Promote your film with a Facebook fan page

Facebook is a site for keeping in touch with people. If you are a filmmaker, then it's a site that's great for keeping people in touch with your film as shown below. The Black Candle is a film about Kwanzaa that uses its fan page to connect with its audience. With as many users as there are people in America, your potential for reach is astounding. Don't give into the temptation! An ineffective way to promote your film would be to attempt to 'friend' all of them. Although there are some people who will accept your friend request, more discerning people will likely regard it as spam and ignore it. This would cause you to lose credibility and that would just be bad. This post is the first in a 2 part series covering effective ways to promote your film on Facebook: creating a fan page.  Be sure to check out part 2: creating a Facebook quiz.
Here's what Facebook has to say about its fan pages
“Facebook users choose to interact with your Page in many ways, including choosing to become a fan of the brand or business page, watch videos, review products, post photos, use applications, etc. Most of these actions generate News Feed stories for users’ friends, spreading relevant updates about your newest marketing campaigns throughout Facebook.”
Although you could probably extract some advantages from that excerpt including the ever important watch videos (whoo hoo!) here are some more of them laid out for you:

Advantages

  1. You can interact directly with your audience by allowing them to leave their opinion of your film.
  2. You can show trailers or movie clips on your fan page.
  3. You can have an unlimited number of fans all of whom you can contact. (This is not the case with a personal page or a Facebook group)
  4.  You get insights (for free), this breaks down the activity of your Fan page by demographics such as location, age and gender. This IMO is the best advantage because...
  5. You can also target your communications to your fans by these demographics. If you have a screening in Toledo, no need to tell the people in Turkey.
  6. You can create Event Announcements and RSVPs for screenings of your film or appearances by your cast.
    promoting your film on facebook - The Black Candle Events on Facebook
  7. You can integrate it with your Twitter account so information from one can feed to the other automatically.
  8. Facebook pages are indexed by search engines like Google
  9. There are many ways to point to your Facebook fan page from blogs or websites. e.g. A Facebook Fan Box widget or Live Stream box.
  10. They are public so people don't actually have to join Facebook in order to get the information on your fan page.
  11. All of the above is free!

Disadvantages

  1. One downside is there is no good way to ensure your fans see your updates as they are not as obvious as the updates you would get from a friend. This has been a source of frustration to me on the fan page I maintain. Hopefully it will improve. The best way to combat this is to have compelling campaigns that will keep driving people back to your fan page.
  2. Another is you don't get notifications about interactions on your page. I am torn about this one because if you have a very active page such notifications could be overwhelming. On the other hand it requires you to keep a close eye on it, which you should be doing anyway.
For information on how to create a fan page go here.
Here is one example of a great Facebook fan page. It's for the film The Black Candle.
Do you have one? What's your experience been like? Are there any films you think do a good job using Facebook?
Be sure to check out part 2 of this series which covers creating a Facebook quiz.