Teach Me Tuesday: How do you engage your fans?

(Bri Castellini) #1

Welcome to Teach Me Tuesday! Today’s topic:

How and where do you engage fans of your show?

Do you post Twitter polls about which ship they prefer, solicit fan art, do Facebook Live Q&As, do Twitch streams, or what?

Alternate: What fan engagement strategy have you seen and enjoyed from people/media YOU’RE a fan of?

(Bri Castellini) #2

Brains is the only show I’ve worked on so far with fans of its own (since the others are smaller or newer) but these are the things we’ve done that have been fun:

  • Sharing out of context script screenshots
  • Retweeting and adding fun facts when people do live-tweets of their watches/rewatches of the show
  • Doing a fun fact/trivia round up of each individual season 1 episode in preparation for season 2’s release
  • Sending people unflattering screenshots of me in exchange for Stareable reviews and/or Twitter followers (still in effect- will trade Very Bad screenshots of myself for Stareable reviews! For both Brains AND Sam and Pat!)

I’ve also actually made semi-friends with a few of our fans, because they’re so few and far between AND because they tend to be active on social media, and it happened naturally. For example, @spatulawilwheat (our sci-fi/fantasy recommendation writer on Stareable) is someone I met because she mentioned Brains as one of her favorite web series on Tumblr and tagged us, and then I noticed she was following us with the same username on other social media, and from that we started engaging with her more from the Brains accounts, then she immediately noticed it was totally me and not a combo of crew running the Brains accounts, so then we started following each other on Twitter with my BrisOwnWorld account, and now we’re e-pals.

(Bri Castellini) #3

@HackettKate @Monica_West @Monica_Quinn @hermdelica @Sunny @mintypineapple @ghettonerdgirl @whoisjonporter @idgafwebseries @SecretLivesPS @shrutesnladders @Jessi_Almstead @jesus_acevedojr @OSTSG @Dylan @JoeAhern @spatulawilwheat @chelsaat @Rebecca_Frost @DarekKowal @kmd @MsSophiaStyles

(Meg Carroway) #4

I hafta do the alternate, but I like when creators don’t just make their episodes and disappear. I like when they stick around and respond to comments on the videos, or post pictures on social media even when they’re not like directly promoting a new episode or whatever. I just like to know they care enough about the content to stick around.

(Monica West) #5

I love fan art! Have been meaning to ask our fans in anyone would like to make some pretty posts to share. Thanks for the reminder @Bri_Castellini

Something that has worked for us is sharing our Amazon Reviews – taking a screen shot and then sharing on Twitter and FB. Our fans get excited when they see we have new audience members!

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #6

It depends on the medium, but there are a few things I do. Since we are a period piece I like to share fave movies and trends from the era and that’s likely to start a conversation. I make it a point to respond to every comment on our YouTube channel. I also have tried to have open dialog with fans through Facebook live. I get messages though there sometimes so I feel like I know all of our fans who reach out to us.

(Bri Castellini) #7

OoooOOOOoooo maybe I’ll make you some fan art! I’m no artist but when has that stopped anyone from making fan art???

And yes- I love the review sharing! I love seeing your new reviews because I’m so proud of you guys :slight_smile: I share Stareable reviews of our projects as much as I can, partially because it’s good for my job and partially because I am just so honored someone cares enough about my content to tell other people about it! It really is fun to share that stuff- it makes it feel like more of a back and forth, and not a one way street (to @Meg’s point)

(Bri Castellini) #8

That’s so cool! How often do you do YouTube Live and how do you tend to build excitement/organise what you do on said Lives?

(Darek Kowal) #9

I berate them and attempt to instigate fights …

OR! I would do Talkbacks for each episode and give BTS info and stories, and talk about what inspired each story.

Otherwise, I try to tweet, post, and ask questions on social media. Does it work? I don’t know. But are we doing what we can? Yes, and sometimes that’s all you can do.

(Monica West) #10

It’d be such an honor to receive fan art from you! Thank you!!

I love seeing your Stareable reviews as well. I think something that could be fun is to use an app to make some beautiful IG images with text from fans’ reviews as well – have been meaning to do that for Best Thing too.

Question for you @Bri_Castellini – how do you go about asking fans to make images? Have you ever reached out to artists you admire directly?

(Monica West) #11

OH HUGE PS this site has CHANGED MY LIFE for making promotional images:

They have templates for IG, Twitter and FB in all the different dimensions you need so you don’t have to fuss them them so much anymore.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #12

I haven’t done it in a while but I like to do them after we post an episode. I like to do countdown videos too that I reuse after every episode post.

(Herman Wang) #13

I feel one of the smartest things we ever did was tap a local Harry Potter fan group for extras for a scene in one of our episodes. We all had a fun time shooting and people got to know about us and the show at a very personal level.

(Bri Castellini) #14

I’ve never actually gotten fan art/fan images! Even though my show is, like, VERY VISUAL and rife with art opportunities. I did get a few fans to dress up like Alison for Halloween, though, largely through this little set of images I put together for costume inspiration that I shared all of October. Maybe that’s the way to do it? Almost suggest into the world that if you wanted to do a thing (dress up, draw a picture, etc), “here’s the important aspects.”

(Alison costume photo for reference)

(Bri Castellini) #15

Very cool! And I bet it gave you a good pool of people who were willing to help you promote that episode when it came out, huh?

(Gabriel Crutchfield) #16

I’m terrible at this. I just keep sharing toilet humor memes. Sometimes they get likes.

(Herman Wang) #17


It was a bit of an editing challenge for that segment to make sure every single extra’s face was visible for at least a little bit of time :slight_smile:

(Bri Castellini) #18

Have you had any particular tactics that seem to work better than others, or are you still in the spaghetti-at-wall stage?

(Bri Castellini) #19

Well, if you’ve got a niche…

What about shows (online and traditional) that YOU’RE a fan of? What do you like seeing from creators you admire?

(Monica West) #20

the power of suggestion – I like it. Thanks Bri