Tips on Crowdfunding and Promoting Your Film via Social Media

Posted on October 12, 2017

Your Project is Made Real
Launching a campaign brings it into the world. It doesn’t just exist in your head anymore, and you become accountable to supporters, backers, and the reality you’ve created to step into.

You Build and Deepen your Community
A Kickstarter campaign broadens and deeps the dialogue with any pre-existing audience; it allows you to build upon it to reach more people.

You Understand your Audience
Every campaign has a dashboard that allows you to gather metrics about your audience. Where are they? Which websites are they coming from? This also helps you steer your campaign. You might spend a lot of time getting celebrities to tweet, but the metrics may then show you that the majority of backers are being driven to your page by your own Facebook posts.

You Meet the Press
A lot of Kickstarter campaigns will get press, which Cook said is important for some, but for others it doesn’t lead to that many backers. She added, “But it’s a very good experience and helpful thing to explore: how are you pitching this film? What is your angle? What is it about your film that is going to pique the interest of a particular publication, online or otherwise?” Sometimes press outreach doesn’t move the dial on dollars pledged, but it establishes visibility and relationships with journalists, who you can go back to them later upon release.

You Meet the Industry
Festival programmers and others will check the curated sections of crowdfunding pages to see what’s in the pipeline and what others are supporting and recommending. It’s a great way to put yourself in front of a wide range of industry. Kickstarter also has a newsletter that they send out to industry that highlights projects they’re excited about.

You Make it More than a Film
Offer creative and interesting rewards is a way of deepening the audience’s relationship with the story.

You Build a Home for your Film
The page freezes at the end of the campaign, but with the Spotlight feature, successful campaigns can update the landing page. You can update it with the film’s current progress, screenings, or even add a link to where to donate next.

You Share your Process
The project update page allows you to make a timeline/blog where all the different posts can be seen. The documentary I Am Big Bird, about Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird puppeteer/performer Caroll Spinney, used the page to more fully bring people into the process. They updated people with everything that was going on, from finishing the film, interesting anecdotes about things happening with the puppets or Spinney, news on finishing the awards and getting them out, and finally an update on the premiere.

Here are some do’s and don’ts:

• Create pages dedicated entirely to your project.
• View social media as a community and engage in two-way communication.
• Establish a voice — pick a personality or tone.
• Once you establish your handle and hashtag, put them everywhere: call-sheets, postcards, newsletters, email signatures.
• Consider using an eye-catching title treatment as your profile pic, and your cover photo image should represent your film.
• Keep it fresh with updates, but also spread out your assets over time.
• Join the conversation. Like and follow filmmakers, press, festivals. Communicate with people and issues related to your film.
• Take your time: spelling counts. Your social media represents you, so craft your words.
• Create an account on When you share links, use this to shorten them. It allows you to track opens and see what content your fans respond to best.

• Don’t annoying or snarky.
• Don’t brag.
• Don’t just talk about your film. In addition to sharing photos, stills, screen grabs, on-set candids, videos, deleted scenes, interview excerpts, and clips, also set up Google alerts and share relevant articles of interest, which could be about the subject of your film or the people in it or related topics. You want your page to be a resource for people interested in the subject.
• Don’t be lazy. Don’t set up automatic cross posting between social platforms. You don’t want people to have to do an extra click, and handles and hashtags don’t always translate.
• Don’t forget about updating bios — keep track of how your audience can find you on other platforms, and change all bios to reflect changes/announcements.
• Don’t spend too much time agonizing over posts: say what you have to say, spellcheck it, and send it out.
• Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start small and grow, and honor your bandwidth. Delegate to trusted people. If you do just one platform, make it Facebook.