By Alessandra Skarlatos, Marketing Manager at Arts Alliance Media
You probably know that social media is important for your cinema. But the huge possibilities and reach of marketing across social networks can easily leave some overwhelmed and others spreading their message too thin by trying to appeal to everyone. Used properly, social media can help connect you with your audiences and direct your marketing towards the people who are most interested in it.
But what’s important to know if it’s all new to you? We’ve put together our top 10 tips for improving your cinema's social media
1. Tap into conversations with hashtags
Using a relevant #hashtag on your posts can double the engagement you get, as your content will show up when people search for that hashtag. A good tip is to search for and follow hashtags relevant to your industry and your brand, so you can engage with people who are talking about them. With a cinema’s social media feed you can tap into the conversations people are having about movies by using the official hashtag so your posts will appear in searches.
2. Think outside the cinema
A night out at the movies might start with dinner and drinks nearby, or a day with the kids might make some pit stops at the ice cream and toy store. Think about where else your customers might be - if you can connect with the businesses surrounding you online, you can target their customers too and maybe even run some mutually beneficial campaigns.
3. Run competitions
Running competitions is a great way of engaging customers with your brand and also rewarding them with prizes. For instance, you could get your audience to tag pictures of themselves at your cinema on opening night, or take a selfie next to their favourite movie poster to enter a contest. The variety of competitions is endless, and posts with photos can generate over 300% more engagement, which means more eyeballs on your campaigns.
4. Let your customers contribute with user-generated content
Seeing their name up in proverbial lights online is often enough of an incentive to get your customers involved. Use social media walls in your lobby to display their posts, or create a user reviews section on your website for their thoughts. You could even run a product naming contest with your followers or see who can design the best alternative poster for your latest release.
5. Get active on every channel
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the obvious places to publish your content, but more and more people are looking for inventive content on multimedia apps like Pinterest and Snapchat. A single blog post with a headline or short video optimised for each medium can help you reach thousands you wouldn’t have otherwise. And think about what might be interesting to your audience of film fans - even your most routine days can be interesting to people that have never seen behind the scenes at a working cinema.
6. Timing is everything
50% of millennials now check Facebook on their mobiles as soon as they wake up. Posting and reposting your content at the times your followers are checking their social networks is vital in such a fast paced environment. Experiment with posting at different times to see which works best for your audience.
7. Use paid features wisely
Advertising on Facebook and Twitter is deceptively basic; you can get started in just a few minutes but their targeting filters are incredibly powerful. As well as basic demographic targeting (age, gender, region) you can now focus your efforts based on your customers’ shopping habits, their recent life events, or even the value of their house! This can be especially powerful for one-off special events such as opera or theatre screenings – you can advertise directly to audiences who are interested in the arts. But take care, you don’t want to end up creating a whole campaign around a handful of followers.
8. Test out your campaigns
The best social marketers will post the same content with two headlines focusing on different topics. Once they have gathered the engagement statistics for both posts they can compare which resonated best with their followers and shape their future campaigns accordingly. Make use of the analytics on your social media platforms to see what’s working (and what’s not).
9. Seek out influencers
When you can monitor who engages with your content you can reach out to them personally. If you interact with followers who themselves have a large number of followers, you amplify your message. Think about how you can engage key influencers with special experiences. Launching a new VIP seat? Get some prominent local bloggers to come along and try it out so they can share their experiences with their readers.