social media

How to Become a Travel Photographer on Instagram

Instagram isn’t just a place to show off your best selfies —  it’s also among the best social media platforms where you can enhance your photography skills. If you like to travel, Instagram is a great place to showcase your talent and maybe even make a living at the same time. However, if you are not sure on how to start, keep reading for some essential tips to help get you started:

Pick a niche style

For all the people on Instagram, a lot of the accounts really look the same. Having a particular niche style of your own helps to make your work stand out. It’s a huge advantage when people can tell the difference between your work and others’ at just a glance.

Your niche-style should reflect on the things you are interested in. Then, find ways to personalize the places you go to and make them as enjoyable as possible. This way, you will provide your audience with reasons to try and visit the same places. As a traveling photographer, you need to be persistent and exciting to ensure your niche has a professional appearance and contains your personality.

Set goals

Before you consider taking your camera and hitting the road, sit back and ask yourself a few questions. Find convincing reasons within yourself why you wish to become a travel photographer. Although this may seem like a simple step, it’s incredibly necessary. Once you are sure why you want to venture into the photography field, you can then divide your dreams into short-term and long-term goals. These goals will help to keep you focused, motivated and inspired, even when challenges are at their most extreme. If possible, write your goals in a journal and keep checking on them as often as possible.

Connect with others

In every business, having partners or people with the same goals as you helps you grow your business. From colleagues, you can learn new techniques and you can learn from their experience to understand the do’s and don’ts of the market. When you connect with other photographers, you are likely to learn trends or hashtags that will better expose your work. You can learn different techniques from others as well, and know what equipment you can upgrade to or what best suits your own style. Additionally, connecting with people from the places you travel to makes your trip much more insightful and worthwhile.

Build a portfolio

Photography is a craft as well as an artform, and it gets better with regular practice. Building a portfolio gives you the confidence of landing that big client or project. Pick your best shots and compile them together to sell your work.

While building your collection, you must also keep in mind it will represent you in the eyes of your clients as well as your followers. Therefore, you must ensure it contains your best shots, outlines your niche, and isn’t too much of the same of the look — show off your range!

Additionally, you can include services like professional essay writers from Australia to modify your portfolio. Writers will work on all your content needs to ensure you can share your skills with your audience authentically. While building your collection, you must also keep in mind it will represent you in the eyes of potential clients. Therefore, you must ensure it contains your best shots, outlines your niche, and has a balance in color.

 


Learn photography

Before you can become a travel photographer, you obviously have to learn at least the basics. Instagram will provide you with a platform with people of all generations. But the knowhow to get the right photos on that platform will take some learning.

As a travel photographer, you must know the right settings for your camera, have a mastery of basic composition and techniques, and learn a host of other skills, from basic to more advanced.

You must also have a passion for your work. You must be willing to learn various quality standards and have an eye that can capture and see the world creatively. Also, be open to learning something new and expanding both your eyes and your viewpoints.

Attending workshops or photography schools such as the programs offered at New York Film Academy is a great first step. Travel is a wide field and although it will take time before you land your biggest gig, it can be a very rewarding job or hobby. Getting followers is one thing; giving them a good reason to follow you is another!

Photography Hashtags to Increase Your Reach on Instagram and Twitter

Few could have expected the # sign, previously called pound or number sign and only recognized on a phone, would become an important part of social media.

Hashtags are used to identify a message on a specific topic, allowing people with similar interests to discover each other’s content in the expansive sea that is the internet.

The Power Of The Hashtag

As a photographer, you naturally want other fans and professionals of the art form to check out your work, especially if you’re confident in your abilities and seeking exposure. By using the right hashtags, you’ll increase the number of people in the online photography community who come across your stuff. Many popular pages even look to hashtags to select what photos they share or add to their featured pages, which inevitably increases your social media reach.

Choosing The Best Hashtags For You

From professional to amateur photographers, many have made a name for themselves on Instagram and Twitter with the help of well-chosen hashtags. While it’s not a death sentence, some people are put off by posters who get carried away with how many hashtags they use. In fact, a big mistake to avoid is using hashtags that aren’t relevant to your photo or just aren’t trending.

Instead, your best bet is to carefully choose relevant hashtags while also keeping an eye on whatever is trending. To help you find the best, here are some excellent hashtag choices for some of the most popular categories in the photography world:

Niche Hashtags

Arguably the best hashtags you can use are the ones where people with the same interests will discover you. Although you’ll reach less people, they’re likely to appear on someone’s relevant search who will continue revisiting your pages and follow you.

Trending Hashtags

Sometimes, all it takes is a well-timed post that uses a hot hashtag to earn tons of exposure. If you hop on Twitter or Instagram and see that the latest trend is photos of funny old people, sand castles, or whatever, there’s nothing wrong with jumping in to see if your stuff becomes popular.

Generic Hashtags

These are the hashtags everyone uses and for good reason: everyone follows them. For example, the most basic and timeless photography hashtag is simply #photo. It’s harder to stand out from the crowd with a generic hashtag, but you still have a chance of getting your work on people’s devices. These are best mixed with trending and niche hashtags.

Most Popular Photography Hashtags

Photography Hashtags

#photo #photogram #photographer #photooftheday #pictures #photographyislife #capture #instalove #picoftheday #keepitsimple #exposure #collectivelycreate #instagood

Wedding Photography

#Beachwedding #Beachwedding #weddingcake #Weddingphotography #Weddingphotographer ##Engagement #weddingideas #weddingdress #beautiful #gorgeous #bride

Urban / Street Photography

#urbanphotography #streetphotography #urbex #buildinggraffiti #shoot2kill #graffitiart #streetmobs #instagraffiti #urbanandstreet #guerillaart #urbanromantix #spraypaint #urbanphoto #wallart #streettogether  #streetart #streetartistry #streetexploration

Portrait Photography

#postmoreportraits #portrait #photooftheday #portraits #portraitmood #feelgoodphoto #portraiture #makeportraits #selfshot #vsco #vintage #selfportrait #portraitphotography #selfportrait #selfie #selfies #myself #face #lips #hair #me #eyes #mouth #cute #pose #moi #closeup #model

Nature Photography Hashtags

#nature #naturegirl #awesome_earthpix #discoverearth #earthfocus #mothernature  #naturesbeauty #sky #wanderlust #natureseekers #sun #summer #wildlifelovers #explore #birdphotography #wildlifephotography  #photooftheday #skylovers #animalsofinstagram #wildlifephoto #natureisbeautiful #travelphotography #wildlifeplanet #picoftheday #traveling #summer #wildlifeonearth #naturelover #wildlifeperfection #sunset

*Top 5 Pieces of Gear You Need for Travel Video and Photography

Landscape Photography

#landscapephotography #travelphotos #nationalgeographic  #nakedplanet #places_wow #optoutside #earthofficial #natgeo #beautifuldestinations #pixel_ig #landscapelover #amazingplaces cityofdreams #landscapephotomag #natgeoyourshot #exploretheglobe #landscape_hunter #splendid_earth #ourplanetdaily

Travel Photography

#travel #travelphoto #worldtravelpics #getlost #travelphotography  #travelscenes #thegoodlife #instatravel #explorer #travelworld #instapassport #hdriphonegraphy  #travelingram #mytravelgram #keepitwild #mytravelgram #traveladdict #arountheworld #travelwithkids #paradise #travelawesome #wonderfulview  #travelstoke #lifeisbeautiful #adventuretravel #goodoldmemories

Food Photography

#Chefmode #foodoftheday #foodaddict #onthetable #hautecuisines #chefsofinstagram #foodpost #foodlife #foodie #hungry #sweet #fresh #homemade #foodgasm #yummy  #foodphotography #foodpics #foodstagram #instafood #Eatingfortheinsta #foodgram #nomnom #cleaneating

Black & White Photography

#blackandwhite #bnw #monochrome #instablackandwhite #bwstyleoftheday #monotone #monochromatic #bnw_society #bw_lover #bw_photooftheday #photooftheday #bw  #instagood #bw_society #bw_crew #bwwednesday #noir #insta_pick_bw #bwstyles_gf #irox_bw #igersbnw #fineart_photobw #monoart #insta_bw

Fashion Photography

#fashionphotography #fashionphotographer #FashionDiaries #Ootd #Liketkit #StyleTheBump #fromabove #outfitinspiration  #todayiwore #lovethislook #streetfashionstyle #newshoes #shoesday #makeyousmilestyle #howtostyle

*7 Fashion Blogs Aspiring Photographers Should Follow Now

Ready to learn more about Photography? Check out our Photography programs at New York Film Academy.

Social Media Mistakes Actors Make

With 2.07 billion active users on Facebook, 330 million on Twitter, and 467 million on LinkedIn, many aspiring and established actors are promoting their work on social media sites.

If you’re hoping to utilize your social media accounts to make new connections and build a fanbase as a professional actor, you’ll have to engage with people on one or more social media site.

With that said, many of us are warned about the potential pitfalls of social media As an aspiring actor, you’ll want to be on top of your game when promoting yourself on social media because each decision you make can impact your acting career significantly.

Want to be ahead of the game? Follow these seven tips and tricks to help create a lasting social media presence.

1) Start Small

There are many different social media platforms, but that doesn’t mean you need to have a presence on all of them. Start with one or two you are familiar with and build your presence on those accounts.

For example, start off by creating your Facebook fan page or Twitter handle. Take the time to learn tricks and techniques that will help you grow a following on those sites before adding another.

2) Stay Away From Controversy

Don’t post anything lewd, crude, or otherwise inappropriate. You are trying to be marketable and professional. Causing controversy results in neither of those things.

Stick by this golden rule: if you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see it, you probably shouldn’t post it. If you’re not sure about a post, get a few opinions from friends and colleagues

3) Remember to Do Basic Grammar Checks

Everyone occasionally makes mistakes, but constant misspellings or incorrect grammar could distract from your acting chops. Remember, if you want someone to take your acting seriously, you have to consider every post you make as a reflection of your professional self.

Remember to carefully proofread your posts and have another person take a glance as well.

4) Mix It Up

Don’t just post all text posts or constantly show off videos. Give your audience variety with text, picture, and video posts. All fans like something different — some may enjoy videos, some pictures, and some may like a little bit of everything.

Make sure you take the time to create fun and engaging posts of all types for the best results.

5) Make Your Posts Meaningful

Don’t post something just to post!

First, consider how meaningful your post is to your “brand.” Does it benefit you or your target audience? Does it contribute something unique and essential to your brand? If not, then don’t post something as filler.

6) Don’t Leave People in the Dark!

While you shouldn’t post something for the sake of posting something, you also don’t want to abandon your social media presence for weeks or months at a time.

Make a regular schedule to commit yourself to and make sure your followers are aware of when new posts will appear.

7) It’s Not All About You

Believe it or not, it’s actually helpful to not talk about yourself all of the time.  Sure, you need to be comfortable with promoting yourself, but you also don’t want to come off as egotistical. People enjoy seeing actors who are compassionate , hardworking, and human.

Brag about your latest role, but also praise fellow actors and productions you recently enjoyed.

 

Looking for a more permanent boost to your acting portfolio? Browse our acting program and other areas of study.

How Facebook Live Will Impact Broadcast Journalism — And How You Can Take Advantage of It

The rise of social media has had a permanent impact on the craft of journalism. More articles are being circulated than ever before, viewer criticism is on the rise, and the danger of “fake news” has made social media both a curse and a blessing for journalists. One of the most recent impacts on journalism is the rise of Facebook Live, a feature of the social media site that allows users to stream a live video to viewers. It is used more and more by journalists, celebrities, and even politicians as a way to connect with their audience in real time. The feature also allows viewers to comment on the video and displays how many people are viewing the video as it happens.

Large TV networks and the news departments at local stations are increasingly using Facebook Live because that’s where the millennial audience is. For freelance and independent journalists, Facebook Live is their “transmitter,” allowing them to compete for viewers without investing millions of dollars on technical infrastructure. Like any skill, successfully covering a “live” event takes practice. Inevitably the first few attempts will be rough. But over time, you can begin developing the necessary abilities. One way to speed up that process is to attend a broadcast journalism school like the New York Film Academy, which specializes in helping students develop their storytelling and journalism skills.

With the popularity of Facebook Live, it is important for broadcast journalists to take advantage of this new technology. The broadcast can become more spontaneous, interactive, and entertaining. Furthermore the Facebook page is likely to have more user traffic at any given time. But it is important to know the best ways to utilize this tool before hitting that “Go Live” button.

How can you use Facebook Live to your advantage? Luckily Facebook has tons of tips on the best way to go live and get those views. We’ve summarized some helpful hints, below:

Before Recording

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Ready, set, LIVE!

According to Facebook, preparing for the live stream is just as important as the live stream itself. Make sure you tell your viewers you are going live beforehand. This gives them time to be ready to view the video and also builds anticipation for the event.

Ensure that you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. You run the risk of losing viewers if your feed goes out or lags during the stream.

Also make sure that your viewers will be able to hear you. Whether you are recording a speech, event, protest, or a simple Q&A at your desk, test the area to make sure there is no sound interference. You can do a test live recording by changing the share options to “Only Me.” This will allow you to use the live feature, but you will be the only one to see it. After recording, check the archived video to listen for any issues like traffic or a noisy AC unit.

During Recording

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Is this thing on?

Decide if you are going to answer questions during the recording. Viewers’ comments will appear next to you on the screen. Encourage people to ask questions and participate in the conversation.

Remember to smile and be relaxed during the recording. Because you are live and could potentially have thousands of eyes on you, it is easy to get stage fright. Acting comfortable and personable during the broadcast is important to make the viewers feel comfortable watching you. If you do suffer from stage fright, look up some relaxation techniques to do before you go live.

After Recording

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You’re done! Now what do you do?

Your video will be archived and posted on your Facebook page with the title that you “were live.” Update the description, thanking everyone for viewing and encourage them to follow you. This way they will be notified the next time you go live. Use this time to answer any questions you didn’t get to (if you are answering questions).

You are also able to check the stats for you video afterwards. Facebook has options for you to view peak live viewers, minutes viewed, 10 second views, and more. Use this data to find out how well you did and what you can do better the next time you go live.

Happy broadcasting! Have you shared any broadcasts via Facebook Live? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Make Your Own Animated GIFs

No matter where you go online, you’re sure to come across an animated GIF. Animated GIFs are short, looping videos made up of several still shots that for a while were forgotten due to the advent of streaming video and Youtube. But recently they’ve made a comeback — thanks to social media and entertainment pages/apps.

Whether you want to give people a laugh or show off your work on a portfolio page, knowing how to make your own animated GIF is a particularly useful skill nowadays. Here you’ll read our roundup of several programs that make creating your own GIFs a breeze — plus tips on how you can get the most out of these digital creations.

Photoshop

It’s no surprise that the world’s best graphics editing program can also be used to make animated GIFs. Don’t worry, though: if you do not have Photoshop or access to Photoshop, there are a number of free software programs that will do similar. Yet Photoshop is an especially powerful choice. (Note that only some of the most recent versions of Photoshop include the animation features you need.)

After arranging your layers in the order you want them to be animated, it’s time to sequence them. Instructions for doing so differ, depending on your version of Photoshop. If you have CS5 and older, click Windows + Animation. If you have CS6 or Photoshop CC, open Windows + Timeline. For CC, you’ll have to also select Create Frame Animation from the drop-down menu.

From here, simply find the Make Frames From Layers option to set things like the duration of each frame, how many times the animated GIF should loop, etc. Now hit File and Save for Web to start sharing your GIF with others.

Other Animated GIF Creation Programs

Don’t worry if Photoshop isn’t an option! There are plenty of excellent programs out there that can help you create your own animated GIF. Many of them are even free to use and come with plenty of online tutorials. (Insider secret: online tutorials are tools that even the most experienced graphic deigners use to keep their skills up to date. Don’t be afraid to use this resource!)

If you already have a video file on your computer that’s ready to be turned into an animated GIF, Zamzar is a great choice. This web application takes your video and converts it into GIF format without the need of any other software. Giphy is another option for easily creating an animated GIF out of a small video on your disk.

To make GIFs out of individual images, we recommend GIMP. This free, open source image editor lets you take a collection of still images and turn them into a GIF. Other options include Giffing Tool for windows users and GIF Brewery for Mac owners. Both of these have some extra features you can pay for that give you more control over your animated GIF.

Other programs worth mentioning include Gifster, Giphy Capture, LiceCap, Gifcam, and Gifox.

Incorporating Animated GIFs Into Your Work

Here are some common practices for easily integrating your GIFs, for maximum effect:

Online Portfolio

As an aspiring graphic designer, your goal is to use those talents to make a living right out of college. Of course, there are also countless other graduates who will be applying to the same jobs as you. You’ll need something to help you stand out when recruiters begin checking out your online portfolio.

With animated GIFs, you can demonstrate your skills and show off work you’re proud of in a fresh and exciting way. We don’t recommend bombarding viewers with a bunch of GIFs on each page. However, a few of them combined with still images can help your page convey a modern, interactive feel.

Marketing

When you think of animated GIFs, perhaps several online memes come to mind that spread across your social media pages like wildfire. The fact is that GIFs are great for grabbing people’s attention as they scroll down Facebook or Tumblr — which means they’re perfect for marketing.

What better way to announce a new product than with a catchy animated GIF on your website or in an e-mail? Marketing companies like Bluefly have even done research on the impact of regular images vs. animated GIFs, and have found that GIFs pull in more revenue for advertised products.

Visual Instruction

It’s one thing to read instructions on how to bake a cake and another to actually watch someone do it. This is why Youtube is flooded with tutorial videos that show us how to do everything from boil an egg to dance like Michael Jackson. Even so, sometimes sticking a video in your work isn’t the best approach.

Instead, create a GIF animation showing a product illustration in motion. Whether you’re building a how-to section on your site or you want to show people how a product works, one or more animated GIFs can do the trick. You can also add small text descriptions below each individual GIF so readers have no trouble following your steps or understanding what you’re trying to convey

First time making a GIF, or are you a seasoned pro? Let us know how you use your GIFs in the comments below!

Interested in learning more about graphic design? NYFA’s graphic design program may be for you.

Dealing With Viewer Criticism In The Social Media Age

fingers pointing at person crying

Working in broadcast journalism can be an engaging and exciting job, but every job has its drawbacks. In the news business, there’s always a steady stream of criticism from viewers, from hairdos to the stories the station covers. The popularity of social media has made it even easier for the audience to express its displeasure to the news organization—and the world at large.

If you’re on-air, you’ll likely receive everything from marriage proposals to criticism of your clothes to complaints about your interviewing style. Even if you’re not on-air, the critics won’t completely forget about you. Amateur photographers love to complain about “lousy video quality,” even if they have no idea of the circumstances or difficulties involved in capturing a particular shot. Everyone loves to tell the news director or assignments editor what stories to cover—or not. (How dare you fail to send a camera crew to cover a viewer’s cat’s wedding!)

Fifteen or twenty years ago, viewer complaints (valid or not), would have been delivered by phone, by snail mail, or maybe by email. But today, they show up on a station’s social media pages where hundreds or thousands of other followers can see them. Have a page for yourself, as a news anchor or reporter? People will post complaints there, too.

How Do I Make It Stop?

You can certainly delete any comments that are obscene, profane, threatening, hate speech, etc. If you had time, you could just go ahead and delete all negative comments, but that would be a bad move from a PR standpoint. Viewers would then take to their personal page to tell their friends that your TV station’s management doesn’t care what their viewers think, can’t take a healthy debate, and deletes critical comments in an effort to censor free speech. Even people who don’t see those posts might notice and find it odd if there were never any negative comments on a broadcaster’s page.

Some outlets are even eliminating Comments sections, seeing that they can get hijacked and turned into forums for racist and sexist rants. Large stations and networks actively curate their online and digital platforms. Elsewhere, it can sometimes become an embarrassing free-for-all.

Handling Social Media Comments in a Professional Manner

There is no requirement that you respond to every comment on the station’s page, your page, or on a link to a story you covered. You can choose to ignore some of the negativity, and that’s definitely a better idea than shooting back an angry reply. However, if you have a large number of similar negative comments, someone at the station should address these.

Most broadcasters have a position to handle the station’s social media presence. This person will usually be on top of comments about each story, and about the station in general. Usually reporters and anchors are not expected to spend all day defending their stories on the station’s page.

However, most on-air personalities are expected to have their own social media presence as part of the station or network’s social media strategy. Some stations will create profiles for anchors and reporters; smaller stations sometimes expect the talent to handle that themselves. In either case, on-air personalities are expected to check in at least a couple times a day, and make some effort to respond to legitimate questions and concerns. (In larger stations with more viewers and comments, the station may assign someone to help the anchor or reporter.)

How Do I Respond? What Should I Ignore?

First, remember that you represent your employer on social media—even on your personal accounts that are separate from your professional profiles. If someone tracks down your personal profile despite your best efforts to hide it, you still have to respond in a professional way. Usually this means a polite reply directing the person back to your professional profile.

You can manage all of your professional accounts with a social media management program like Hootsuite. This allows you to monitor all your account activity in one place—Facebook posts, Tweets, Pins, Instagram pics, and whatever other platform you use. As time allows, you should try to respond to comments and questions—both negative and positive—from viewers. Engaging with people on social media helps build rapport and keep people interested in watching your news reports.

If you get a lot of questions, remember that you don’t have to respond to every person individually. Frequently, twenty people will ask the same question—all you have to do is answer once. Start by noting that you appreciate all the questions about X, and the answer is Y, etc.

So What Do I Do When People Hate My Story? What If They Hate Me?

To begin, figure out what the problem is, and whether there is any merit to the complaint. If viewers don’t like your new haircut or the outfit you wore today, you can probably ignore them. Your hair is going to take a while to grow back and there’s not much you can do in the meantime; you’re not going to wear the same outfit two days in a row, so the viewers can look at something else tomorrow.

If you see a lot of negative comments about a story, figure out what bothers most of the viewers. Sometimes rude comments are really about the subject of the story and not the reporter or the station (although viewers have been known to get confused, or blame the station for publicizing someone they don’t like). However, if there is a specific concern about the newsworthiness or fairness of a story, that’s something you should consider addressing, especially if you have a lot of comments about it. The most common complaints about news coverage are “This isn’t news,” and “This is unfair to the subject/paints someone in a bad light/this is slander.”

Newsworthiness is a subjective thing; so long as you didn’t fail to cover another really big story, there is nothing wrong with running a human-interest piece, especially on a slow news day. Plus small stations sometimes don’t have enough hard news to fill a broadcast—but you can’t tell the audience that! Instead, respond with something like this: “We work hard to cover all the news in our area, and tonight we brought you stories about the City Council, the new zoning law, and the three-car pileup on Main Street. When we have time, we also like to report on the local person who does something noteworthy or interesting, and that’s why we covered John Doe’s yarn sculpture. Thanks for your feedback, and please let us know if you hear of any news you think we should cover.”

If someone complains that a story was unfair, the best defense is to point out all the ways in which you showed both sides of the story. For example, “Here at XYZZ, we strive to report news impartially. That’s why we included comments from both Council members in favor of the proposal and those against the proposal. We showed both sides explaining their positions so the viewers could make up their own minds.”

Learn the skills you need to succeed as a game designer at the Game Design School at the New York Film Academy by clicking here.

How To Market Your Film On Social Media: 8 Rules To Live By

Social media marketing.

Few words strike quite as much dread in a filmmaker’s heart than these, save for perhaps “film business plan,” but today we’re going to cut through the noise and help you get to grips with this essential task (even if you’re fresh out of filmmaking school.)

Each different social media platform comes with its own best practices and foibles, but here are eight surefire tips that work across the board when it comes to marketing your film using social media.

1. Be Personal

Unless you’ve been entrusted with running the official Twitter feed for Sony Pictures, you don’t need to adopt an ultra-formal tone.

People are more likely to respond positively to other people rather than corporate entities. For that reason, it’s even preferential to write in first person on social media (unless it’s a large group project), but at the very least make sure people know there’s a real person behind the account, and who that person is via the bio.

2. Give Something Back

You don’t want to lose the followers you’ve fought hard to attract, and you want to attract as many as possible.

To facilitate this, make sure you give something back to those who do take the time out to follow you—either physically via giveaways, or with exclusives to behind-the-scenes footage, cast interviews, desktop wallpapers and movie poster downloads… anything really, as long as your feed isn’t full of requests asking fans to do things for you (or repeated pleas for more followers.) That’s not likely to get the casual browser to hit that “follow” button.

3. Cast Takeovers

This idea works particularly on Twitter, in which you have one of the cast members take control of the movie’s official account to host a Q&A with followers. It may sound daunting, but trolls are few and far between (and there’s a mute button for that reason.) 99% of the time it’s a really fun experience for everyone involved, generates a lot of buzz, and lets fans know you’re keen to connect with them on a personal level.

4. Share Smart Content

Obviously sharing thing that will inflame the imaginations of your followers is social media 101, but how best to find said content in the first place?

Don’t overlook Google News; set up a few notifications for topics related to your movie, and you can be among the first to share it the second something intriguing lands in your inbox.

And an even better tactic is to share content you’ve created yourself—if that blog post, infographic, quiz, movie poster, or other piece of interesting content is hosted on your movie’s official website, you’re sending people in the right direction by sharing it!

5. Consider Outsourcing

If the thought of juggling myriad social media accounts and put into practice all of the above sounds daunting—or you simply don’t have the time—then don’t throw out the idea of hiring an expert if you’ve got the budget for it. After all, your time probably is better spent doing what you do best. That said…

6. Ask Questions

Before you let anyone near your social media accounts, draw up a long and detailed list of questions that they should be able to answer in full, especially when it comes to which films they’ve worked on before (they could be the best social media managers on the planet, but if they don’t know a lick about movie marketing, they won’t be much good to you.) Even once you’ve found someone you can trust implicitly with representing you and your movie online, do check in from time to time and make sure everything is going in the right direction.

7. Plan Your Budget

You may be thinking that you can skip budget planning if you’re going DIY with your social media management, but you’ll still be selling yourself short not to allocate some funding in your business plan for exposure.

You can get very far without spending a dime as long as you’re willing to pour a lot of time into it, but eventually it’s a case of diminishing returns. Consider throwing just a little money behind paid ads and sponsored posts (particularly on Facebook, through which it’s becoming increasingly tricky to reach even your own followers.)

8.  Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Marketing your film on social media might sound like a mammoth task, and if you look at it on a macro scale, it can be.

But don’t let hesitation keep you from getting your hands dirty. Unless you’re explicitly going out to spam and harass people (don’t), there’s not a lot of harm you can do by getting out there and experimenting. Conversely, you’re hamstringing yourself if you never actually start…

… so fire up the social machine, treat people like fellow human beings, have fun and good luck!

Learn more about the Film School at the New York Film Academy by clicking here.

2016 Elections And TV’s Need For A Millennial Social Media Strategy

Donald Trump speaking at a presidential rally

According to a 2015 Pew Research report, almost two-thirds of Millennials (61%) view news on Facebook, more than any other news source. Only 37% say they acquire news from local TV. By contrast, Baby Boomers consume news from local television at almost the same rate that Millennials get news from Facebook (60%) and Gen Xers fall in the middle, with 51% getting political news from Facebook and 46% from local TV.

A Wide Array of Political News on Social Media Keeps Millennials Engaged

Not only are Millennials more reliant on Facebook and other social media sites for political news, they also see it throughout the day at high rates, as opposed to a few times a day on a local news affiliate. Twenty-four percent of the age group said at least half the posts in their feeds were related to politics. (To be fair, it’s unclear whether all those posts are from legitimate news sources. It is possible users were counting memes of Donald Trump jack-o-lanterns, shares from The Onion, and other humorous content about politicians.)

The report goes on to show that Millennials are less aware of broadcast news sources like MSNBC and NPR, and more aware of online sources  like Buzzfeed and Google News.

Where Does This Leave Local Television for the 2016 Election Cycle?

Is this cause for concern for TV stations that rely heavily on political ad spending in election years? Not necessarily. In April, Carl Salas of Moody’s told The Los Angeles Times he predicts 2016 will see a 20% increase in spending over the 2014 mid-term election spending of $2.9 billion. He added that he thought about two-thirds of that money would go to television.

Other political ad spending analysts agree. In July, The Cook Political Report predicated total TV ad spending for 2016 would hit $4.4 billion.

That’s not just going to national networks, either—a July Washington Post article pointed out that older viewers are more likely to vote. Research firm BIA/Kelsey’s senior vice president Mark Fratrik is quoted as saying that local news viewers tend to be voters—all the more reason for political spenders to buy time on both local and national TV.

Should TV Stations Focus on Older Viewers?

Since Gen Xers and especially Baby Boomers are more likely to both watch local news and get political news from television, it might appear that the simple solution is to focus on older viewers when planning political coverage for the 2016 year.

This strategy isn’t difficult to implement. While you should cover all the issues of both local and national news, you can also run special reports on issues that are primarily of interest to older viewers—a package detailing where candidates stand on Social Security, for example.

That doesn’t mean you should abandon hope of reaching Millennials. They may be less likely to vote, but the 18-34 age demographic is still important to advertisers, as they’re less brand loyal and more likely to try new products. And since they’re more active on social media in terms of their news consumption, broadcast journalists are increasingly using social media itself to measure the impact of their reports.

How to Reach Millennials with Political News

Facebook and other social networks are the ideal places to reach Millennial news consumers. If you can engage with younger viewers on social media, they’re more likely to watch your station when they do turn on the TV for news. And try experimenting with newer streaming video social media networks like Meerkat and Periscope which can add an extra dimension to a news story, allowing journalists to provide behind-the-scenes commentary that wouldn’t fit on TV. You can also earn ad revenue from pre-roll ads when people view videos of political news online, and even more revenue if they visit your website.

While political issues that affect older Americans may be a good idea for special reports, your social media posts should focus on issues of interest to younger consumers, like unemployment rates and student loan debts. Did a political candidate just announce he or she has a plan to reduce higher education costs? Get the package from your national network and retweet it, asking followers what they think. This kind of engagement will help you earn ad revenue online thanks to younger viewers, while still collecting on-air ad dollars for the 2016 election cycle.

Institutions like NYFA’s Broadcast Journalism program are training the next generation of multimedia journalists (MMJs). Students learn how to become content creators, with an eye towards cross-platform distribution. Usually a local news story shouldn’t be posted “as is” on social media. Instead, it needs to be crafted to meet the expectations and needs of a different audience. One reason why so-called “explainers” have become popular is that they can be viewed on a smartphone or a similar device minus any sound. That’s exactly what Now This did recently with a powerful Halloween-themed story.

Measuring Viewer Impact With Social Media Tools

Social media image

It’s no secret that increasing numbers of Americans across all demographics are obtaining news from social media—mostly Facebook and Twitter. According to a July study from the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation, sixty-three percent of both Facebook and Twitter users find news on these networks. Compared to 2013, Twitter saw an 11% increase up from 52%, and Facebook was up 16% from 47%. While both networks have experienced similar increases, almost twice as many users rely on Twitter (59%) to follow breaking news, with 31% of Facebook users depending on the network for breaking news.

Tracking Impact with Social Media Tools

Many broadcast journalists are using social media tools to track the impact of their stories on social networks—not just how many people click a link or watch a video, but demographic information as well.

Facebook Insights, available to any business/public figure page with at least 30 likes, provides percentages of users who like your page for age and gender groupings, pulling the data from personal profiles. Geographical data is also useful for local television stations—city data allows a station to see where most of their followers are located. Meanwhile, TweetReach allows businesses to see who retweets their content.

Making Sense of It All

How to use this data? Facebook Insights and TweetReach can be compared to other data, such as Nielsen ratings. Do television viewers skew older or more toward a certain city in the viewing area than Facebook data? What does that mean?

Helping Advertisers Make Smart Decisions

Interpreting these differences can be tricky, but it can lead to a broader understanding of the station’s viewership. An older audience in Nielsen ratings can mean that younger viewers prefer getting their news online—but they can still be reached with ads on the station’s website, or pre-roll ads on video posted to Facebook. You can use this information to help clients make informed decisions about how they advertise with your station—and if you help them get better results, they’re more likely to place ads with your station in the future.

Social media tools can also impact which stories you post or promote on social networks. It may turn out that viewers who get most of their news from television love your station’s weekly gardening segment or economic report, but people following your station’s Twitter feed are more interested in sports scores. Meanwhile, Facebook users might be more interested in your political coverage. If that’s true, you might post or promote more stories about local candidates on Facebook and show more coverage of the local football team on Twitter.

Learning From Targeted Social Media Ads

Both Facebook and Twitter allow businesses to pay for ads or promoted content. You can see which posts were shared or re-tweeted the most to determine what kinds of stories to promote on the network. Choosing who sees your ads based on age, gender or interests is another benefit.

The key with both networks is to focus on fluidity in your campaigns. You might have a good idea of the target market you want for a story, ad for your station, etc. But audiences are fickle, especially in a fast-changing environment like Twitter and, to a lesser extent, Facebook. You should always start with the best and most specific target audience possible, based on any previous research you have.

But resist the urge to choose “women in their forties who enjoy golf and travel,” set up the campaign, and forget it. Look at your numbers every week—or every few days, if time permits. Who shared each story? Did some videos get more shares than expected—or significantly less? Who is actually retweeting your content? Should you be investigating another demographic instead? What if women in their twenties end up retweeting more of your stories than women in their forties, even though Nielsen ratings suggest your viewers skew older? Should you focus on a different group with your online promotion efforts while continuing to cater to your television audience with the stories they want to see?

It’s also important to look at results over time. Just because a subject is hotly debated on social media one week doesn’t mean anyone will want to share a post about it next week. People burn out quickly on popular news stories—and nowhere is that more true than the internet. Looking at your metrics each day can show you when it’s time to start posting or promoting something else.

Experimenting with New Segments or Topics

Tracking what stories are shared the most and by who also provides valuable insight about where you should focus your energy—and how. Maybe a new segment on the news isn’t holding viewers’ attention—but Twitter followers rapidly retweet the video. You can reduce the amount of time in the newscast that you devote to a segment or topic—for example, making it a weekly segment instead of a daily one, or once a month instead of weekly—while frequently posting or promoting the segment video on social media after it airs. Cutting-room-floor type footage can be shared on social networks as fun extras, without giving the segment more time during the newscast.

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