In old Hollywood, movie premieres boasted a once in a lifetime opportunity to rub elbows with the stars in beautiful theaters adorned with murals, columns and sparkling chandeliers. They were big events. Following the premieres fans rushed to theaters everywhere to watch these films on the big screen in lavish theater environments. As technology progressed, so did the theater experience – surround sound, 3-D, computer generated graphics. With DVD distribution and further technological advances fans can now enjoy experiences outside of the theater that are more enticing than movie-going. This has created an interesting situation for studios and entertainment brands.
Enter stage right: Social Media:
This is where things get a little messy. SOPA and PIPA have been big news lately. The industry is fighting for their content, their longevity, their revenue streams. Other industries have been in this fight for a while already, and the way they have survived (if they have) is something that sounds a lot like “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
In the words of Brian Solis, this is “the end of business as usual” – and that goes for everyone… including the entertainment industry. The world discovers, researches, purchases, consumes, shares, and opinionates differently today – and they do it online. The world of online sharing does not equal the death of revenue or brand building. But, to continue to compete the industry must find a way to participate, form partnerships, roll up their sleeves and entertain us… online.
Lost in translation are the details of how to incorporate social media into the progression of the industry to ensure success rather than failure. This success is dependent on the industry embracing digital media, engaging fans, and making social media a must-see experience like the classic movies in old Hollywood.
Newsflash: Your fans are online –
Meet the fans where they are. Engage them online – be on Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter – any and all applicable channels – have a blog, and be creative with online digital communications and collateral. Use traditional marketing data to know the fans and give them a unique, interesting experience.
Social media allows your fans to experience your brand on multiple levels and to develop a different kind of relationship with your brand. Your unique story is what they should experience through social media. You are unique – tell them why. Social media gives the industry the opportunity to engage fans and show them what they’ve been missing: behind the scenes, sneak peeks and interactive experiences that can make social the big event.
Just because social media is global doesn’t mean ignoring local and niche markets. Your company, your film, your subject matter – no matter how big or small – have audiences that offer a unique perspective and an enthusiastic loyalty – use it to connect with fans.
Like it or not, your brand is on social media – It doesn’t matter if you’ve set up a Facebook profile, have anyone managing your social brand or have implemented online strategies. Fans and media are talking about you online. If you were present in that conversation you would discover a new world of challenges, opportunities, conversations, loyalty… and revenue.
Amazing potential exists for the entertainment industry in the online world. The opportunity is there for an award-winning performance. Will you be nominated? Is your brand even on the ballot?