In our previous article on finding an audience, we had a look at what type of audiences there are and the differences between them. Now we are going to look at ways to reach your audience through social media, with Facebook being our first subject.
There’s no doubt that Facebook has drastically changed how we communicate. Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has become the norm for instant messaging and social sharing. It has also become an undisputed platform for filmmakers to promote their films and build up a community of fans.
Page or Group
The first step is to create a Page or group for the film. While there are not many differences between a Page and a group there are certain subtleties that can affect your reach and how the audience interacts with your project. With the group function, it serves more as a community gathering. Unlike a Facebook Page, other members of the group can make posts and directly interact with each other. As an admin, you can post sticky updates to the wall (useful for important information), documentation to the files section and even kick out misbehaving members. You can adjust the privacy settings to keep the group private and inclusive to those “in the know”, or you adjust the privacy settings to public so anybody can join.
However, a greater option would be to create a Facebook Page. Instead of being members of a group, the people who “like” your Page become fans. You also have greater flexibility when it comes down to sharing information as you can create a Page with a specific template; business, sports team, personality, and most importantly for us: a movie template. The movie template gives you the option of putting in a release date, the studio, what awards it has won, cast, crew and much more. Another incentive for the Page option is that you can incorporate like buttons onto websites. This allows those browsing a web page to like your Facebook Page without actually having to go on it. This is perfect for when someone has written a review about your film. Another bonus is that when someone likes a page it will show up on their friends Facebook ticker, give you—the page owner—extra reach.
Here are the instructions for creating a Page for your film.
- First go onto any Facebook Page, click the cog icon and in the drop down menu select Create A Page
2. In the entertainment panel select the category “Movie”
You can also make a Facebook page for yourself. If your first film is successful and you go on to make another, you’re going to want to transfer the audience members of from your initial page over to the new one. Over time, this is going to get tiresome and you’ll often lose fans that don’t see the updates. Therefore, once you’ve made a name for yourself, you can keep those who want to follow your journey in a single location.
Creating The Page
Once the Page (or group) is created, be sure to fill out all of the description boxes. You’re not able to customize the Page in any shape or form other than a display picture and a cover photo, so the only way to display information that you want on the page at all times is in the description boxes. More information will also increase and enhance the search rankings for your page.
Update your profile constantly
The key to an ever-growing community of fans is constantly putting out content, even if it’s a small update or a question to entice an answer from your fans. When Pages were first introduced users only had around 10 pages liked. Now Facebook is full of Pages, from news broadcasters to indie rockstars. It’s common for a Facebook user to have double the amount of Pages liked compared to the number of friends they have. Pages are a form of instant news that doesn’t require you to leave the central hub of your social communication.
Unfortunately, as there are so many Facebook Pages your posts are likely to be filtered out from a user’s timeline if they receive little interaction/views. You can counter this by; posting often, 4 times a week would be sufficient, by asking users to add your Page to their interest lists, or by using the Facebook promotion feature which will guarantee all of your fans and more to see the post, the post may even show up on their timeline days after initially posting.
It has also been recently documented that the Facebook post algorithm prefers posts that keep users on their site. More people are likely to see a post if the content keeps the user on Facebook rather than an outbound link.
Be creative with your posts. The more your post is liked and commented on, the more that post and your Page will be viewed by other parties. When your friend likes a post or Page, it will show up in their friend’s Facebook ticker. The more people that like a post, the further your audience reach will spread. When you publish a post on your Page, Facebook gives you the option to see how your post has influenced the audience.
The number of people who saw your Page’s post in the news feed, ticker or on your Page’s timeline.
The number of people who saw your Page’s post in a story from a friend.
The number of People who say your Page post in an advert or promotion.
Over time, you will be able to calculate trends that appear in certain posts, allowing you post only the best content.
However, do post accordingly. If your film is a deep drama about a cancer survivor and your posting internet memes in a bid to get likes, your core audience will soon start to unlike your Page.
Join other peoples groups and post on them
Groups and Pages are a great way to meet people who are not in any of your networks and whom you would probably never meet, if you are am member of a lot of groups you can also promote your Page or group to those members, again, don’t go overboard as you’ll get marked as spam
Here is a recommended filmmaking group that has a lot of members giving you an instant audience –FGN.
Advertise on Facebook
If you’re willing to part with your cash you can use www.facebook.com/advertising to create customized ad with a specific target market. You can target people by virtually any of their profile details, age, location, likes, and interests. Facebook will actually give you an estimated number of how many people fit into those qualities. You may be tempted to cast your net as far as possible but remember your ad budget will soon start to deplete. It would be more advisable to focus on your niche market, that way the ad clicks stay down, but when they are clicked there is a greater chance of that user liking your Page. Cost is based on your budget, which can be as little as $1 per day, and you can select to be charged per click or per ad run time.
In part #3 we will look at how you can engage an audience through Twitter.