Greetings independent artists! So, you have an idea for a project or have just completed one. Awesome! I’m sure most of you know the next step is promoting your work to the public. With a minimal budget your best bet is to use all social media has to offer.
Facebook is a great way to keep friends and family in the loop about your project and is an important “home base” for updates. Facebook has a few flaws, however. According to allfacebook.com only 17% of your content will reach your fans. This is primarily due to newsfeed traffic buildup which includes other liked pages and the annoying “look how adorable I am” friend who is constantly taking pictures of themselves in the mirror. Let’s be honest, everyone is up their own ass on facebook, myself included, it’s shameful. Don’t judge me.
As a promoter for independent films, as well as a blogger, I have found Twitter is the best way to incorporate an organic audience for your work. Through trial and error, seminars, webinars and various social media articles, I will bestow my Twitter knowledge onto thee in three easy steps. Ok, here we go!
1.) Follow People in Your Wheelhouse- When you first create your Twitter account you may be tempted to follow every actor, director, musician, writer and comedian you admire. A few are ok, but try not to follow too many celebs. As interesting as their quirks may be, remember, they don’t give a shit about your work and will more than likely never follow you back. The goal is to cultivate an audience; this takes some time. For example, if you’re an indie filmmaker you should follow other indie filmmakers, as well as, screenwriters, film bloggers, cinephiles and entertainment junkies. Try to make good partnerships with the people you follow and eventually you will receive positive feedback, which leads me to my next point.
2.) Effectively Communicate- Using proper Twitter etiquette is a must. We know you want to shout about the greatness of your project from the rooftop and constantly tweet about how profound it is, but don’t do this. It’s tacky. Think about if EVERY commercial you watched was McDonalds trying to shove whatever new gimmicky fried thing in your face. Obnoxious! Start conversations with your followers about their work, re-tweet interesting facts or funny insights, share articles that are relevant to your project and your craft. Once you find a good balance, then you incorporate your stuff. In other words, it’s not all about you. Sharing is caring and eventually people will notice and show you the same courtesy. Trust me; civility is strongly revered in the Twitter-sphere.
Always mind your manners. Once you have followers re-tweeting and sharing your work make sure to reply back to them. Remember there is someone else on the other end of the computer; a simple “thank you” goes along way. It’s also important to avoid controversial topics and excessive cursing. Not too long ago The Onion sent out a tweet calling nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) a c*nt (sad but true). Even though they apologized and deleted the tweet, it did not make it go away. Oh, and speaking of going away, try not to disappear from Twitter for days on end.
Stay Active! Tweeting once a week or even once a day will get you nowhere. You should be on Twitter periodically throughout the day. This can be exhausting but it’s free press, and the more you put into it the more you take out of it. Last, but definitely not least…
3.) Be Creative With Your Tweets- Nobody wants to read the same old mundane tweets. Switch it up every now and then. Make sure it’s attention grabbing and always use relevant subject matter. Try making the tweets interactive or make a trivia game for your followers. Add a picture or a still shot of your project to a relevant tweet (I know every time I see a tweet with a picture attached I always take a peek). Incorporate a new hash tag that hasn’t been done yet that is unique to you. If your tweets separate you from the crowd, this will give you the best press ever - word of mouth.
We're lucky to have this FREE outlet at our disposal, so stop rolling your eyes about Twitter, get off your dead one and hop to it. I hope my knowledge has given you some insight as to how to hatch a social media marketing plan that works for you. Good luck! @PRbyMKR