When you declare your film finished, the next step is marketing the film so people can enjoy your product. Great promotion is essential for a film’s overall success, and without it, movie viewership suffers. Social media is one of several online marketing mediums that can help your film succeed. But you need a strategy beyond creating social media content and hoping to gain traction. Here’s how to promote your movie on social media.
Develop a strategy
When done effectively, social media works. But you need a social media strategy to make it work. Think of your strategy as a roadmap to your film’s success. Without one, you’re essentially shooting from the hip – there’s no real direction or precision. If possible, we recommend hiring someone qualified to handle social media marketing. However, you can do it yourself too if the budget is tight. Your strategy should include the following elements.
- Keep the big picture in mind – Consider your current social media presence. Think about your branding, and address any issues before making any major moves.
- Identify clear goals – Clear goals make it easier to track progress and identify opportunities while you continue to add content to your social media presence.
- Make sure your audience is well-defined – Identify what types of people will love or appreciate your movie the most. Then target that audience with paid social media ads or promoted content.
- Choose your social media platform(s) wisely – Ensure that you choose the correct social media networks by picking a network that aligns with the film’s target audience. For example, if you have made a documentary about a Fortune 500 business, you might choose to promote the film on LinkedIn rather than Instagram.
- Create a content plan schedule – The social media schedule should specify the type of content you will publish, and when you will publish it.
- Disclose information about paid ads – If you use paid social media promotion, you should include a disclaimer somewhere on your website or social media profile explaining how you’ll use these paid ads to promote your movie. If you aren’t sure about how this statement should be worded, we recommend that you speak with an attorney to ensure you are in compliance with internet privacy laws.
Consider graphic design
Visuals tend to perform better on social media, so be sure to hire a good graphic designer. Also, excellent graphics can lend credibility and legitimacy to your film, as well as get the audience excited about the movie. There are plenty of websites where you can hire freelancers to do this type of work for you, including Upwork and Dribbble. There are also great resources like Canva where you can make high quality graphics with pre-built templates if you are on a tight budget.
Pick a brand voice
Your voice is the tone you’ll use for communications. We recommend using a tone that matches or compliments the tone of your film.
Dropping teaser trailers, sharing exclusive clips, and posting behind-the-scenes videos or photos can all build excitement in audience members. This anticipation in turn boosts confidence, and when people feel more confident about watching an upcoming movie, they’re more likely to actually spend time and money watching the film.
Find niche-specific groups on social media
Search social media platforms for groups that are relevant to your film’s genre, and be sure to join the group and become part of the community. However, you’ll need to watch your approach since some group moderators are sticklers for certain behaviors. Some groups will ban individuals who have simply joined a group to promote their own product, so use caution and be sure to read the moderated group rules.
Give away free tickets or free online views
Host a contest for free tickets or online viewings. Giving away freebies on social media can boost ticket and VOD sales, and can increase exposure. The reason this strategy works is that hundreds or even thousands typically enter the contest drawing. So even though only a few people win a ticket, many more will become aware of your movie.
Your marketing campaign and branding should remain consistent across all social media platforms that you use. But being consistent isn’t an excuse to overload the audience with updates, so avoid bombarding your followers with constant updates that aren’t significantly different. At the same time, don’t neglect or slow down on social media once you’ve started.
Get your whole team involved
Social media doesn’t have to be a one-person job. It works better when you have multiple people involved with the film collaborating together. Try encouraging the cast and crew to share memories or updates about the project. You can provide approved pictures and content that they can use on their own social media profiles.
Remember that YouTube is a social media platform
Two billion users log on to YouTube every month. It’s also the second-largest search engine in the world (Google, YouTube’s owner, is number one). You can and should use YouTube for discovery. It’s a social video platform; therefore, you can engage audiences there with live videos and comments. However, it takes time to grow an audience on YouTube, so distribution on YouTube may not make sense for your project. You can begin by starting a channel on the platform early on during your production, include YouTube in your content plan, and publish consistently. Every production company should have a YouTube channel because having an audience on YouTube can impact the success of your company’s films.
Engagement is key
Engaging the audience is a crucial element of developing a strong following on social media. While the competition for attention is fierce, you can improve outcomes by taking the time to engage and respond to your followers. Be sure to reply to comments, show appreciation for contributions, and ask questions of the audience to engage people effectively. We tend to remember brands that engage with us—aim to do that!
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