StarLite Film Fest Social Media Panel in 27 Tweets or less.

So here we are. We were fortunate enough to be invited as guests of the StarLite Film Festival and attend a number of their screenings, special events, and panels. As 2013’s StarLite comes to a close we would like to reflect on the extremely good times we had and lessons learned from the panels.

Social Media Panel

Moderator: Sheena Fowler, Orlando Film Commissioner and President of Women in Film and Television Florida

Panelists: John Lux, President of IDEAS Orlando and Jen Vargas, Producer, Indie Cinema Showcase (Our very own)

It cannot be stressed enough that Social Media had grown exponentially in importance. It has come full circle from being the equivalent of surfing the web to becoming the primary medium to engage your audience on a much more personal level. In days gone by film makers, actors, and actresses alike were all inaccessible. There was no medium to connect them to the masses. My how that has changed! These days you can interact with collaborative film maker (and actor) Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Oscar Winner Russell Crowe easily through the power of social media. That’s how much the landscape has changed in a matter of only a few years.

The buck doesn’t stop there though. The way in which film makers can connect with their potential audience has also been enhanced by this amazing new form of media. Nowadays with the right words you can seriously amplify your reach, raise awareness and consciousness of, not only your own film, but Independent Cinema in general. It’s a way to make your own unique voice heard.

That being said, the job of Social Media is a full-time one. If you’re going for this, you definitely want to post frequently to maintain relevance, know your tools (hash tags, metrics, and so on), and most importantly put forth the effort to gain a real audience. Some go as far as using marketing companies to pad their numbers by purchasing followers and Facebook “likes”. It defeats the purpose social networking. Mostly because there is no actual networking going on. It’s the online equivalent of saying you have hundreds of friends because you have all your high school yearbooks with lots of signatures and little pictures to go with them. It starts to sound sad doesn’t it?

Jen stressed two important points for filmmakers to keep in mind; “There is NO SUCH THING as a Social Media Guru or Expert! I hate it when people call themselves this!” John agreed, “It’s impossible to be a guru at any of this… it all changes too quickly.” The second thing? “Filmmakers, please do me a favor. Please DO NOT cut and paste the same message into every single Facebook group you belong to, every single day for weeks on end! This is NOT Social Media, this is simply Marketing – and poor, redundant marketing at that. It’s not just annoying, it’s also counterproductive. People will ignore your current post and possibly every single future post you put out there. Do yourself a favor and please get more creative!” [Side Note: For a more in-depth explanation, Jen wrote a very informative blog last year called “There are no such things as Social Media Gurus, Experts, Kings, Monarchs, etc.]

The contents of this particular blog post is just some of the info you would’ve gleaned from attending StarLite’s hour long Social Media Panel. Panels like these are an invaluable source of information and are all free to attend at StarLite. In some cases, such as this panel, they’re even recorded. (If it’s ever uploaded to the web, we’ll post the panel video here.)

Thank you StarLite and, host venue, Garden Theatre for a great fest! More on the Equipment Panel in another blog…

Twitter handles to follow from the panel:

Related Links:

Tribeca (Online) Film Festival: Amplify the Message Panel

iMedia Connection: The 8 Best Social Media Campaigns of 2012 (feat. @BullyMovie)

TEDTalks Alex Ohanian: How to make a splash in social media

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