Teach Me Tuesday: Audience Communication & Updates

(Bri Castellini) #1

First up, a poll!

What is the most effective tool you have in keeping in touch with your audience?

  • Social Media (comment with which)
  • Mailing list (comment with which)
  • Patreon/crowdfunding platform
  • Other (please specify!)

0 voters

What communication methods have been most worth it? What are your existing communication tools doing well, and what do you wish were different? What is your ideal communication tool for your audience? Let’s build that together!

(Bri Castellini) #2


(Bri Castellini) #3

So it’s no secret that my best weapon against the void and apathy of the internet is Twitter. It’s the place where I have the most authentic and immediate access to my audience and my online pals, and it’s the primary place where people discovered and clicked through to my last Seed&Spark campaign. That said, social media is almost never the best way to get people to perform an action on your behalf.

I also have a Mailchimp mailing list, which I like for its extensive statistics on which emails open my messages, which ones click the links within, etc, but which I don’t like for how needlessly complicated the UI is. There’s too much and it makes the prospect of doing a simple update a chore.

My ideal world is a combo of a simpler Mailchimp and Buffer/Hootsuite/Tweetdeck. Where I don’t have to go to 8 different web sites to update my various followers and subscribers- I can just format everything from one place (with tweaks per platform- I’m not crazy) and then post it or schedule it all at once.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #4

My fave social media app for GNG is instagram. It is so versatile and very fitting for the type of content we post. I love the instastories feature and slowly but surely our live video audience on there is growing. My only complaint about it is the difficulty with links to other sites. Other than that it’s great!

Twitter is a close second only because it is not as image heavy. However, I love RTing our supporters and being a part of #webserieschat with @SnobbyRobot & friends!

(Bri Castellini) #5

Do you use any kind of mailing list? Would you, if there was one that was easier to use?

Also, re: instagram, has being forced to only update from mobile ever made it harder to post? I find it’s so much easier to post via desktop so I always forget about Instagram, but maybe that’s just me.

(Jonathan Kaplan) #6

Twitter is not the right fit for us, Facebook is marginal, instagram seems positive - feel like new ppl are receptive, but its like whats the bot/human ratio actually paying attention? Also, seems like a heart or like doesnt add up to much. FB feels like the posts just ping inside an invisible dome of our small ‘friend’ circles. Our mailing list we have built from in person connections has been the most rewarding and also the only thing that connects us to the outside world. Sometimes I think the entire social media push is a waste of time but its the way the world is now.

(Bri Castellini) #7

What mailing list tool do you guys use? Do you like it? What could be better about it?

(Jonathan Kaplan) #8

we have mailchimp - i know Marianne has trouble laying it out, but it seems to do the job. Mostly we talk to a few people over gmail directly. Interesting thing we learned this weekend was that a couple of new actual fans (ppl we didnt know and are into our show who we met at a festival) both dont have any social media except for tumblr and youtube!

(Jonathan Hardesty) #9

I have a mailchimp for Flagon, but there’s not enough happening behind the scenes to allow for regular updates without getting into annoying territory. If I widened it to all the projects I have a hand in (like a personal mailing list, I suppose) that might work better. Seems a bit vain to be like HEY SIGN UP TO GET EMAILS FROM ME ABOUT ALL MY STUFF. I dunno.

I like Twitter, but hate it’s CEO and it’s role in the modern problems we have. I also don’t like how it’s become very “fake” as everyone has become a broadcaster of content. The artifice really bugs me, and even now Twitter’s own account is trying to be all our best buds while not doing anything about the problem at hand.

FB is a dead end. I don’t even want to put content on there because FB doesn’t deserve to have it.

Instagram is fine, but it’s a different beast and you can’t automate well for it, which takes more time.

(Bri Castellini) #10

haha my mailchimp grew out of a personal newsletter I’d put together for my mom and my best friend because neither of them are on all the social medias I am and they needed an easy to reference guide of things I’d been up to in order to ever hope to see them. But I’m also Very Vain so.

I also think, re: Twitter and your concerns there, that that’s the nature of all social media? And if we’re being honest all of everything. There were always fake people- people who curated their appearance and what they tell to people and how they reveal their lives to others. The internet just made it easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s the internet’s fault. But I’ve always been a person to tune out the annoying parts of things (and do what I can to do that tuning with the platform’s own tools, like unfollowing, blocking, muting, etc) and only interact with the parts I like. At least as a person- as a “brand” or a project that’s certainly harder to do. So with that in mind… what is a better tool? I know you like Mastadon but once that’s as populous as Twitter isn’t it going to have the same problems? Is the solution simply better people in charge? What’s a tech thing that can help?

Same with Mailchimp- what would you change about mailchimp?

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #11

Not at the moment, but I would like to! Yes, definitely! When it comes to learning new marketing tools, I have to pick and choose wisely. I send group emails manually (bcc if people on the thread don’t know each other) and I don’t feel like most people are responsive to them. But who knows? Maybe a newsletter would have different results.

When I’m on my computer I try to keep social media posts to a minimum because normally I am on there doing non-marketing stuff and social media can suck me into a tangent of news feed scrolling and not getting anything done.

(Jonathan Hardesty) #12

I think the problem stems from the fact that there’s not really a “home base” for any of this stuff. For my twittering without media I use tweetdeck, but I have a dozen columns up I can’t keep track of. My interests and the brand content of Flagon sync up almost 100% so it’s difficult to decide what to put where. Like, it’s been so long that the audience has either gone or changed so I have no idea who I’m addressing from Flagon.

Really, streamlining is the heart of the problem as is jumping through seemingly arbitrary UI hoops. I have a difficult enough time focusing as it is that it feels like spinning plates at opposite sides of the room.

With mastodon the technology allows for a granular vetting of bad people, and the owner of the instance (anyone can own an instance) has control on what connects through. You don’t have to encounter nazis ever. But it’s also not friendly toward having branded accounts, bots, or personal accounts, so over there it’s just one login…mine…and I share my stuff. That’s kind of nice.

So, maybe what it boils down to is that there’s just too many places to manage for this stuff.

(Emma Drewry) #13

right now, we’re using tumblr & YT comments! we’ve got a little mini fanbase going and they mostly interact with us on Tumblr, with YouTube in second, and Instagram a close third

(Alicia Carroll) #14

For TWENTY, insta and twitter are definitely our strongest tools. larger followings, high engagement - with the highest being on twitter. When I came on board it was to beef up their twitter and facebook a bit, the creators didn’t have as much experience with that but they are pros now :slight_smile:

Fishing is just getting started, but our highest engagement is typically on instagram - specifically stories. Our follow count isn’t crazy high since we were just testing stuff out, but we have a high engagement rate for polls and stuff which is always the tricky part!

(Collene Webb) #15

I’m really feeling social media fatigue at the moment! :sweat:
As a one-woman web series, I’m still learning and doing everything myself.

So far, I’ve probably gained the most some views/likes/comments/subscribers through networking on YouTube Facebook groups… Watching/commenting on other channels and getting involved in discussions. However, I’m still trying to work out how to reach target audiences who aren’t fellow YouTubers and just enjoy watching satire/comedy/drama etc.

I think hashtags on Twitter such as #actorslife can help me get discovered but again these will be fellow actors and industry people who like to connect but might not be avid watchers of every episode.

I’ve found scheduling Facebook page and Twitter posts (using Tweetdeck) really helpful for planning ahead and targeting best times. However, so many posts get lost in the sea of social media! I think approaching people personally and interacting works best.

(Bri Castellini) #16

What would your ideal promotional/updating tool look like, especially based off your experiences as a One Woman Marketing Machine? (same)

(Collene Webb) #17

Oh, what a question!
A platform that categorises genres/interests to make it easy for audiences and independent artists/productions to find each other. Something that champions the ‘unknown’ talent. The problem with Twitter is that the ‘famous’ people dominate (in simple terms, I know it’s more complicated than this) and so many things get lost. The Facebook algorithm has changed too and it’s harder for ‘unknown’ things to be discovered.
Hmm… I suppose I’ve just described a platform like Stareable! But how does Stareable reach new audiences who are not web series creators themselves?

(Bri Castellini) #18

Well right now Stareable doesn’t control any of the outreach- what you’re describing is a discovery platform but that’s different than an updates tool, something that notifies or otherwise contacts people that allows creators to stay in more tangible touch with their audience and gives them a central place to subscribe to and get updates. Think a mailing list or a social media platform- what is the best version of that, in your mind? What kind of updating feature or tool would make marketing more streamlined for you?

(Collene Webb) #19

Ah OK, something to keep interest going… I’m not sure. Maybe a platform that limits the number of posts so audience get quality news updates, say once or twice a week, rather than being bombarded with endless info which isn’t quality e.g. the mass of Tweets where you scroll and scroll - still not finding what really interests you.

All those posting updates (on this hypothetical platform) would have the same post limit. Overall, it would mean less promo work for creators to get noticed and easier for audience to find information quickly - less meaningless scrolling. The posts could also be categorised into genres/interests - a bit like hashtags but more specific.

I think I just invented another social media platform! :laughing: :tired_face:

(Collene Webb) #20

Sorry @Bri_Castellini, I realised afterwards that I hadn’t answered the initial question! :flushed: I was reading the responses and then forgot the main point of the thread. :laughing: