- TikTok has become an important promotional tool for TV, movie and other media brands.
- But finding a way to make long movie content feel native to TikTok presents challenges.
- Lionsgate has found success making DIY-style music videos from shows like “Twilight” and “John Wick”.
TikTok users really want to know who is in charge of the Lionsgate account.
A quick read of the top reviews on his videos clearly shows this.
âWHO MANAGES THIS ACCOUNT!?!? Exclaimed one user.
“IS IT THE FR LIONSGATE?” Asked another TikToker.
Some users even wondered if this was the official company page, despite the check mark checked.
So how did a former movie studio behind decades-old hits like âAmerican Psychoâ and âSawâ go viral on social media? Over the past 14 months, Lionsgate’s social media team has posted a stream of videos on their TikTok page that looks more like the work of a Gen Z fan than a multibillion-dollar media brand. .
In a video, the Lionsgate team pretended to post an unsafe cut for the work of a scene from their “Twilight” series. In another, the company edited footage from its 2021 film âChaos Walkingâ to line up with a TikTok trend built around the song âSugarCrash!â
The page is primarily designed by Sebastian Crank, social media manager at Lionsgate, 25, under the supervision of the company’s brand director, Eric Dachman, and vice president of digital strategy, Kathy Arendain.
Crank, who said he’s addicted to TikTok, edits DIY-style videos that appear native to the app despite the presence of mega Hollywood stars like Tom Holland and Kristen Stewart.
âTikTok has such a content world that there are internal jokes on TikTok and kind of language on TikTok that doesn’t really translate very often on other social platforms,â Crank told Insider.
Lionsgate now has over 2 million fans on TikTok, more than double the accounts of competitors like MGM Studios,
, although far from
17.9 million TikTok subscribers. Some of the account’s biggest hits, like a video of Keanu Reaves riding a horse and behind-the-scenes footage from the cast of “Twilight” garnered 31 million and 72 million views, respectively.
âThe overall social strategy of our Lionsgate brand is ‘We are fans too’,â said Dachman. “So everything we create is made to feel authentic and as if we are using social media like our fans are using social media.”
âWe really like to play around with our content,â said Arendain. âThere are times when we’re going to follow a line, but we have guardrails in place to make sure we don’t completely cross a line.â
With one billion users now logging into TikTok every month, the app has become an increasingly important promotional tool for traditional media brands. Some companies like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu hire influencers to promote their shows on TikTok through comedy skits and dance challenges. Other brands like ESPN, The Washington Post, and NPR’s âPlanet Moneyâ have turned to TikTok as a way to reach new audiences and try to woo new subscribers.
Lionsgate said it is focusing on engaging fans on TikTok rather than trying to drive a specific action like a buy.
âI don’t think you’ll ever see anything on our TikTok account that says, ‘Buy it on DVD November 15th,’â Dachman said.
Like the Washington Post and other media brands that have seen success on TikTok, Lionsgate hides in the comments section of its videos to read user comments and boost fan engagement by responding to comments. And while videos featuring scenes from blockbuster franchises like âTwilightâ helped boost views, the company said its goal was to create a balanced audience that extends beyond young adult fans.
Whatever movies they promote, Lionsgate’s TikTok videos have to be funny, sentimental, or nostalgic for their fans.
âThere was a comment on one of our more recent TikToks that said something like, ‘I know the whole office laughs when they hit the publish button,’ Crank said. is right. Eric and I really find our TikToks hilarious. ”