Author: jgoodwilliev

My name is James Goodwillie. I am an Entrepreneur and Social Media Manager at a digital marketing company in Richmond, VA. @JGoodwillieV

Intro into Instagram’s new features

For many of you social media geeks out there, Instagram is the “go-to” source for quick and mindless social engagement. It has created a world of “selfies” and instant-gratification seeking people that just want to feel loved. Millions of pictures are posted and shared every single day, using various filters to give a certain “look” that the user is going for. However, if you ask any true die-hard Instagram fan, they will tell you that they seek outside apps to make their pictures stand out even more. Apps such as VSCO Cam, Litely, and PicLab are all frequented options by the IG (the Instagram abbreviation) junkies.

Being the large entity that it is, and the fact that they now have to please Wall Street, Instagram needed to regain those users and make sure that they did their dirty work all within the IG app. So, after some brainstorming sessions in the IGLab (I have no idea if that is an actual thing or not, but it sounded good) they have released a few features to their incredibly simple application. A few more slices of cheese to their burger, if you will.

New features allow users to edit things such as brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, and more. To fully grasp the effect that these things have on your beloved selfies, you must do a little experimenting. HootSuite has laid out a great visual explanation of the new Instagram features:

Brightness:

Make it lighter or darker.

Contrast:

Enhance the lighter or darker.

Warmth:

Warmer makes it more orange. Colder makes it blue.

Saturation:

Make colors more vivid and intense.

Highlights:

Focus on the bright areas or not.

Shadows:

Focus on the opposite of Highlights.

Vignette:

Darken the edges to make it look like a polaroid your grandfather took in WWII.

Sharpen:

Make it “crisper“.

Instagram explained the new release by saying: “You take a photo to capture a moment, but often what you see in the photograph doesn’t feel the same as what you remember. From brightening up a photo of your dinner party to better capturing the warmth of a sunset portrait, these new creative tools help you bring out and share the beauty of the moment as you remember it—right inside the same simple Instagram you already know.”

For the 90% of us that can hardly tell the difference between any of the pictures shown above, this release is fairly pointless. To be honest, I would rather save the 4 hours of filter tweaking and spend that time taking more photos and enjoying the moment. But for the attention seeking selfie addicts of the world, this is revolutionary.

- @JGoodwillieV

Social Media Fail – Epicurious

Due to the fact that social media fails are either humorous or extremely outrageous, I have decided to start highlighting some social media fails that you may have missed. To start this series off, I will highlight a well known food website known as Epicurious. Apparently on the tragic day in 2013 when the Boston marathon was bombed, this particular food website decided it wanted to sell itself at all costs. BIG MISTAKE.

Nobody is really sure who was behind the tweets (whether it was the CEO, some rando media intern, or the mail delivery guy), but nonetheless, they screwed up…royally. Luckily Epicurious made this mistake so that all other business owners that believe a national tragedy is a great time to promote a business, will think twice. DON’T BE AN IDIOT.

Facebook to start treating pages like people

Facebook is starting to remind me of another giant tech company whose name starts with a “G” and ends in a “oogle”. It seems like every single day Facebook decides they are going to tweak their algorithm to change more things. The latest tweak comes in the news feed where Facebook announced Tuesday that they will begin to treat Pages more like People. To clear any confusion, it means that you may start seeing Pages of things in your news feed even if you don’t follow or like it. It will show up because it was tagged by something you do follow.

They offered an example:

As you can see, Dwight Howard and James Harden (basketball players in case you are blind) are tagged in this post by Bleacher Report. With the new Facebook change, if you follow James Harden but not Bleacher Report, you will see this post. And visa versa.  Obviously if you don’t follow any of the parties involved, you will not magically start seeing these posts.

Facebook update complete.

Is YouTube marketing dead?

Social media marketing is on everyone and every business’ minds nowadays. Everywhere you look there seems to be a new shiny article about “10 ways to be awesome at Facebook” or “32 tips on how to master Google+”. This is great and all, but what social platform out there has created an addiction unrivaled by any other? Videos. Yes, that’s right, I am talking about YouTube. I don’t want to feed you random statistics so here are some directly from YouTube:

Statistics   YouTube

 

In case that was too small or you didn’t click the image, there are 1 BILLION unique users who visit YouTube each month. Facebook barely has a billion users total. So, while often overlooked, YouTube is a MASSIVE platform that can easily be used to market your brand to new heights. However, it most certainly isn’t a walk in the park. The reason most brands don’t do anything on YouTube anymore is due to the sheer volume of the site. There is a video for everything. Literally. But there are unique ways and many tips to help you still make yourself known. Here are just a few great examples that will help you and your brand leverage the power of YouTube. 

My advice? Do a little hard work on a complete plan, and do something on YouTube. I bet you will be surprised.

Pinterest use up in 2013

According to the PEW Research Center, 21% of US online adults used Pinterest in 2013. This is a huge jump considering that it was just 15% in 2012. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you do the math, this comes out to tens of millions of additional users that flocked to the social pin-board website in 2013.

For those who are unaware of what Pinterest is, it is “A tool for collecting and organizing things you love”. They forget to mention that it is only virtual items. You most certainly cannot collect coins on Pinterest.

FOR BUSINESSES: There is obviously a huge market opportunity. If you aren’t utilizing Pinterest, I would get started.

The romance between social media and TV

Before there was social media, there was TV. The television and it’s millions of shows created an addiction that would never end. That is, until social media hit the streets. With the release of social media to the world, addiction was thrown out the window, because what people had was way beyond addiction. It was/is their life. Countless hours spent and wasted on social media sites doing nothing but scrolling through random things and stalking random people. With this new addiction of social media, many analysts started to think that it would be the downfall of TV. Nobody would watch TV due to the fact that they could live in their imaginary world of social media. However, those analysts were wrong. It did quite the opposite. It is revolutionizing TV.

RATINGS

The first way that social media has only added to the depths of the televised world, is through ratings. Ratings for television shows were previously conducted through mail surveys sent to random target audiences. Although that method does still exist, social media has added a huge new depth to that. How many Facebook fans does the show have? How many tweets are sent that mention the show in a positive way? Etc. Etc.

HASHTAGS

Through the use of the infamous Hashtag on Twitter, television shows have been able to add real time tracking and create buzz throughout social platforms that lasts for days and even weeks. Even commercials are placing custom hashtags into their 30 second clips in order to create their presence. Some of the top shows have integrated hashtags to create a layer of interaction with the live shows. For those of you familiar with The Voice show, they allow users to tweet who they want saved, and it counts as a vote towards that singer. The Twitter community is essentially responsible for the booting of the lesser singer. Talk about real-time engagement!!

These are only a couple examples of the beautiful romance that is blossoming between TV and Social Media, but stay posted for a possible in-depth analysis later on.

Brewin’ Great Content – What BrewDog can teach the world about Content Marketing.

Originally posted on SociallyImpressed:

Is it time we ask more from our community? Should they be content with mediocre content?

It’s a pretty vapid term, but ‘content marketing’, appeared to be the word of 2013 (whatever the Oxford Dictionary might say). The internet is currently falling over itself with advice on how to make the most from your ‘content’, how to recycle it and how this in turn leads to sales. What most content marketing appears to lack presently however, is ‘content’.

When I say content – I’m not talking about an e-book or a blog post. These are great. But it’s 2014 now and these ought to be integral parts of your digital strategy, not a revolutionary new marketing direction. ‘Content’ should mean ‘substance’; it is time we ask more of our community than to be merely content with content.

There is perhaps some irony in writing a blog post that…

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Why Facebook will crumble…but become more successful

This seemed like a great day to post an opinion piece on Facebook, being that it is the social network’s 10th birthday. Happy Birthday! Now on to my opinion.

Facebook grew incredibly fast and continued to add content and tools to it’s platform. What started as a simple and clean version of Myspace grew into the king of all social networks with over a billion users. However, the teens that once drove the site to heights unimaginable by Zuckerberg himself, are now leaving the social network for smaller “one trick pony” type of social networks like Instagram…which Facebook owns. I think this revelation is one that Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of: In order to succeed and become a giant leader for years to come, Facebook will eventually have to dissolve into many separate entities. If you look at the market of internet companies that tried to add a bunch of tools to one platform, most of them have eventually failed. However, if you step back and look at the success of Google, the solution seems very obvious. What started as a simple search engine, and is now the leader in nearly everything, created it’s empire all on separate pieces to make up its puzzle of domination.

Now that social media is here to stay, and embraced by everyone, people are tired of the “mega-mart” of social medias. They want to customize their social media toolkit however they want, and Facebook will have to accept that. I think that when Facebook decides to dissolve into many little pieces, that will be when the social network king gets elevated to new heights.

A few Tips and Tricks for your Pinterest strategy

Ahh Pinterest. The famous pin-board site that was once only inhabited by teens and young adult women used to plan weddings, has continued to grow well beyond that stereotype. At about 70 million users and counting, it is now saturated with every demographic imaginable. And yes, that does include businesses.

Businesses started to capitalize on Pinterest early on when they recognized that they could use it as yet another means to spread content. However, there was no structured business-management system in place within Pinterest to allow for businesses to properly manage. That has recently all changed, and now Pinterest is fully embracing businesses presence. So for those businesses who aren’t on Pinterest, now would be a great time to start. To help you, here are a few Tips and Tricks to help you on your way:

1.) Get started

Obviously the first step to all of this is to simply get started on Pinterest. Social Media Examiner published a great guide to help you do so, so go ahead and check that out.

2.) Start Pinning

The second step in all of this is the simplest. Start posting content. Some experts will say to pin only relevant content, and others will tell you the opposite. My Advice: DON’T DO EITHER. Pin a mix of content that will make it easier for you to determine what is better received in the Pinterest World. Then you can decide where to go from there.

3.) Use GIFs

This is a GIF (in case you have been lost for the last 10 years)

GIFs are most certainly not a new technology, but have just recently made a come-back and are exploding on the scene. This month, Pinterest allowed for the GIF to show up in all its glory when pinned to a board. GIFs are great to look at, so do not overlook that as great content when devising your strategy.

4.) Don’t just post bland content

Make sure that your content isn’t all just a ton of random pictures. You need to capitalize on “rich pins” and offer content that has more meat on it’s bones. Unfortunately not every can pin “rich pins”, as it is only available for validated sites. However, go ahead and apply here so you can start.

5.) Clean up your boards

This goes without saying, but a dirty board is no good. Make sure that your boards are neat and not one giant unorganized mess of pictures. Tailor them to seasons, or products, or events, etc.

6.) Use taller images

Apparently some Social Media Scientist did a study on what works best on Pinterest, and found out that taller images get pinned more often.

300 Free Social and Web Marketing Tools

This has been going around the web for a while now, but some of you may not have had the pleasure of checking it out.

Basically, this is a very organized spreadsheet detailing out around 300 various tools, browser extensions, apps, and analysis formulas that cover every aspect of social media, SEO, and web marketing. Cushing has the whole thing organized by task, so you can easily navigate to the tool you need for whatever you’re working on at the moment.

It’s an awesome document that I think anyone working in digital marketing should have at their fingertips.

HERE IT IS