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Sheri Candler is back with part two of our guest series on social media for independent filmmakers. Sheri has been a featured expert on numerous panels and books. Her most recent project is a collaboration with The Film Collaborative and Jon Reiss called Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul – Case Studies in Hybrid, DIY and P2P Independent Film Distribution.

Missed part one? Read it here.

We asked:

What are some ways that filmmakers can utilize social media to build a following?

First, they should be using it personally – well before they have a project to promote. The tools are just too easy to access and younger audiences just demand it. They really don’t know a world where it didn’t exist. People may see advertising, but they are now checking everything out online for information and personal recommendations, so if you aren’t there and your film isn’t there, it is like it doesn’t exist.

Social media is also not just Facebook and Twitter. It is anything on the web, any link that can be shared or commented on, anywhere you can upload content, which is pretty much the whole internet. You should be there with a unique voice. Speak with passion and have something definite to say. Not everyone will agree with you, but you aren’t really trying to attract everyone. You just need to attract a following of those who would be the most interested in what you are doing. Your following will grow slowly so be patient and give it plenty of time. Consistency is key so don’t be erratic with your interactions.

I laugh about books and posts that want to teach you to use social media in 10 minutes a day. It is like trying to regulate how you can maintain relationships in your life in 10 minutes a day. Yes, you need a routine, but the more effort you devote to this, the better it will work. Schedule blog posts, but don’t schedule tweets and Facebook updates. You have to be there for the conversations, you can’t do it “drive by” and expect people to follow you. You have to be present to cultivate a relationship; it can’t be like a message on your answering machine. People don’t have patience for the one way conversation.





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