Film Festivals Using Social Media

While there is a breadth of marketing channels available for businesses and brands to promote events, social media remains one of the very best. 

Film festivals are a prime example of events that can use social media to grow both local audiences and connect with film lovers around the world. Top film festivals are bringing their content to life throughout the year on channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and some of them have built audiences in the hundreds of thousands. 

Today, we’re grabbing social media inspiration from five of the world’s best film festivals in hopes that this will spark some groundbreaking ideas for your social media channels and future event promotion!

1. Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) is dedicated to sharing some of the best of international and Canadian cinema and “creating transformational experiences for film lovers and creators of all ages and backgrounds.”

TIFF’s social media presence is a perfect example of how successful event promotion starts with getting your audience to engage early on across multiple social channels. 

TIFF uses the hashtag #TIFF18 in conjunction with #TIFFxInstagram to cross-activate their audience across Twitter and Instagram.

But this strategy is more than about creating hashtags – you also need to give your audience a reason to engage, again and again.

Social media challenges and contests are a great way to get your audience to engage. In this case, TIFF created a 60-second short film contest for a chance to make the film festival in September. 

2. SXSW Film Festival

The annual South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in Austin, TX is one of the most-talked-about festivals across all genres, including film, music, and culture.

But how did the SXSW grow this event into such a roaring success? Social media plays a part in keeping the excitement going all year! 

For film festivals, the work never ends if they want to build an audience and grow attendance year-over-year. Posting engaging content on social media from past events and building anticipation for future events with shareable moments is a proven tactic for promotion. 

3. Sundance Film Festival

As a champion and curator of independent stories for the stage and screen, the Sundance Film Festival is a wonderful example of how, when done right, events can grow a cult-like following. 

Yes, Sundance does everything you might expect in a brand on social media – they share great content, they respond to comments and questions, and they feature stories from their community. But the thing they do best is creating consistent branding through well-designed images and graphics. 

Consistent branding is an essential part of building a social media community around an event. For film festivals, it helps to create brand recognition through the use of specific colors, styles, and themes. 

 That way, whenever a user is scrolling through their social media feeds, they’ll instantly recognize content from your brand providing whatever you’re posting with some much needed “thumb-stopping” power.

4. Tribeca Film Festival

If you’re looking for social media inspiration in the way of content curation, look no further than the team behind The Tribeca Film Festival

Their social feeds are filled with a curation of photos, stories, and videos from some of the best minds and talent in filmmaking – each post a celebration of the legacies that each creator and storyteller leaves behind with their work. 

If you’re in the business of PR and social media, you know how hard it can be to create consistent, original content on an ongoing basis.

Curating top content from around the web on a specific topic can help to supplement the original content you’re creating and provide a valuable avenue for building brand affinity and trust with your audience, not to mention relationships with influencers.

5. Festival de Cannes

We often throw around the term “personalization” when it comes to marketing and social media, but few brands and businesses are actually providing a unique experience to their audience.

Festival de Cannes is one shining exception to that anomaly on social media. 

And that same Tweet in English: 

In order to provide a personalized experience for your audience, you must have at least a basic understanding of who they are. Audience demographic details such as age, location, preferred language, and preferred content types are critical pieces of information that can help you stand out from the crowd.

PR Lessons for Film Festivals on Social Media

Film festivals can teach us just about everything we need to know about effective social media marketing. Here are the three biggest takeaways:

  1. Give your audience a compelling reason to interact with your brand through interactive media and incentives.
  2. Supplement original content with other (awesome) content from around the web to keep your audience interested.
  3. Understand your audience on a basic level (age, location, language) and aim to provide a personalized experience when possible.

And remember, inspiration can come from anywhere – you just have to know where to look! When you’re ready to take your social media program farther, we can help