November 28, 2012 at 8:00 am | Blog
Reality stars, TV stars, YouTube sensations, radio personalities, theater standouts – if you’re a director looking to find talent, you’ve got more choices than ever before. So, how do directors determine which stars are most likely to bring an audience to the movie?
How Actors are using Social Media to Foster their Competitive Advantages
The National Association of Theater Owners reported that the number of theaters operating in the U.S. has declined from 7,798 in 1996, to 5,687 in 2011 – that’s over a 25% decrease in theater operations in just 15 years. According to a recent New York Times article by Brooks Barnes, summer movie attendance hit a 20-year low in 2012, causing a substantial decrease in entertainment salaries. With studio budgets tightening and box office demands intensifying, pressures to fill empty seats are escalating and competition for viewers is savage-like.
These changes have altered the buying criteria for studio executives when deciding on which actors to hire or ‘buy’ to star in their movies. It has reached the point where actors with the most experience or recognition are no longer the most coveted … Today, actors with a substantial following are being considered more valuable.
Studios Recognize the New Social Media Trend as a Competitive Advantage & Relevant Selling Point
What counts as a ‘substantial following’ these days? You guessed it… an extensive social media fan base. The more friends, followers, tweets, likes, shares, or comments an artist has…the better! Fans love when they feel like their favorite celebrities actually recognize and cherish their loyalty. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media outlets are providing actors with the opportunity to engage with their fans on a personal level, fostering a loyal following.
Agents are increasing emphasis on the social mediamovement as they are recognizing that a client with a huge social following has a competitive advantage over those with less of a presence. There’s a growing trend amongst agents to hire companies such as theAudience to direct the social media efforts of their clients. The larger a social following, the greater value perceived by studio execs; this is a relevant selling point that helps an artist land the role and command a higher salary.
Ever wonder how Rihanna went from singer to actress overnight? Something tells me that her 59.6 million Facebook fans and 23.8 million Twitter followers may have had something to do with it. Studio executives are realizing that hiring an artist with a massive social media following leads potential movie-goers right to the front steps of the theater – an attribute that now tops their newly evolved buying criteria.
Is There a Lesson for Other Companies in this Newly Emerging Hollywood Trend?
Consider the following scenario: Your company is choosing between two vendors which offer a relatively commoditized product, equal in quality and price. In an additional attempt to earn your business, both vendors offer to run a month-long advertisement on their website featuring your company; the only difference lies in the fact that one vendor has accumulated an extensive social media presence – posting daily updates about their industry, company and website to social media accounts – while the other has not. Which vendor do you choose?
-How might you improve the effectiveness of your social media?
-How might you use social media to grow a competitive advantage for your business?