A re-branding of the MySpace page was completed on October 17, 2008. The look of the page now closely resembles other pieces of the online presence for the movie, as well as directs people much more quickly to the official TFT site.
The TFT trailer has been viewed over 300 times on MySpace; we have a network of over 500 “friends” that we can push information out to through the MySpace network.
Tamara Johnston and Rayne Roberts have been consistently intrumental in adding friends, sending bulletins, and responding to messages on the MySpace account.
In the future, it would be interesting to see how much larger we could make the MySpace network of “friends” and how that could be monetized with the upcoming DVD release.
The Facebook presence is in its infancy. We have almost 50 “fans” — those who sign up as a fan. These people can be communicated with directly from Facebook, and can recommend the movie to others on Facebook.
Challenges to overcome: Facebook does not allow visual branding in the same way that MySpace does, so we cannot differentiate ourselves with visuals; additionally, we need to see how to increase our numbers and referrals here in addition to MySpace.
Opportunities for online growth come from a few areas:
- New online content. HCS will edit and upload video of Lauralee and Tamara from the premiere, as well as possible “webisodes” that can update fans on where Tamara, Anti-Body, and the filmmakers are now.
- New online marketing tools. Providing downloadable flyer and poster blanks for those sponsoring screenings would be a perfect way for sponsors to get the word out, and would extend our “brand” further into the online sphere.
- New online targeted social networking. Finding social networks built around fair trade, etc. would be much more targeted than Facebook or MySpace.
- Exploiting the retail channel. Ensuring that positive user ratings and reviews are constantly submitted to many online retailers.
- Targeting new online efforts to a smaller audience. We should, in the future, target new online efforts to smaller, more lucrative audiences: film critics, fair trade afficionados, Christian groups, etc., in an attempt to maximize time spent online. As this article says, “there is a process of self-selection online” that means we can be much more targeted and take for granted that they already want to see something like we are offering.
- Finally, social networking is like trying to get momentum while rolling a ball slightly uphill: it doesn’t work until gravity changes. And gravity only changes when the size of your target audience keeps growing because more and more people start intentionally spreading the word about your product. A wonderful blog post about this can be found here. Our job will be to continue to expand the audience of people who know about and advocate for The Fair Trade movie.
In part five: Updates, search ads, retail rollout recap.