Why did you decide to hire a social media consultant?
Research had shown us when it comes to marketing films, social media is of paramount importance. We don’t have the in-house resources to do it directly or comprehensively enough, so we went to an outside contractor for help.
What has your experience been like?
My experience has been phenomenal. Everybody’s talking about it within the National Geographic Society and our filmmakers are over the moon. We’re about to break $1 million in revenue for a documentary about war, and though that isn’t a lot when you compare it to big-budget Hollywood movies, it is a great result for a documentary, and I attribute a significant part of the film’s success to social media.
What kinds of things did the consultant do for you?
Our consultant, Dana Jensen, taught me so much about Facebook and Twitter and convinced me that Twitter was indeed viable for my needs. We told her what we wanted to accomplish, she developed the strategy and tactics and then implemented them. I really needed somebody who could do everything.
Did you achieve your goals?
We were looking to build a substantive community around this film because it’s a powerful film. I really didn’t have a number in mind as far as “fans” go, but we far exceeded what we ever expected. We needed to reach our target audiences, which included the military and their families, as well as independent film aficionados. And we did indeed reach them.
The Facebook community our consultant built has been stunningly successful, in that the members of the community are now convincing theaters to pick up our film. We’ve probably gotten 20 theaters to screenthe film as a direct result of the Facebook page. So far, the film has had runs in 178 theaters, and for a small film like this that’s a lot. 20 more theaters makes a big difference. Clearly it helped put us over the $1 million mark.
Additionally, our consultant kept the list of theaters current on the Facebook page, which was the only placethat information existed. She took it upon herself to create the HTML in concert with our marketing services group and to keep it updated. I don’t even think about it anymore, she just interacts with them directly and it gets done. She’s pretty much part of our marketing family now. It’s just seamless for us.
Are you planning to engage a social media consultant in the future?
Yes, we’re already moving down the road with our new films, The Wildest Dream, Desert Flower, and Flying Monsters. The power of social media is enormous…I am now a believer!
Curated by Deepak Gupta.
Tags: Arts, consultant, Facebook, Film, HTML, Marketing, movie, National Geographic, National Geographic Entertainment, National Geographic Movies, National Geographic Society, Nikki Lowry, Restrepo, Small Act, Social Media, success stories, Twitter, war