Social media is an essential part of successful marketing today, it is imperative that you choose your platforms and get to it as soon as possible. It’s worth being on them all. A wide net is good, but you shouldn’t spend your time on all of them. Pick three to focus on; if you go for too many, you’re spread too thin and your efforts are less than ineffective. Much like working a niche is the best path to success, by narrowing your vision, and laser focus of your efforts, your communications are that much stronger. The reason you want to be on all of them is so that you can catch people wherever they are and funnel them to your site, newsletter, video, whatever is your hub.
To summarise them all; these are social networks, for social networking. The key is in the name, its not promotional networking, spam networking, social. On all of them, the idea is to talk to people, develop relationships, build credibility and authority. You will also want to share updates, occasionally, about you or your film. Last in line, is to ask for the sale (Sale can be physical sale, or simply something that benefits you, not necessarily monetarily), this should be direct and indirect.
Gary Vaynerchuck describes it as Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (Excellent book by the way, definitely buy it), Jabs are the helpful, sharing, informative posts. Right hook is the sale. The ratio should be somewhere nearer to 10-1.
Images and video go further. They take up more space and are a lot more attractive than just text, manually add the image, these show up better. Manually added gives more emphasis to your post. If you use automation services like Buffer, Hootsuite, Klout, as useful as they are, these posts are a lot more likely to be looked upon unfavourably by the networks and show up even less on peoples streams. That said, a few services have introduced their own scheduling, where possible use these, they are preferable in comparison to third-party services. Basically, do the work.
So without further ado, here is a brief overview of each one:
With more than 1.19 billion active users, Facebook is a complete no brainer. That said it is rapidly becoming the slowest burn platform. Where previously your updates, posts and photos hit all of your fans, now as little as 10% will see them (You’ll now need to cough up some coin, to ‘promote’ and ‘feature’ your posts.). EdgeRank measures how much attention people have paid to you, if they engage with your stuff, more of it shows, but if they don’t it’s very swiftly tossed aside for the users more preferable updates.
Just quickly on demographics; The kids are going, going, gone – not only are they fed up of the paid advertising twatting them in the face every other update, their parents are also there to spy on their shenanigans. If this is your target audience, maybe focus your efforts elsewhere. On the other hand, the more mature audience are still here and so it’s worth building those relationships, sharing valuable information and getting videos, photos and other things posted.
So, there are groups and pages to get involved in. Demonstrate value, share good things, help people out. Remember to do this on your actual human page, help your friends, build rapport, your friends are so much more likely to support you off the bat!
Twitter began as a way to quickly share “what’s happening.” Now with more than 645 million active users, the microsite has evolved into a successful marketing tool when used strategically. Twitter is a the best way to monitor conversations happening about your film. In the early days, you can be on there to talk about the films topics, when you have a premiere, you can watch to see if there are any problems fans are having, check out reactions, lots of great uses in real-time.
There is a solid filmmaker base on Twitter, so you’d never be short of peers, they may well check out your film, help and support you, but locating your actual audience can be a little trickier. Interesting fact; the fastest growing demographic is 55-64 year olds, so, very likely people that have the desire for a great story, for a thoughtful, deep, beautiful indie joint!
Join in on conversations by searching for certain #Hashtags, maybe you can lend some advice, help out or add humour! The trick is to do everything but promote your film. By just being a participant, sharing great content, having interesting opinions, people will be intrigued, hopefully like you, possibly respect you – this leads to people checking you out off their own accord. Curiosity is your in!
Last year, LinkedIn hit 259 million members. LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, and has plenty of benefits for business. The benefits for a filmmaker are high. In it’s authority building opportunities, you can publish great insights in the form of an article. This gets you exposed to other industry leaders and is great for attracting funding; it demonstrates how serious, professional and focused you are, great traits for someone to invest in! You can additionally reach out to the Hollywood heavyweights, maybe share some something you think they will find useful, as you start to build that relationship, you can start on your way to securing that path to a much desired lunch meeting.
LinkedIn is also great for attracting a strong team, everyone you could need will be on here, all of them with their credentials and testimonials up for all to see. LinkedIn Groups are also a great place for a filmmaker to grow its network and to build rapport through advice and helpful content. Any meet-ups that are organised through these groups can be additionally great ways to discover all of the above; cast, funding, crew and autority
With more than 359 million active users, Google+ is very quickly gaining ground in the social space. This may well be because it’s Google and ranking well is now very strongly influenced by being on Google+. The +1 button is your friend, the more you get the further increases in your visibility. There are these things called Circles, they work like Twitter lists but you can target posts ad updates to them. You’ll want to search out authorities, leaders, fans and collate them into your Circles. A great feature, that takes your poking stick of influence and turns it into a sharp rapier of resonance… Hmmm I like that term, TRADEMARK!!
You have normal groups too, Communities, worth setting one up around your films, dead easy. (You know, the more I write about Google+, the more I think its the best thing since sliced bread… Theres just something odd about it though…) These communities, use them as you have been with all the other platforms, meet, greet, share and profit!
Pinterest has been hailed as the fastest growing social site, cool. Its primarily an image platform, they have introduced video now and you can also pin articles. Its strength comes in how ridiculously easy it to use, you create ‘Boards’ and ‘pin’ images to it. These are very well indexed, people search keywords, find your stuff, ‘pin’ it to their boards. Very quickly, your images take an almost viral trait, swarming all over the place, it’s incredible to see sometimes! A second strength comes in how well it SEO’s and, sweet jesus does it SEO well! All your images come with a link from the source, you can additionally add a click through to it, a link in the description… That’s 3X on your link!
Primarily a female audience, so a female orientated film will do the best, but any film will do well providing the images are attractive, the articles are helpful and informative etc. Creating boards is a the first step for you, create one for the cast, behind the scenes, articles, press, fan art, anything you can cluster into a category, do that! I really recommend this one, it’s a great place and works for you so very well!
Sold for 1billion to Facebook a few years back, immense! Another image based site/mobile app. Doing incredibly well because of how accessible it makes beautiful photography, a quick blur and some filters and you can replicate the beautiful images of Woodstock ’77! Also does video, does it well, it’s giving Vine a run for its money that’s for sure!
Behind the scenes shots do very well, #protip behind the curtain in general is a great audience engager. A large younger audience on here, but still plenty of people throughout the ages so no reason your film cant go far! Brands do really well, the more you become known for something and have your own brand, the sooner things are adopted and go further so, as always, worth getting that brand/style/look in place on Instagram. If people know what to expect, they will look forward to it.
I use only 2-3 filters and always circle blur, but I have yet to focus in on a subject!
Really this comes down to you, where your market is and what works for you. But, lets do run you through my favourite plan of action:
Step 1: Get a spot on all of them! Doesnt take long, keep it simple, we are going to optimize these soon. So, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube/Vimeo, and LinkedIn. Just get your name, quick bio, profile image and make a note of the URL in a TextEdit/Notepad thing.
Step 2: Choose 3 sites that you are going to focus on for a few weeks, your going to optimise, reach out, communicate, feel out and enjoy. I recommend a biggy (Facebook or Twitter), an imagey (Pinterest or Instagram) and a Videoey (YouTube or Vimeo), LinkedIn and Google+ are my anomalies, Googe has obvious search and ranking implications, just worth being on, and LinkedIn has some excellent networking and professional bits. You can really demonstrate value on there! Choose 3 and we’ll get to the others in due time!
Step 3: Allocate a day to each network (soon you’ll be doing them everyday, as and when necessary, but for now, just focus on one a day and then react to other networks as it happens). So, Monday Wednesday and Friday are a good split, you have the day in-between to just let your mind do other things and maybe your subconscious will have content ideas in the meantime!.
Step 4: Get some paper, its time to brainstorm and decide what your going to do for these sections:
Communication: Reach out to one person every day, say hello, find out what they are up to, offer some advice if its required. There might be some industry leaders you’d like to join in a conversation with, note them down, your cast, maybe you can alert them to your page. Then for some smaller actions, quickly note things about your film, the content, genre, aspects, notable things. These will be your keywords to search for. Once you find something that interests you or sparks your want to react, go ahead and dive in! You’ll be coming up as comments so this isn’t going to spam your followers, but it will be alerting others to your presence on a nice personal level. Look for a few interactions, maybe 4-5?
Information: This is your opportunity to demonstrate value. What your looking to share here is items of interest to your potential audience. If you’re set up as your ‘film’ share character quotes, maybe an info-graphic about your genre, anything that isn’t about you, but interests the audience. Still, just one a day minimum, aim for about 2-3 throughout the day. Check out World War Z on Facebook. They have a load of zombie related fun things to share!
Promotion: Nothing too in your face, just some updates about the film, maybe some behind the scenes photos, tag actors if you can. One a day for this, you want the ratio of ’ selling’ at about 10/1, 10 bits for your audience, 1 about you. A subtle ‘Find out more here’ kind of link is an unobtrusive way for people to go deeper. Don’t worry about click-through and engagement scores just yet, you’re only trying this out for a bit to see how you feel about it.
Step 5: Thats basically your actions, you just do this regularly, maybe an hour a day, towards the end of the day. Nothing to stress about, just chillax and have conversations! As you do it each day, you gain momentum and you’ll start to get interactions throughout the day, a swift reply is nice, you can play ‘ping pong’ with people, make jokes, join in on the fun, the sooner people feel the humanity, the sooner they will follow. I must stress though, there isn’t any rush here, its a marathon not a sprint!
Step 6: Do you like this platform? How do you think it went? Its hard to get that immediate return, but you just want to get a feel for it. Is it easy for you to use? It shouldn’t take much effort for you.
Most are very intuitive, but like for me, I just don’t like Facebook. Its been hard to get momentum, engaging as a Page is harder than I’d like, getting into peoples stream is hard. But, with this one, it is meant to be hard. Facebook was a really easy platform a few years back to get people looking at your stuff, now you really have to put the time and effort in, but it does pay off. With GraphSearch, you can essentially look for ‘People that like <genre of film> and there you go, a list of people that are very likely to enjoy your film!
Check out this post for some some great ideas: Kickass Digital Marketing Campaign
Anyway, times up on those three, time to try out the other three!