Posted by Scott Meis
Ahhh, Sundance. I made my first trek to the acclaimed indie film fest last January and had a blast. Overpriced rented condo, packed restaurants, long lines for films, 50,000 people packed into a town meant for 5,000 and freezing temps to top it all off. THAT aside, it’s seriously an incredible experience for any film buff or anyone looking to escape to a surreal ski town.
You literally do cross paths with some of Hollywood’s finest just walking down Main St. We weren’t there for a couple hours before I ran into Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame. I’m not a “take a picture with me” type, so one of my co-workers kindly put together this photo after the fest to help encapsulate the moment:
In anticipation of hitting up the festival again in January, I recently started poking around the Web to see what kind of social media effort is being put forth by the festival’s coordinators. There is progress from last year, but they also need help. Mind you, this is taken from a complete outsider’s perspective so there may be some last minute “social media blitz” strategy ready to kick into gear.
A quick hop over to the Sundance site shows that they do have a presence on Twitter and Facebook and are using a mobile campaign to keep festival-goers updated with text alerts. However, they may want to consider the following improvements:
- The Festival profile shows they are following no one, yet have 668 followers. Yikes. The profile and existing tweets look official enough to convince me it’s not spam, but they’re riding a delicate line by following no one and solely broadcasting rather than engaging.
- No personalization. Am I hearing from the entire festival coordination team? Probably not. Someone at Sundance is responsible for tweeting. Give me a name and start interacting via replies and direct messages to your followers (i.e. utilize Twitter for its intended purpose).
- No engagement. Twitter could be a HUGE tool for the festival team to not only listen and answer people’s questions but to also provide updated event info/alerts throughout the festival. In addition, the site could be used to build conversation and attention around the festival throughout the year leading up to each festival (not something they’ll easily be able to accomplish through repeated text updates). I would imagine they could also help build conversation by creating new event/movie hashtags and especially utilizing #Sundance to help centralize the conversation.
- Earlier this month, Sundance had only set up their Facebook presence as a profile (dangerous move in Facebook world as they are quick to axe anything other than authentic people from having profiles in a move to have brands/companies use Facebook pages). I noticed that they have now also established a Sundance 2009 group.
There’s definitely plenty more that could be done in terms of content addition to the group and discussion prompts. Sundance did get it right last year with their 2008 Sundance Film Festival page, attracting over 3,000 fans and linking out to other pages for films featured at the Festival. Hopefully they’ll move quickly on a new page for 2009 as it seems they are already missing a big marketing opportunity.
- There may be some legal issues but how in the world does Sundance not have a YouTube channel?! I may be missing something, but all I’m finding are two cases of brandjacking here and here. Am I nuts or could they not be using YouTube as a perfect platform to connect with independent filmmakers and directors as well as coordinate a system of film submissions/trailers through the site and allow key influencers to vote on the submissions?
- Pretty solid setup here and given the recent login date, I’m wondering if they’re still viewing this profile as their primary audience networking platform (I believe MySpace hosts a party at the Fest each year which may have something to do with it)?
Alas, I love Park City and the Festival as a whole. The community is there and hopefully someone at Sundance is tuned in to the importance of the listening process and will stumble upon this post and take a few free pointers. In return, I simply ask for a dinner date with Zooey Dischanel assuming she’ll be in attendance for her premiere.
Social media tips for date with Hollywood/Indie music darling. Fair trade, right? I think so.
*In the process of drafting this post, I discovered that one of my favorite musicians decided to steal my thunder with Zooey by poppin’ the question. Awww, shucks. Congrats you two.
Onward to Park City.
Cheers, be safe tonight.
Posted by Scott Meis
I’m pretty new to the world of Twitter and I’ll be the first to admit that it took awhile for me to make the leap and sign up. It’s an incredibly clean, simple site and it takes all of a couple minutes to create a profile.
This simplicity is a telltale sign of the site as a whole, which operates around the premise of providing updates or “tweets” limited to 140 characters (via web or mobile text updates). It’s basically a networking/community building tool situated around the concept of instant messaging. Like all well-designed networking sites, once you participate, you get IT.
Another great aspect of Twitter is that it makes it really easy to find and follow others on the site. You can search by name or any keyword which will yield results based on what words users place in their profile. In addition, you can synch updates to your profile through RSS Feeds and also incorporate updates on your various social networking profiles.
For instance, anytime I update a blog post here, TwitterFeed automatically posts a Twitter update and announces that I’ve published a new blog post. Moreover, I use the Twitter application on my Facebook profile to provide updates as well and you can even set this up to update your Facebook status. I’ve been meaning to incorporate a status update tool here as well, which I plan to do soon.
*Note – Be careful, just using Twitter for RSS feeds and not providing regular personal updates can be viewed as Twitter noise or clutter and demonstrate a lack of authenticity by the community.
From an outside perspective, it seems that it would be incredibly overwhelming and a huge time demand to follow a bunch of users as they tweet the day away. The fact of the matter is that the setup makes it really easy to either quickly scan over updates from those you are following or even select whose updates you want to have delivered to your mobile device.
So, if you haven’t already signed up and found me on Twitter, here are five reasons to help sway your decision.
1. To network with other like-minded professionals and gain excellent expert insight
2. To listen, listen, listen and monitor various trends
3. To provide live updates from a particular event you may be attending
4. To use as a marketing tool to help drive traffic back to a blog or website
5. Because everyone knows the new catch phrase will be,