I sell a lot of stuff on social media. In fact, that’s probably how you’re reading this blog right now. Since I’m very active, I also get a lot of people trying to sell stuff to me on social media. This blog is an amalgamation of some of what I’ve found works on social media, and some of the stuff I’ve found does more to harm your brand than build it.
Before you ask, yes I’ve been on both sides of pieces of this article at various times.
DO: Provide Value
Far and away the most important rule of building a brand on social media is to ALWAYS provide Value. Even when you’re trying to sell something, you should be providing value. It will take several impressions with a potential customer for them to engage with your content or buy your service, and in that time you’ll need to provide that potential customer quite a lot of value.
DON'T: Post Nothing But Sales Links
Even if your service provides value to members of a group, or your carefully cultivated following. If all you do is post thinks like “BUY MAH MOOOVIE!” then you’re failing to provide value, and you’re not going to move too many copies.
DO: Focus on Building Relationships
Building a relationship with your potential customers is the only way to turn then from potential customers to single time customers, to regular, recurring business. Essentially, these relationships rely on trust. In order to build that trust, try posting relevant articles from your blog, behind the scenes footage, a piece of press you got mentioned in, or whatever else that gives you a touch point with your fanbase without asking them to spend money.
DON'T: Treat All Your "Friends" Solely as Potential Customers.
If you’re like most people, you have everyone from high school classmates to people you know from the bar to great aunt Gertrude on your facebook. Be congniscent of the fact that most of those people may or may not want to actually buy your movie. Don’t forget to post the standard facebook posts alongside talking about your project.
DO: Start a Conversation
If you want to share something you’re working on or the movie you just made with someone via a messaging system, start by saying hello. If you open up a conversation, and show genuine interest in what they’re working on, it will be far more likely that they’ll be genuinely interested in what you want to sell them.
DON'T: Send a Form Message with a Link to All Your "Friends"
When I say Start with Hello, I don’t mean a message like this.
“Hello! How are you? I hope you’re well. It’s been a while since we talked, but I just wanted to let you know about this movie I just finished called “I’ma Spam You!” If you could check it out via this link below, I’d be super greatful”
Doing that is more likely to lose you connections than convince people to buy your content.
DO: Know Who You're Talking To
Are you reaching out to someone you went to High School with? Maybe you haven’t spoken in years. If that’s the case, you’ll definitely want to try to catch up before you ask them for money. If you have powerful people on your social media, you should be careful how you approach them. I’ve had people try to sell me their unproduced scripts on Amazon, then go off on a fiery tirade when I didn’t want to buy it. They are now blocked, although a mutual friend said they were still looking for some of the services I offer. Don’t do that to yourself.
DON'T: Try to Sell Your Movie to Someone Who Has No Reason to be Interested.
Someone you know who is incredibly christian, probably isn’t going to buy your body horror feature film. Similarly, the goths on your friend list probably aren’t going to buy your faith based film. Know who you’re trying to sell your movie to, and take note.
DO: Post Relevant Content to Relevant Groups
Maybe you’re putting some content into a filmmaking group. If you are, you should make sure that whatever content you’re posting provides value. The long and short of it is: Don’t post irrelevant content and expect people to engage with it in a positive manner.
DON'T: Be an Asshole
This point originally read Don’t be Spammy, but in a way the two are synonymous. They also both very eloquently summarize this entire article. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re being an asshole, then ask yourself the following question. “Am I being an asshole?” if the answer is anything other than “No” you probably are being at least a bit of one.
Thanks for reading!
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My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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