Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spin Me Right Round

(Cheryl Scungio as a rather drunken Gracie)

I'm a pretty happy camper today. Since Wednesday, our fans on the Facebook page, "Smalltimore, the Movie," (don't forget the comma) has TRIPLED! Mostly through Kyle Holtgren's, Phil Calvert's, and my own friends, but we are also pulling in random people along the way, and I love that.

Eric got on board the other day, after I made a rather pointed plea to my friends who had not yet become fans. He is new to Facebook, and he asked me if it got me anything, having people sign up. Not per se, but it definitely helps. It is all about keeping the buzz going, keeping people talking about it, and if you think about it, it is kind of hard to keep people talking about a movie they've never seen, and don't know when they'll see it. But that is exactly what I have been doing for almost a year and a half now, via this blog, layering that with the occasional mass email, and now adding the Facebook page.

Anyone who has ever been to one of my parties or events can tell you that I know how to plan a good time, and a good turnout. Because what I am doing for Smalltimore is exactly what I do for all my events. Like I said in the very beginning, that is what making, and now marketing, a movie is - event planning. Scheduling, being organized, making sure everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing them and finding a way to reward them for doing it so that they stay excited about it. More than anything, it is about communication.

People forget things, and get bored quickly. We're all busy, and in this world where we watch the news with remote control in hand, flipping between several channels which each have one or more talking heads in the middle, various stock, weather, and time info in the corners and a streaming ticker across the bottom, our attention span has been reduced to the point that we require our information in sound bites. Collective social A.D.D.. Just the facts, Ma'am. And quickly!

Now that I have the FB page for the movie, that fills that niche, and I am glad to have it, despite the "new" FB being so annoying. But there are quite a few people that read this blog regularly, it gets an average of about 30 hits a day now. Until recently it was averaging 20, but it has gone up since I have been writing a lot lately. Which is nice, because I was afraid it would go down, that people would get bored with hearing so much from me!

I think the blog serves a certain purpose that I can't accomplish on FB. It is pretty stream-of-consciousness for me, and I think we all enjoy getting inside someone else's head, but my posts usually end up being some sort of story, and most people still like a good story. That's why we still love the movies! Especially if it is some sort of inside scoop, and even more so if it is some sort of inside scoop on a person. The days that receive the biggest number of hits are always the days that I post a profile of one of the actors (and my stat tracker differentiates between how many individuals view the page and how many page loads there are, so that number is not skewed by a few people returning to the page multiple times). BTW, Kyle, the biggest hits I have received in one day came on the day I profiled Phil Calvert - so don't think you're sailing away with that steak dinner quite yet. I think he is due for a comeback (see the posting earlier this week, "Feed a Starving Actor")!

I discovered that this (profiling individuals) was a very good tool a few years ago when I organized a couple group art shows with some of my artist friends here in Baltimore. I didn't have FB then, so I sent them out via mass emailing. We had great turnouts at both events. I received loads of compliments on them and no one minded at all that I was sending them a rather lengthy email once a week. As a matter of fact, once in awhile, I'll run into someone I haven't seen for a bit and they will tell me that they miss my mass emails!

I think the key is keeping it personal, that's what I try to do here. And funny, of course. It's not that hard. This IS Baltimore, after all. And Baltimore + actors = Plenty of material to work with.

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