Social Media Tips for Filmmakers (part 2)

Films are about bringing people together and sharing ideas. We watch trailers, connect with our social circles, and then share the cinematic experience. Word of mouth used to be the only true method of accomplishing this, aided in part by previews and ads in newspapers. Television and the internet then expanded that reach to homes across the globe. The most recent permutation can be found in modern social media.

The internet is filled with clearly defined groups and fandoms that frequently overlap. About 20 years ago, marketing a brand new sci-fi film could take significant market research to determine where and when to market it. Social media groups, categories, and hashtags allow you to specifically target a particular demographic with similar interests. You can market to a niche audience guaranteed to be interested in the same things!

Social Media is lucrative for movie marketers for the same reasons it appeals to many: the ability to measure and interact with your audience on a two-way street of communication, and the lucrative allure of going viral. If you can convince fans and moviegoers to talk about your movie on social media, your audience expands.

I recommend watching the first part of this two part tips video if you haven’t already. Let’s continue with our list of tips for social media with some dont’s:

Social Media Tips for Filmmakers

6. Don’t Be Egotistical

Give your fans something to latch onto! Set up Google alerts about your topic and share relevant news. For narratives, introduce the characters and what they have to say. “Watch my movie!” or “Donations welcome!” or “I’m so great!” gets old fast.

7. Don’t overthink social media

I mentioned in my previous video that social media is fleeting. Spending a day and a half vetting every post with every member of your team is counter-productive. Go with the flow and get the information out while it’s still timely. And then start thinking about your next post.

8. Don’t assume automatic visits to your website

Just because you write the best-blog-post-ever on doesn’t mean that anyone will see it, your parents included. Use social networks to push your content out into the world. Spread the word about your film, your campaign, your amazing DP, your upcoming festival screening, anything!

9. Don’t automate everything

As tempting as shortcuts may be, automatic cross-posts between platforms (Twitter to Facebook, Instagram to anywhere) are a no-no in the world of social media promotion. Create posts that make the most of each platform’s strengths and post natively. Twitter is limited to 140 characters, but Facebook isn’t. @Handles and #hashtags do not always travel well. Instagram photos on Twitter require an extra click to view. Get the picture?

10. Don’t forget to say thank you

You don’t have to do it in every post or reply (in fact, don’t!), but let your supporters and fans know how happy you are they are on this journey with you. Call out people on social who’ve got your back. You know how nice it is to feel appreciated, so return the favor! I believe this is the most important one of all. A bonus tip for this last one is to read Gary Vaynerchuk’s The Thank You Economy. I’ve mentioned him in several posts, and it’s a fantastic read.

Social media is a vital part of engaging filmgoing audiences. The business has always been about who you know and who you can reach, and social media expands your capability to build connections. Engaging your fans directly can build excitement and trust in your projects by making them feel like they are part of the process. With a smart strategy and an open mind, social media can catapult your project into the spotlight. How are you currently using social media to reach the masses? Let me know in the comments below!