I wear a lot of hats. We all do. Right now, one of those hats is bright, flashy, and tweets—yep, it’s my Social Media Manager/Producer hat. Some of you know me as a librarian, others as a home cook, and still others as a lover of scifi. The list goes on. But today, I’m going to tell you about my social media life: mainly because it’s just about to become a bit more active. I’m the Social Media Producer for an independent film called Everything Went Down, and we’re about to have a whole lot of screenings across the country (see the end of this post for details!). I’ll be doing my best to post and Tweet about it all. But before I even got to that point, I helped run and publicize the Kickstarter campaign (successfully funded!) for that same film, got our Twitter feed up and running, and helped customize the look and feel of our Tumblr. I’ve spent a year and a half helping to get our film out and about, particularly on Twitter. It’s been rewarding and I’ve learned a lot. Here’s my bulleted list of brief lessons in Social Media:
Streamline for Sanity: Because it’s not my full time job, and I do it in my in-between, off times, I’ve had to learn how to schedule and streamline social media posts. Right now, my favorite way to do that is Hootsuite.
It’s organized Chaos. I swear.
Yes, that’s a screenshot of my dashboard as it looks now. It’s a busy riot, but it helps me manage it all at once and schedule posts throughout the day so I don’t need to be doing it all day (the fact is, I can’t—I’m lucky enough to have a day job). I’ve yet to try the automatic post scheduler—which I think is supposed to help identify high impact tweet times, but I’d like to try it out.
Interact to Build Community: Even though I’ve streamlined and scheduled posts so I don’t have to deal with them during the workday, I know it’s also really really (almost ultimately) important to interact with your community and audience in a non-automated way! When you’re first starting, you have to follow and talk to all the people and groups that might be stakeholders in whatever you’re trying to promote (for our film, it was film festivals, music and art therapists—the movie is about the healing power of music and art—other independent films, musicians, radio stations, etc. Following folks, on Twitter anyway, often gets them following you back. And it’s really important to promote (or “retweet” in the Twitter world) what other folks are doing, too. You’ve got to scratch each others’ backs in the Social Media world—because there’s so much of interest out there and it’s fun to let people know about who and what you think is awesome and interesting. Others will appreciate it, and it helps build online community and reciprocity.
Mind your Manners: Thank yous are Key. It’s just good manners to thank others for “retweeting” or re-posting your messages and content. That’s a big “do” in my book. Do your best to let your followers and social media community members you appreciate their support and interaction. It won’t go unnoticed. See also my post on online empathy.
Vary your posts, but also repeat: Try your best to create a healthy balance between varied and repetitive posts—especially when you are automating some of your posts. You don’t want to sound like a robot, and sounding too repetitive can make your feed (whether it be Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, whatever) ignorable. But it *is* also important to repeat important information, like events or due dates/goals when it comes to crowdfunding, since people may be checking their social media outlets sporadically at different times of the day. It’s highly unlikely they are monitoring it constantly. You have to be able to pop up in their consciousness with that important information, event, or goal you want to promote and get them interested in.
That’s all the social media wisdom I have to impart today, in the small time we have together. It’s been said before, by many other professionals I have no doubt. But it’s my experience and one I’m still engaging with, learning, and willing to share. I’d love to talk with anyone about it, so feel free to contact me via any of the outlets on my site if you want to talk strategy.
So when are those film screenings, you say? I’m doing my best to get them out on our Twitter feed, so don’t forget to follow that. But for sake of ease, here’s what’s coming up in the next 7 days for Everything Went Down (location information at each link):
September 18, 10:35pm, Naperville Independent Film Festival
September 19, 7:00pm, Temple University TV One Studio, Free!
September 22, 7:00pm, Oregon Independent Film Festival We won Best Dramatic Film and Best Score at the OIFF!