Your Filmmaking Web Presence at a Glance
By Nic Baisley
Does your web and social presence matter? In a word, yes. It’s a matter of how you use your web presence though that really makes a difference. You need to know what you hope to accomplish with the various elements that make up your web presence. Do you hope to get people to notice you and your projects? Do you hope to make money directly by selling your films or merchandise? Are you using your website, film reels, etc. as a resume for people to hire you based on your previous work? At the end of the day it comes down to the old adage, slightly modified for the entertainment industry, “It’s not who you or what you know, it’s who knows you.”
What should I have on my website to make it complete?
- Contact Info – Name, Address, Phone Number, and Email Address at the VERY least.
- A synopsis or a highlight of your current or previous works. Something that can easily been seen at a glance at the top half of the front page.
- A downloadable press kit and also an embedded version of your press kit if you can make that happen (WordPress has some great plugins that make this easy!)
- A gallery of still images from your projects INCLUDING posters and other artwork from your films. These are especially important if you don’t have a press kit available yet.
- For your email, have a complete email signature so people you contact will know exactly who they’re dealing with, and how to contact them back when the “reply” button isn’t convenient.
- Your own domain with email included. It’s so easy to purchase a domain, web hosting, and email packages now that there really should be no excuse for me to still be getting @aol.com emails from “professional” filmmakers. You can always forward your mail and manage it from Gmail, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t appear to come from @myproductioncompanyormovietitle.com.
How about my social media presence?
Facebook – Have your own personal profile that you can use to maintain your personal and professional relationships. Do NOT create a “group” for your film. Facebook has gotten rid of most groups already, and I still get emails from group moderators constantly that try to move people to a new page because the group is being shut down. Just create a Fan Page. It’s much easier to manage and you can get some great analytics and demographic data from their insights. Make sure you have a link back to your site and brand your site and Facebook consistently. Embed your email newletter or list application in a tab on Facebook as well to make it easy for people to sign up for updates.
Twitter – If you have multiple people working on your film and don’t have time to do all the tweeting for the production yourself, use a service like Co-Tweet to give your producer or AD access to help with your film promotion without having to give out your master credentials. This service also allows you to schedule tweets if you have some info that is particularly time sensitive. Be social and don’t spam your own project all the time. You would think that would go without saying, but I see it all the time. Take advantage of the #FF hashtag to up your follower count quickly and single out people who might have been big champions of your project that week. Don’t be afraid to like other verified social apps to Twitter either like FourSquare, GetGlue, or Flickr so people can see other updates that aren’t necessarily related to just your production.
Social tools can lead to great FREE advertising for your film. Keep track of your social analytics using services like Klout and Crowdbooster to see what works and what doesn’t and also see what your actual social reach is.
Having a complete social profile is an important part of audience and professional discover. These are only a few of the most basic things that you should consider having in your online arsenal. The easier it is for people to find and engage with you, the less work and money you have to spend on that later.