What do you get when you combine an exciting, melodramatic plot (think star-crossed lovers, twins separated at birth or dramatic reversals of fortune) and a few good song and dance numbers? Simple: you get Bollywood, the largest film producer and one of the largest centers of film production in the world! The informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry is derived from Bombay, birthplace of the Hindi-language film industry (and former name of Mumbai), and Hollywood, center of the American film industry. But no matter its etymology, Bollywood is solidifying itself as the cinematic giant in the global film industry with cultural influences that stretch far and wide.
A quick search online will pull up several websites that give movie reviews, share celebrity gossip and sneak previews on upcoming Bollywood films, including the popular site BollywoodWorld. Coming up second in Google searches of Bollywood – just after the Wikipedia entry – the site touts itself as the premier source for the latest information on this cinema genre. And while the site provides enough information to educate any film critic, it has not found a strong foothold in the social media arena to really carry its wealth of information to the Indian and global audience.
The following are two easy social media strategies BollywoodWorld may consider to expand its reach and attract more visitors to its website:
1. Create a permanent YouTube page for BollywoodWorld.
Highlighting trailers of upcoming Bollywood films on YouTube, the preeminent video sharing site, stands as an immediate social media strategy to amplify the voice of this site. The Indian culture is steeped in storytelling and the uniqueness of Bollywood films lend themselves to an interesting, exciting piece to share and watch again and again. While hosting mini-videos on the website is a good start, the global dominance of YouTube creates a new platform the website can use to attract new visitors both in India and from around the world. To take this video sharing capability to another level, BollywoodWorld should also use the StumbleUpon Video service as a way to encourage viewers to positively rate the films they watch so that they can “stumbled upon” by their peers and friends.
2. Use Facebook to interact with Indian users through a gaming approach.
While Orkut was once the dominate player in the Indian social media playing field, Facebook use has increased and the social media giant is exploring new ways to reach out to this audience. Just this month, Facebook announced that it was introducing Facebook Credits for Indian users – a virtual currency that is popular among gaming enthusiasts. By creating a BollywoodWorld Facebook game, users can test their knowledge of random movie factoids, celebrity insights and famous liners from the most popular films. Providing fun ways for this audience to engage with each other and with the site will not only increase the number of Facebook fans, but also drive more traffic to the website.
BollywoodWorld has made a good start, because there is some truth to the famous movie line, “if you build it, they will come.” Now it is time for this film industry site to take it to the next level. While they have the content to entertain visitors for hours, the site lacks is a comprehensive strategy to attract more visitors. By incorporating and better using a few digital communication tools, BollywoodWorld is sure to see an uptick in web hits and a much more engaged audience.