Social media is long past the stage of “buzz phrase.” It’s become an integral part of an organization’s approach to marketing, brand recognition, image control, user engagement, publicity and even sales.
The film industry as a whole has learned how to effectively leverage various social media campaigns, from grassroots marketing to commercial advertising. The giant screen film market has the opportunity to learn from these strategies and apply them to their particular niche.
If you haven’t yet found your social media groove, it’s your time to do so. Whether filmmaker, theater or institution, social media is a tool you should be using to build your audience and increase foot traffic. The biggest challenge you will face is determining which social media outlets are right for your unique needs and how to use them effectively.
The most important thing to keep in mind about social media is that every outlet is different in its strategic reach and effective demographic. In other words, you don’t use Facebook the way you use Twitter, and you don’t use Instagram the way you use Pinterest. You have to refine your message to each outlet’s style and reach, rather than using the same content and assuming it will be equally effective across platforms.
Know how your “brand”—film, theater type or institution—interacts with its current audience. Brands that remain connected to online cultural trends tend to remain relevant with their audience and maintain momentum, increasing long-term value. Here are a few pointers that will help you develop the initial social media program that’s right for you.
Prepare your social media strategy:
- Understand the strengths and limitations of your current branding, and hone in on your top three most effective strategies to date.
- Be able to communicate your brand’s purpose via published content on both a macro and micro level.
- Develop a marketing strategy by approaching your brand holistically from your consumer’s point of view.
Keys to a social media campaign:
- Know your audience—track your data and use it to your advantage!
- Understand you need a social media strategy to be effective.
- Define your brand voice and tailor your social media to reflect that voice.
- Be authentic and real. Your end consumer can always tell when you’re not.
- Personalize your content toward its intended demographic.
- Understand that there will continue to be new ways of interacting with your base customer/core audience.
- DON’T just use social media as a push message mechanism. Engage in a two-way interaction with your audience.
- Look at social media as a medium by which you can create a unique culture around your product or services.
Remember, you connect with both content and context.
When deciding which social media platform to use, the following might be helpful:
- TWITTER: Content and customer service (Photos get approx 35% boost in retweets, videos 28%, quotes 19% [2015 stats])
- PINTEREST: A how-to platform organized around themes, ideas and projects. Generally larger and younger than other social media platforms and skews heavily female and early adopters.
- FACEBOOK: Product launches and educational
- INSTAGRAM: Image-based. Photo and video content, trailers, quick messaging
Amy Hedrick is a filmmaker and Creative Director for a high-tech company that helps clients leverage cutting-edge visual content. She has contributed to research and publication of thought leadership on the impact of technology on global consumer behavior as Manager of Content at Fung Business Intelligence Center, a think tank division of Li and Fung. You can reach Amy on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/amy-hedrick/a/542/574.