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COMMENT Social Media... A filmmakers new best friend? by Beth Zarkosh S ocial media platforms can be extremely helpful with mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Youtube being utilised for everything from generating interest in a project and sourcing ideas, getting feedback to getting funding. Sifting through my own personal Facebook and Twitter feeds I am inundated with pleas by fellow peers to ‘Check out the latest clip’ or to ‘Pledge for my project’ these are increasingly typical posts from media professionals around the world, and are quickly becoming the lifeblood for video production companies of all shapes and sizes. A few articles ago I wrote about the benefi ts of crowd funding and how your typical Joe Bloggs can receive the fi nances required to get a short fi lm made with websites such as Kickstarter available at the click of a button. So, once you’ve got your pockets full with the bounty from crowd sourced pledges, the omniscient entity that is the world wide web and its social media platforms continue to be your best friend on your journey to making successful productions. So how can Social Media help you? Let’s start with audience engagement. At the end of the day you're making something for an audience, so why not let them get in on the act and allow instantly attainable feedback to be your guide throughout the project? Uploading teaser clips on platforms such as YouTube and ‘behind the scenes’ photos on Instagram is a great way to engage your audience as well as to gage a response from the general public. If you’re providing video services, Facebook is the perfect platform to show off your portfolio of work along with satisfi ed customer testimonials. Online giveaway competitions are an effective way to generate a following in a quick succession, and are easily implemented on both Twitter and Instagram. These are relatively simple, yet truly effective ways of gaining a reputation and keeping your business in the peripherals of your target audience andprospective customers. 54 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 96 DECEMBER 2014 Concerning market research social media is now undoubtedly the most powerful tool at one’s disposal. There is nothing more enlightening than following what other fi lmmakers/production companies are up to in order to assess what works for them and how you may be able to apply similar techniques to your own work and its online promotion. Similarly, global trends and online discussion make for insightful research into what people are currently interested in and essentially what may well be called for within your chosen market. It can be quite overwhelming with the ever expanding plethora of social media in front of you. Whilst it can be your most faithful companion, it can similarly be your worst nightmare. With PR blunders and social faux pas becoming increasingly common, I would recommend using social media, but not letting it use you. Be sure to keep your video production alive on the internet, but more crucially in real life too... #IHaveADream Tweet the team at @editorskeys or drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how your social media experience goes! Good luck! Zoe McCarthy a freelance filmmaker explains how social media has benefited her process of getting her projects off the ground, ‘Social media has been an excellent way of establishing myself as a ﬁlmmaker, and getting my work on the digital stage. I realised its signiﬁcance even more since building a community around my recent Kickstarter campaign for my latest short, in which social media played a crucial part in connecting me with backers, and those interested in collaborating on the ﬁlm. I feel its able to communicate not just my work but my personality as a ﬁlmmaker this sort of thing counts in what is known to be such a people based industry.’