How To Promote Your Movie Fan Page On Facebook

As a filmmaker, you need to be promote movie on Facebook.

I am assuming that you already have a personal profile. And if so, you know the platform allows you to stay in touch with friends, have conversations with co-workers and find pictures of your ex-girlfriend. (Not that I ever do those searches.)

But from a promotional perspective, Facebook is a powerful tool for filmmakers. With nearly a billion monthly users, Facebook is one of the most awesome ways to reach your movie target audience.

If you are part of the Filmmaking Stuff community, you probably noticed how nearly 37,000 filmmakers participate and share ideas about filmmaking from all over the world.

How To Promote Your Movie Fan Page On Facebook

If you are wondering how to promote your movie on Facebook, the first thing you need to do is create a page. To get started, open a new tab and log into Facebook. Once you are logged into Facebook, follow this link create a Movie Fan Page.

Step 1 – Set Up Your Movie Fan Page

When you click the link above, you will 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.

Promote Your Movie On Facebook

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 Movie Fan 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.

how to promote your movie on facebook

Step 2 – Invite Your Friends to “Like” Your Page

Your next step is to reach out to your Facebook friends and invite them to “Like” your Movie Fan Page. Depending on your genre and storyline, 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, Farmville and other distractions.

Assuming you can break through the noise, the advantage to utilizing Facebook to promote your Movie Fan Page 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.

Step 3 – Link Your Movie Fan Page to Your Movie Website

When you’re looking to promote your Movie Fan Page, it is important to understand Facebook works best when you supply your followers with relevant info and updates. Where does this info come from? Your movie blog! (Affiliate link.) I’m assuming you have a blog, right?

If you study how successful filmmakers utilize Facebook, you’ll often notice they write content or create videos for their blog. Then they share the info on their Movie Fan Page. The content is usually a behind the scenes production diary. Or in the case of documentaries, it is usually info related the subject matter of the movie.

Step 4 – Promote Your Movie Fan Page

In the event you would like to promote your Movie Fan Page 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 Fan Page.

One of the coolest aspects of building a Movie Fan Page is the ease at which you can build buzz and community around your title.

Step 5 – Update Your Movie Fan Page Frequently!

Marketing is a conversation. Goofy sales pitches and silly “Hey… Look at me…” stuff never works. You need to always think in terms of value. Will your next update add value to your audience? Again, the content needs to be relevant. It should spark a discussion and allow you to meet the people in your audience.

In turn,  your fans will respond favorably. This 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. (Nobody benefits from stupid content.)

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, friends of these fans may see the picture – which may cause them to “Like” your Movie Fan Page too. But the hidden benefit of user generated content is – you don’t have to worry about generating additional content!

If you’d like to market your movie on Facebook, take a look at my Movie Fan Page system.

Indie Film Website For Your Filmmaking

If you’re like most filmmakers, you have a website for your movie. And odds are good you are trying to fit too much into it. So the first thing you need to do is remove all the distracting crap. Whenever I mention this at a talk, invariably someone asks me how to determine what’s distracting? It depends on your website objective.

When building a movie website, most filmmakers have two objectives:

  1. Stage 1 – Raise awareness for your movie.
  2. Stage 2 – Sell your movie directly.

If you’re still in Stage 1, chances are good you have press kits, actor bios, reviews of your movie, anecdotes from production and about a gazillion other items, including behind the scenes photo galleries. But once you finish the festival circuit, you may choose to enter Stage 2 and start funneling web traffic towards your DVDs and VOD in various marketplaces.

To do this, I suggest you install Google analytics and monitor your traffic. Here is an example from the first feature I worked on:

 

If you look closely, you’ll notice that many visitors ended up visiting pages that did not lead to a sale. This is like keeping money on the table. So to counter the confusion, I suggest simply removing the pages altogether.

When promoting your movie, the goal is to remove all the extra crap and keep what matters.

The end result is a very simple website that “funnels” people to your desired destination.

When visitors click on “Buy NOW” they are redirected to the point of sale.

Marketing a movie is initially a creative art – but unlike other arts,  the beauty of movie marketing is, with the right tracking tools, you can test and retest your ideas to determine effectiveness.

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Filmmaking For a Living

Hollywood Sign

Image via Wikipedia

As a filmmaker, you are expected to make a product (your movie). The money invested to create your product should be less than the eventual sales of your product. If you can not figure out how to achieve this goal, you do not have a business. You instead have an expensive hobby and probably a good demo reel.

There are a lot of filmmakers who attempt to raise money without first considering how their movie will recoup the initial investment. These filmmakers say things like “I have a vision” or “I’m going to make this for the love of filmmaking. Then I’ll get into festivals, get noticed and garner a great distribution deal!” And while it is true that passion, tenacity and blind optimism play an important role in getting your movie produced and seen and hopefully sold, this alone is not enough to drive the masses to your screenings.

This happens in Hollywood all the time. A filmmaker creates a typical business plan that focuses on film festivals as the most viable distribution strategy. And played out, the filmmaker gets the money, hires a crew, makes a movie and then enters the festivals. But months after wrap, well into the festival circuit, these filmmakers realize that the market has changed. The days of awesome DVD acquisitions deals and huge upfront advances are over. And when the last frame flickers off the silver screen, these filmmakers take their dashed-dreams back to their day job.

The veterans of the industry tell us that all this distribution deal disappointment is a result of improved technology. They optimistically tell us that our lost DVD revenues will be recouped by Video On Demand. Some refer to this as simply a market correction, implying that someday, somewhere, someone will figure out how to once again pay the big bucks for movies. But this is a pipe-dream.

Here is the flaw. Most filmmakers depend on DVD distribution for a return on investment. And with deteriorating DVD sales channels, filmmakers are currently left with iTunes, NetFlix and Amazon as the most prominent VOD sales options. My question is this. Who on earth is going to pay a major advance to get your movie into a marketplace that YOU can easily access without the middle man?

This approach to the marketplace changes everything. Your business is no longer dependent on production and capital gains. Nope. These days, the focus for the filmmaker lies in creating multiple streams of movie income over the long term. And if you want to make a living making movies, you need to realize that your libary and the subsequent auidence you source (over your career)  are your major assets. And as a result, your most important filmmaking focus (aside from doing good work) is to acquire and keep a customer.

Like it or lump it, filmmaking has become a small business. The same rules now apply.

– – –

Jason Brubaker is a Los Angles based independent filmmaker and an expert in Video On Demand distribution. If you are one of the many filmmakers seeking movie distribution, you might want to check out The Independent Producer’s Guide To Distribution.

Market and Sell Your Movie On The Internet

Netflix, Inc.

Netflix is Now Available for Indie Filmmakers on The iPad. This Image via Wikipedia

A few years back traveling the festival circuit with a newly produced movie seemed to offer and air of excitement and promise for a great career making movies.

If you think about it, as a filmmaker, getting a movie financed and actually produced was (and still is) an incredible achievement. However, as you probably noticed – things are changing quite a bit in the world of distribution.

And while it would be nice to get a grandiose distribution deal, or even the validation of seeing your movie somewhere in the local Blockbuster, the reality is – this will probably not be a reality for many filmmakers.

However, if you’re ready to face the future of independent movie distribution, you’re in good shape. With the release of the iPad, and the new NetFlix application, we now have clear indication that Video On Demand has arrived in a majorly portable way. And while many of you will argue that the iPad is not the most ideal way to watch a movie – few of us can argue that the future of movie delivery has arrived.

Check out the following iPad clip featuring the NetFlix application:

So as movie distribution becomes more and more portable, what is a filmmaker to do? Here are five digital self distribution tips I have for you:

  1. Know your target market. Just because there are more tools that can instantly deliver your movie to millions of people doesn’t mean every one will like your movie. In fact, only a small percentage will. Your job is to find that small percentage and market accordingly.
  2. Build a fan base. Over time, having a few thousand people on your mailing list who like your work and are always up to date on your productions will help you sell more and more movies. Think of bands building a fan base. You have to do the same thing.
  3. Stick out from the crowd. As you can guess, the market will soon be flooded with a whole ton of movies. This doesn’t mean every movie is worth watching. In fact, you will have to figure out a way to make your movie better. What is your unique hook?
  4. Don’t be afraid to make people hate you. Seriously. There should be two types of audiences for your work. The audience that hates you and your work. And the audience that loves you and your work. Anybody in-between will not be profitable.
  5. Your website is a hub to help your prospective audience find your movie, buy your movie – or at least get on your mailing list. Make this easy for your prospective fan – or suffer the loss of independent movie revenue.  And please, please, please ask for the order.

And in case you’re wondering how I learned this stuff – Like YOU, we got a few bad deals and a lot of rejection with our first feature. But thankfully, digital self distribution allowed us to find our audience (In an AWESOME way!)

As a result, our first feature is still selling like crazy over the internet – And believe me, waking up with an email that reads “You Got Money!” (without a middle-man) goes really well with coffee. In fact, it goes a lot better than the months I spent watching our first feature collect dust on a book shelf.

So, if YOU have a feature film that flat-lined, don’t worry! Your time to resurrect your title(s) is coming! Stay tuned – in a week or so, I will have a digital self distribution surprise for you. . .

ALSO: I am gearing up to share my digital self movie distribution tactics all over the country. So if you know of a workshop or a festival that could benefit from this kind of information, let me know.