Social Networking: The Caucus Presents Social Media for Content Creators

 

Social media has taken the world by storm.  In fact, it's rare to find someone who doesn't Twitter or have a Facebook page.  Yet few people realize the real value of social networking.   Most people agree that 1:1 networking has the most value, but that is not always possible.  Social media has taken the place of 1:1 for many people.  It's a way to touch the viewer and the listener and has made a huge impact on the entertainment industry.  

 

The Caucus Panel

In the recent panel, coordinated by Chuck Fries of  the Caucus, and moderated by Sharon Waxman of The Wrap.com, the issue was hotly discussed. 

On the panel was Lori Dicker ‐ Senior Vice President, Digital Media Innovation with Moxie/Zenith Media,

David Lunar – EVP Interactive & Consumer Products, FremantleMedia Enterprises, Curt Marvis – President, Digital Media, Lionsgate, Sallie Olmsted – Executive Vice President, Convergence ‐ Rogers and Cowan and Doug Schwartz Producer/Writer, Soul Surfer.

 

You can't create an account and in a couple of weeks expect to get results.  Building up your fan base  takes time and often it spreads by word of mouth.  That is why film companies who want to advertise their movies need to start way in advance - like from the moment of pick up or at least, on the filming.  It brings the reader closer to the film.  "Social media has totally revamped PR," says Sallie Olmstead.  "You have to be on top of it all the time.  You are building a story around a show.  But you can't just spam.  Messages have to be real, personal and have energy."   She related the story about Oprah, who doesn't have a Twitter account and Lady Gaga, who uses it all the time to sell her songs.  "Fans eat it up." 

 

The Caucus:Syd Vinnedge

American Idol, for the first time, gave their contestants their own Twitter and Facebook accounts and while it didn't mean the performer with the most fans won, usually it was close.    they have also used fans numbers in casting and occasionally the one with the most fans came close to winning.

 

Lionsgate is currently trying to find a way to make money with the social media. Their Facebook page on Dirty Dancing, even though the movie was out in 1987, is still one of their most popular pages and they are able to introduce the fans to new and similar ideas through this page. 

 

The Caucus: Douiglas Schwartz and Dennis Doty

Soul Surfer is a unique case.  Doug Schwartz told how he, as the  retired creator/producer of Baywatch, had been recruited by Bethany Hamilton, the surfer girl whose arm had been bitten off by the shark, to do her story.   At first, he thought it would be a small faith based film, but Bethany had so many fans and as she started noting on Facebook and Twitter about the movie being filmed and her survival in Hollywood, her fandom grew.  The studio started seeing that it was attracting not only the Christian market, but young girls all over the world.  Soon the budget went from 500,000 to 15 million.   Word of mouth took hold and as a result of the networking, Disney did a pre-emptive bid for world distribution.  "None of this would have happened if not for the social networking that Bethany did." 

 

Do you have to spend a lot to make an impact in social media?  The answer is no.  You just have to have time to devote to Facebook and Twitter.  Build up your fan and followers.   Don't worry if someone says something negative because others will often come to your defense.  Often people who are negative just want to be sure that they are being heard. 

 

The Caucus, which sponsored this along with Emerson College, as the leaders of the creative Television community, have always stood for better and more meaningful television.  That means Television Programs produced, written and directed in a working environment that supports the best product that we can create for our audience.

For more information about the Caucus and future events planned, go to www.caucus.org.

 



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