Sony Pictures’ The Vow lead the box office this past weekend with a $41.2 million opening. Two days later, it took in another $11.6 million on Valentine’s Day. The Los Angeles Times [link] has attributed much of the film’s marketing success to a highly effective social media campaign.
Sony Pictures tapped Mammoth to copywrite social editorial content, manage fan communities, and support studio initiatives like Channing Tatum’s “Sweet Nothings” video series. We’re proud to have worked with Sony on this campaign, and would like to share five secrets to our shared social media success.
1. Establishing A Voice
96% of The Vow’s Facebook & Twitter communities are female, with females aged 13-24 comprising 71% of Facebook Likes. Because young females are among the savviest social media users, establishing an authentic voice was imperative.
We were forward in asking fans to “LIKE” and “SHARE” our content if they felt a personal connection with it. We used emoticons (<3) and digital acronyms like “OMG” and “LOL” in official posts. And lastly, we played up the obvious selling points – Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams.
2. Escalating Engagement
By gradually escalating post frequency over a four month campaign, we were able to engage early adaptors, prevent long-term saturation, generate organic growth, and conserve valuable content for the home-stretch.
We began in November with 3 posts per week, mostly stills and conversation starters of our own devising. By February, we had increased to three daily posts, spreading Facebook real estate over original content, press breaks, exclusive media, and calls-to-action. As a result, 41% of Facebook growth during release week was attributed to the viral spread of page content.
On Twitter, we tweeted 15-20 times per day during release week, with the ensuing buzz establishing The Vow as frequent trending topic. On release day, The Vow was a trending topic nationally, as well as in 31 individual US markets.
3. Activating Evangelizers
We were active in asking fans to “LIKE,” “SHARE,” and “RETWEET” content that they felt a personal connection with. On Facebook, 7 out of the 10 most “liked” posts included a call-to-action. Similarly 60% of the most “shared” posts asked fans to do so.
On Twitter, we similarly sought help from fans, and it paid dividends. In posts where we asked fans to make The Vow a trending topic, we saw 1,635 total retweets, with an average of 182 retweets per post.
4. Real-Time Analysis
For The Vow, we crunched the data of individual posts & tactics to discover the keys to maximizing engagement. For instance, we determined that the best engagement rates for this campaign occurred just after 3:30 pm EST, so we scheduled the highest-value content to be executed around that time.
On Twitter, we monitored real-time user sentiment about The Vow to predict what film content was about to go viral, and when. This proved crucial, as it helped us strategically apply resources based on our fans’ behavior.
5. Sister Community Outreach
Channing Tatum provided an opportunity to connect The Vow with some established & passionate fan communities, most notably the 5.5 million Facebook fans of Sony’s Dear John. Collaborating with the studio’s internal marketing team, we devised a social editorial strategy that posted & framed The Vow content on the Dear John Facebook wall in a natural, organic way.
By offering up the film as a relevant interest, instead of unsolicited spam, we effectively drew those fans into The Vow conversation, expanded the community, and increased our viral reach.