As a filmmaker, you need to be promoting both yourself and your movie via Facebook. Assuming you already have a personal profile, you know the site allows you to easily stay in touch with friends, have conversations with co-workers and find pictures of your ex-girlfriend. But from a promotional perspective, Facebook is a powerful tool for filmmakers.
If you are part of the Filmmaking Stuff community on Facebook, you probably noticed how nearly 3000 filmmakers have leveraged the community to reach out to share ideas with filmmakers, from all over the world. But in addition to using Facebook for direct personal interests, when you account for the ever changing world of movie distribution, Facebook provides you with a big opportunity to source and connect with your target audience.
If you have a personal Facebook profile, and a movie worth promoting, you need to set up a page for your movie. To do this, go to facebook.com and scroll to the bottom of the page. From there, click the link that says create a page.
You’ll then be redirected to a web page that asks you to pick your page type. If you’re promoting a movie, choose “entertainment” and then pick “movie.” Facebook will then ask you for the name of your movie.
From there, Facebook will ask you to log into your account. If you do not have an account, (and you should), you’ll have to create one. Once complete, your page will be set. All you gotta do is fill in pertinent information about your movie, including a description, photos, links to your movie website and possibly, your movie trailer.
Your next step in the process is to reach out to your facebook friends and invite them to “like” your movie. Depending on your genre and story line, not all of your friends will respond to your request. Don’t take it personally. Many of my movie projects have been ignored by friends, probably because they are over-inundated with various requests from Angry Birds, Farmvill and other distractions.
Assuming you can break through the noise, the advantage to utilizing Facebook to promote your movie is your ability to connect with your audience. Unlike BIG Hollywood power-players, your fans have access to you. This allows you to add value to their experience, beyond simply watching your movie. By cultivating these relationships, your audience is more likely to promote your movie to their friends, which helps you build your fan-base and make more sales, without spending much money.
In the event you would like to promote your movie further, Facebook provides you with some very targeted advertising opportunities to reach your target audience. For example, if you are promoting a zombie movie, you will actually have the ability to reach out to zombie enthusiasts and get them to “Like” your movie. Because they have demonstrated interest in the genre, your ability to build a relationship with these fans, and possibly get a sale, may increase.
One of the coolest aspects of building a Facebook fan page to promote your movie is the ease at which you can build buzz and community around your title. Fans will be able to post content on the wall, and as a result, you will be able to monitor word of mouth and find out what people are saying about your movie. And in the event you get a few spammers, you can moderate comments to ensure that the content doesn’t become stupid.
In addition, some filmmakers allow fans to post photos to the fan pages. This sort of activity reinforces community and encourages word of mouth. For example, if your movie is in the festival circuit, you might ask your fans to post pictures of the screening. Then once the photo is posted, frends of these fans may see the picture – which may cause them to “like” your movie too. But the hidden benefit of user generated content is – you don’t have to worry about generating additional content!