The Evolving Relationship Between Motion Picture Marketing and Social Media

An October 26th, 2012 post to Marketing Magazine by Helen Kellie of SBS culls some surprising numbers from research into how social media is changing how Americans and audiences around the world find and interact with TV programming and motion pictures.

One stunning example of the rising importance of social media in marketing motion pictures?

"19% of Americans who have a TV have begun watching a TV show after reading about it on a social network."

That's right: One fifth of the American audience for any given TV show likely started watching that show because (at least in part) because of social media.

When you consider that the socially-connected audience tends to be the most affluent and the youngest cohort - therefore the most desirable to advertisers - the importance of spending on social media to promote your ad-supported project makes even more sense...

Furthermore, the levels of engagement with certain projects on social media is remarkably stronger than for others. In other words, if you're just measuring how many "fans" have "liked" your show's Facebook page - you're missing a huge part of the story.

For example: "[The HBO series} True Blood boasts more than 10 million Facebook fans, but only 191,000 – that’s only 1.8% – are talking about [the show] (I didn’t say engagement was easy!). Compare this to Game of Thrones, which has only 2.9 million fans but approximately 158,000 of this number are talking about them. That’s an engagement rate of 5.5%."

"Another similar example is for the worldwide blockbuster [theatrical film and book] series, Hunger Games, which allowed users to choose ‘their district’ and immerse themselves in the world on Facebook. This move also engaged consumers to participate in the movie ahead of its release and generated a staggering three million online conversations over launch weekend."

"Game of Thrones and Hunger Games are both big examples with mega budgets to match. For social to have impact at this scale you have to invest in the pre-engagement as part of the show’s overall marketing investment."

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