Free Guy — Social Media Movie Campaign
Social media networks are an excellent advertising tool to build awareness and promote a new film. Before using social media, the only way to market a movie was through print ads, movie previews, or word of mouth. With new movies premiering monthly, the turnover time for the film is short, making it a priority to get it out in front of as many eyes as possible.
For the new release of the film “Free Guy” opening in U.S. theaters on August 13th, 2021, I will outline a detailed social media strategy from July 1st, 2021 to September 30th, 2021, to generate buzz, drive ticket sales, and promote further engagement. This social media campaign will occur in three stages: the movie’s pre-release, release, and post-release.
Before commencing social media campaign efforts, we must first begin outlining and establishing the campaign’s SMART Goals to maximize content use and distribution. The overarching goal of the social media marketing campaign is to exceed all other movie box office sales for August movie premiers. These SMART goals include:
- SMART GOAL #1: Attract 50k in followers each via Instagram and TikTok, 10k in followers each via Facebook and Twitter, and 5k in followers via YouTube and Snapchat before the end of the social media campaign on September 30th, 2021
- SMART GOAL #2: Post ten times a week during pre-release, fifteen times a week during the release date, and twenty times a week post-release event.
- SMART GOAL #3: Increase social media reach and engagement amongst all platforms by 30% leading up to the August 13th release day.
For the movies marketing campaign, the leading social media platforms will be Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Having a diverse set of social media outlets will allow Free Guy’s movie content to reach all target audiences to promote the movie and increase ticket sales. In addition, the platforms and content will encourage viewers to converse and engage with the movie’s brand to promote a deeper relationship with the target audience before, during, and after the release.
Due to its graphic nature, storyline, and visuals, the overall target market for this movie are Generation Z, Millennials, and Males between 18 to 35 years old. Behaviors of this target market include enjoying comedic, action packed movies, fans of Ryan Reynolds, gamers, and social media users.
Utilizing Instagram to market the movie Free Guy is a great way to promote the film during the three release phases. It is a storytelling platform that currently has one billion monthly users and appeals to 18–24-year old’s, falling right into the movie’s target market. The platform also offers various features such as photos, reels, IGTV, stories, and highlights, proven to be the most engaging social media content.
Tik Tok is a great platform to begin viral trends that circulate to millions of people a day. It has been downloaded 200 million times in the United States, with one billion active monthly users. Additionally, the platform is infamous for hashtag challenges which deliver high and prompt engagement. Creating a #FreeGuy trend that will highlight the movie release is a great way to get the movie in front of many eyes as possible and at a compound rate. TikTok offers a wide target audience between 13–60 years of age which will help garner an additional audience for the movie’s release.
Twitter is another valuable site to include in Free Guys’ social media marketing campaign initiatives because it is a popular platform for movie fandoms to come together to share film discussions. According to Twitter Marketing, 31% of the platform’s users are more than likely to see a new film on opening weekend. Twitter users are also between 18 and 29 years old, matching Free Guys target audience.
Through Snapchat, Free Guy fans and audiences can interact with the movie and share ads with their followers through user-generated content created from the platform’s built-in, promoted filters. Additionally, the movie can benefit from repurposing content from TikTok and Instagram on the newer spotlight feature. Snapchat’s audience ranges between 15 and 25 years old and aligns with Free Guys target market.
Facebook is another excellent platform to market the movie, Free Guy. It contains the Facebook Watch feature, allowing users to continue watching a stream of videos, similar to YouTube. It also offers photo, video posts and Facebook Stories and is an excellent platform for repurposing content generated on other social media sites. Additionally, 76% of moviegoers between the ages of 18–34 use Facebook, making it an excellent platform for Free Guy to market the release of their movie.
Finally, utilizing YouTube is another great way to market Free Guy because it is a platform that allows for longer video content such as teasers, trailers, interviews, and movie events without spending much of the budget. This will enable relevant target audiences to find the movie’s content and converse with each other in the comments about what they are viewing. Additionally, this will allow for better understanding of how the target audience is reacting to the movies content throughout each phase.
Voice & Tone
The voice and tone of the social media movie campaign will match the comedic, action and romance tone the film portrays through its starring characters. It should come off as light-hearted, funny, clownish with an overall fast-paced, action-like gaming environment. Much of the voice throughout the content will be from starring actor, Ryan Reynolds. The voice will be held through all messaging from the comments, captions, and even emojis. Additionally, the same sentiment applies to any and all video content with voiceovers.
Hashtags are a great way to allow your target audience to find content related to your social media campaign. For the film’s specific campaign, the hashtags should be niche and consistent with the movie while attracting user-generated content, sparking trends, and creating a space that the audience can reference to gain additional information about the film. Such hashtags will include #FreeGuy, #FreeGuyMovie, and #FreeGuyFilm.
In terms of movie success and reach, people no longer turn to newspapers or television ads and magazines to know which films are worth seeing. Instead, they search for open discussions happening under the social media presence of their favorite public figures and accounts. The influencers who should promote the social media campaign for Free Guy will include lead actor Ryan Reynolds, and the movies Co-Stars. Additionally, the film can benefit from utilizing popular YouTube and Twitch gaming influencers. These selected influencers will target Free Guy’s audience and attract additional viewers to the movie’s social media campaign through their personal brand.
Ryan Reynolds is well known A-list actor for his prior roles in countless popular movies. Rising to social media popularity with over 38 million followers on Instagram, 6.7 million followers on TikTok, and 17.8 million followers on Twitter, Reynolds has earned respect from many beloved fans and followers throughout his acting career. This makes him the perfect leading social media influencer to market the film.
Another set of influencers that Free Guy can partner with apart from the movies actors are associated with the gaming world. These include well-known gaming influencers such as Mark Plier, Jacksepticey, DanTDm, and PewDiePie, who collectively have over 40 million followers just on Instagram. Additionally, these influencers have earned a significant following through YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, with an audience that aligns significantly with the film’s target market.
The Pre-Event will kick off at the beginning of July 2021. The main goal for the Pre-Event is to establish a general feel of the film before it is released in order to create buzz and conversation surrounding the movie. Most of the content will include movie posters, social media teasers, trailers, and interviews during this phase.
During the event, social media efforts will start at the beginning of the month the movie will be released being August 2021. This will be the time to start building momentum leading up to the film’s release date in creating a sort of countdown throughout each social media platform. Additionally, during this month, content should be interactive focused in allowing the audience feel part of the premier. Celebrities and influencers will become present on the social media platforms by conducting lives, posting relevant content, and generating movie hype within their own audiences.
The post-event will kick off exactly a month after the movie’s release being in September 2021. At this point, enough information will be generated on the movie’s performance. Social media efforts should continue to get more viewers talking about the movie and drumming up additional conversation within online movie fandoms to prolong its relevancy.
Though each platform brought a unique quality to the movies content, the one that provided the most variety and reach was Instagram. Through all the different features used through Instagram, it acted as the home for most of the content that would then be repurposed for other social media platforms. Reflecting on Free Guys marketing efforts, the only changed I would make to the present social media marketing strategy is to include more interactive content to make the audience feel part of the movie release process. Overall, this will help not only drive box office sales during a movie premier but also sustain the movie’s relevancy in a high-turnover industry. As social media continues to grow and add new features to each platform, it’s safe to say it will become the main source of marketing a film release in the next coming decades.
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