Set up the fan page early – - at least one month ahead of the release, but up to a year. The earlier the release the more time there is to develop a community and understand the style of communication that resonates best with it.
For locally produced film titles, the producer can set up the page and distributor can take it over once the marketing cycle starts. This should be stated in the marketing agreement if the film’s production and launch is shared between several companies.
Create an engagement calendar for structuring your communication and use that to plan how your dialogue will evolve over the release period. We suggest you divide
- Pre-release: Three to six months before the release and production window;
- Release: one-month period prior to release, through the time the film finishes showing in cinemas;
- Post-release: Once the movie becomes available on DVD.
Choose and assign the content and messages you would like to use based on analysing your audience data from Facebook’s own profiling tools (see below) and the Tracking (see below) data once the campaign starts. Adjust your tone and style based on the results. Don’t be suprised that you have to pivot slightly from the plan later in the campaign as this data often reflects great insights into what the community is really interested in.
Core fans are the heart and soul of a Facebook campaign. The trouble is that current marketing techniques treat these fans exactly the same way as all the other fans.
“Hiding within your 20,000 or 500,000 Facebook friends and fans are always a dozen, two dozen or a hundred true advocates who can sway the rest of the community,” said Bob Knorrp in an Ad Age article. “They are the ones stirring the pot and continuing the conversation. They are the ones that engage with you the most.”
So identify the core fans, and figure out what makes the continue to dialogue with your content. Fanpagetrender.com has an excellent tool for identifying and tracking core fans (see below). With local releases look to engage with the fans of the stars and if possible ask the actors to interact with your page, and to also reference your Facebook campaign in their social media updates.
Make as much use of extra content, including trailers, outtakes, behind the scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew. Video is highly engaging and extremely shareable on Facebook.
Use any opportunity to create content that can be shared to your wall to engage your fan base. For instance, with the Scream 4 campaign, Scanbox provided the audience at the premier night with free masks and took a photo of the auditorium (see here), people were asked to tag themselves in the photo, which meant it was shared thousands of times across peoples’ news feeds.
Quizzes, games and promotions are a great way of engaging with fans. We have seen engagement improve 600 percent on pages that create some from of game. You may need different quizzes at different phases in the launch cycle.
Many great articles state the optimal number of postings is once a day at most. This is a correct strategy for once you have several thousand fans. However, in the early stages of the campaign we find it helps to post several well crafted messages each day.
We do this because early fans (generally have the highest propensity to be active and are enthusiastic about the film) coming to your page have some content to scroll through we feel that this improves your chances of increasing the importance your page has with Facebook (Edge Rank algorithm) which in turn improves the chance that your message will spread via the news feed updates
Speaking of the Edge Rank algorithm, your fans do not see all your posts — because the algorithm priortises the posts that end up in your news feed. The fans who have liked or commented on your page’s posts will see more of your posts appearing in their news feed in the future.
The key is to create messages and content that encourages your fans to engage. This will drastically improve the interaction rates for campaign and your reach into the news feed.
Profile Your Audience
You can use Facebook’s free audience profiling tools to identify your different audience bases for the film, as well as identify relevant interests that could be associated with those audiences.
This information can also be used as part of the communication planning for your wall posting messages (see above).
Advertising on Friday doesn’t appear to be as effective — we notice a considerable drop off in advertising effectiveness on this day, also page engagement drops substantially in comparison to other days.
Always benchmark success based on engagement rates, not just the number of fans. Facebook insights data is still rather limited at the moment, so shop around for some tools to help create your data set and identify core fans. That way you can see how your pages compare with the competition and how you community management is progressing with your fan base.
Identify core fans of your pages and compare their engagement with activity on competing pages.
That you we can see how community management is progressing and whether fans are interacting with updates.
Which movie pages have the most engaging content on Facebook, in your opinion?
Guest writer Ben Johnson is the founder of Gruvi.tv.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.