1. Building a following through Twitter and Facebook is practically essential in marketing nowadays. It makes sense as it costs literally nothing to start accounts on Facebook and Twitter where as creating a commercial for television or radio can cost a lot of money and may not gain a lot of popularity. Given how incredibly popular and widely used social networking sites are throughout the world, creating an account on one of these sites is a smart marketing tactic as you can quickly and easily gather a large online following when trying to market music, films etc, also given the mobile nature of social networking sites where people will often tweet or post on Facebook from their phones and other mobile devices, this allows your fan base to stay in greater contact with you ensuring brand loyalty and being more convenient for the fans so they will be more inclined to follow a band on Twitter or 'Like' a movie on Facebook. Most movies and music artists have Facebook and Twitter accounts and use them to keep fans informed and communicate with them. Movies such as 'The Final Destination' and 'Paranormal Activity 4' have advertised their Facebook and Twitter accounts on their televised commercials so clearly social networking is an essential factor in hyping up a new product. In conclusion, marketing on social networking sites is beneficial for the institution because it is cheap, effective and relatively stress free and it is beneficial for the audience because of its convenience.
2. Fan made Twitter pages do the marketing for the corporations, they build a cult of personality around a character and increase their notoriety. Sometimes these fan made Twitter accounts are actually parodies of characters, an example being the Roy Cropper Twitter feed where the creator took Roy Cropper, the 'Coronation Street' character known for his innocent and bumbling personality, impersonated him uses the account to tweet vulgar and often offensive statements and jokes as a parody of the genuine Roy Cropper character, the account currently has over 650,000 followers. While this is an unconventional from of fan promotion it is undeniable that the account is very popular and likely gets people discussing both the regular Roy Cropper from the show and the parody Roy Cropper on Twitter, the account may have even encouraged people who don't normally watch 'Coronation Street' to watch the show just to compare the differing natures and personalities of the two different characters.
3. Official websites can be effective in building brand loyalty particularly if the you can create your own account and become a registered user of the website. Popular internet entertainment production team RoosterTeeth have done exactly this. On the RoosterTeeth website you can sign up for an account on the website which allows you to post comments and communicate with other users, privileges that you can only acquire if you have an account on the website. This adds another level of interactivity to the fan experience as you are all part of a community sharing thoughts and opinions, everyone likes to discuss their passions and interests with like minded people which is the main appeal of this function of the website. Another large component of official websites is online stores, another area that the RoosterTeeth has covered. RoosterTeeth's online store sells all kinds of official merchandise including, t-shirts, posters, comic books, DVD's and much more. Not only does an online store make a modest profit but it is also cheap advertising, having people walk around in your branded merchandise is going to attract more visitors to your website who saw the website advertised on a t-shirt or a hat etc. More people will visit the site, become members, buy merchandise and the cycle continues creating more fans and more revenue.
4. A very popular genre of videos found on YouTube are cover songs, fan made videos where musicians will take the original master track of a song and then cover what one particular instrument is playing in the song. This is actually very effective in introducing people to new music as evidenced by many of the comments on these videos, frequently comments can be seen on these videos where people express delight at having seen the video because without they would never have heard the song or artist. Some of these cover song YouTube channels have grown incredibly popular such as bassist David Caraccio whose YouTube Channel 'DavidSinRocks' has over 22 million video views. Like official merchandise, cover song videos are cost effective marketing where music can find a larger audience and gain the band and the record company more revenue without the band or the record company even having to do the promotion themselves.
5. Fan made websites are another producer of the cult of personality, they are cost effective marketing tools that allow a product to gain a larger audience. Almost every videogame and movie has a fan made wikipedia website, not affiliated with the actual Wikipedia website but a mimic of the originial website that focuses exclusively on one product or series, for example, finaldestination.wikia.com is a website dedicated exclusively to the Final Destination movie series where people users of the website go into extreme detail to discuss the Final Destination movies, you can find out a lot of information on the movies such as where they were filmed, what the filming process was like and the actors and the production team, these fan made wikipedia mimic sites allow for much more focus on one singular product or series and are designed for both die-hard fans as well as new-comers who want to find out more about the product, because these websites allow for much greater detail than regular Wikipedia pages they are actually more useful than Wikipedia that can only tell people relatively basic information. If someone wants to get informed on a specific movie or band a fan made wikipedia mimic website is a great place to go for in-depth information.
6. Film reviews are a source of publicity that can generate a lot of potential movie-goers, movie reviewing websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and iMDB as well as proffessional movie critics such as Roger Ebert are respected institutions who people trust to accuratly rate a movie. If a popular critic gives a movie a good review then the critics loyal fans will be more inclined to see the movie because they trust the opinion of the critic.
7. Character profiles are an integral part of fan websites. Again reffering to the Final Destination Wiki, the website has a full page of main and supporting characters from all of the movies. The characters in Final Destination movies are one of the big factors that fans enjoy the series, the characters are usually very stereotypical 'bad guys' and 'good guys' often the most level headed and innocent characters and the stuck up, self important characters are the first characters to die and fans enjoy discussing their death scenes and wether or not certain charcters should have died and what they like and dislike about different characters. Character profiles are practically designed for these die-hard fans who love to 'geek-out' about their favourite franchises similar to videogame or comic book fans, character profiles are another constructor of cult of personality that build a legend and mystique around characters and create more loyal fans who obsess over their favourite characters and continue to visit the fan website and follow the movie series, and of course the makers and distributors of the Fianl Destination movies, having a few copyright laws violaed is a small price to pay for having a loyal fanbase created for you without you even having to invest any time or money into the project, if anything it guarantess the creators more revenue as fans are becoming even more enamoured with the series due to the fan website.
8. Podcasts have become incredibly popular in recent years and are effective in promoting a larger product or insitution, examples of this would be the RoosterTeeth podcast and TheGameStation podcast. These podcasts feature recognisable personalities such as the RoosterTeeth podcast which features RoosterTeeth alumni Gus Sorola and Burnie Burns as regular hosts and TheGameStation podcast features host John "TotalBiscuit" Bain who operates one of the most popular gaming channels on YouTube with over 800,000 subscibers, as well as "Let's Player" Jesse Cox and gaming news presenter Dodger Leigh who also operate popular YouTube channels with 370,000 subscibers and 250,000 subscibers respectively. The panels discuss not only videogame culture but also stories and anecdotes from the panel of guests and hosts. These podcasts are usually very laid back and feel like a group of fans simply discussing their lives, the easy going nature and friendly panels have made these podcasts incredibly popular, the RoosterTeeth podcast is a featured podcast on the iTunes Music Store and was biefly the number 1 most downloaded podcast on iTunes. These podcasts while being their own singular products are also important promotion tools for the companies that own them such as RoosterTeeth and TheGameStation as the podcasts bring in new fans who after listening to the podcasts will want to check out other aspects of these enterprises such as various YouTube channels who belong to TheGameStation or the videos that RoosterTeeth post on the internet which will of course bring in larger profits and bigger fan bases for these companies.