Take the fear out of Social Media!
Now that you’ve finished your fundraising page, it’s time to get the word out. Having it just exist on the website does nothing for you if people can’t find you in order to give you money! Heading to social media is the most important part of getting your project the funding it needs to get off the ground. So it’s time to hit the digital streets and bend some ears!
Stay Engaged with Social Media
Most of your support will come from your donors at first. They might post calls to action to hype up the film, advertise their donation, and ask for their friends and family to check out your campaign. This can go a looooong way with helping you procure that much-needed capital to finish your campaign. This also gives your campaign the extremely important aspect of approval. If my friend, whom I trust, says this person’s campaign is interesting AND they donated to it, I am much more likely to give it a gander and open my wallet than if I happen to stumble upon it or hear from the filmmaker directly.
Use your social media to help keep people updated on the progress of your campaign. Fundraising deadlines, Goals reached, casting updates, everything important to your final project should be blasted out on social media. IndieGoGo co-founder Dan Riggleman says, “Campaigns that use them (updates) every one to five days raise 100 percent more money than those that don’t.” (LINK) and I think he knows a thing-or-two about successful crowdfunding.
So how do you help your fans get the word out you ask? Well, you’re in luck because we live in the easiest time in human history to get your work out there! Consider some of these methods:
Facebook Pages: Great for longer form updates and large press-release materials. You can post BTS albums, links to your campaign, along with scheduling fundraising deadline updates. Facebook also easily allows people involved with your campaign to share updates from the film’s page with all of their friends and family.
Instagram: Great for driving social media engagement and finding new followers. Post your best promotional materials, BTS photos, event coverage and photos on Instagram to help take advantage of the visual nature. Instagram Stories are also a great and easy way to keep people engaged with what is happening at all stages of production. Remember to provide links to your campaign on the film’s Instagram page!
Twitter: Good for quick updates about the goings on of your production. Twitter is conducive to short engagements with your fans through not only tweets but also replying to comments and generating a larger following.
Film Website: This is possibly the most important part of your social media. Having a well-made website will add more to the professionalism of your project than any amount of Facebook pages or Insta-stories. Your crowdfunding site should not function as your website but you can take many of the things you made for it to your new website. Your website should be on all of your social media in bios, posts, and contact forms to help drive traffic between all of your social media sources and engage on multiple levels. The website will also be the hub for continuing updates with your fans long after the crowdfunding has ended and your production has wrapped.
Having multiple people working on social media for your campaign is also one of the most important elements. IndieGoGo reveals that campaigns with four or more people will make 70% more money than a campaign being run solo. Spreading out the workload is certainly a bonus but the main bonus is increased exposure. Each new person involved with the media campaign helps bring a large network that you alone were most-likely not attached to.
Progress is Being Made and Everything is Running Smoothly!
Show your donors how their money is being spent. No one likes a jilted lover and no one wants to see their money wasted. Showing the progress of your production on social media is integral to the success of your project and the goodwill of your fans. But also, no one likes being bombarded with messages and emails so keep it brief and keep it unobtrusive. Here are some ways you can provide engaging and low-key updates for your donors.
Storyboards: Posting storyboard panels is an easy and visually engaging way of showing your progress and a peek into the emotional elements of your film. They are also great as little teasers for things to come. Now I would only recommend this if you have high-quality storyboards, posting a few stick figures won’t exactly inspire confidence.
BTS: When in production, posting daily or weekly BTS updates with photos and clips is a great way to stay involved with your donors. It’s an easy way to show the progress of your production and familiarize your followers with your cast and crew while also showing how serious you are at completing the project.
Schedule Updates: Showing how far you are progressing in your production will allow people to follow along at home. Whether this is through a posted list or updated calendar, it will help the wait for the final product feel shorter for people to keep tabs on your production.
Press: Once post-production is nearing its close, hopefully, you should be starting to get some press buzz. Whether through your own efforts or generated through your success, keeping your donors updated with interviews and press features is great to build up the fervor for your big Red-Carpet premiere. This also applies to any press-related events after release!
Festivals and Awards: Finally, the most important part of post-release updates, festivals, and awards. Whenever your film is accepted into a festival or earns any awards, your donors should immediately know. This is probably the best way to prove to them that their donation was worthwhile past the personal satisfaction of a high-quality final product. These updates should be prominently featured on all of your social media, website, posters, and any media relating to your production.
We hope this has been a helpful two-part guide to starting your next fundraising campaign. Crowd-funding is a powerful tool that should be in every indie filmmaker’s arsenal. Focus on reaching as many people as you can and giving yourself the best chance to impress them. Find examples of successful projects you would like to emulate and study how they marketed themselves. Good luck and happy funding!