Social Media Is A Full Time Job

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Why is a blog about filmmaking writing a post about social media? Let me explain. Since 2008 I have produced content for a non-profit company which puts content both on a satellite TV channel and online. I write, direct and edit the videos. Obviously because we make online content, part of the production involved putting the videos online and making them available. This is part of what I do.

A lot of filmmakers turn up their nose at YouTube. They think that content on this platform is of a lesser calibre than say short films at festivals or on TV. I've also noticed that some of the older filmmakers don't bother with social networking. Most don't even have a Facebook account. I've always found this incredible. In a job where the audience is your bread and butter, why not move to where the masses are? When I have talked about YouTube and Facebook and Twitter in a room full of more experienced filmmakers, I see a glaze fall over their eyes and a wandering in the mind. They think I'm talking about my hobby. They see social platforms as a waste of time, something 'the young people' do when they can't find anything else to keep them occupied or worse - when they should be working!

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I am writing this post because I have an awful lot on my plate at the moment. But today was the day I release a new music video and I would like to invite you to view my schedule:

9.30 a.m - A late start. Having just got back from the States on Sunday and gotten over a rotten 4-day stomach bug, I am still fighting jet-lag and getting my strength back.

10 a.m - I started up Premiere Pro CC 2015 and opened my latest project, a new music video I've been working on. My plan was to upload it to my YouTube channel and share it. I knew it needed a few tweaks before exporting so I spent a couple of hours fixing the edit, re-exporting the soundtrack to make sure it worked and adding the titles in.

11.30 - I exported the file and left it working while I made lunch.

12.00 - Kevin came home for lunch (why I started making it at 11.30 in case you were wondering) and we had a nice meal together.

13.00 - I come back from lunch to find the file exported so I start uploading it to YouTube. While that was uploading I went into Photoshop and created a thumbnail (a very important part of branding on YouTube if you know anything about it - it's as important as a poster for your film) This took me about an hour during which time the video was still uploading (we have super slow internet where we live sadly) I had to find the right images (going back into Premiere to get those images from the video), write a catchy title and layer it accordingly.

14:40 - I add captions to the music video on YouTube. This consists of me writing out each line of the song in time with the music on the YouTube subtitling tool. It's a manual job and a little bit mind-numbing. It is really important however. One of the main requests I get for these songs it that we put the lyrics in the video. For some reason that is important to the audience. So I have to spend time doing that.

15:00 - I share the video on all of our social networking platforms. That means writing an individual post for 3 Facebook pages, a Twitter account, a blog and Google +. I haven't created an Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr account yet. For each post I have to upload a photo, write some content and link the YouTube video to it. It's very tedious and it feels too much like boasting. I still get the feeling that I am pushing content into people's faces but at the same time you have to remember - if you don't tell people it's there they won't know. It's all very well to play quiet and humble and 'if people like it they will find it' but in an era where content is doubling, tripling and quadrupling by the day, how are people going to find your stuff unless you let them know about it? It's not blowing your own trumpet. Marketing has been an important integral part of production since the dawn of time and it takes a lot of time and effort (not to mention money if you're really serious)

16:00 - I start work on my feature film pre-production. Yes. I have other work to do now. Because posting these music videos online is not all I do. I am working on raising finance for a feature film musical. I am also a freelance filmmaker, I run a blog and YouTube channel for beginner filmmakers and I have multiple short film projects running alongside these that are not paid but I do to keep my skills up and because I love to.

Notice how just putting out that one video today took up almost a whole day...and I still have all my other work to do!

Most people think of social media as something a person does for a few minutes of their day, without giving much thought to it. Not only have I spent about two days making this video, I then have to spend almost another whole day putting it out there for people to see. And this is minimum social marketing. We don't do everything we could as far as social media posting goes. There is so much more you can do to get your content noticed, which would take even more of your time (and money might I add).

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My point is that you need to view the social media aspect of your content as it's own little job role, with a separate timescale and effort involved. It's similar to what a marketing company would do for a film or an advertising agency would do for a product, regardless of whether profit is involved.

If you are doing your own social media stuff then make sure you give yourself time to do it. See it as part of the job. Don't get down when you seemingly 'waste' a day getting it out there.

If you are one of those people who thinks social platforms are a bad habit of the young then get with it. You're missing out big time.

Oh, and if you need some relaxing music to listen to today, please click through my latest album "Risky Magpie." Much appreciated.