Social Media Rant

Am I the only one overwhelmed by all the social media that is out there and how much to stay on top of?  Remember, when there was only My Space.  Really great place for musicians where they uploaded their music and then filmmakers, like myself joined and then everyone else.  So, next there was Facebook. Got on there to share photos with family and friends. Before I knew I had well over 1400 FB friends, with many other requests waiting. Do I know all these people? NO. Okay, so I will FB friend this person because we have 30 FB friends in common. Why not?  And then, the numbers kept growing and growing. Okay, so I will add this person because as a filmmaker and speaker I need to have an audience and spread the word. This is necessary to promote.

Then, I started Facebook groups then pages for each of my films: A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary, My NoseLook At US Now, Mother! (formerly My Nose: The Bigger Version). Oh, and yes, a FB page went up for my web series called On the Trail with Gayle. And our TV show Melting Pot has/had a group page.  It migrated. Where did it move?

And yeah, I forgot to mention when I started speaking and doing seminars, I, of course, needed a Gayle Kirschenbaum public figure page on Facebook, right?  So, my wonderful, young, smart staff, has told me, keep all those going but create a new page for the production company, Kirschenbaum Productions and let’s focus our social media efforts, there.  Okay. Done.  Oh, no, we’re not done. Yes, I am on Twitter, too.  Even with two accounts, of course. One is not enough, right?  @glkirschenbaum and won’t tell you the other because it will be retired. When we ran a Kickstarter (crowdsource funding) campaign last summer, I was advised to create a Twitter account just for that film.  So, I was finally getting settled into managing FB and all the pages and Twitter when suddenly I was alerted that’s not enough.  You need a Pinterest account.  That’s visual. Put up your images and chose other categories that you like and start “pinning”.  Wait, I have to get back to my real work.  My little brain can’t handle learning another social media interface. “Okay, can you handle this?” I ask a smart, young intern.   “I must get back to work.”  “Hey Gayle, you really need an instagram account. This is for photos and it will link to all the other social media.”  “Okay, let’s do it.” I love photographs. Love taking them and sharing.  “Oh, one more thing, sign up for “followgram”. What’s that?  Okay, signed up.  Just uploaded a couple of pictures. Not sure at all how this is connected to instagram and why the hell when I made a posting is it showing up twice on my Facebook page. AAHHHHH!

I think the only thing I don’t have is Tumblr.  I forgot to mention LinkedIn. That’s perfect for corporate and business contacts and there are even groups to join.  So, I ask you, who’s got time to work?  Just learning and staying up to date with your social media is a full time job. In fact, I think three people would be perfect to handle this job.  Who has got that in the budget?   So, it’s finding wonderful interns time. They are new to you, new to your company, need to get up to speed in order to get your message out. And then they are gone in a few months time.

Can someone remind what I do for a living?  Right now, I am fantasizing about being on an island with no Internet or phone connection.

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3 Responses to Social Media Rant

  1. Hi Gayle, yea this SM thing is getting a bit much. When I first got on FB I friended anyone who asked but after awhile I stopped that. And only friended people I actually know. Now when someone asks to be my friend I first go to their page and if they havent written anything interesting I choose to not friend them. Who needs boring lurkers as friends. Im also on LInkedin but have a hard time seeing the point though Im a member of 2 groups that have to do with my college. I also have a twitter acct but never write on it. I dont have a smart phone yet so cant tweet whereever I am. I do have a blog but I dont use it to describe what I do every minute of the day. My goal there is to write longer essays on the meaning of life as I see it. I suppose if I was more social media connected I could build up a bigger audience for the blog. But I dont have any intention to let all that SM take me over. I guess Im just not social enough.
    Just my 2 cents,

    • Kudos to you, Hilarie! Being a filmmaker with various projects to promote, all I hear when I am off to distribution seminars is how important it is to build up your following on social media. I completely understand the power of this medium. It has made stars out of people sitting at home recording their talents aka Justin Bieber. People who normally would not have much of a chance of being heard or seen by decision makers are now able to create their own audience and following. There is something quite exciting about that. As you know, it has always been a case of who do you know who can help introduce you to someone like an agent who can help sell your work/talents. Now, people who have the tenacity are doing it on their own. Putting their work out to the public and building their own following. With that said, I find myself struggling with time management. I do enjoy the communication with others who normally your paths would not cross but have now connected on social media. Life is about finding a happy balance. Not getting addicted to any or all of these platforms. Today, most of my communication with my staff, colleagues, and even friends is now by email and texting. You practically need to communicate first that way in order to set up a call. Just calling someone “cold”, someone you work with, can often be considered abrupt. I sit in the same room with my staff and we frequently are emailing each other back and forth. The office is quite quiet. Phones barely ring today. I work with many young people who are extremely savvy on the computer. When there is a technical problem they solve it by searching on the internet and if we hit a wall and I suggest making a call for tech help they resist and keep searching the internet. Sometimes, I just jump in and make the call and it often gets resolved.

      I remember hearing the director,Jonathan Demme speak. We worked together years ago. Jonathan was speaking about the same topic. His son only watches movies on the computer. Jonathan asked him wouldn’t he prefer to see it on the big screen where you wil also experience surround sound. His son said, “What!? And sit with strangers.” That says it all.

      Hope all is good by you. Will come back to visit some time. I am sitting by the water now in New England and it’s gorgeous.

  2. Came across this on LinkedIn. Yes, social media can appear overwhelming and time draining, BUT despite what you’ve been told it’s NOT necessary to be on EVERY platform. Honestly, you probably don’t need all those fan pages, especially if the audience for some of your films are similar.

    Truly, what’s the shelf life of a film fan page once the film is available for everyone to see. What purpose will it serve a year from now? I do agree you should have a fan page for your business and one for you as an individual.

    But your personal profile can now be joined with your fan page. Friends becomes Likes or fans. Facebook founder, combined his profile and fan page, why not you.

    Facebook has kids and adults zombified! Facebook WANTS you to create all those pages you don’t need so that you’ll stay on the network longer.

    Your focus should be bringing traffic BACK to what YOU OWN, your official website via social media. Your official website should be the epicenter. Most of that conversation about YOUR work and YOUR films should be taking place in your own backyard.

    Before you sign up for one more thing, ask yourself, “what’s the purpose of me being there?” “Is my audience there and in what numbers?” “What’s my strategy to use this platform to bring traffic to my own site.”

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