Film reels – Flickr image by Paula Wirth

One of the most fascinating shifts in our history is the democratization of communication and content creation. Anyone with a smartphone can make a video and capture just as many views as a blockbuster film, its trailers and ads combined. And with little to no budget. Social media has opened up communication, allowing rich media to be distributed across multiple global networks and connect millions with similar interests.

But how has the widespread sharing of communication and content affected the media and entertainment industry? In this two part blog post, discover how the film industry is using social media to promote films and connect fans, and the role crowdsourcing plays in funding independent projects.

The Film Industry and Social Media

Despite efforts to prevent it, content piracy is almost ubiquitous, especially among the tech savvy. Interestingly, as the internet threatened to crush the film industry, it also extended an olive branch. Social media and its powers of viral marketing have ensured that the film industry stays afloat. Not only does it generate massive buzz, but it connects fans directly with the film, producers, actors and other fans, while minimizing distribution and marketing costs in the process.

How the Film Industry is Using Social Media to Promote and Market Films

Today, social media is a major consideration for film promotion, no matter the size and budget. Universal Pictures is getting creative, particularly with the release of “Despicable Me 2.” Creating an interactive marketing campaign around their “Minion” characters, Despicable Me 2 tapped into fans via mobile. Spanning five European countries are mobile-controlled digital ads with personalized skits from the Minions themselves. Fans are then encouraged to share their personalized videoclip across their own social profiles.

In other words, Universal Pictures has their fans doing the marketing for them:

But tapping into localized markets around the globe for mobile and social media marketing isn’t a simple task. Using geo-targeted social messaging helps zoom-in on specific demographics and nail-down audiences. Monitoring social campaigns and visualizing top performing social with in-depth analytics, such as HootSuite Analytics, are essential during a film’s promotion and marketing.

Social media command centers are helpful in visualizing the performance of a film’s entire marketing campaign from start to finish across multiple social platforms.

How the Film Industry is Using Social Media to Connect Fans

Blockbuster success and household name “Twilight” was the first film to reach 1 million followers on Twitter. Enticing fans to follow the film on social media is half the battle. After that, they have a massive captive audience to whom they can market, build hype and entertain with engaging content. But fans don’t follow films on Twitter to be bombarded with marketing campaigns. They want to be a part of a community and greater experience, where their favorite characters, producers and filmmakers are listening and engaging. Social media provides a space for communities of fans to connect over their shared love of film.

To effectively manage this expansive global community, HootSuite Teams, Conversations and Message Management ensures that every fan’s social message is heard and properly responded to. Zooming in on Custom Analytics enables film marketers to visualize how best to engage and target messages that will resonate.

Using social media management tools for active listening is essential to maintain a film’s longevity – especially for sagas like Twilight or Harry Potter. Films can use social media to listen to what their loyal fans want, and hopefully find a creative way to do just that. Setting up multiple keyword and hashtag search streams in HootSuite is a great way to monitor what a local or global audience is saying about a film and gauge overall sentiment.

For example, after 1 million social media “demands” for a nationwide release of the film Paranormal Activity, Paramount gave in. Their active-listening across the nation allowed them to effectively meet the needs of their audience.

To Conclude…

To capture the attention of thousands, marketing content has to be rich, encapsulating and creative. Films of varying budgets are now up against themselves for creativity. But when it comes to social media management tools to ensure that your film’s marketing campaign is a success, HootSuite has you covered.

Stay tuned for part 2, where we look at the role crowdsourcing plays in the film and entertainment industry.

For more information, read our Case Study, ‘3 Steps to Social Media Success in Entertainment.’