Social Media Success Story: “Black Panther”
Published on April 25, 2018, at 5:51 p.m.
by Allie Binford.
“Black Panther” is the most tweeted about movie to date — and it all comes down to strategic planning and communication.
Though Twitter is relatively new in comparison to the century-old film industry, being the “most-tweeted about movie of all time” is a pretty big deal. Twitter has 330 million active users per month and counting; that’s a lot of people talking about #Wakanda.
If the marketing and communications team members behind “Black Panther” know anything, it’s their audience. The cultural significance of the film was the first thing to get people talking. Though the comic itself has existed since the 1960s, “Black Panther” is the first Marvel movie with an African-American superhero and a predominantly African-American cast. This statistic alone got people talking about the film when it was announced nearly three years ago.
It wasn’t just the storyline of the film that struck an emotional cord with African-Americans — the crew behind the scenes was just as groundbreaking. Director Ryan Coogler is Marvel’s youngest director to date, as well as the company’s first black director. To see a film that was not only inclusive on-screen but also directed by a black director is completely unprecedented.
When the film premiered, churches, community centers, activists groups and schools bought out theaters to ensure that all children would have a chance to see a screening. This level of support for the film generated more talk online as well as earned media stories.
More recently, fans were using #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe to tell their personal connections to the film.
“Black Panther” broke records again in the development of the film’s soundtrack. The record includes tracks featuring predominantly black artists (look up and fill in exact demographics here) headlined by writer, producer and rapper Kendrick Lamar. Lamar released the track listing on Jan. 31, 2018, in a tweet, which remains the most retweeted tweet about the film.
This announcement spurred on excitement from both fans and celebrities. (link specific celebrity tweets) Celebrity endorsements on Twitter and Instagram spread the anticipation for the video into more demographics and fandoms.
This film illustrates how breaking records gets people talking no matter what. In the end, people will talk about what they love. Once you connect with your audience on an emotional level and produce a product that moves them, social media has created an outlet for the average Joe to be a brand’s number one ambassador.
In an article on MediaPost.com, Henry C. Boyd III puts it perfectly: “If you’re very selective about your target market, and you’ve got a great product, and you win over that target audience, they’ll tell other people. They become your acolytes. And that’s what happened with “Black Panther.””