In part 1 of our Filmmaking 101 series, we talked about affordable printing options and the importance of posters, postcards, and business cards for the promotion of independent films, shorts, and webseries. Today I’d like to briefly discuss how you can use Social Networking to get your film seen.
Using your personal Facebook page is the easiest and most important Social Networking site that you can use to get people to see your film. Post the link to your film’s website and trailer. Create a photo album and add behind the scenes still images of you working on the film. Your friends and family are always your first (and usually biggest) fans. They will go to the links you post (as long as you don’t post a new link every 30 seconds). Not only will they go to your links, but they will comment on them. They will share them to others and help you promote your work. When you are comfortable and have a finished piece, it is a good idea to make a specific page for your film on Facebook. On it you’ll add as much info as humanly possible, including a ton of images, videos, links, etc. You’ll have to do the leg work and link this page on your profile and send it to friends. Even ask them directly to “like” it. Every person that “likes” it is like having a free ad to all of their friends, and than their friend’s friends. This is the easiest and cheapest form of advertising that you’ll be able to do for your film.
This social networking site has become key to getting your film “followers” and getting people to see your trailer and become aware of your project. In my opinion it is better to have a personal Twitter account, as opposed to an account for your film or production company. People don’t want to follow companies, they want to follow people. Sign up for an account and start by using Facebook to get your Twitter URL out there (just as you’ll do for your film’s website and trailer). To help increase followers, you can add a twitter business card or similar logo to your website and your film’s website. Follow your friends and family member’s accounts and make sure they follow you back. Then go further and start following other filmmakers, journalists, and even websites you enjoy. Everyone will not follow you back, but some will. Send them messages. The more back and forth you have between people, the better. Finally, when you are ready to announce your film project or link your film’s trailer, they will not only click on that link, but they retweet it and leave a comment. You don’t just want people to watch your work, you want them to talk about it.
What’s Myspace? Remember, it is that website you used before Facebook where you had a goofy nickname and a lot of glittery logos and cheesy pictures. Well, it still exists and there are still people on it. Sign up for a filmmakers/video account and create a page for your project. There is a chance that your trailer or short film can get spotlighted, which could lead to thousands of views. Create some exclusive content for Myspace, just as you should create specific videos for YouTube (which we’ll go over in another part of this series). This content could be videos, behind the scenes photos, teaser posters, press releases, or even just updates about the film and where it will be playing.
These are the three big sites, but they are only the start of making an impact Online. In future articles we’ll be posting about the importance of message boards, blogs, and entertainment websites to the success of your film.
Remember, the more pages you make for your film across Social Networking sites means that you’ll have that many more pages people can get to from search engines that you control.