Last weekend the Hunger Games opened to a huge weekend with over 155 million dollars in ticket sales and no sign of letting up. One of the secrets of the huge opening was the use of social media to drive buzz prior to the movie's opening. How was Lionsgate able to do this and why is the Hunger Games now a social media bellwether?
- Know your audience - The Hunger Games was huge with teenagers, so what audience did the brand go after? Teenagers. Where do teens hang out? Facebook and YouTube. So now that Lionsgate knew the audience what tactics could they use to drive participation
- Spoon feeding - Lionsgate kept the run up to the movie very long and teased out logos and clips over a long period of time. One look at the Hunger Games Facebook page and you can see how they teased out one piece of content at a time. Little videos, pictures, games, art and exclusive trailers created a lot of chatter on the Internet and kept the buzz high for the movie.
- Test - The marketers used a platform called thismoment which allowed them to see the whole campaign via Facebook, Google Analytics, YouTube and Twitter to see what messages were working and what wasn't working so they could adjust and double down on successful tactics.
What's surprising about the buzz regarding the use of social media in the Hunger Games is that most of the tactics used are pretty tried and true marketing tactics. The marketers first got behind a wildly successful brand in the Hunger Games, didn't do anything nutty like go after a new demo but concentrated on the core demographic and where they live and then tested. Keeping the strategy simple and uncluttered while being laser accurate in your delivery, seem pretty much a way people should be doing social media and might be why the Hunger Games will be a social media bellwether.