2011 has been a phenomenal year pertaining to the growth and penetration of social media. With almost all sectors jumping in to the fray to reap benefits of this amazing platform, why should actors lag behind? The race has started, and one cannot afford to just sit back and relax. There was once a popular sentiment that actors do not need social media.
That perception is slowly changing, for the good.
An actor’s commitment towards a film does not end with the wrap up of shooting schedule. It is highly required of him/her to actively participate in the marketing campaign and hard sell the product they worked hard for. Here comes the utility of social media. If an actor has a good influential network online, it will be relatively easy for him to reach out to the masses and create a buzz long before a film releases. Sentiment analysis on social media platforms, monitoring conversations to understand the mood of the people can give an insight to financial prospects of the venture as well.
Fizziology, a start up has been successfully predicting the fate of films at Box Office, purely based on social media sentiment tracking.
Celebrity actors are worshiped in pedestals equivalent to God, by fans and movie buffs. The yearning to enjoy a conversation with their idols keeps the fans going. Social Media acts as a bridge between the actor and his audience. The «human» touch, the joy of receiving a mention from a famed celebrity is unmatched for many. By optimal use of engagement on social sites, celebrities can build a huge network which can convert into box office bonanza.
But a word of caution: personal branding on social networks can make or break celebs. Ashton Kutcher, who was a poster boy for Twitter, saw his follower base plummeting after his infamous «abusive» tweets recently. On the contrary, the negative publicity that Kim kardashian received for her 72 hours long marriage, got her a lot of followers on Twitter.
Viral marketing of trailers or songs from a film, which is up for release, is slowly becoming a phenomenon. A great example for this would be the Tamil Sensation «Kolaveri». The immense popularity that «Kolaveri Di« received, was triggered by a tweet posted by the 20 something debutante music director Anirudh Ravinchander. With more than 32 million views since it was posted on Youtube, the song has become a wide rage. So much so, that upcoming Bollywood releases have started viral marketing of their chart busters. Latest film to follow this trend was Agneepath.
«Chikni Chameli» created quite a buzz online with the music video. Success stories of films marketed virally online was reported in one of our blogs earlier. Online trends do translate into «real results» if tapped into. Social presence of actors accentuates the strategy. So much so, that many producers have made «social media presence» of actors mandatory in contracts.
For filmmakers, social media can prove to be a pool of talent. With so much information floating on the wires, a little research can land director/producers into a goldmine. We all are familiar with Justin Beiber‘s fairy tale launch – his mother had posted a video of Justin singing, on Youtube. Composer Scooter Braun chanced upon the video, liked it and rest is history. Singers like Katy Perry, Justin Beiber or Lady Gaga effectively use Twitter or Facebook to get viewers to their respective Youtube channels.
Social Media can serve as an excellent platform for actors to network with industry peers. It gives you an edge in building relationships offline.
Foursquare can prove to be a great tool for the same. «Checking-in» while watching a movie at the theater, and tagging the director of the film, in the tweet, can boost goodwill. Any amount of interaction online will make an actor feel at ease, when (s)he meets a director/producer to discuss a project, even if they are meeting for the first time.
No one can afford to ignore Social Media anymore. Success stories of celebs with online presence, is before us to see.