The best networks to use based off of their traffic levels are Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When you are developing a project, it's a good idea to secure accounts on these platforms. You don't want to announce your project and then find out the URL or handles you wanted have already been taken by someone else.
While these three networks might be the most popular at the moment, you need to watch for upcoming networks as well. Snapchat, for instance, is a newer way to give content to younger crowds. However, these trends shift quickly, and what may be good for one project might not be as good for the next. This applies for demographics as well. Younger users tend to use fast-paced platforms like Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram over sites like Facebook. Know who your audience is, and then research what platforms you should put time and money into.
Posting content on a regular basis ensures that your followers can keep up with how the project is going and see any important information, such as release dates and screening locations. While it is important to have a lot of content that is given to your followers, you don't want to overwhelm them. Too much content comes off as spam and may drive away your followers.
Research the times that are most effective to post content on the various social media sites for your audience, so you can make a bigger impact. You also should share your content more than once so new followers don't miss important information and don't feel like they missed any updates on how your production is going.
Going to each site to schedule posts isn’t efficient or a smart way to use your time. Instead, use an aggregation program, like Hootsuite or Agorapulse, which lets you post to several networks simultaneously and gives you access to calendars and metrics to see what's working and what isn’t.
As tempting as it may be to post every single thing you’ve done on your film, you need to find the balance of what to post and, more importantly, what not to post.
The larger your project is, the more control you have to exert over what is posted. The crew may want to post what they are doing to their personal social media accounts and this can be managed. However, you should state at the beginning of the project that any social media content should be cleared with your media specialist. Or, if you're concerned about confidential information getting leaked, enforce a flat out ban on posting before a specific date.
Limiting who can post information also limits the amount of "bad" content that makes it off-set. This includes everything from plot details, to blurry or dark shots, to actors not at their best. If you have a dedicated social media specialist on set, providing him or her with good equipment is a must. While a DSLR might be more "professional," your followers may feel like it's less authentic or special because it seems staged. A smartphone that can focus and take good pictures in low lighting, such as the LG G5, strikes a good balance between what seems posed and what gives a good impression of the project.
After putting so much effort into writing, shooting and editing your film, you want people to see it, right? New filmmakers often believe a good product will find an audience. That rarely happens. In order to find an audience (and be able to make more films), filmmakers must be proactive.
While film promotion can be done cheaply, it does require a bunch of legwork. Enlist the help of some (knowledgeable) friends to give you a hand and get ready to get your film noticed. In the process, you will build a fan base for your future films. Here are a few digital methods to get your film noticed.
This is one of the most economical ways to reach your target audience. And while this method may cost a few bucks to do correctly, email marketing's return on investment is $38 of every $1 spent, according to EmailMondy. Furthermore, email marketing is 40 times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined, according to McKinsey.
Because of these stats, 90 percent of all businesses utilize email marketing, so you should include it in your promotion plans as well. MailChimp is a good service for DIYers, and it has free plan that will be sufficient for most first-time filmmakers.
You know you have to use social media for film promotion. However, we want to caution against attempting to use every social media platform available. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Rather, pick three or four platforms and hit them hard.
Remember: social media campaigns should start before you begin filming in order to be the most effective.
While this isn’t a social media platform, Hootsuite is a tool that makes managing your social media efforts much easier. It also provides social media analytics and allows team collaboration. While Hootsuite isn’t the only social media management tool available, it is the best known and extremely easy to use. And you can use up to three social media accounts with its free plan.
You are a filmmaker, so make sure your YouTube channel reflects your passion for the craft and is full of interesting and entertaining videos. You can learn how to best utilize your film’s YouTube channel by researching successful filmmakers and popular brands. For example, Captain Morgan's YouTube channel is full of short, well-made clips that can easily be shared. The company even created a hashtag for its fans (#fullcaptain).
It only makes sense to use a visual medium to promote your work. Instagram fits the bill. Share pics of your set, equipment and the actors in order to document the filmmaking process. Once your film is in the can, post photos of your events. Don’t forget to engage your audience.
Nowadays, there are numerous platforms for filmmakers to distribute their own films. These services are great ways to get your film in front of movie lovers. They also provide filmmakers with a way to monetize their films.
How it works: upload a video, and they'll do the rest. CreatSpace, IndieReign, Distrify and Watchbox are just a few of the players in this space. Their terms vary, so make sure to read the fine print.