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The Possession shows importance of building fan communities earlier, to lay the groundwork for broader awareness
Comparing fan community growth to the growth of buzz around upcoming horror movie The Possession shows that fan communities can be built earlier, even while buzz around the movie is low. Engaging fans early leaves the brand with a large group of consumers, already interested in the movie, when the broader marketing push begins.
Comparing the growth of buzz around your product to the growth of the fan community you set up around it can yield interesting insight into the nature of how to build anticipation online. WaveMetrix compared Twitter buzz around The Possession to the growth of the movie's official Facebook page.
There is little general interest around The Possession on Twitter until three weeks before launch (when TV spots begin and a wider audience is exposed to the movie). However, prior to this, a core fanbase is grown more steadily on Facebook, demonstrating that Facebook fans can be engaged early and a community built gradually, over time. This community can then supplement the wider consumer awareness you gain from larger media spend close to launch.
Community growth for The Possession precedes a spike in Twitter buzz around the movie:
1. Promotional activity around The Possession at Comic-con prompts an increase in the size of the movie’s fan community: Lionsgate’s booth at the comics and movie expo coincides with an increase in the size of the movie’s Facebook community, though buzz about The Possession is at very low levels at this stage
2. The fan community around the movie then continues to build through the second half of July: Facebook community growth is relatively steady, though buzz does not pick up until the start of August, with just a few consumers on Twitter saying the movie looks “super scary” and that they “want to see it”
3. As the movie draws nearer to release and TV spots begin, buzz and intent to view start to surge: From the start of August onwards, engagement around the movie picks up, with consumers saying “I have to see that Possession movie” and that they “just saw a commercial” for it. As TV spots and broader media spend raise awareness around the movie, a new group of general consumers becomes engaged. The fan community growth, however, does not show the same surge and instead continues to increase gradually