Social Media is Social: 7 Tips for Filmmakers

social media dctvSocial media is a crucial part of crowdfunding, and if you are considering a campaign, it’s important to start creating a community well before your kickoff. In other words, if a campaign launches on a Facebook page with no fans, does it really launch? (One hand clapping? Hello?) Lay the groundwork ahead of time, and you’ll be in much better shape when you’re ready to start asking for donations.

1. Enlist your allies. Most people won’t be able to garner 1000 fans overnight; slow and steady wins the race. But at the same time, you should aim high. If you have 500 friends on Facebook, you should get at least half of them to like your film’s Facebook page fairly quickly. And when you factor that same ratio in for all the members of your team (the DP, the producer, the cast and other crew), you should be on your way to a healthy number before too long.

2. Explain. Even though your film idea has been kicking around in your brain for quite a while, you’re still the only one who knows it inside and out. When you’re first telling potential fans about your film, tell them what it’s about, what inspired your interest in the subject, and why it’s important for you to share it with the world.

3. Be authentic. Don’t force yourself into using a voice that doesn’t come naturally to you. We all instinctively recoil when we hear or read that slick salesman schtick, so don’t let yourself go down that road. Try to make your posts sound like you, in your voice, with your style and enthusiasm.

4. Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush. Ask your fans (or potential fans) for what you need, be it cash donations, equipment, or the amplification of your message, and make it painless for them to deliver. Remember: having someone who’s an online ‘connector’ share your work can more valuable than a $20 donation; giving people more ways to help you will help you engage people on all ends of the financial spectrum.

5. Be organized. Don’t create 15 profiles across obscure social media platforms and think your work is done. Stick with one or two, and create a Google doc where you can plot out posts for the next several months. Think about what you want to share, the audience you want to reach, and how you can connect the two.

6. Budget accordingly. Keep in mind that social advertising can reach the right audience who might be just outside your immediate circle of influence, and boosting posts can ensure that your fans see your key announcements. Set aside some money for (modest) Facebook ads and boosts. If you need to pay someone to help you run your campaign, factor that into your goal amount. Sometimes you have to pay to play.

7. Give the people what they want. Speaking of budgets, crowdfunding usually comes with a set of benefits, but think through your perks carefully, and be honest about how onerous (and costly) the delivery will be on your end. Be creative! Most importantly, reward your fans with exciting exclusives, amusing anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes peeks into what it’s like to make a movie. That’s the real reward.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? More to come… Good luck!

Note: A version of this post was originally published on