out, but doesn’t stop there. Buzz can be generated before the ticket purchaser is even thinking about your movie or knows anything about it. Teasers are a highly effective ways to create viral marketing campaigns; helping to create a broader awareness of the movie and the actors. For independent films, awareness is crucial for success as famous movie stars are not always present in a film to bring in loyal supporters. Thus, take bits of a film before it’s finished to help generate awareness to your target audience; make them anticipate your next trailer or the movie launch.
Use the most effective communication channels:
There are a multitude of social media networks out there. The bigger and more focused your reach, the more effective your campaign will be. For example, Facebook is a great way to reach out to fans for key updates while smaller and more frequent snippets of news can be shared through Twitter. Buzz can also be created through Pinterest and Instagram tagging. A well defined social media strategy will result in the most effective campaigns by selecting which platforms are the most appropriate for engaging with the film’s target audience. As a general rule, followers respond well to giveaways, promotions and visuals.
Don’t let anything go to waste:
If fans love your movie, they will love everything about it; from the actors to the plot. There will be lots of extra footage (cut scenes, bloopers, backstage filming, etc) left over to create greater interest in the film and to develop a fanbase that will promote your movie for you. One of the best ways to reach out to people and get them to share online is through videos, so you are in luck as most of the content has already been made.
Don’t forget the message:
What is your movie about? If your movie is about saving the planet from man-made pollution then try to collaborate with environmental organizations or some form of activism. “An Inconvenient Truth” did a great job of establishing a relationship with the environmental movement and providing an interactive channel for people to voice their ideas and concerns before and after the movie. By collaborating with relevant organizations your movie will also be promoted to their online followers, helping to create goodwill around your film and to increase the virality of your message. Cross-promoting can also help to expand your reach and improve engagement with your target audience by promoting similar products or services (i.e Aston Martin cars with James Bond).The audience loves to participate and although they may not be tweeting during the movie, they will be engaging with the film online after the film. Therefore, movie production houses should try and respond to their audience as often as possible and provoke conversations by asking questions. In addition, try to leverage actors, directors and hashtags on key topics related to the movie to increase awareness of the film online.
Hire a social media consultant:
Many people and firms think they can do it all, but why waste your time and resources when a professional company can do it for you at competitive prices. Social Media is constantly evolving with new platforms and updates coming up continuously (Pinterest is set to experience the biggest growth this year) and algorithms like Facebook’s EdgeRank constantly being modified. Due to these unending changes, if you really want to have an effective social media campaign then it needs to be done right. If you don’t have a budget for daily community management, then have a tailored social media strategy created to get you on the right start. Social Orra can easily help you with any of your social media needs!
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