Independent filmmakers need to be able to use social media in today’s highly competitive world. Whether it is to sell your film, or to mount a crowdfunding campaign, social media is the new tool of communicators.
To look like a pro in social media, there are a few simple steps you need to take. Don’t overthink any of these steps. Just do it!
1. Get An URL
A website (called a domain name) name is the very first, and crucial step. Filmmakers often get an url for each of their films, which they can also host under their main domain name. Chose a name that describes you or your movie and register it. To see which names have been taken, go to www.whois.com. To purchase a domain name, check out a website like www.hostgator.com.
2. Get A Blog
A blog is a website, or part of a website, which is updated by an individual and which usually allows visitors to comment on the articles posted to the site. There are lots of different options for setting up a blog and they’re all very quick and easy to use. Some of the most popular blogging softawre is WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type and Typepad. These software packages provide CMS (Content Management Systems) which allows easy update of the blog with text and pictures.
3. Get An ISP
You need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect to the internet. An ISP is the service that hosts your website and blog on the internet, and allows you to access it as well as providing email accounts. Prices will vary according to the number of email accounts you need and how much storage you need for your website.
4. Get a Picture Editor
You need to be able to resize and edit pictures. Photoshop is a wonderful piece of software but costs about £500 ($800). Gimp does more or less the same job, and it’s not only free, it’s legal. Find out how to get lots of free software here
5. Get Content
If you want to build your list, it’s all about content. You will need to acquire or create content. Remember that simply copying someone else’s work into your blog, Twitter or Facebook profiles will actually harm you more than help. The search engines could well think you are either spam or porn, and push you further down the rankings.
Good content is fresh, direct, original and to the point. We plan new articles on content creation specifically for the web. To get these articles, why not subscribe to our free weekly newsletter?
6. Get An Audience
Start telling everyone you know about your new-found social media presence. Add your Twitter or Facebook profile address to your email signature and to your stationary and website. Useful tools on how to build your audience will follow in a further article, but here is a good one:
Comment or like other people’s work. Liking or mentioning someone else’s article or movie is a form of flattery. Often that person will like you back, and presto, you have made another friend.
7. Get A Routine
There are two potential pitfalls one can easily fall into, both potential career killers. The first is to start a social media campaign only to abandon it. Nothing turns browsers off more than seeing a blog or Twitter account last updated 100 days ago. The second is to allow the management of your social media profiles to overtake and consume you, leaving little or no time for anything else.
Successful filmmakers decide how they want to be see on the internet, then develop a plan that accounts for their budget, both of time and money.
Generally speaking at Raindance we have two people who concentrate on social media: including the planning and writing of newsletters, updating webpages and writing and posting on Twitter and Facebook. We try to limit the time spent to the mornings, and by using scheduling servie software like Hootsuite, Tweets, Facebook status updates and newsletters can be written and scheduled in advance.
With as little as fifteen minutes a day, filmmakers can maintain a valuable social media profile. The trick, of course, is to use your time wisely, efficiently and intelligently.