I find the more I engage with social media the better the experience is, but it takes an active engagement not even daily posting on subject matter is good enough it is a matter of engaging with others. It is my belief that in the future we will have a social media environment that is still toxic but less so because everyone will consciously self censor and dial back their more intense views. It is my plan then to engage more with my followers and to engage with the people I am following with as much as time spent time crafting posts because no one in the end likes a narcissist and value to the audience is integral. You can want to dominate social media but without engaging with the audience they will not so if you make it as much about them as it is about you, they will be more inclined to help you on your journey in your field through social media.
Just using a platform is not enough, using its functions is integral such as going Live, post stories and even posting open ended questions directed to others instead of opining on your own greatness to achieve this result. For people who broadcast on the radio like me I suggest live streaming online as it will grow your audience ever since that is where the audience is so it will attract others to your content on the radio or at least just the live stream. To be honest, more people will listen to my live stream preshow to my radio show than the actual show itself however you should take the engagement as it comes since less people in fact, listen to the radio.
Do not post without thinking, make it thoughtful, habitual and of use to your community so that means take a lot of time with this as this the integral marketing environment you will be in. Remember that each post is a representation of yourself and what you want so to be hungry but not desperate and be a good citizen of your industry as much as you are a player so then when things are not as great after your climb you will still be in good favor. Make sure you post but also make sure it is not all the time as that will show and you want to live in the physical world using the online world as a tool for improvement not an end within itself.
My professional network is maintained in person but mostly online however the online component is worthless without the in-person component so they both really feed into each other. I have some plans for the upcoming year which should set me in a good trajectory working on things I am familiar with but challenging myself to prove that to a wider market and constantly learn things along the way.
My online networking started before I was in this program with a single Facebook post a day in my Facebook Group for the radio show with occasional personal posts on my timeline. It has grown beyond that to a daily post on both Instagram and Twitter, a YouTube upload every two days and then an update of my Letterboxd reviews every 2 weeks once a broadcast has aired. This has allowed me to reach new audience members as well as establish a deeper bond with people who were already interacting with my content and I have found the steady amount of posting of various platforms to be helpful. I plan on continuing this rigorous social media strategy for my radio show but also to start an Instagram business account for the Metro I work at so that will certainly be a challenge in creating content for something entirely different.
My professional network online consists mainly of publicists who are gatekeepers to talent to be interviewed and prospective producers to pitch my screenplays to in the future as I plan on stepping up my writing this year as well. I also see a lot of customers at my store who I will occasionally talk to about my radio endeavours and how to follow my social media, but that interaction would change if I do take control over an Instagram account for the store. I would listen to their thoughts and incorporate their feedback into the content to the best of my ability.
I have high hopes for 2021 from keeping up my current course of social media posts for radio to also leverage my network to get an audience with another producer about my writing to a Metro Instagram account. All of this is good stuff and I will try to keep everyone happy through my constant juggling of various projects.
I love a good social media campaign; most people will tell you ads have no effect on them however they do not realize that they do just more subconsciously than they understand as we are bombarded by so images daily. There would be no ads if they did not work and I remember seeing all kinds of cool ones in magazines as a kid as well as Television but now of course, they reside on the internet most notably for me on Instagram. The plethora of ads I see on sites where I am reading an article to Letterboxd certainly play an impact as well, one that I am less conscious of like most people who consume ads daily making it harder for me to comment on. As for the other two social media sites besides Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are toxic but also lamer in comparison to me and I shall tell you what one group that is getting it right on Instagram and one organization that is doing absolutely nothing on social media that really ought to.
Fashion Nova was a clothing company I knew nothing of before Instagram and now that I am on the platform it is something that has captured my fancy despite me being a male and knowing I will never buy these clothes for myself. But I would love to one day spoil a lady with these clothes if she is the right type of person for that and it comes less from their influencers than it does from their copious amounts of willing micro influencers. The micro influencers I have been told from trendy females on Instagram, do not get paid much of anything if they are lucky, they will get free clothing which does not seem like much for all they do for the brand. They are happy to do it though because they are so enthusiastic and it is this business of incorporating a lifestyle into a now not lifeless product that I find very intriguing and is an example of strong online organization.
Metro has zero social media presence which I find appalling as an employee and reversing this face is a task, I want to take on personally both as a business man and as a customer who sees Loblaws and Farm Boy active on the social platforms! I do not know what the purpose of them staying offline is, there is both a good website and app that Metro has active but on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – they are no where to be found which is simply baffling. I know that the location I work at does great business but perhaps there is more money to be squeezed out through an active Instagram account which can be the basis for other stores in the company that are struggling more. The task is a little daunting for me just in terms of managing the comments, but I have no doubt that once it gets going that is will be an effective project that could be helpful for the company more broadly speaking.
I liked used Hootsuite and Tweetdeck during this program to keep track of multiple things at once but am not able to say they are superior to other ones as I am far from an expert on the other monitoring tools. As far as news goes, I can tell you that TV News is not a thing for me anymore, so this is a topic I do know more about, so I like the Trending section on Twitter and the Google App more than other news updates. I will break down my experience with all four of these sites.
I did a month trial run with Hootsuite after learning about it during this program and loved how it gave me information on my social media posts across the internet right in front of me instead of relying on multiple programs. As someone who uses Facebook, Instagram and Twitter daily it is great to have even a little bit of information on all of them of course for more in-depth information I would have had to pay which did not appeal to me. This was the best monitoring tool for me and if I make a deeper impact in the future, I will certainly consider investing in this program to get a better sense of what is working and what needs to be changed via social media posts.
While Hootsuite was great for a general sense of how my social media posts were performing, Tweetdeck was much more helpful with all things related to Twitter and it was even set up like Hootsuite which helped me. If the design of Tweetdeck was a lot more different than Hootsuite it would have been a learning curve, but I found once you typed in the information you were looking for you could get a good sense of things. You could read comments using the hashtag you were studying as well as the volume of comments if something was trending there were clearly a lot more which is helpful for me since I have been off Twitter for a long time and am just getting back into it.
I am very opinionated on news and believe the future is not in the mainstream, for the last couple of years I have stopped watching cable news for YouTube news or the ‘Left Tube,’ as a friend of mine calls it. I want to know what is trending, so Twitter’s trending section has been great for me to stay on top of what other people are thinking and saying out of my admitted echo chamber. The comments I read may be ill informed or things I simply do not agree with, but they all speak to the current moment we live in and at the very least offer psychological insight.
The Google App offers a personalized news section that I really like since it knows what I want to read and gives me a lot of entertainment news, podcast news and a little bit of news from mainstream sources. It is not too bad, while it does not make me very curious and offers confirmation bias it is enjoyable if I do not want to challenge myself very much with the news.
Storytelling is integral to getting anyone to share your interests and like advertisements, social media storytelling at its best is terse and exciting so the more one understands the fundamentals of storytelling the easier that will become. I like the emphasis of storytelling as a visual person, a writer and a broadcaster all of that is integral to me to draw an audience into my perspective on things within the film industry, what is good or bad now then ultimately what should be done in the future.
Applying what I have learned from Algonquin in terms of storytelling will only be improved by a daily application as well as checking out further readings on this subject matter but this class has made be more conscious of this element of social media posting. I want to tell captivating stories about the film industry, refine the stories I do have as well as find more great ones so hopefully COVID-19 can clear up soon so I can get out in the world again to do just that! Social media followings take time to grow so the more time that passes while I am engaging purposefully in my subject matter will only lead to the ultimate result which is paid work, it is inevitable.
My greatest achievement is using my radio show as an industry passport to both Los Angeles and Berlin to not just visit foreign lands but to represent my brand in foreign lands to develop myself and help the movie industry. The ultimate achievement is to get paid in the film industry however as of now this is my crowning achievement, using my background to travel to pitch a screenplay as well as cover a major European film festival in person.
To get an hour meeting with a big Hollywood producer to chat about myself as a writer was a very valuable opportunity it helped me realize what I would need to change and what I need to double down on to ever get sold. I know that just being scene in the various hip places downtown Los Angeles helped people in the city understand me beyond my broadcasts and being seen with the right people as well as having the right conversations really helped my brand.
Going to Berlin was an incredibly unique experience, I had never been to Germany before and instead of being culturally intimidated it was important to me just to stay true to myself and be accepted on my own terms. Chatting with local professionals over there about more cultural topics helped define myself in another regard way where it is less about the fashion of the day like in Los Angeles but profoundly universal conversations in relation to cinema.
My personal brand first and foremost starts with my passionate knowledge for movies that is not just sitting there in my mind but applied every 2 weeks with a CKCU FM broadcast that has been a massive undertaking lately. From February 2016 to May 2019 I would produce a lot of content but it has been in overdrive since May 2019 producing a 2 hour show 2 or 3 times a month filled movie industry interviews as well as reviews and music put together for a tremendous experience. My content is my brand I put my passionate personality and hard work into putting that thing together, so it is really that combination that makes my personal brand come together.
The social media posts amplify the show tremendously, starting off with a Facebook post every day but lately because I now use Instagram and Twitter daily as well to promote things have really taken off from that regard. The social media posts have a lot of confidence in them because I am making reasons for people to check in to my show so my belief that it is of consequence is a big selling point and certainly Instagram has become my preferred social media platform. The use of images to promote a movie themed radio show is helpful and the tactile nature of the platform shows my brand as an upcoming professional within the film industry and someone who has a consequential opinion.
Spotify is in my mind a cool B2C business that engages with me online and I would say they have an effective model that is working for all things to do with audio and perhaps in the future with video too. Spotify does great with their email list they really draw you in personally with either extended trial runs or notifying you of content that is similar to what you have been listening to on their site which usually brings me back. The personalized playlists are nice as well when you do not want to think about what you want to listen to you just want to be in the hands of someone who is capable of knowing what you are into and what is most likely appealing.
The playlists Spotify recommend are usually great and while I do not create playlists the fact that artists now rely on fans to include them in playlists is a great grassroots touch to the industry that should be embraced. Seeing people share their playlists on Facebook is fun I like to see what people are listening to, what the trends are and maybe where they are leading to and a lot of that has to do with social media grass roots people power.
Having covered the Fantasia International Film Festival for three years in a row I would say that they have a wonderful audience that is emblematic of genre film fans who are a little bit different than regular movie fans. What distinguishes this audience is a friendlier demeanor with a more open mind, the Comic Con crowd is filled with Science Fiction and Fantasy fans so while the Fantasia audience might like that sort of thing, especially stories set within genres, they are a bit more flexible with content. Fantasia programming consists of a lot of Asian movies, horror movies and anything a bit more extreme than conventional mainstream movies that play in cineplexes so with that comes a whole different crowd.
Respecting diversity is a big thing for the Fantasia audience they want to see something they have not seen before but they still want to be entertained and it is not about political issues or pretentiousness in the movie going experience. When writing social media posts to engage with this audience as I have, it is important to not give a lot of exposition as they can follow the conversation or esoteric reference but to share a post that is enthusiastic and well written. Some emphasis words are fine but really using the language of intelligence over shock and awe will win over their committed interest in covering the same topics they have a mutual interest in talking about.
Complaining seems to be universal, people will look for reasons to tear you down before they look to validate you and people vent in a more intense way on the internet than in person because they feel liberated. A good story must not just follow rules of good storytelling by being dynamic and entertaining but also reflect cultural understanding or at least sensitivity to avoid the outrage factor as much as possible.
The best way to have an interactive experience with your audience online is to open up vulnerabilities through questions lets down the omnipotence of your voice on social media in a way that invites people in. Saying things declaratively gets boring so open questions or polls are a great way to open the floor to other people and even interacting with the comments is a good thing but not all of them if there are a lot since then you will simply be answering comments instead of being a content creator.
Being a unique individual who is curious and interested in many things in the world will help you find that voice on the internet you may seek which is often omnipotent seeming but somehow cool yet detached from everything. The internet voice does not come first knowledge about storytelling and engagement come first!