How Hollywood is Utilizing the Power of Social Media Influencers

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How Hollywood is Utilizing the Power of Social Media Influencers | Social Media TodayBuzz is crucial to the success of films. Teaser trailers, celebrity appearances, advanced screenings  – generating buzz is the best way to get people into the cinema, and word-of-mouth has always played a big part in fueling the Hollywood hype machine. In this sense, social media is the perfect vehicle for such amplification – social is, after all, the greatest word-of mouth engine we’ve ever had. It makes sense then that the major film studios invest heavily in the social presences of their stars and film properties – but the next time you hear about an upcoming Summer blockbuster, it may not be via a fast-paced trailer set to dubstep music. It may be from someone you know.

Hollywood’s cottoning onto the fact that they can utilize social media influencers, celebrities within their own communities, to reach huge audiences and get more people talking about their upcoming releases. It’s the latest trend in film marketing, and it underlines the growing influence and power social has to both give voice to the everyday person, and democratize the wider media process.

A Person of Influence

The mission of influencer marketing platform TheAmplify is simple:

“We develop influencer-driven visual storytelling experiences for the world’s most innovative brands.”

TheAmplify provides brands with “the opportunity to work with influencers at scale”. Their system uses demographic and psychographic targeting to identify the best social media influencers for any given campaign, then connects with those influencers by offering them insider deals or exclusive access to content to get them talking about upcoming products, essentially fueling word of mouth at scale. Among TheAmplify’s clients are Sony Pictures, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks – in fact, around 65% of TheAmplify’s revenue is from film and entertainment companies.

This Summer, TheAmplify was given the task of promoting 20th Century Fox’s new film “Paper Towns”, a teen drama they’re hoping to build into a blockbuster. In order to do this, TheAmplify shared clips from the film with targeted influencers in order to get them talking about it on social. They also took 22 carefully chosen social media voices on a 17-day road trip which followed the storyline of the film, getting them to post content to their social channels along the way. The participants were chosen for their social media followings and influence amongst their communities, effectively utilising their individual reach to amplify the film discussion – fifteen year-old participant Jordan Jones, for example, has more than a million followers on Instagram.

The move has already seen discussion of “Paper Towns” ramp up in anticipation of the film’s release – and while it’s difficult to say, definitively, that the film is getting increased attention because of this campaign, in comparison to another film being released on the same day, the Adam Sandler driven “Pixels”, “Paper Towns” is a long way out in front, in terms of Twitter conversation at least.

How Hollywood is Utilizing the Power of Social Media Influencers | Social Media Today

(Chart via Topsy)

The use of social media influencers in this sense underlines the growing importance of social media, and social media amplification in the marketing process. Now, that’s not major news, everyone knows that social is an important part of our developing communications DNA, but the fact that Hollywood studios are working with everyday influencers really drives home the potential power of understanding and utilizing your unique audiences and fanbase, and focusing on the voices within them, rather than traditional broadcast, or even ad targeting, methods. By building community, and by identifying and working to connect with the influencers of most relevance to the audience segments you want to reach, you can give your marketing efforts a major boost – and what’s more, this type of outreach is not limited to major movie studios with millions available to spend on their promotional efforts.

Assigning Emphasis

Given the power of connectivity and of the potential of amplification within social networks, influencer marketing is really a “no brainer” in terms of social media marketing opportunities. Identifying influential voices should be common practice amongst social professionals, and establishing the best ways to reach them and connect with them in a meaningful way should be a focus. In terms of identification, you can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find influencers based on topics and regions. In terms of connecting with them, the focus should be on exactly that – connecting. Sending an automated message, en masse, which says “I really enjoy your tweets about [insert topic]…” is generally not the most effective way to establish effective relationships – social media is about giving people a voice, providing an opportunity for people to be heard. The way to establish connections is to hear them. Monitor what influencers are talking about, get an understanding of what’s of interest to them, then reach out to them based on that knowledge – your connection efforts should be focused on listening, as opposed to asking.

However you go about it, it’s important to recognize the power and influence of individuals within social media circles, and the amplification potential these people can have on your marketing efforts – connecting with the right influencer could be worth significantly more than paid ads, when utilized in an effective way. While “content is king”, content goes no where without further discussion. In this sense, word-of-mouth is right up there in the throne room, and is something that cannot be overlooked in the expanded scheme of your efforts.

Hollywood studios rely on buzz to make money, and they’re increasingly investing into influencer marketing and word-of-mouth strategies to help fuel such efforts. All brands should take note.

Main image via Shutterstock

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The Power Play of Utilizing Social Media APIs

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social media APIs

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Software companies use an Application Programming Interface or API in order to introduce their programming instructions to third parties for better accessibility and integration of their programs to the company services. An API involves a software to software interface that allows a third party website owner to connect to the services of another company. Software developers thus can easily design products that can be interconnected to another website’s services. APIs are now viewed as an important aspect of online marketing using the social media platforms where digital marketers can harness the marketing advantage value available from social media APIs for their business.

The marketing value of social media APIs to business

While an API may sound to be a technical term, it helps to know how this can be valuable to your social media marketing campaign. An API can be likened to a programmed application that is capable of communicating to another program application thereby integrating several functions and services within a single website. Each time you purchase something online for instance, your credit card payment is processed from the site where the purchase is made and the payment verification is made by sending the information from the ecommerce site to the credit card provider facility using APIs to connect the transmission of information to and from the two parties. The API programming instruction is the standard web based software application tool to connect, integrate and access one web application service to another.

social media APIs

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Social media APIs in particular can be a valuable source for an online business website. Without APIs it would be difficult for your website to link your Facebook page or Twitter account to your website or to integrate your Google Plus account to your blog posts in order to promote your authorship reputation. In like manner you will not be able to use Google Analytics tool in auditing and optimizing your ecommerce site for better search performance. The social media marketing tools that are used in promoting businesses are powered and supported by APIs. Whether you are using different social media platforms like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Foursquare in promoting your businesses, the API is the working force behind the process of exchanging application features and services between your website to a particular social media network.

There are many marketing values that are derived from social media APIs which include but not limited to the following:

  • Displaying ad campaigns to your site as a publisher.
  • Application development to enhance the benefits of using marketing tools that connect your website to various social media platforms.
  • Displaying social media buttons to optimize the social shares of your post to grow your brand’s social media signals.
  • Seamless launching of an email marketing campaign using APIs in managing customer subscription lists and ad campaigns.
  • Tracking down your data analytics information from your website to the analytic monitoring tool or software.

Why harness the marketing force from social media APIs benefits

Every digital marketer is now enjoying the benefits of social media APIs by using third party social media marketing tools that are mostly free to use for their online business promotion campaign. Knowing how the social media can influence the purchasing habits and shopping behaviours of the consumers, using social media APIs can significantly revolutionize your online marketing opportunities. Social media applications are very powerful tools that can help boost your business performance on the search and can help in accelerating your lead conversion rate and business profitability.

Using social media applications help in amplifying a digital marketer’s effort. Prior to the API development, website owners mainly rely on their website developer’s ability to optimize their own site with limited features and functionality. With the API evolution a website is empowered with social media apps and widgets that improve their site’s newsfeed, sharable value and the utilization of social graphs.

Useful social media APIs for business

If you aim to use social media as an online marketing tool, leveraging on the influential benefits of social media APIs can give your business marketing efforts a boost. Getting acquainted to these different social media APIs will give you good leads on which social media APIs to pursue in integrating to your business.

  • Facebook APIs
social media APIs

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Facebook APIs are among the very popular social media platforms that can be integrated to business. Upon the release of its APIs at the disposal of web application developers, Facebook has about 1,000 attracted web developers who are creating social media apps that can work seamlessly with Facebook.com. You can increase the traction of your sales by promoting your business products, services and brand by creating your own business Facebook page that is linked to your main ecommerce website. A webmaster can even use of the Facebook widgets that are easy to use and navigate. You can use the Facebook Open Graph API in order to benefit your social media marketing campaigns such as the personalization of your Facebook page, site registration and the creation of a commenting system.

  • Twitter APIs
social media APIs

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Twitter is a social media platform that has developed its own APIs in order to allow its users to tweet and re-tweet posts to their own profile or websites. Online marketers can easily display the Twitter widget or buttons directly on their website and encourage their visitors to share their business updates and posts in their Twitter profiles. There are also several Twitter based applications that were developed today that allow the users to easily integrate their Twitter accounts and updates

  • Email marketing campaigns using social media APIs

Email marketing remains to be one of the powerful marketing tools that business marketers use in communicating to their customers and maintaining social connections with them. There are now email marketing tools such as Mail Chimp that you can use in managing your database of email subscribers and integrating its widgets to your site using its API.

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