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6 Popular Movies That Ran Successful Social Media Campaigns

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19th Feb, 2021
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6 Popular Movies That Ran Successful Social Media Campaigns

The movie industry has several updates to the way it is marketing in recent years. With social media and digital mediums to reach out to its target audience, movie marketing has been transformed. From posters on billboards to sneak peeks, trailers, teasers, and even direct engagement with fans, the world of movie marketing is seeing it all. Promoting movies and TV series online are now a must-have in the marketing arsenal, and there are several examples of film-makers using these platforms to create the right interest. If you are a beginner in digital marketing marketing, and want to gain expertise, check out our digital marketing certifications from top universities. 

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If you are looking for popular movies which made efficient use of digital marketing and social media to create a hype among the audiences, here are six examples that you need to know of:

1. Hunger Games

For a movie based on an already famous novel, The Hunger Games was sure to catch-on. But the real reason for the popularity of the series can be attributed to its awareness campaigns launched on social media. The social media campaign sprang up before the first movie was released and allowed fans to become citizens in the fantasy world.

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The campaign used its virtual environment to gain real engagement, and users signed-in with Twitter and Facebook could get a unique pass. What’s more, each district had its own Facebook page and elections of the members. This smart thinking helped the movie become a buzz among existing fans and the larger community. 

Lesson: Audiences love to get an inside view of a fantasy world, and online games have the power to create the right buzz.

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2. Anchorman 2

The sequel to ‘Anchorman’ starred Will Ferrell and a star-cast known to make the audience laugh out loud. However, the anchor of its popularity is not just its cast but also has a lot to do with the way it was marketed. The movie was promoted using a Twitter handle of Ron Burgundy, played by Ferrell himself. The tweets created a considerable buzz on social media, as the audience could get a real-world example of the fictional character. It led to the instant engagement and showed just how powerful a connection the lead character has with the audience.

Lesson: Build on the popularity of the lead character when interacting with the audiences. This creative marketing strategy can work wonders if leveraged effectively.

3. Paranormal Activity

The horror genre has always used trailers and teasers to entice the audiences, but the makers of ‘Paranormal Activity’ had a different approach in their game. The guys behind the film, who were well-versed with social media’s power, decided to use the medium to create the right buzz among the audience. Initially limited to just a few cities in the United States, the makers asked fans to demand the movie to be showcased in their town. The campaign said that for every one million hits in their town, the production company would come to screen the film. And, it worked, Fans were tweeting their screams, and the movie got immense popularity. 

Lesson: Type works, and the audience will engage if they are given the right incentive. 

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4. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2

Today, it is mainstream to create a page for an upcoming movie, but the Harry Potter series made sure to leverage this medium in its early days. Using just a simple Facebook page, a Twitter profile and YouTube live streaming of its exclusive events; the already popular series multiplied its popularity. The last movie in the series saw 29 million strong followings and kept the audiences engaged with live pictures of the premier, behind the scenes clips of the shoot and exclusive main events.

Lesson: Use social media to set the expectations for your fans. This works well with established brands but can also create awareness for a new one.

Checkout: Top 10 Benefits of Social media in Digital Era

5. Twilight

Among the popular fantasy novels which were turned into books, ‘Twilight’ is the most talked about. Before the movie was released, several fans were already looking forward to the film based on their favourite novel. The novel’s popularity was enough for the makers to do the obvious, leverage the hype. The makers used Twitter feed and filled it with updates, insights and information on the movies and the books. The fan-based loved this interaction, and it became the first movie to hit 1 million followers on Twitter. 

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Lesson: If you’re riding a wave, feed it and watch the audience do the rest.

6. The Dark Knight

The second movie in the ‘Batman’ series directed by Christopher Nolan was always a huge success, but Dark Knight set the DC hero stage. But the movie got headlines for not just the superhero, but Heath Ledger’s role as the ‘Joker’. The villain’s portrayal got several talking, and the makers also leveraged this popularity with the ‘Why so serious’ campaign.

With unique collectables, puzzles, casual games, live events and user-generated content, ‘Why so serious’ was a 360-degree integrated campaign that leveraged social media marketing before it was mainstream. The campaign touched over 11 million unique participants in over 75 countries and made a masterpiece of learning just like the movie. 

Lesson: Go beyond the traditional, and create a holistic campaign that taps multiple marketing channels to deliver powerful results

To sum it up, be it the film, television or any other industry, the use of social media marketing and digital outreach is going to play a significant role going forward. With most of the interactions now happening digitally, online marketing is ideal for connecting directly with the audience. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these spectacular social media marketing examples and if you have any more, do let us know in the comments below! 

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The career opportunities in digital marketing are plenty; you get to choose what you want to become. If you are curious to get into the world of digital marketing, check out upGrad & MICA’s Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing & Communication.


Dilip Guru

Blog Author
He is a Growth Hacker, Digital Marketer & Blogger. He loves solving problems of scale and long term digital strategy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the best ways to start a social media campaign?

To be able to create a successful social media campaign, you need to follow a step-by-step approach to plan the campaign.
1. Need to understand the objectives and goals of the campaign
2. How to use different social media platforms to promote the campaign
3. Need to create a content calendar for week/month to be consistent on all social media platforms
4. Create supporting visual content for the campaign.
5. Start scheduling your posts according to the calendar.
6. Monitor and review the performance of each post on different social media platforms.
7. Adjust the campaign according to the response of the audience.

2What are the different types of social media campaigns?

Social media is emerging and evolving, therefore, no fixed campaign type will work for all social media campaigns. The different types of social media campaigns include:
1. Polls: Polls on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter is not only the great tool to increase post engagement but also helps to gain valuable insights about the audience
2. Partnerships: Partnerships with influencers, celebrities, Facebook groups, and other events
3. Contests and Giveaways: Running social contests and giveaways helps in building page engagement.
4. Giving Back: It’s a new and unique social media campaign that targets millennials and is more like a charitable promotion, bringing out emotional stories or charitable angles around the brand.

3How to promote movies through different social media platforms?

The following are the ways to promote and sell movies and short films through different social media platforms:
1. Match your social media campaign strategy to your film audience and demographics.
2. Create high-quality visual content that engages the audience and tells a story.
3. Shoot behind the scenes (BTS) shots to create a buzz around the movie.
4. Use Hashtags to promote your film that makes content searchable and can reach a wider audience
5. Use website/blog to provide a synopsis of the film, stories, important announcements and sharing the links every time a post goes online
6. Paid-ad in all social media platforms to attract a new set of audience
7. Involve social influencers to speak about the movie

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