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How Video Can Help Your Marketing and Online Presence

We all enjoy a good YouTube video or even a funny commercial, but have you ever considered the benefits of using video as a marketing tool? Here are our top five reasons why not using video as a marketing tool can leave you in the dark ages:

It is highly digestible.

One of the best things about video is how, when used properly, information can be laid out in a way that is extremely easy to understand. Video requires much less effort from the audience and is therefore way more likely to be watched through completely than an article is to be read from start to finish. Plus, with 90% of consumers watching video on mobile devices, video content is ideal because it can be accessed and watched from anywhere in the world.

It can be entertaining and engaging.

While there are many different types of video, the best ones for online marketing are explainers, interviews, product reviews and demo videos, live video and video ads. While these may seem pretty straightforward, there’s a few key factors you may not have yet considered.

Types of Videos for Online Marketing:

  • Explainer
  • Interviews
  • Product Reviews and Demo
  • Live
  • Video Ads

1. Explainer Videos

These type of videos are great when you release a product that may need more explanation, for instance this video made by GTBank, a Nigerian financial institution, has a short anecdotal hook at the beginning and then proceeds to explain what their newest application is and how to use it. It is entertaining and funny and has almost two million views on YouTube, which is awesome exposure for the company. It’s also animated which can be a great choice for explainers and video ads as using storytelling as a marketing technique engages more people and is overall more memorable content than the alternative. After all, 97% of marketers say videos help customers understand products and help them to make purchasing decisions. (explainer videos are also great for social causes too, like this video that illustrates the dangers of texting or talking while driving)

2. Interviews

Say you work for a company that spells specialty shoes that are supposed to improve posture, circulation, etc. Making a video interviewing someone like a foot and ankle specialist who can give an expert recommendation for your product can be extremely useful. This is also a great opportunity to bring in social media influencers or celebrities who can vouch for your product and get your video more exposure as well.

3. Product Reviews and Demo Videos

Ever heard of user generated content, or UGC? This is the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of your product to potentially a previously untapped audience. You or your company can use brand ambassadors to make their own content or review of your product and promote it to their followers. This is especially important when trying to reach a younger audience as many college students are willing to be a brand or campus ambassador just for the experience. Another great thing about UGC is that because it is mainly posted and shared on social media, you can actually consider it a form of market research, helping you to identify key publics to appeal to and where to put out your main messaging. There is also a ton of YouTube videos that are product reviews and serve as free or earned advertising, assuming it’s positive feedback of course.

4. Live Video

Live video is great because it builds trust in your company or organization by letting your audience get to know the inner workings of your organization. This type of video is more engaging as it’s seen as a more face to face type of interaction than just you sending out messaging to your audience. It’s also fun and interesting for consumers to see a “behind the scenes” view of your company, it’ll make them feel more familiar with your company and in turn fosters brand loyalty.

5. Video Ads

As we mentioned before, storytelling is a great marketing technique, and while a picture is worth a thousand words, video ads that have a distinct beginning, middle and end are much more entertaining and memorable than their still counterparts. In 2017 84 Lumber wanted to increase brand awareness for their company so they created this video ad. It has an emotional appeal, grabs people’s attention and is very memorable. Another good approach for video ads could be illustrated or animated because they can advertise your product in a way that is understandable and retainable.

Videos give high ROI and Search Engines love websites with embedded videos.

To make a really professional, good looking video, you could either hire a video production company, or try to do it yourself. Now either way, it is going to cost you, but because video can reach such a large audience, you have the potential to make back the money you spent on the process and then some. Also, search engines like Google love videos embedded in websites. In fact, they love them so much that pages with video are 53 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google search results than those without. This is a great way for your company or organization to improve your search engine optimization, or SEO, because search engines see video as high quality content.

Video boosts conversions and can improve sales.

In a study conducted by Social Media Today, 90% of consumers claim a video will help them in making a purchasing decision. Since most people look at product reviews before making a purchase, having a video that stands out from the rest can boost sales and improve your conversion rates.

It is easily shareable.

Consumers prefer watching a video to reading an article, so keeping that in mind, creating a video that is entertaining, engaging, tells a story and is also consistently branded has the potential to go viral and in turn increase traffic to your website, which, once again, can lead to more sales and conversions.

If these reasons didn’t convince you that video is an excellent marketing tool, you might be interested to know that YouTube reports that by 2021 80% of all web traffic will consist of video. Another reason to get ahead of this trend is that 81% of businesses are already using video for marketing purposes. So, next time you sit down to write an advertisement, consider using a video instead.

Consumer Interaction Trends in 2019: Video Production

Let’s look at a little history. Back in 2015, Twitter’s in-house analytics found that over 40% of Twitter users considered the platform to be a great place to find video content. In the same research, 70% of Twitter users consume the video content they come upon while scrolling through their timeline.

Fast forward to the last year. In 2018, LinkedIn produced over 300 million impressions based solely off of video content native to the platform.

Content Marketing Projections

Any business develops their business model with projections and goals in mind. Technology conglomerates, in specific, track and analyze preceding data as a way to construct these projections. For 2019, it is estimated that video content will be at least 80% of all digital consumer traffic and consumption.

Ultimately, looking into video production with new or improved content is a simple but effective way to boost your ROI.

Why the Change of Pace?

In the last decade, traditional media has completely transformed. This is not to say “out with the old, in with the new.” Traditional media outlets still exist and serve an important purpose. Although, the impact of new media has become an essential aspect for personal and professional growth, development, and longevity.

We no longer live in a world where information is consumed from print and broadcast media. Information is consumed in a more segmented fashion because we are always on the move. With people to see and things to do, there is much more room for outlets and content geared toward the consumer who is out and about.

Construction of Video Production

Long ago, video production was associated with long form, typically cinematic content. But as we mentioned earlier, things have changed. Video content is now a product of social engagement. On a local level, individuals are far more likely to send one another the 1-2 minute clips they relate to or enjoy through 1-to-1 direct messaging than wait to share it in person.

Turn On Your Business Brain

Looking at this through a business lens, these interactions are incredibly powerful. As we all know, referrals are a very effective form of business development. Referrals also tend to boost consumer retention. The digital landscape provides opportunity for authentic but informal referrals through direct messaging.

Content Gives Context

Video production busts down the door to open up meaningful consumer interaction. Videos just happen to be the most demonstrative type of post because they require the least work for the consumer but provoke the emotional, captivating responses. Video can also act as a feature of transparency and legitimacy in B2B and B2C interactions.

    Other concepts to consider for video marketing are:

  • Products
  • Services
  • How-To
  • Testimonials
  • Behind-the-Scenes
  • Year-in-Review
  • Business concepts
  • Organizational values
  • Community investment

Intentional and Professional Video

Professional outsourcing is typically the best way to ensure that your efforts are going unnoticed. Producing content, video content especially, is time-consuming and often very technical. Professional services are also trained to look past the numbers and data, gathering and adjusting to the immediate analytics for your specific business. Digital professionals are also very well equipped in aiding in the brainstorming process because they understand what is and is not effective across industries.

Find your market and draw them in with video production to make 2019 another year of unmatched growth.

Social Media Predictions for 2019

Since the world became entranced with social media – or indeed reliant upon it as many would say –
it has been customary for industry insiders to look for future trends. Not only is social media a fun
way to keep in touch with people and share information, but it is also an important business tool. In
fact, there are many who will tell you – and perhaps quite rightly – that it is under-utilized in terms
of marketing.

What do we see as the primary social media predictions for the next year? With 2018 having been
quite a turbulent one in many ways – we have seen a number of data security breaches after all,
with the very public Facebook breach being the one that raised eyebrows – 2019 promises to be a
year of changes, but where will these changes be, and how will they manifest?

We took a look at a few of the predicted social media trends for 2019, so you can take a step
forward and be prepared for what is about to happen.

1: Will Facebook Continue to Decline?

As we said, 2018 has been a troubled year in the social media world, and not the least for Facebook,
which for many is the poster-child of social media. In Europe in particular, user numbers have fallen,
the main catalyst being the major security breach that occurred mid-year.

In fact, when analyzed closely, the information gained was not as great as many of us thought, but
the very fact that it was easily done raised a lot of red flags in the industry.

Furthermore, with the ongoing problems of ‘fake news’ – a big problem with all areas of social
media and not just Facebook – plus concerns that many areas of the platform have become more
politicized, things are not looking great. To add insult to injury, recent updates to the way the page
looks met with little satisfaction from users.

It could be that people are becoming bored with the platform and are more in tune with Instagram
and Snapchat, which focus on much less involvement and faster interaction, but look to the USA for
signs of falling numbers here next year, and it might be the beginning of the downfall of the king.

2: Real-Time Interaction

This is an area that is already seeing some serious movement, and it’s one you need to look closely
at if you are searching for social media trends for 2019. By real-time we mean interaction with
customers in marketing and online retail. Think of it this way: you talk to your friends in real time, so
why not those who are doing you a service?

Yet, it goes further than that; chatbots, for example, are for many online businesses the way
forward. The tools are there – it happens in advertising already – for even smaller companies to have
an automated search bot looking for mentions of its products. Two people talking about a particular product
– be it on Twitter, for example, or any other platform – may find a real-time chat box
opening asking them what they are interested in.

It makes sense; why should anyone wait, when they want instant answers anyway? The next year
could see this as the biggest development in online marketing, and without anyone really noticing!

3: Personalization

There is no doubt that the ongoing personalization of social media marketing is controversial, but
then is there any area of social media that is not? The fact is, we put so much information out there
without even thinking about it, so why wouldn’t marketers use it?

It’s happening to a great degree: head to Netflix, for example, and it will give you a category of
‘Because You Watched. You will find Amazon ads on your pages featuring products like those you
recently searched. It can feel a little ‘Big Brother’, but how many times have you clicked on that
recommended film, or bought the product suggested?

This sort of thing is set to expand across the digital arena in no small way, and in all honesty, it is
nothing more than the modern version of direct mail, in which likely buyers were targeted with
physical maildrops.

You may also find this technique in an advanced form known as ‘social listening’; this is searching for
not only mentions of brands and products, but also monitoring reputations. Don’t get this mixed up
with the current raft of rumors that ‘your phone is listening to you’ – it may be, it may not – but
consider it as just a way of personalizing the consumers’ information for their own convenience.
Social listening relies on things like IP addresses and cookies instead of your phone’s mic, so take off
that tin-foil hat and relax knowing that at least the marketers aren’t listening in.

4: Video Content

The inexorable rise of video content is clear to see. Inspired by YouTube, and enabled by the ability
to film content fit for broadcast on cheap, hand-held devices, it is no surprise that the video is set to
be the digital marketeers chosen weapon when targeting social media.

It’s 2019…Let’s face it, people like to watch video, and don’t like to read slabs of words brought
down from a mountaintop. People like to be amused, and that’s something that is far easier to do in
moving picture form. And, with the tools we have now, you can even ‘go live’ and put out a real-time
broadcast inviting your potential clients to engage with you, on the spot. If we are to credit anything
as the fastest rising medium of 2019, it’s live video content, and video marketing as a whole.

The simple facts remain that social media is fluid, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay. People sign on
to talk to someone, and if you can engage them with relevant content while you are both online, you
have a live potential customer right there.

The trends in social media are moving away from the fun and frivolous towards the practical and
beneficial – beneficial to both the customer and the provider – and it pays to stay one step ahead.
Keep an eye out for the trends mentioned above, and be aware that these are the probable movers
and shakers in terms of social media for the coming year.

This post was submitted by our friends at SociallyIn, a social media marketing agency located in Birmingham, Alabama. They were voted one of the fastest growing companies in Birmingham during 2018 and are also known for hosting the annual Southern Social Summit which is a gathering of creatives and social media marketers. SociallyIn is listed in the top 10 social media marketing firms on Clutch.

Engaging and Responding in a Virtual Landscape

Today, the business landscape has shifted firmly into the virtual business realm. Companies establish profiles, build reputations, manage customer relationships, and make transactions online every day. You can spend money on print advertising, creating in-store signage, or launching direct mail campaigns, but the digital arena now requires equal attention.

By far the best way to communicate with people and connect with them is to employ online strategies for establishing loyal and lasting relationships. It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to do business because it’s much less expensive than more traditional modes of marketing. And customers respond to businesses via websites and social media channels like never before.

The Social Media-sphere

The virtual marketplace has long since spilled over into the social media-sphere. It’s simply an indispensable way to do business by making that one-to-one connection with people who make it their business to find the very best deals and discounts online. So, it’s important to have some kind of social media plan in place, one that takes full advantage of this opportunity to influence ready-made customers in an easy-to-reach venue.

Social media is also an excellent avenue for really boosting your marketing. For example, Facebook enables you to employ direct advertising, and it’s a great way to dip your toe in the water when it comes to building your brand through social media. If you’re not super savvy yet when it comes to social media, use a site like Hootsuite to help manage your profiles and posts. It’s like having a social media team right at your fingertips.

Translate Customer Service Into Web Reality

One of the best ways to win over consumers is to make it as easy as possible for them to do business with you. This requires more than setting up an efficient, reliable, and secure payment page. Your customer service ethos has to play out online for everyone to see. Proactive outreach is key — customers should have multiple channels of communication in case they don’t want to wait on hold to speak to a customer service rep. They should be able to easily access any information they need on your website or record a complaint or comment.

Offer friendly customer service “helps,” such as timely payment reminders and making it easy for customers to view invoices and past transaction histories online. Also, send out birthday greetings or a “thank you” note for having been your customer for a year.

Demonstrate Responsiveness

Between your website, social media, and your phone line, there’s no excuse for ignoring or overlooking and failing to respond to requests and complaints. In fact, one failure or oversight in this area is sure to play out online, much to the detriment of your business. Your customers’ thoughts and feelings should be a top priority for everyone who works for you, so monitor them carefully and use the opportunity to point out when and how you responded to a customer need or request. It shows responsiveness, concern, and responsibility.

Online Reputation

In this day of immediate gratification and overnight successes (and failures), there’s no substitute for knowing what’s being said online about you and your business. To stay on top of these conversations, subscribe to Google Alerts, which will allow you to track your online reputation, thank grateful customers for their business, and take advantage of positive reviews/comments. It’s easy to do and, best of all, it’s free.

Make It Fun to Be Your Customer

Your website is a marketing powerhouse, there’s no limit to how creative you can be. Use it as a venue for entertaining and tantalizing customers. Hint at a new and exciting product or service launches, and employ social media to give small clues leading up to a big announcement, replete with free samples, discounts, and even a giveaway contest. Loyal customers like feeling that they have a special relationship with you, so follow through and prove to them they do.

The great thing about doing business online is that you can accomplish multiple objectives with one well-conceived plan. You can become more efficient, improve your brand reputation, generate new business and make it easier for customers to do business with you all at the same time. Remember, proactive customer service and responsiveness to your customers are essential for your business to succeed.

Our guest author, Lucy Reed, has been starting businesses since she was a kid, from the lemonade stand she opened in her parent’s driveway at age 10 to the dog walking business she started while in college.

Google Ads or Social Media Ads – Which is Right for my Business?

It seems like there are so many different options in digital marketing, and for those in business sometimes the information just seems overwhelming and confusing. That doesn’t mean you should avoid digital marketing altogether, on the contrary, internet marketing can provide great exposure for your business at a cost that is generally more reasonable than traditional marketing—and what’s best it works.

What is Your Business & Who is Your Customer?

The very first step is to define your business and your potential client before you hone in on a strategy that will work for you. For instance, if you work in a service industry such as plumbing or appliance repairs, your strategy might look completely different from someone who is selling a specific good. Determine what you are selling and more importantly how your current or potential client come to purchase—then you will have a better idea of how to strategize moving forward.

Digital Advertising Options

While there are many options for digital advertising online, the majority of businesses usually participate in one (or both) of the two big options– Google and Facebook.

Google Advertising

Google is continually growing and changing, but what they always offer are robust options for those who are looking to market online. Even with all the options, most clients tend to rely on two main forms of Google ads.

Google Adwords

Search engine marketing is undeniably effective because it allows you the most important potential client targeting available. When your future consumer is looking for the goods or services you provide, their first stop is almost always Google. There are over 3.5 billion searches on Google each day—and that is activity that should not, and really cannot be ignored. Google Adwords allows you to capitalize on those searches and on that very moment when your potential customer is looking for your product or services by listing your business at the top their search engine result pages.

As a business, you only pay for the ad placement Google provides when someone clicks– which is why this strategy is aptly named “Pay-Per-Click.” Depending on the business you are in, there may be high competition for placement on search engines, which drives up the cost per click.

Google Display Ads

Display ads provide another avenue to advertise your business. You’ve all seen banner ads when browsing—and often you question “How did they know?”. And the while the long answers is complicated, the short answer is: Google. This type of display advertising is generally referred to as remarketing, and it allows marketers to send ads to you based on your search engine or browsing history. It’s sort of a way for a business to say, “Hey! Remember us! We’re still here, come check us out again!”

However, display advertising doesn’t end there. Google has a large family of advertisers, allowing marketers and business owners to place ads on specific websites that your customers are likely to visit. With the large network of advertising and both arms of a display campaign, your company can be everywhere your potential customer is and keep you front of mind at the most opportune times.

Facebook Ads

Social media advertising, specifically on Facebook and Instagram, is a different strategy altogether. Google enables you to introduce your company to a client base that needs your goods or services, however Facebook allows you to introduce your good or service, to someone who may not have realized they needed you in the first place– giving you access to a new potential clientele base that you may have not even known existed.

Unlike other traditional advertising, Facebook allows you to target, rather specifically, to the people who are your most likely customer. While geographical targeting is a feature of most forms of advertising, Facebook goes a step further. Looking to market to parents or mothers? No problem. Want to target to homeowners? Done. Have a product great for outdoorsy folks? Social media can cover that too. You can target so many different interests and determining factors that your ad, and your budget, will me far more effective and allow you a great return on your investment.

Which Advertising Platform is Right For Me?

First, they might both be beneficial to your marketing efforts, so take the time to determine your ultimate objective. If you’re in a service industry goal is getting more phones to ring, Google search engine ads is a great way to go. Plumber marketing, for instance, is a great example. When someone needs a plumber’s services, they generally need them immediately and go straight to Google—so a PPC campaign is a great strategy. A company selling a specific product, however, knows branding and loyalty are important, so utilizing social media advertising can help them stay relevant with their client base.

However, in most cases, companies often succeed using a combination of both strategies. It’s also important to consider your budget and competition– cost per click can go up depending on the competition in the field, so do your proper research, or rely on a digital marketing company, that can help you with the process.

Getting Started

Though we haven’t mentioned it just yet, no digital marketing is going to be effective if you don’t have a quality website in place. The website must be up to date and work well with different devices and operating systems. Your site should instill authority and give the potential client a feeling of trust. The website also needs to easily convey contact information—in varying formats, email, phone, contact forms, etc. Landing pages are also an important factor—if you are running an ad for a sale on a coffee mug, but the ad just dumps you on a main page, you’re going to navigate away from that product and never look back. Making sure your ads link to the right pages is of huge importance.

Once you have a webpage that will help encourage new business, then you can begin creating and running ads. A lot of businesses opt to hire professional marketing help to manage these ads, which can often save time and create a much stronger and more effective campaign.

However, outsourcing is not an option for all businesses, and both Google and Facebook are aware of that. Both provide excellent training courses, customer support, and tutorials that can help people navigate the process.

In the end, no matter what strategy you adopt, the results you experience with effective digital marketing are hard to ignore. Analytics and tracking capabilities enable you to see results and utilize that data to reach your overall marketing goal. Don’t be overwhelmed, and don’t be afraid—and if you are, contact us today.

3 Ways to Start the New Year Off Right

It’s 2016. As we start to make our New Year’s resolutions (eating healthy, working out), it’s important to make a business-oriented resolution. This is the perfect time to take a step back and analyze how your past year has done, and see where you want this year to take you. Below are three ways to start the New Year off right with your social media management.

Make Goals

Refocus on why you got social media profiles in the first place. Were all your original goals met? What was the objective for getting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+? Think about how you want to expand your profiles and what you want your customers and clients to get out of your profiles. Do you want to get more likes? Reach more people through advertising? Post quality content? Make goals for 2016 and do everything you can to reach them.

Create a Strategy

Now that you have goals set, create a strategy that will help you achieve those goals. Going into a social media campaign blind is dangerous. And your goals will not be met. Focus on your goals and make a plan that will help you achieve your goals. If you strategy isn’t working, it’s okay to fix it and try again. It’s okay if you need to start from scratch and try all over, but create a plan before starting a campaign.

Clean up Your Profiles

It’s the perfect time to go through your social media profiles and check to see if everything is correct: address, phone number, hours, etc. Is there anything on your profile that is inaccurate, doesn’t relate or no longer useful? Clutter makes important messages get lost easily and people skim over junk. Display only useful, quality content on your pages and address all questions, comments and concerns.

6 Commandments for Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is ideal because it’s cheap and easy. But it can also be frustrating when you aren’t seeing results.  You can’t sit back and expect to see your social media platforms changing on their own.  It takes time, patience and a clear marketing strategy to get your customers attention. With so many websites, social media platforms and advertising, it’s hard for your business to stand out from the crowd. What captures your customer’s attention?  What’s going to make them look at your business instead of your competitor?

Get ahead of the social media game by following The 6 Commandments for social media marketing and get your message seen, shared and liked.

Have a Focused Strategy

If you don’t have a clear, focused marketing strategy, everything you do on social media will be a waste. You can’t just post statuses, retweet tweets and share photos hoping that that will be enough. Know what you are going to post and when. Research the best times to post content, and conduct your own study to see what content your customers are interested in.

Grow a Meaningful Audience/Following

Many businesses think it’s important to have a lot of likes. And it is important. But it’s more important to have meaningful likes. 50 likes who are loyal and repeating customers is more beneficial than 200 likes when those customers don’t ever purchase your products or services.

Create Quality Content

Once you have your strategy, make sure you are posting quality content that will be read, liked and shared. If your content isn’t getting read, then what was the point of even posting it?

Listen to your Audience

You’ll be getting reviews and comments throughout your social media platforms. Listen to what they have to say and turn the criticism into making your company a better place for business. See what they like and don’t like about you. See what they are saying about your employees, managers and maybe even you. Take everything into consideration and see what you can learn from your customers.

Acknowledge your Audience

Don’t just listen to them. But acknowledge them as well. Comment back saying you heard them. Answer their questions, respond to comments and reviews and prove that you are a human. That you are on social media to have a two-sided conversation with your audience. That when they reach out you, they will get a human response. That you are not on social media to throw deals, news and information in their face, but that you want to tell them about your business and allow them to talk back.

Accessibility

Now that you are listening and acknowledging your audience, do it in a timely manner. Make yourself accessible to your customers. If they complain about your business, you want to get that under control ASAP! Don’t let it sit on your business page for days before you make a move. Respond quickly and professionally and handle any and all situations how you would want to be treated.

Boost Your Social Media Presence

It’s not enough to just have a social media account – you must make a presence on the various platforms. What’s the point of having a Facebook page if you aren’t going to use it. Social media has made it easier than ever to communicate with customers around the world. Businesses can share deals, sales and general information where customers and clients can communicate back and fully share their experience by writing a review. Below are six ways to boost your social media presence.

Look for Opportunities for Discussion

By engaging with your customers you’re showing that you are a real human. Everybody is sick of automated voice calls or talking to someone overseas. By discussing trending topics, you show your audience that you are aware of the latest buzz and ready to get on board with that conversation. Everybody has an opinion. And it seems at this day in age, that everybody loves to express their opinion on social media sites. Look for those opportunities and grab them.

Communication

Communication is key in any relationship. Listento your audience and understand their needs. Social media is not a way one form of communication. You’re not meant to talk at your audience, but with them.

Produce Good Content

Your audience won’t pay attention to your social media profiles unless you’re producing good, interesting content that pertains to them in some way or another. Experiment to find out what exactly your target audience likes: stories, information, images, video. Besides breaking news topics, keep your content related to your business. Your audience has liked and followed your pages because you have a product or service that they want or need and they are specifically interested in that product. The fasted way to lose followers is by producing content that don’t want or need to see.

Engage with Everyone

It’s as simple as that. Engage with the customers who leave reviews. Engage with the customers who ask questions on your wall. Engage with the customers who tweet about you. Engage with the customers who send you a private message. Engage with everyone and they will communicate back.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags have proven to bring more engagement to tweets and posts. Look for trending hashtags and strike up a discussion on your wall. Create your own brand hashtag and use it consistently.

Give Them a Reason

Give your audience a reason to engage with your business. Provide a benefit so they want to follow you and continue to support your business and social media presence.

If the Wizarding World Had Modern Technology

Purple flowers with dew drops

I just got done reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For all you muggles, that’s the last book. It’s always bitter-sweet finishing that series. I laugh, I cry (a lot) but mostly it makes me long for my Hogwarts letter. I like the simple life of spells and potions and a little adventure towards the end of the school year. There are no cellphones, no internet and no status updates.

Speaking of cell phones, I get this argument a lot: Why doesn’t the Wizarding World have cell phones? Simple. Cell phones were still fairly new. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone takes place in 1991, and the first cell phone was put on the market in 1984, only 7 years before. Sure, cell phones had gotten slightly smaller than the 80’s brick, but it was still big, bulky and hard to carry around. And people didn’t carry around cell phones in the 90’s like they do today. Simply put, there was no need for cell phones (not to mention the main characters were eleven in the first book).

Oh, how different the Wizarding World would be with modern technology.

For starters, owls would simply be pets. There would be no need to send mail if students could call or text their parents from Hogwarts. And what fun would that be? Getting mail is the best!

Molly Weasley wouldn’t have a reason for her clock. Molly’s clock is consisted of multiple hands, each hand representing one of the Weasley family members. The hands show exactly where each member of the family is: Hogwarts, The Ministry, The Burrow, etc. With social media, Molly would know exactly where her children and husband are by their status updates.

Screen shot 2015-10-07 at 2.31.23 PM

Speaking of Facebook statuses, Voldemort would have found Harry a lot sooner. Let’s be honest, some people (teenagers) aren’t the smartest when it comes to social media. They post way too much information on their personal lives, including where they are.

Screen shot 2015-10-07 at 2.47.07 PM

The Daily Prophet would be all online. No need for newspapers with moving portraits, printing is a waste of money when you can post it on the internet for free. Howlers would be useless. The sorting hat wouldn’t be needed when you can check everybody’s social media pages to determine where students should be placed. The list goes on and on. But, Harry Potter wouldn’t be the same if witches and wizards had modern technology. These are the kind of things that make it so magical.
And never forget, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.

Social Media vs a Blind Date

fields with tractor

First dates are a work of art. We’ve all been there, we’ve all experienced the nauseated feeling we get as we wait for the doorbell to ring or experience the (what-seems-like-forever) walk to the door. We’re already dreading something that hasn’t even happened yet. And there’s a 50% chance we might actually have a good time on this particular date. So, why do we feel this way? Maybe it’s that we get so comfortable with what we know, that we are afraid to branch out and try new things. i.e., everybody freaked out when Facebook added the timeline to your personal wall.

“If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” – everybody on my newsfeed after that incident.

So what, Facebook changed in appearance and a little in how we do things? Did it make it better? Eh, that’s debatable. It definitely didn’t make it worse. The point is, Facebook forced us to get out of our comfort zone and try something new. The real question is, how have we coped when new social media sites have come along?

Twitter was an instant success and Instagram took off. So we weren’t afraid of those sites. Google + hasn’t been doing nearly as well as it thought it would and Ello is barely in existence. Some social media sites hit it off and others don’t.

But, why do we like certain sites and not the others? Did we try a “blind date” with all of them and decide which sites we agreed to go steady with? I’ll admit, I’m not that keen on certain ones either. I tried out Twitter, but I haven’t fully committed but Instagram has stolen my heart. One of the problems could have been that Twitter only allows so many characters in one tweet (trust issues). How can you trust something when you may not be getting the full story?!

The whole point of this rant is that maybe we should give all social media platforms a try before dumping them before the relationship starts. Just like a good, old-fashioned blind date, trying a new social media platform is a good thing to do before committing to just one. Try them out, see what you like and don’t like about each platform. And give them time. Sometimes you just flat out need some good quality time alone with each of them to find out what works for you and what doesn’t.

No matter what happens, Facebook will always be there to welcome you back.