Hey Stareable community, my name is Alicia Carroll, creator and showrunner of Fishing: The Series, and former social media intern for many a small production company.
Fishing is a show about a group of friends, who in an effort to find love and justice in an internet world, end up knee-deep in a catfish scam ring.
Fishing is just getting started, our crowdfunding campaign just launched on Seed&Spark, but our social media started long before that. We have received a lot of compliments on our graphics and tone, specifically, so I thought I’d put together a post sharing some of our tips on how to leverage your Instagram for your show. Before you start, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
First, What stage are you in?
Are you in the nascent stages of development, or do you have a full season in the can? This will dictate your next steps. If you have a fully developed concept, it will be much easier to determine the tone and mood of the images you want to share. I’d suggest waiting to create socials until the idea (and maybe even a script) are fully baked. But you should start your accounts before you’re in the distribution stages! People love behind the scenes content, and growing your following before you try to give them any action steps (rent our movie, subscribe to our platform, donate to our campaign etc) is always helpful. Social media is a way to build a community, and they have to trust you before they throw money at you!
Second, what does your show look and feel like?
That’s right, it’s mood board time!! Create a pinterest board or folder on your computer or bookmarks of images that remind you of your show. After you’ve collected a solid amount, look at them and see if there’s a through-line? Does the period it’s set in effect the image quality/look? The genre? Maybe it’s just a color scheme. Whatever floats your boat, figure that out and roll with it! Here are some questions to ask:
- If I could describe the tone/mood of this show in 3 words, what would it be?
- Do I have a logo or brand colors I should incorporate?
- Does a particular font fit the tone?
Even if you don’t have key art or a logo yet, it’s good to start thinking about these things!
Cohesiveness is key. Once I figured out what I wanted the look of it to be, I created a template (Canva Pro is a great resource to share templates with team-members) so we had the same background for all our photos. Based on the themes of our show we have recurring images - swipe icons, iPhones, dating profile images etc. We try to center our visuals around those elements. Your cohesive look could come from your grid style (more on that below) or your color scheme/image type. So how do you go about planning your social aesthetic?
PHASE ONE: DEVELOPMENT OR PRE-PRO
A mantra: “Center stage before backstage”
My choir teacher used to say that. For our purposes, it means your show, your story is always first. When you first create your socials, try to devise a look and strategy that conveys the following:
- Visual Style
BTS photos are great, but if you’re marketing to people outside your crew’s social circle, if all your account has are BTS photos, they’re not going to know what or who they’re looking at! Content should keep your current audience locked in, but also entice new visitors (and convert them into followers!)
Consider when you stumble upon a new series account. What do you look for? Cast? Production Quality? Story? All of the above? Oftentimes social media becomes a landing page for a series before a website is ever created, so you have to treat it as a marketing tool. The images should evoke the same tone and quality you hope your series to bring. Otherwise, what shows them what your show will become? Be clear and creative with the visual introduction of your series:
Here are some examples:
The Grid Method:
Fishing is a dark comedy/crime show. So of course we made our socials a murder board! Any good vigilante detective needs a place to put all their security cam photos and newspaper clippings.
They did a brilliant job of evoking the concept and tone of the piece, conveying that it’s an adolescent story, a period piece (due to the scrap booky nature, and windows 97 digital elements of it) and from a female lens.This was their landing page through their crowdfunding campaign, and when release started they they shifted to…
The Stripe Method:
Three photo carousels instead of a full grid that focus on one topic at a time. For One True Loves, one may be dedicated to an episode announcement, another to press clippings, another to festival laurels, etc.
The Key Art/Cast Photo Method:
Come out the gate with photos of your cast and a logline! So when people find your page, they immediately know what you’re all about.
That’s all the info I can cram into this post, but feel free to reach out with more questions and ideas in the comments and check back next week for Part 2 - Production through Release. Our crowdfunding campaign is running a specialty perk for this week only with a full Fishing The Series How-To Guide. We have an EBook explaining our process thus far, and when the season is shot and released, we’ll send you EVERYTHING. Our Agreement Templates, budgets, scripts, testimonials from crew and other creators, plus explanations every step of the way. A perfect companion to Stareable Film School! We want to use what we’ve learned to help you make your series. The perk ends on Friday, March 1st.
Catch you on the flip side,