Skip to main content

Social Media for Independent Filmmakers

Social Media Filmmaker

Social media is a crucial tool for any independent project and if executed properly, film makers can take advantage of wide exposure with little to no cost by creating a profile specifically for the purpose intended.

Getting Started

It’s important to know who is most likely to be interested in your product. Having a target audience in mind can help you decide which platforms will be most productive for your purpose. Knowing who you are trying to attract will help you decide if your page should be monetized and track the most successful content. This is crucial if you plan to purchase advertising or pay for promotions. Whether you are seeking funds or applying for festival sponsorship, a well written online campaign can benefit your current and future goals.

Once you have defined your mission and demographic, you should plan strategies to enhance the digital presence of your brand to achieve those goals. The plan will aways change as you gather insight into the metric analytics but once you have committed to a path, it can be a fun and simple journey to the finish line. Be agile and strive to keep your page fresh and interesting.

It is important to understand the benefits and shortcomings of each networking platform before deciding which one is right for your film project. Be aware of your limitations and don’t set goals to high for yourself or your staff. You want to be very active on as many as possible (posting two to three times a week is recommended) without over-extending your ability to stay current and relevant by managing too many at once. Starting with two or three at first is a good idea because you can always add more as you become more proficient or add staff to manage your social media posts and don’t be afraid to take advantage of the various social media management platforms available like Hootsuite and HubSpot.

Platforms

There are too many online networking platforms available to count and more are added every day. You should do your research and carefully select only the ones that will best help you reach your goals. Below are some of the most popular online platforms currently used by successful independent filmmakers and usually a good place to start with most wide demographics.

Facebook logo FACEBOOK: Present work and receive feed back

Instagram logo INSTAGRAM: Use hashtags and direct messages to connect with other filmmakers

Twitter logo TWITTER: Promote content and encourage sharing/commenting

LinkedIn logo LINKEDIN: Professional global connections

Youtube logo YOUTUBE: Popular for showcasing work

As you gain momentum and become more agile with your social media management, you can add more platforms to reach your engagement goals by digging into the uber-specific demo you want to reach (i.e., genre-specific fans, colleagues, investors, etc). Some of the more popular ones include, but are not limited to, the following sites.

Vimeo logo VIMEO: Video uploading choice for creatives

Kickstarter logo
KICKSTARTER
: Find funding and promote projects

Indiegogo logo
INDIEGOGO
: Supports efforts to raise funds for budding filmmakers

Shooting People logo
SHOOTING PEOPLE
: Highlights opportunities for funding, competitions, and training

Movidam logo
MOVIDIAM
: Listings from agencies, production companies, and creative freelancers

Additional Tips

Always be very thoughtful about the content you create and share. Make them fun and engaging but keep the message relevant, sharp, professional and on topic. Using video, audio and images will give you more engagement than a meme or link alone. Proper hashtags can help you optimize and organize your content. Include links back to your website when possible and be sure to encourage followers to share your content.

Be consistent about monitoring who is following your page and read all the comments. Your plan should be to attract many followers that will engage with your content and respond in a voice that is appropriate for your page personality. Don’t be shy about inviting those who comment and are not already following your page. Chances are high they will accept and continue to interact with you. Recent successful indy film projects that were propelled into wide popularity through heavily leaning into creative social media campaigns include “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Marcel The Shell With Shoes On”.

Following other filmmakers and connecting with influencers will keep you aware of the latest types of posts that are successful and make it easy stay on top of trends. Use a calendar and alerts to stay on top of the marketing plan and consider creating a group for easy interaction with your crew, talent and fans. They can help spark more ideas for content and will be more likely to share updates to their own followers. The bottom line is this. If you wouldn’t read, watch or share it, don’t expect others to either.

Sharon Derby, author