Seven time-smart steps to get your short film noticed
A Solo Mom’s work is never done, and neither is a filmmaker’s! You’ve created your film—now it’s time to get it in front of your audience. Below are some tips for the burgeoning filmmaker who is interested in creating a little buzz.
1. Set aside at least two months to do social-media promotion for your project.
If you’re like most people, you are already posting a Facebook status, looking at cat videos, or checking local or national news through social-media feeds. Stop doing that, and use that time to focus on promoting your film.
2. Create a few simple goals to keep you motivated and track success.
Yes, you want people to watch your film, so decide how many you want and by when. If you desire to create awareness of an issue your film highlights, you can make a goal to connect to a specific organization or two.
3. Choose where you will host your film.
Vimeo, YouTube, and Facebook are the most accessible options. YouTube is an open playing field, whereas Vimeo is a more controlled platform that has a paywall option you can use for an additional fee. Each platform has pluses and minuses. For example, YouTube views of your film do not get counted on your YouTube page when viewers access the film through Facebook. On these sites you always keep the rights to your film; however, by signing up, you have agreed to their terms of service, granting them nonexclusive license to do whatever they want with your film.
4. Choose your social-media avenues.
It’s better to use one or two paths really well than to have too many to manage. Start with Facebook. Twitter or LinkedIn can be helpful, too.
Facebook. You can share your film with those who are immediately connected to you. The downside is that only 10% of the people connected to your personal page actually see what you are posting. You can create a separate film page to reach a wider audience.
Join and interact in groups. You can find groups related to the topic of your film, or type “short film” in the search tool and find a plethora of pages and groups. Read each group’s guidelines before posting your film.
Set aside a small budget ($10 to $50) for paid promotion to create more visibility for your content. Don’t spend any more than that initially. You can directly target your “friends” and “friends of friends.” You cannot boost posts from your personal page; find out more about boosting your posts on Facebook. You can also advertise your film’s page to the general public for page “likes.”
Twitter. If you already have an account, start following organizations, festivals, and other filmmakers who might be interested in your film’s content. Engage people with information and questions beyond “Have you seen my film?” If you don’t already have an account, don’t start one. Focus on Facebook.
LinkedIn and all the others. LinkedIn is a free business-oriented networking site where you can put your résumé and connect with those in your industry. You can use it as an “about me” page and forgo the expense and energy of maintaining a separate website.
Skip Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest, and whatever else comes along. Less is more.
5. Skip the website.
Use your YouTube, Vimeo, or Facebook pages to share all pertinent information about your project and then link to your LinkedIn page for information about you as the filmmaker. Create a separate email address for your film so that people can reach you. You can link the email account to your personal email so that you’re receiving all your messages in one place.
6. Skip blogging.
Entice your audience and diversify your social-media posts with well-crafted information, quotes, still images from your film, and the link to view your film. Ask for reviews and feedback as a way to engage with your audience.
7. Be bold.
Be social on social media. Interact with people when you can. Building your audience takes time. Patience and diligence are key.
Image via Shutterstock.com
Tanisha Christie is an interdisciplinary performing artist and filmmaker. After years of working at the nexus of arts, media, social justice, and healing, she is currently finishing her master of social work (clinical specialization) at Hunter College in New York City. A child of a Solo Mom, she loves to ride her bike to the beach.
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