5 Social Insights Marketers Need To Know About Holiday Movie Season

With Wonder Woman 1984 the only major new release with a possibility of being released into theaters in 2020, it’s safe to say that the holiday movie season is looking unrecognizable compared to past years. Almost every big budget film has either been pushed into next year or is debuting on a streaming service, and the social media conversation around movies is evolving as well. To help film marketers navigate the new normal, here are 5 social media facts you need to know.

Insight #1. There Is More Social Media Interest Around Film During The Pandemic

Even with most scheduled new releases delayed, the social media conversation around movies has actually increased during the Fall. There have been 69,152,194 Tweets mentioning Movie or Film between September 1- November 15, 2020, a 31% increase from the 52,680,727 Tweets that mentioned Movie or Film during September 1- November 15, 2019. Just because the audience has been dealing with the pandemic, the elections, and isn’t currently comfortable physically going into movie theaters, doesn’t mean they’re any less interested in watching or talking about movies.

Insight #2. The Real Time Conversation Around Movies On Streamers Is Way Up This Fall  

Between September 1 – November 15, 2020, there were 1,471,989 Tweets that mentioned Netflix and either the word Movie or Film, a 160% increase from the volume of such Tweets between September 1 – November 15, 2019. Similarly in the same time period, there were 111,449 Tweets mentioning Hulu and the word either Movie or Film, a 361% increase; while there were 85,394 Tweets mentioning Amazon Prime Video and either Movie or Film, a 160% increase compared to September 1 – November 15, 2019.  With people’s entertainment options more limited during the pandemic, movies on major streaming services are getting a lot more social media attention. 

Insight #3. Gently Used Content On Netflix A Conversation Starter On Social 

Between November 1-15, 2020, Knock Knock had a ListenFirst Interest score of 655,997 (Wikipedia page views and hashtag & handle mentions on Twitter), the most of any movie during that time period. Knock Knock is a low budget Keanu Reeves horror movie that originally was released in 2015 but is finding a new audience after being released on Netflix. With major new releases, either in theaters or on streaming, few and far between during the pandemic, “new to me on Netflix” is as big a conversation driver on social media as anything else. 

Insight #4. Netflix Is The Streaming Platform With The Most Rewatch Conversation On Social… But With A Catch

There were 22,978 Tweets that mentioned both Netflix and a Rewatch between September 1- November 15, 2020; which by far was the most Rewatch social media conversation around a streaming site. In comparison during the same time period, Disney+ was mentioned in 3,282 Rewatch related Tweets and HBO Max was mentioned in 2,877 Rewatch related Tweets.  However, the Rewatch conversation around streamers is primarily on the television side. For example of the 50 Netflix Tweets mentioning a Rewatch that generated the most responses, only 9 of them mentioned movies, with far more often the Tweet being about a TV series.  

Insight #5. Streaming Movies Can Still Provide Moments That Go Viral On Social Media 

While films that debut on streaming platforms don’t traditionally have the marketing budget of tentpole theatrical releases, streaming first movies are still creating water cooler discussions on social media. For example, between October 21-27, 2020, there were 294,584 Tweets mentioning both Borat and Rudy Giuliani around the climatic scene in Amazon Prime Video’s movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; including celebrities such as as Mark Hamill, Ice T, and Sean Penn weighing in. As more high profile projects begin to debut on streaming services, expect the social media conversation around film to increase as well.

Want more insights into how ListenFirst can help navigate the social media conversation around movies? Request a demo today! 

What The Movie Industry Can Learn From TV About Social During The Coronavirus

Since the pandemic started, it’s been a period of unprecedented challenges for the film industry, with theaters either shut down or opening at a reduced capacity. While the television industry has faced the exact same setbacks in terms of filming new content, because of the at home distribution model, television has been releasing more content during the pandemic and has gotten a lot more reps at identifying social media best practices during the age of the coronavirus. Based on those efforts, the ListenFirst social media social listening platform has identified the following best practices that movie marketers can adapt in their own social media outreach. 

Virtual Table Reads 

One big social media trend on the television side since the pandemic began has been doing virtual table reads of classic TV shows, for instance The Nanny revisiting their pilot and the Lizzie McGuire reading their Bra Episode, with these original casts usually reuniting in support of a charity. During the pandemic, there have also been movies virtual table reads, though with a couple of key differences. For one they’re longer; while most TV table reads being shared on social media are only reading a script for 30 minutes tops, movie table reads streamed on social media should be maximum an hour in length, which is still shorter than an actual movie.   

The other key difference is unlike with TV projects, film virtual table reads don’t have to feature the original cast, for instance the Fast Times at Ridgemont High virtual table read featured Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, and Matthew McConaughey; and even while Sean Penn took part, he was playing a different role than the one that made him famous. The event was a huge success, raising $135,000 for COVID-19 related charities.

There is one way that movie studios can improve on these virtual reads. The Scott Pilgrim vs. The World table read and Princess Bride Reunion were both done as fundraisers, and that’s great. However, considering studios are hesitant to release new films during the pandemic and are instead rereleasing old favorites into theaters, there should be more synergy around the movies chosen for virtual table reads. For instance if Jurassic Park and Dirty Dancing are returning to theaters, staging a virtual table read for those films could serve both as a fundraiser and a promotion for the rerelease. 

Watch Parties 

TV brands have been pretty active during the pandemic in using watch parties on social media to promote previously released content. For example, as ListenFirst previously discussed, Amazon Prime launched a #MaiselMonday weekly watch party for season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which generated 10,381 Tweets between May 11 – August 11, 2020. 


As films are standalone content, movies need to find watch party angles that work as one time events. For instance, The Kissing Booth 2 generated 106,935 responses to an Instagram challenge asking fans to rewatch TKB1 and ask the cast questions; while The Hunger Games promoted watching the movie series on Tubi by creating a bingo card to fill out whenever a moment happens on screen, which generated 20,104 responses on Instagram. 

Meanwhile the movie Irresistible generated 1,955 responses on Twitter to an announcement that writer/director Jon Stewart would host a watch party around the film and that fans should Tweet him questions.

If your film has previously promoted a watch party with the cast on social media, a fresh angle is to work with an influencer and have them host the watch party, using either Twitter or Twitch to lead the real-time conversation around the screening. 



Reese Witherspoon is credited with starting the January – September meme, showing how her mood has deteriorated during the pandemic and the joke was picked up, both by TV shows and films. For example, Stranger Things generated 852,372 responses on Instagram to their version of the meme. Meanwhile on the film side, Deadpool shared their version of the January – September challenge which received 54,516 responses on Instagram with the Little Woman take generating 28,313 responses on Instagram.  In another meme, James Bond showed the before and after images of a work from home desk set up in week 1 vs. week 30 of the pandemic, which received  8,346 responses on Twitter.

Memes have become far more popular during the pandemic, for example there were 92,191,880 Tweets mentioning the word Meme between March – August 2020, which was a 55% increase from the volume of Tweets using the word in March – August 2019. Memes have become a huge part about how the social media audience is coping with “2020” and movie pages should be using them in their social outreach. 

Remix Old Content 

Comedy Central generated 140,523 responses for 15 minute YouTube video sharing all of Chappelle’s Show best movie parodies and film has also scored social media wins around collections of content framed around a specific theme. For example, Yash Raj Films shared a video on Facebook of their Top Comedy Scenes which generated 90,190 responses and James Bond posted a montage of Daniel Craig as James Bond beating up on bad guys, with the video getting 18,289 responses on Instagram. The New Mutants even saw success around a more self-effacing theme, as they generated 19,676 responses on Instagram around a photo gallery of posters with all of their different, pandemic changed release dates. 


This might all be content the audience has seen before, but they’ll reengage if it’s framed in a fresh context.  

DVD Extras Now Social Media Content 

Back in the day, extra content would make its way to the DVD release, but in 2020 likely even more people are seeing this content when it’s shared on social media. That’s been the case for TV Pages, for instance Star Trek shared a Next Generation blooper reel on Instagram that generated 15,186 Responses and that’s proven equally true for Movie Pages. For example, Frozen 2 generated 18,690 responses for Instagram post sharing concept art; Terminator 2 got 17,889 responses on Facebook for sharing behind the scenes video of the cast getting their makeup put on; and Halloween shared a behind the scenes photo from 1981’s Halloween II that generated 464 responses on Twitter. 

This type of additional content doesn’t even have to be archival in nature; for example Universal uploaded the original cast of the Pitch Perfect performing a new cover of Beyonce’s Love On Top, which doubled as a UNICEF fundraiser and received 523,367 responses on YouTube. 

Especially around film franchises, any content that gives fans a chance to see more of their favorite characters or the actors who portray them will be embraced by the social media audience.    

Want more ListenFirst tips for how movie pages can pivot and  optimize their social media channels during the age of the coronavirus? Request a demo today!

How Brands Are Using Social Media To Talk About The Elections

It’s less than a 100 days until the Presidential election occurs, and we wanted to check in with brands to see how they’re using their social media channels to promote getting out the vote campaigns. While it wasn’t necessarily a frequent topic of conversation among brands, of the 485 Top Advertiser Brands we looked at between June 28 – July 28, 2020; we did identify some key strategies for how these brands are using social media to encourage the audience to do their civic duty and participate in the November 3 elections. 

Strategy #1: Framing Voting As Empowering 

ABC generated 683 responses around a July 4th Instagram video post in conjunction with the nonpartisan I am a voter.® movement promoting voting and civic engagement, which reminded people of all the races at stake this November, along with a prompt to register to vote and sign up for election reminders. It’s worth noting that the CTA included the full URL to the I am a voter.® website, even though Instagram doesn’t allow clickable links in posts. Even without a live link, it’s easy enough for users to cut and paste the link. 

Tying the act of voting to a holiday like Independence Day, reinforces how patriotic individuals can impact change, and such a strategy makes sense both in general and also around upcoming holidays like Labor Day.     

Strategy #2: Celebrity Advocacy

“Our voices matter. Our votes matter. Local officials are the ones that set the laws in your community.” John Wall on the importance of local elections and voting. #NBAVoices

Posted by NBA on Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hearing a respected public figure talk around the need to get out and vote sometimes helps brands grab the audience’s attention in a way, a more generic message wouldn’t. For instance the NBA received 817 responses around a Facebook video where John Wall talked about the importance of voting in local elections. Getting a familiar face to speak from the heart about why voting is important to them will help drive home the point for the social media audience. 

Strategy #3: Reassure About Safety 

New guidance from the CDC says the best ways to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread during the November elections are…

Posted by AARP on Monday, July 13, 2020

Unlike any other election in recent memory, because of the coronavirus, people could literally be risking their lives by going to the polls. The AARP received 1,934 reponses around a Facebook link to a post addressing those issues, sharing the latest CDC recommendations for voting safely in the November elections. Especially with older voters, explaining how voters can participate on Election Day with the minimal risk to their health is valuable information that brands can share. 

Strategy #4: Speak Directly To Your Employees 

Between June 28 – July 28, 2020; the U.S. Army shared 3 posts about how service members can vote via absentee ballot which averaged 7,403 responses per post. These types of brand posts serve two types of functions; giving employees invaluable information about how they can vote abroad while also illustrating to customers and potential employees that voting is something that your brand values. 

Strategy #5: Celebrate The 19th Amendment

There were 3 social media posts between June 28 – July 28, 2020 by the United States Postal Service that generated 1,536 responses advertising stamps commemorating women getting the right to vote. While selling stamps is a tactic pretty specific to the Post Office, using the history of voting rights to motivate people to vote in the present day, is a social media strategy that’s relevant to a much wider range of brands.   


Social media is a big part of how brands stay part of the cultural conversation and as we get close to November, the election is going to be more and more what everyone is talking about. By urging the social media audience to take part in the Democratic process, brands can stay top of mind, while also contributing a public service. 

Want more analytics based insights about best practices for brands on social media? Request a Demo Today! 

How Is Ralph Lauren Increasing Engagement While Consumers #StayHome?

Ralph Lauren Home’s Instagram engagement is up 300% from March compared to April with May showing promising results as well. With many other industries experiencing a decrease in engagements and post volume during quarantine, Home Furnishings and Ralph Lauren Home are the opposite. This is how they did it: 

The home furnishings industry collectively experienced a 6% increase in engagements in April compared to March, driven by a 2% increase in new posts. Even with these small increases occurring industry-wide, Ralph Lauren Home’s increases exponentially exceeded this trend. Ralph Lauren Home saw a 300% uptick in engagements in April 2020 compared to March 2020, primarily driven by a 600% increase in new posts. 

The brand’s decision to increase posts 7X more than the previous month came when many brands were just beginning to slowly increase post volume after recovering from March’s social shakeup. The #RLatHome campaign showcasing highly branded gallery creative alongside things to do at home–ranging from cooking and baking to reading and board games.

As Ralph Lauren Home pivoted from the #RLatHome content that drove engagements in April, the brand has largely shifted back to business-as-usual content in May thus far. Average engagements per post in this month through May 14 are 63% higher than that in April for the home furnishings brand, indicating that fans are highly engaged with more traditional Ralph Lauren posts, as opposed to just getting spikes of interest from content directly mentioning COVID-19. 

As states and cities slowly begin to reopen, consumers are likely eager to begin to resume a state of normalcy after being quarantined for the last two months. That said, even as the audience starts to venture out more, the foreseeable future is still going to involve much more time at home than before the coronavirus pandemic started; which means that social media content from Home Furnishing brands will continue being consumed at a higher level of engagement.