Beginners Guide to Using Social Media in Crowdfunding Indie Films

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Beginners Guide to Using Social Media in Crowdfunding Indie Films

My name is Dave Bullis, and Alex has asked me to share with you my Beginners Guide to Using Social Media in Crowdfunding Indie Films.

Before we get into my advice I want to mention that crowdfunding indie films is a full time job. I’m sure you heard that many times before but in my experience, most people don’t realize how much work it is til they start doing it.

Remember social media is apart of your marketing mix for your campaign. You still have to include the other parts to have a successful campaign. And one final thought, creative content is king. Get creative with your perks and your message.

Six Weeks Out – Set up Your Project’s Social Media Accounts

This top is just you getting the channels ready. You’re not going to share anything on these channels yet.

Twitter

  • Choose a name that’s relevant to your project.

Facebook

  • Create a FB Fan Page
  • You can also create a private FB Mastermind group for backers if that’s apart of your strategy

 3rd Channel

  • Up to you
  • Most of the time it’ll be either Youtube or Instagram

Work on your landing page for your website.

  • What will you be giving away to collect email addresses?
  • Something that ties in with your campaign and your audience will want. (Something like first ten pages of script, poster, wallpaper, etc)

 

Five Weeks Out – Complete Social Media Profiles

This week is about having artwork done and completing your social media profiles. We’re still not going to start sharing yet (that’s next week).

If you need someplace to get artwork done try Canva, Fiverr, and Upwork.

PROTIP: ALWAYS get the master file so you can change it later as the project moves along.

Twitter

  • Bio
    • What is the project
    • Add hashtags to bio to help with searches
  • Profile Photo
    • You don’t have a lot of space so very little to no text
    • Whats the one image (and I don’t mean the poster) that fits this picture? Don’t give away any reveals or surprises.
      • If you’re making a horror film it could be a shadow of the monster
      • If you’re making a comedy it could be an image of the protagonist (think Steve Carrell in The 40 Year Old Virgin)
    • Birthday
      • Don’t worry about this unless you’re doing a documentary or you’re trying to be clever (birthday would be birthday of one of your characters in the movie)
    • Location
      • Unless you’re really trying to be clever, put you’re actual filming location to drum-up local interests from people in that area.
    • Banner
      • Huge real estate to advertise your project. Create an eye catching banner and a strong Call to Action. Make sure you mention on the banner when campaign will be starting.
    • URL
      • Have it point to your site which now set up to capture email address with a lead page.
    • Lists
      • Create Private lists of bloggers, journalists, influencers, etc you’ll want to reach out to.

Twitter Image Sizes

  • Header photo:1500 px wide by 500 px tall
  • Profile image:400 px wide by 400 px tall
  • In-stream photo:440 px wide by 220 px tall

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Facebook

  • Profile Photo
    • Use the same one as your Twitter account. This creates brand recognition.
  • About
    • Fill out with who you are.
  • URL
    • Have it point to your site which now set up to capture email address with a lead page. Have it point to your site which now set up to capture email address with a lead page.
  • Banner
  • Create a strong CTA. List the date your crowdfunding campaign will be starting.
  • Ads
    • Start your Facebook advertising account.

Facebook Image Sizes

  • Cover photo:851 px wide by 315 px tall
  • Profile image:180 px wide by 180 px tall
  • Highlighted image:1200 px wide by 717 px tall
  • Shared image:1200 px wide by 630 px tall
  • Shared link thumbnail image:1200 px wide by 627 px tall

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Instagram

  • Profile Pic
    • Same as Facebook and Twitter. Remember think branding.
  • Bio
    • Strong call to action into your website
  • URL
    • Points back to site thats set up to collect email addresses

Instagram Image Sizes

  • Profile image:110 px wide by 110 px tall
  • Photo size:1080 px wide by 1080 px tall
  • Photo thumbnails:161 px wide by 161 px tall

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Youtube

  • Profile Pic
    • Same as the other channels
  • Banner
    • Same as the other channels
  • URL
    • Same as the other channels

Youtube Image Sizes

  • Video uploads:1280 px wide by 760 px tall
  • Banner: 2560 x 1440 px
  • Channel cover photo:2560 px wide by 1440 px tall

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Four Weeks Out – Start Building Your Social Media Audience

Twitter

  • Start tweeting out BEFORE you start following people as people want to follow complete profiles
  • Don’t spam people by tweeting non stop about the upcoming campaign.
  • NO auto DM campaigns!

Three – One Weeks Out – Continue to Build Interest

Twitter

  • Use Twitter share photos of perks you’ll have for the campaign, maybe an image of the poster, storyboards, photo stills, etc.
  • Join Twitter chats to engage users

Instagram

  • Confused at which hashtags to use? Check out http://tagsforlikes.com/
  • Use Twitter and Instagram to share photos of perks you’ll have for the campaign, maybe an image of the poster, storyboards, photo stills, etc.

Facebook

  • Post on Facebook once per day.
  • This is the time to start using your FB ad budget (if you have one)

LAUNCH!

  • Change all social media URL’s to point at the campaign
  • Change all social media banners to reflect the crowdfunding campaign is now LIVE
  • Post on all of the social media channels that campaign in now live
  • Mention in bio on all social media channels that campaign is now live

Facebook

  • Create a FB event.
    • Invite everyone using the Chrome extension, Invite All. You can invite 50 people at a time, so keep doing this until your entire list is invited.
      • Add all of your cast and crew and have them do the same

Twitter

  • Tweet out campaign is live and PIN this tweet to the top of your feed
  • Ask cast & crew to FAV and Retweet this tweet
  • Host a small tweetathon to gain attention
    • This doesn’t mean spam people. I get a lot of this where people tweet me with @Dave_Bullis Our project is now live! Check it out at (blank).
      • WRONG! Sales are built on relationships! If there’s one thing you take away from this article make it this.

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While the Campaign is Live

  • Continue to post on social media daily
  • Keep a running (public) list of donators and engage with them
  • Announce and host a contest based on merit. The user who gets the most referrals to your campaign wins a prize (make it something really good).
  • Post behind the scenes photos of production whether it’s rehearsal or a table read

Post Campaign

  • You’ve built this army now continue to engage with them!
    • Continue keeping them updated with the project
  • Post on your main site about your campaign.
    • Link to social media accounts
    • Continue to collect email address (this is used for preorders)

In Closing

This is all merely a starting point. There are A LOT of details that need to be filled in, and I encourage anyone who’s thinking seriously about launching a campaign to fill in those gaps by using their own creativity and problem solving abilities… or just drop me a line, [email protected]


Dave Bullis is a screenwriter based on the East Coast. He is the creator/host of the popular filmmaking podcast “The Dave Bullis Podcast“.

Website: www.davebullis.com
Twitter: @MultiMediaDave @DBPodcast
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dave.bullis
Instagram: @davebullis


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