Social Media as Advertising
Using social media as a platform for marketing and advertising has become an essential way for big and small budget films to combat the decline in ticket sales. With 74% of online users using social networking sites, it makes sense for film producers to take advantage of the cheap and effective way to advertise.
Social media has become an important part of advertising for films because it is easier to track if they connect with consumers who are in the target market. For films, the target market is more than just age ranges and income, it is also specific interests that the consumer shares with what the film covers.
Bombarding social media with updates about every aspect of the movie is one great way to get the chatter on social media started, but it has become even more important to create a conversation that consumers can share with their friends and family. To do this, films have started to create interactive campaigns. For example, here are five fantastic movie release social media campaigns:
Minions had an extra advantage because they were able to use the existing fan base from the Despicable Me movie to create conversations and excitement, however, the film really found success by using Snapchat and giant minions. People lined up to take pictures with giant minions at theaters and McDonald's restaurants and then they shared those photos online.
In addition, some international campaigns included contests that asked consumers to post pictures on Twitter of their McDonald's Minion toy and then use specific contest hashtags.
Twilight has become a mark in pop culture by being the first film to get over one million followers. One thing that they definitely did right is thanking their fans and using hashtags that represent the film.
Some people say that a large part of their following success was because the film exploited the sexy side of vampires with posts to connect with teen girls. Be that as it may, tying the narrative of the story to something so shareable as asking fans to choose a side between the leading men in the story cannot be undersold as pure social media marketing genius.
Hunger Games used social media to connect with the audience in a way that printed posters and movie trailers could not. The film sent game invitations to teens on Facebook and Twitter that invited target consumers (mostly teenage girls) to register for a "district" (a plot element in the story) and then compete with players in other districts. The game created a way for consumers to relate to other fans, but it also created a way for the consumers to be a part of the Hunger Games in a way that they could share with their friends and family.
Pacific Rim used social sharing as the main way to create a following. They created social sharing by building three games with achievement badges that fans could share with their friends.
In addition to games, the film used algorithms to create a connection between the consumer and Pacific Rim with a name generator. The name generator used the user's information from social media to create a custom name and then encouraged them to share it with their friends.
Ted's success on social media was largely because the film used multiple platforms to target fans based on interests with a distinctive tone. Most films use generic tones in their post to relate to a variety of consumers but Ted catered mostly to men in their early 20's.
Ted also collaborated with 20+ Facebook pages to distribute Ted memes and quickly grew to 8.5 million followers at the time of the film's launch.
It is no longer good enough to talk to the consumers through posters, trailers, or even one-line posts on Twitter. Social media can create great interaction with consumers, but it has become more and more important to create a unique experience with the film that encourages interaction.
The movies that do it right are the ones that bring fans into the world of the story and this is becoming more and more common, especially with super commercial projects like those found in the super-hero action category.