Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on viewing movies. While much of this money goes to superhero films, remakes, and book adaptations, there is still a strong market for smaller budget independent films. However, the issue for many directors who want to market their films, it’s hard to get a message out through all of the noise created by big budget pictures from major studios. Filmmakers can use social media as an effective way to generate buzz for a movie without blowing the budget. This post will show how filmmakers can use social media to promote their movies.
There are a lot of reasons why filmmakers should utilize social media. Like other business owners, filmmakers depend on good recommendations spreading to the public. A recent study from Nielsen on the habits of moviegoers reported that 40 percent of US moviegoers value recommendations posted by friends or family on social media. Keep in mind this makes recommendations from friends almost as important as the movie trailer. According to the study, about 44 percent of moviegoers say they trust trailers as a source of information when deciding whether or not to see a film.
Also, pretty much every moviegoer uses some form of social media. The study also reported that 81 percent of US moviegoers use Facebook, 34 percent used Twitter, and 21 percent were on Pinterest. With so many movie watchers on social media, it’s clearly a good advertising medium for filmmakers who can’t afford to air their trailers on television.
Though more moviegoers use Facebook than Twitter, there is also evidence from the Nielsen study that filmmakers should pay extra attention to their Twitter audiences. For example, Twitter users see an average of 9.3 movies per year, compared to 7.9 for Facebook, and 7.6 for Pinterest. Also, even if fewer moviegoers use Twitter, those who do are actively talking about movies. Nielsen reported that 55 percent of moviegoers who use Twitter regularly tweet or comment about movies. And most importantly, Moviegoers who use Twitter are 25 percent more likely than average social media users to attend a movie on its opening weekend.
There is also reason for filmmakers to consider reaching potential fans and moviegoers on Instagram. Instagram users watch an average 8.7 films per year which puts them ahead of Facebook and Pinterest users. Even if an image-based platform seems counterintuitive for marketing motion pictures, the evidence shows that Instagram users will post about movies they saw. Nielsen reported that nearly one in four Instagram users (24%) have posted images related to movies they recently saw. Also, 49 percent of Instagram users say they attend movies on opening weekends, a percentage that is near that of Twitter.
The Nielsen report shows that there is social media marketing can have a tremendous value for filmmakers who want to spread the word about their movies. Every year, independent films bring in hundreds of millions of dollars across the globe, so competition is fierce. Wisely using social media to energize current fans and to recruit new ones is a smart way to get information about a movie to the people who need it the most.