Believe it or not, social media affects movies.
For big movie companies, it means they need to work extra hard when it comes to promoting themselves using social media by investing in campaigns that will effectively reach their viewers and target market. Taking that into account, it’s worth getting into how social media campaigns can make or break a movie. Generally, it depends precisely on how movie studios are able to harness the power of those social platforms to really engage with their audience. As we move more and more towards REAL engagement – it’s important to realize how much social media plays a role in engaging people in products, services and in this case, movies.
What Social Media Does
Back in the day, the aim of social media was to connect people with each other. Fast-forward to 2014, and you’ll see it has exceeded that goal by connecting people not just to people they already know, but to almost anyone. Everyone can have the CEO of a company on their Facebook friends-list. Trust me, I’ve tried and succeeded, it works more often than you think. For consumers it means that they can keep up to date with their favorite products or ideas; for companies, it means they can connect with an entirely new consumer group. Social media has transformed not just how people communicate, but what they communicate about. The platforms have moved from personal messages to sending out information on products, supporting political campaigns, and for big movie studios, creating a buzz around certain films. Some of the films that have reaped the benefits of successful social media campaigns(particularly, Twitter) have been Sony’s “District 9” and “Bruno.”
Creating a More Targeted Audience
Perhaps one of the things that makes a social media campaign so effective is the refined data that it collects about its users, and Facebook in particular is a good example of this. People go on Facebook to find the pages of their favorite products, companies, and movies. More importantly, users share personal information such as where they’ve dined, what they’ve purchased, and where they work. The fact that several social media sites are interconnected also means sharing user data across many platforms. For a film studio that wants to target a certain demographic and really get the message across, there’s little else as powerful as a well-endowed social media campaign.
With all of these advantages, one would think that movie studios are investing a large percentage of their time and money into creating extensive social media campaigns. Interestingly, this isn’t the case when companies like Sony consider social media campaigns only a marginal part of their marketing strategies. However, considering the fact that not all films can benefit from a social media campaign, film studios may be right to not put all their bets on one marketing strategy. Despite the advantages that a successful social media campaign can have, social media can also break films even before they hit the box office.
However overall it’s noticeable that recent films like Will Ferrell’s Anchorman 2 has changed marketing in the movie industry – and that is reflected in their recent social media campaign. I’ve attached Gary Vaynerchuck’s quick analysis of the film and their marketing efforts to give you an overview of how and why the film’s marketing was so successful.
As movies begin to take a similar trend into marketing online through out social channels – we’ll be encouraged to participate in engaging to receive unreleased or restricted content…more than ever before.