One of the first adopters of social media as a marketing tool had to be Hollywood. It wasn’t long after social media sites first started appearing that trailers and previews for upcoming movies and television shows started popping up on the sites. MySpace probably saw them first as movie studios created entire sites on the social networking site dedicated to their latest movies. YouTube has become a major source for movie trailers and previews. Fans of movies no longer need to go to the theater to see movie trailers.
These days the creativity of using social media to promote movies and television seems almost limitless. Recently Pixar created fake vintage ads for toys like the “Lots-’o-Huggin’ Bear” that was a character in the latest movie. They even found ways to give away tickets to see the film using Facebook. Other studios have noticed and even small films have turned to social and viral media to promote their films. A recent movie called Monsters which was filmed on a shoestring with special effects created on a MacBook has garnered a lot of attention thanks to viral videos, word-of-mouth and social media. Of course, Paranormal Activity generated much of its buzz using social media and the internet to generate rabid interest.
Naturally, not every company has the muscle or support of an entire movie studio behind them and their efforts. Your company may not lend itself to trailers and previews. So, the lesson to be learned here is that you should always be willing to think “outside the box” when it comes to social media.
Is there something you can promote and build hype for? Maybe posting short, cryptic, even puzzling Facebook status updates might get people wondering what the latest deal or product is that you have coming out. By combining your tactics with things like Twitter or YouTube, maybe you can generate that hype among your intended audience. Can you do something with video? A Flip camera is relatively inexpensive and designed to work with sites like YouTube.
The great thing about social media is that you can let your imagination run wild. There are very few rules out there. Be careful about running contests, of course, and check Facebook’s rules and your local state and city rules on that. However, beyond that, it’s time to let your imagination run wild. Social media goes beyond product announcements and article links, if you take the time to think about it and can figure out how to adapt techniques for your business.
Plus, the good news, is that there are companies out there who can help guide your thinking, if you feel you cannot. Never be afraid to ask for help when you are adrift in the sea of social media.