Film CrowdfundingHow to Use Social Media to Tell Your Campaign's Story
April 20, 2020
Hello there! I’m Catrina, Seed&Spark’s Digital storyteller, and you know what? I get it: marketing on social media isn’t for everyone. If you’re new to talking about yourself and your work in front of an untold volume of audience members, the pressure to execute things just right can be daunting, and the frequency with which you build your audience can get overwhelming if you count your numbers too much. But fear not!
After a solid decade of managing social media platforms for new shows, shorts, films, podcasts and comic books, I’ve learned that there are common themes when it comes to creating an online presence that is not only beneficial to your work, but sustainable for a career in creative storytelling in any medium.
Think of this guide not as a step-by-step, but as a final checklist before launch so that you can trackback and strengthen your campaign before it’s ready.
What kind of storyteller are you?
In marketing speak, this would be where I tell you to ‘find your voice’, but at the end of the day, it's much more than just choosing an attitude for the way your project presents itself online. Quirky and humorous ‘voices’ can only get you so far without a real plan for how and why this voice will accommodate and motivate your audience. You don’t have to be Wendy’s and make your messaging savvy to as broad an audience as major brands do. Instead, think about what that 'voice' is saying to your audience, how it might appeal to newcomers, and if the content and messages that you want to create will be something that they'll engage with.
One of the best ways to assess this is by looking at your campaign page and take a critical look at what you've written in order to craft your voice. How can the story that you tell on your campaign page turn into shareable content that will make people want to see it all? Think of your project's social messaging as a 'spin off' of your main feature and choose to share what I like to call accessible content: bits of the story that the audience already with you will want to see more of that also acts as an open and informative gateway for new audiences.
Assess your bandwidth & current audience
There is no expectation for you to be a constant social media content production machine. Before you launch your campaign, take a moment to think about your own time, how much you might be able to create with it, the material you already have at your disposal, and what your audience will want from the things you create with that time.
Tools such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and Facebook’s scheduling tab (right at the bottom on all devices, near your post button) can be used to lay out the majority of your promotional posts well ahead of your campaign. This way, your time on social media can be entirely dedicated to engaging with your audience instead of setting up daily posts, which effectively limit your time online to moments of connection that matter.
Get involved in your community
This might sound like a lot of work for one project, but since we're all about sustainability here at Seed&Spark, it's a step that I find to be vital when it comes to creating a supportive, strong base of people who will want to stick with your work forever.
In most cases, you won't even have to leave your home to do it: if you're online-savvy, choose a few communities (Facebook groups, Twitter lists, Meetup groups, etc) that aren't just relevant to your project, but to you. Communities that will still matter to your career well after your project has been funded, finished and distributed. Join them, then participate in discussions while being respectful and authentic. Build peer groups online, then listen to them and amplify their work, and you will quickly see other creators who willingly and enthusiastically do the same for you. Not only is this good for your campaign, but you'll probably come out of it with vibrant new connections, perspectives, and a few great new friends.
Example: Are you a Latinx creator? Get involved in groups where Latinx writers share their work or discuss their work, and then take the extra step to amplify those creations. Follow and get to know filmmakers, comic creators and storytellers who are like you, and make sure to celebrate, share, and support their work.
Choose a memorable handle
One of the more simple steps to follow when registering your project's accounts (check out this great article from our own Bri Castellini on figuring out where you need to be present online, which accounts you should make, and if your campaign needs new accounts at all) is to keep your online handle consistent. Along with improving your chances of getting discovered in searches, it's just an easy way for the supporters you already have to know where to find your work.
Choose a handle that matches the project title and register it everywhere that you've decided to go. Remember: there's no shame in adding 'film' or 'comic' or 'pod' to the end of a handle if the name you want is already taken. Get creative, and stay consistent!
Make it easy & exciting to share your content
This particular step is a two-parter, but it’s not nearly as complicated as it might seem!
Part One: Create content worth sharing. Is there an amazing quote in your pitch that you know will connect to a particular community? Head over to an easy design app like Canva and use the templates to make that into a text quote sized for your preferred social networks. Are there script excerpts that pack a punch without spoiling everything? Screenshot them and put them up. Is there meme-able physical comedy or a haunting visual that looks great in motion? Use ezgif or giphy to clip a gif right out of your video.
Part Two: Keep your content sized for social. Why is this such a big deal? Whether you’re working with a logo, your concept art, your poster, photos from set or even complete production photography, making your images sized to share is an effective and time-saving way to provide your audience with easy content to share on your behalf. Keep a few of these images on your Media tab so that your campaign’s followers can easily save and share them. (Behind the scenes secret: as Seed&Spark’s Digital Storyteller, my goal is to share your story authentically. This means that our marketing team will never clip or crop your project’s art or photography to fit to social sizes in order to keep your vision preserved. Dropping a few 1:1 and 16:9-sized imagery into your Media tab helps us share images from your project without clipping anything out.) Here’s a helpful, always up-to-date list of image sizes for social.
When combined, these best practices are very much like the perfect sauce that makes the sandwich right. Now it's up to you to put them to use to show the world that the story you want to tell is exciting and that it matters within the scope of the world around us. You got this.