Building Your Audience Part #3 – Twitter

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Twitter has become the undisputed champion of instant news. When events occur like Hurricane Sandy or the Baltimore Protests, Twitter delivers uncensored reports of the events taking place by the people who are actually experiencing them.

Created in 2006 by  Jack Dorsey the site has become the second most popular social networking site in the world, boasting 500 million users (July 2012). Much like Facebook, Twitter too has become an unprecedented platform for promoting your film. Let’s have a look at how you can expand your audience through Twitter.

The Following

Before you have started marketing or even filming for that matter, be sure to sign up to twitter to secure your vanity URL. Vanity URL’s, as you may have guessed, include your name in the URL, for example if your film is called “Lead Me Home”, it would be ideal to secure or

This gives your film an extra edge and it looks professional. However, not obtaining the URL can also dampen the way users find your film. Vital audience members may miss your film if your URL is Unfortunately, with 320 million users there’s a good chance that your ideal tag has already been taken. If it has been registered use words that still represent your film –

When you first open your twitter account it can seem quite bare and it may take a very long time to build up a list of followers. However, you can quash the waiting game by going out and finding your audience instead of waiting for them to find you. Find films or people that have a common ground with your film and follow their users, not frantically though as you will be suspended.followbutton

When you’re constantly following users it’s important to have valuable information displayed on your profile. Those users will receive an e-mail telling them that Lead Me Home has started following them. With a great bio section, it will increase the chance of that user following you back. If you just have “Short film in production”, the payoff isn’t going to be very large. You want it to be enticing and gripping.

Over time using this method you may accumulate a great following but it’s almost certain that not every user will follow you back, you will then need to use a site tool like to filter out the people who have not followed you back.

It should also be mentioned that using this method will not give you a correct analysis of how many people are interested in your film. Some users may see that you follow everyone back and decide to follow you simply for an extra follower.

Here’s a Twitter Cheat Sheet that will help on your twitter road. Credit to LinchpinSEO.

Twitter User Infographic


On Twitter your main prerogative is to promote and market your film. Nonetheless, Twitter users will start to switch off (and eventually unfollow you) if your story is constantly the same. Tweet about topics of interest that’s related to your film, but not about your film. You want to come across as a human being with important things to say, not an automated brand bot.

Tweet on controversial subjects. Twitters entire model is based on sharing conversation and the best way to get people to notice you is to create arenas that get people talking. It will grow your followers and make people more likely to retweet you.

super-twitter-282x300Reply to tweets that mention you. Users of the internet like instant access to everything; music, films, information and if you can instantly reply back to users asking a question you going to appear in their good books. This will also make you come across as a living person rather than a brand which is the main drive of this post; appear human, not a brand. Users love interaction, people will be more likely to mention you again, and this will snowball into more people reading your blog or seeing your film.

Routinely conduct searches on your name. With the search function you can enter your films name and see if users have been talking about your film. This can serve as a tool for you to find feedback about your film and again, interact with those users too, ask them why they didn’t like it or thank them for their kind words.

Ask your follower’s questions and listen to their answers. Is there something you’re doing wrong to market your film? Is there something you could be doing better? Is there something related to your film people want to see more or less of? Twitter users love to talk so talk back to them, all of them.

Selling Your Film

If your film is complete and you’re thinking of cashing in on your Twitter followers for sales, it’s important not to use Twitter itself to sell. Instead, you want to use Twitter to drive people to your site where you can then sell your film or merchandise there. As stated before, people will see you as a brand-bot if all your tweets are promotional links to buy your film. Use Twitter as a platform to engage your audience, write about things that will interest them which will lead users to checking out your website. That is all you can do and that is all you want to do. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink

And remember, there are several services that offer a following service where you pay for followers. This violate Twitter’s terms and conditions and will quickly get you banned.

In part #4 we will focus on building a website for your audience.
Part #1 – Who is your audience?
Part #2 – Building an audience on Facebook.

About The Author

Lewis McGregor is an aspiring filmmaker, photographer and online content creator from Wales.