How to use Instagram hashtags correctly for effective social media marketing?

Instagram is the next big thing in 2020. The platform is a hot favourite among millennials and Gen Z kids. A recent report by Sprout Social reveals how 64% of Instagram’s user base is between 18-29yrs.

Business holdings are continually trying to capitalize on the traffic generated by Instagram. And hashtags can make or break your social media game.

Adding a hashtag or two to your pictures increases user interaction tenfold. The trick is to use them correctly. Brands which have successfully mastered the art of optimizing hashtags enjoy better visibility and customer engagement.

In fact, social media marketing is so relevant to modern times that most B-schools have also included it as part of their curriculum. Marketing students often get case studies and projects on Instagram marketing strategies.

Business graduates, swamped with deadlines, often each out to professional marketing assignment help services. Let’s find out some more tips and secrets about Instagram hashtags and how it boosts customer engagement.

Need for hashtags

Although Twitter birthed hashtags, it was Instagram that put them on the map. And since then, marketers are losing their sleep over this refreshingly new strategy. But before we get into all that, let me clear a few essential pointers.

What exactly are hashtags? And what purpose do they serve?

Well, hashtags comprise of a word or a phrase accompanied by a hash (#) sign. There are no spaces between the words, although you can capitalize some letters in-between.

These hashtags categorize your content and make it easier for viewers to identify your posts. Hashtags also create better brand engagement, SEO ranking and overall awareness about your product or service.

Hashtags now appear in multiple platforms. You can use them on blog posts, social media updates, Instagram captions, tweets etc. For instance, if you are a movie blogger, then adding cinema-relevant hashtags can give your website a big boost.

Instagram marketing tactics

Before we delve deeper into the multiple facets and perks of hashtags, let us first understand the relevance of Instagram. A basic SWOT analysis of the platform would highlight its key strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, Instagram has a user-friendly interface. It is intuitive, eye-catching and has an extensive database. However, brands need to be at the top of their game if they want people to find them.

As per a recent report by Forbes, Instagram has some great revenue-generation tools. About 80% of the accounts follow at least one business page. It contributes to a brand’s web presence, increases SEO ranking and helps people connect with influencers.

Relevancy and placement

Hashtags are useful only when they are used correctly. You cannot merely add random words with hashtags and expect to trend overnight. There are specific words, terms and phrases that are already trending on social media.

Also, these words and key phrases must be relevant to your line of business. For instance, if your brand belongs to the organic fashion sector, then hashtags like #OOTD, #natural, #organic etc. works well.

Conduct thorough market research. Know about your customers and their changing preferences. Also, keep an eye out on your peers. Analyze the kind of hashtags they’re putting up and the responses it generates.

Specificity and uniqueness

Hashtags double the scope of user engagement, putting you at the top of the game. But this is not an instantaneous process. New brands and business holdings need to find their voice, their niche, their USP in order to create unique content about your brand on social media. In order to grow your brand, it is important that you diversify your content across all social media platforms. Creating user generated content is also a very natural and yeilding method to create unique content for your brand.

Hashtags can be excellent marketing tools, and they set you apart from others. Develop hashtags that are catchy, chic and easy to remember.

A catchphrase, your brand name, an ad-line- anything can be a hashtag. Note that hashtags are not full-fledged sentences.

I would recommend readers to keep their hashtags small, compact and to the point. This is because hashtags don’t have spaces in-between. Long words and phrases become incomprehensible and difficult to decode.

Capitalize on existing hashtags

There are multiple hashtags on Instagram that already enjoy a large following. If your marketing team cannot come up with new hashtags, capitalize on the existing ones.

For this, you need insights on what your customers are searching for these days. These hashtags can crop up on a variety of topics.

Read up on current political, social, economic events, celebrity weddings, new releases, updates in the tech industry etc. And if you find a trending hashtag, try to incorporate it in your post as organically as possible.

Remember, there must always be a direct or visible connection between your post and the hashtag used. It makes it easier for Instagram to gauge your content and categorize it.

Research on the right set of hashtags

Hashtags add value to your brand, provided your content is readable and relevant enough. There is no point in adding great hashtags to your posts if they are of no expected value.

 Users tend to gravitate towards posts that enhance their experience and cater to their interests. The quality of your posts and the hashtags you use are interdependent to each other.

Merely having good content gets you nowhere unless you back it up with creative, trending hashtags. It also helps to learn how you can fund your instagram campaign while you are busy promoting it.

Similarly, a right hashtag is of no use unless added on to a great post. A smart combination of both these elements is what you need for a better SEO rank.

Don’t overdo it 

This is something I cannot stress upon enough. Too much of a good thing can turn bad for your business. And when it comes to social media marketing, balance is the key.

Don’t stuff your posts with multiple hashtags. It would only confuse the algorithm and irritate your viewers.

Instead, place a few unique, relevant, authentic and trending hashtags strategically for maximum impact. Learning from Hubspot blogs is a great way to learn more about social media marketing and this guide on instagram hashtags is why they are so highly spoken of in the marketing community. There are multiple platforms where you can find trending hashtags online. Check the SEO score of these tags before adding them to your content. On average I’d recommend you use 2-4 hashtags per post, not more.

The future of hashtag marketing

Hashtags are a crucial addition to any social media post. What’s more, you can add hashtags to pretty much every social media network.

Recently, even Facebook and LinkedIn are accepting hashtags with their captions. Facebook, in particular has some creative marketing  gimmicks up its sleeve that completely changes the face of hashtag marketing

As a growing brand, it is essential to keep up with these trends. Evaluate and collaborate with influencers, learn more about your market and use tools to check the visibility of the hashtags you use.

Instagram recently launched a new feature where users can follow trending hashtags and view all the posts tagged under it. It is an excellent initiative for business accounts to boost their reach and engage more customers.

Although, ensure that your content meets the community guidelines laid down by the platform. Failing to do so might get your post deleted or worse reported for abuse.

The bottom line

Everyone wants to project a filtered, picture-perfect version of their life on social media. Social media networks are a medium of self-expression and advertisement.

These platforms give us the space to share our experiences with the world. It can be something as trivial as posting a selfie or a serious post discussing the political issues of your nation.

And with more and more people joining the social media bandwagon, it has become a thriving marketplace for brands.

Author’s Bio 

Author Bio: As a technology enthusiast, Bella contributes to open-source projects. She is the co-founder at Top My Grades and delivers online marketing sessions at online tutoring platforms like Expert Assignment Help & Assignment Essay Help helping students with writing essays and assignments. Beyond work, you can find her gardening in her backyard accompanied by her dogs – Birch & Bailey.

The Top 5 Online Media Resources for Writers, Bloggers, and Entrepreneurs

Whoever said the best things in life are free was onto something. That’s because the amazing power of the internet has brought out all sorts of great research tools. Whether you’re writing a book, researching a college paper, working on a business presentation, creating relevant posts for your blog, or doing market analysis for a product you’ve invented, the internet is the place to be. Here’s a roundup of the top five resources you can use to learn, study, earn, compete, and publish, without leaving the comfort of your home.

Local Libraries

If encyclopedias are your cup of tea, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars for a subscription to the latest versions of these data-rich text collections. Instead, simply sign up for a local library card and you’ll be able to gain access to the top encyclopedias via the library’s very own research portal.

Big Search Engines

Don’t neglect the major search engines when you find a need for specialized information. There used to be just one or two players in this market niche, but today there are plenty of excellent search engines that allow for advanced search capabilities so you can really dig in on a particular topic. Authors and entrepreneurs no longer have to spend long days and evenings at the local library when they can find most of their raw data via a standard search engine query.

Academic Hubs

Dozens of major U.S. universities and colleges open up their academic libraries to anyone who is willing to take the time to register. If you have a need for specialized academic papers on subjects ranging from science to music theory, these vast libraries and data banks can deliver exactly what you need to round out a business presentation, book, school report, or marketing analysis report.

Private Websites for Essential Tasks

Want to apply for a student loan, get your medical marijuana card online, renew your driver’s license, learn about research grants, or find bartering opportunities for your company? You can do all that and more on private companies’ websites. These facilitators tend to act as experts at helping you cut through red tape and take the drudgery out of otherwise complex tasks. They earn their keep by saving consumers and taxpayers time and money. If you’ve ever stood in line at the local DMV, you know the value of doing things online, through a third party, rather than in person with a state agency. Nowadays, you can even apply for a medical marijuana card and can usually buy cannabis the same day in most jurisdictions. If you’re in business for yourself, these are private information resources you can’t afford to neglect.

Free E-Book Libraries

One of the newer educational treasure troves of information out there includes the world of e-books. Don’t waste your time with anything but the free download sites, and be careful not to pay any membership fees. All the good e-book stores offer their wares for free. You can search by subject area and proceed to download dozens of books, of varying quality, on whatever it is that interests you.

CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS TEAMS UP WITH HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE FOR “THE ULTIMATE STAY AT HOME PRIZE PACK”

PRIZE PACK FEATURES CENTURY MEDIA CDS, HEAVY METAL MAGAZINES, IRON MAIDEN COMICS, T-SHIRTS, AND MORE

Century Media Records announces partnership with Heavy Metal Magazine. To celebrate, both companies have teamed up for “The Ultimate Stay At Home Prize Pack”, which starts today, May 11th and ends on Friday, May 15th. Each prize pack will include 1 Heavy Metal t-shirt, 1 Century Media Blue Horns t-shirt, 1 3TEETH Face Mask, 5 issues of Heavy Metal Magazine, 5 issues of Iron Maiden‘s Legacy of the Beast comics, and 10 select Century Media CD’s from your favorite artists such as Napalm DeathBody Count, Lacuna Coil, Sons Of Apollo, Mayhem, Beneath The Massacre, Entombed A.D., Iced Earth, and Unearth. There will be one winner per day. No purchase necessary. Fans can enter for a chance to win HERE.

ABOUT CENTURY MEDIA Since 1988, Century Media Records has been a force within the hard rock and metal market. With a worldwide legacy that has launched the careers of artists as lauded as In This Moment and Lacuna Coil, as well as genre trailblazers including Suicide Silence and Shadows Fall, the German-founded Century Media Records is continuing its third decade in the music business with the same sense of volume and vision it was founded on. The label continues to dominate the genre by delivering epic releases by trailblazing artists such as Body Count, Mayhem, Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, Iced Earth, Napalm Death, Queensryche, Triptykon, and more.

ABOUT HEAVY METAL First published in 1977, Heavy Metal, the world’s foremost illustrated fantasy magazine, explores fantastic and surrealistic worlds, alternate realities, science-fiction and horror in the past, present, and future. Writers and illustrators from around the world take you to places you never dreamed existed. Heavy Metal was the first magazine to bring European legends Moebius, Tanino Liberatore, Philippe Druillet, Enki Bilal, Pepe Moreno and Philippe Caza to the U.S. as well as showcasing American superstars Richard Corben, Jim Steranko and Bernie Wrightson. The magazine continues to showcase amazing new talent as well as allow established creators to have “carte blanche.” Heavy Metal magazine is now published six times per year. Most issues feature one or two serialized graphic novels, several short stories, and two artist galleries. Recent creators have featured Grant Morrison, Stephen King, Bart Sears, Tim Seeley and Kevin Eastman. With new CEO Matt Medney and newly appointed Publisher and Chief Creative Overlord, David Erwin, at the helm, Heavy Metal promises to continue Heavy Metal’s legacy, as the leader in cutting-edge science fiction, fantasy, and horror storytelling.

How Technology and Media are Influence on Learning Process

Doubtless, technology is changing the modern world every day. New devices and tech innovations simplify the learning process. In this article, we will review how advanced technology and social media affecting education.

Technology and Media Impact

For sure, the worldwide Internet access, e-learning resources, and smartphones are usual for modern students. However, a few decades ago, the educational process was completely different. Let’s check the learning innovations and how they help students to study.

Access to Learning Resources

The 21st century brings us the unmetered access to the Internet that foresees the ability to collect billions of books! All that you need is a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. By using any of these devices, you can download as many books as you want. Consequently, there is no need to spend your time in a local public library as a few decades ago. That’s a fantastic improvement! 

Also, there are a lot of online platforms that foresees the ability to become a tutor. Therefore, a student can find a mentor on the Internet and get the required skills sitting on a couch. Nowadays, all the knowledge is accessible as never before. 

Can I pay to do my homework? Yes, and it’s easy! Just place an order at an online paper writing platform and get a high-quality assignment on the next day! 

Increased Engagement

It’s a fact that education becomes very interesting with the help of electronic devices and TV shows. For starters, if a particular institution doesn’t have specific facilities to show an experiment, professors can use videos from the Internet. 

Furthermore, the augmented reality technology helps to boost students’ engagement. It is thrilling to learn more about animals and insects by looking at them through a tablet or smartphone. Modern technology helps to show how a car engine works without a physical model. Also, math classes become more exciting when students can see animated graphics that are based on their calculations.    

Social Media and Learning

Nowadays, social credibility has a significant meaning. The LinkedIn platform is a great example! Since all recruiters and job-seekers use it to connect, students always try to enlarge their connections and supplement their personal profiles with the most relevant information to get a great job. 

In a few words, it motivates learners to participate in different public events and acquire additional education courses. 

Self-Education

There is no need to attend physical classes anymore. A student can get all the required skills by using a laptop. 

Live conferences, video-lessons, and online tests are typical for modern students. Moreover, most of the web-classes are free for everyone. It makes education available for everyone who doesn’t have enough time or money to get a university diploma. 

Instant Communication

For sure, it’s impossible to get knowledge without communication. Hopefully, the Internet erases any distances at all. If you have a question or want to share your thought with someone, just compose a message and click on the send button. 

Can it help it if I need help with my science homework? Definitely! Use the Internet to contact a person who can assist you online and write your assignment no effort. It’s fast and easy! 

Wrap Up

Technology and media have a significant impact on modern education. It helps to engage students in classes and motivate them to study. Also, I have to highlight the fact that students can access all the world’s information for free. In the end, education becomes more inspiring and engaging.

Media Mikes Awards in the Mail

Due to the current situation in the world it took some time for the 2019 Media Mikes award certificates to be printed but they are now on their way to the winners.

Last year the readers and staff of Media Mikes awarded certificates to such films as “1917,” “Joker,” “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” and “Parasite.”

Congratulations again to all of our winners!

Time to Help Choose the Winners of the 2019 Media Mikes Awards

Award season is in full bloom and once again it’s time for the readers of Media Mikes to vote for their film favorites for the 2019 Media Mikes Awards.

Last year over 3,000 readers submitted their choices in the following categories:

  • BEST PICTURE
  • BEST DIRECTOR
  • BEST ACTOR
  • BEST ACTRESS
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
  • BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Members of the Media Mikes staff will vote on the following categories:

  • BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
  • BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
  • BEST MUSICAL SCORE
  • BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Votes can be submitted either through our Facebook page or by email. Emails can be sent to MikeS@Mediamikes.com Votes can be submitted through February 5, 2020, with the winners announced on Friday, February 7th.

Random voters will be chosen to receive some great 2019 movie swag!

How to Set Up a Media Center at Home

In 2007, one of the best televisions you could buy was the Pioneer Kuro. The 50-inch model cost $6,000 at the time. Fast forward a little more than a decade, and you can now buy a 4k 50-in Smart TV for between $150-$300 depending on brand and features. And it’s not just TVs, but accessories like home theater systems, streaming packages, and more that’s made it cheaper than ever to create your perfect home media system.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be streaming your favorite content in no time.

Before You Begin: Make Your Media List

The most crucial step is deciding what content you want to stream. More people than ever are cutting the cord and ditching the dish in favor of streaming platforms. There are plenty of them available. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ — you know the drill. Thus, you need to decide which option fits your needs. That is if you don’t want to break your wallet and subscribe to them all.

Use the questions below to help you determine what options you need.

  • Do you watch sports?
  • Do you need live TV?
  • Do you have children?
  • Do you want a local TV?
  • Do you want premium channels like HBO or Showtime?
  • Do you mainly watch series or movies?
  • Do you want multi-device access?
  • Do you want extra screens in the bedrooms and other rooms?

Keep an eye out for deals as well. For example, if you use Amazon Prime for buying things online, you already have access to Prime Video and Prime Music. Likewise, cell phone carriers, broadband companies, and other providers add incentives like free Netflix and Apple Music with contracts along with other deals.

Finally, it’s hard to believe, but many people are going back to TV antennas. You can buy a digital antenna and get 20-40 free channels, depending on where you live. 

Home Media Center: Essential Components

The best home media centers have a simple setup. Despite so, you’ll need plenty of space and a loft conversion could be a good idea to make this happen; just factor in the cost of Loft Conversion should this be one of your considerations. You should be able to start streaming your favorite content in a few seconds. Here are the main things you’ll need.

1) Large Screen TV (Smart Functionality Optional)

You can’t have a media center without a good TV. Nowadays, smart TVs are everywhere, but anyone who has ever used them has noticed that they’re not very smart. You can use other devices to add some brainpower to your home media setup.

Focus on picture quality instead. Find the right combination of picture quality and size that matches your budget. Make sure it has enough HDMI and other outputs to support surround sound.

2) Choose Your Home Media Center Base

There’s no shortage of products on the market that can serve as your home media base. From Google’s Chromecast to the Amazon Firestick and Apple TV, you can add fantastic functionality to any TV with an HDMI port.

These products have overlapping features, so if you buy an Apple TV, you don’t need a Chromecast. Choose the one you find the easiest to use. These are all streamlined options with medium functionality.

Some people instead use a laptop or a computer as their media server. It has advantages of desktop functionality to run all types of media files you download to your computer. It’s also cheaper since you’ll be able to hook up any computer to your TV HDMI port. And software for media centers is often free and open-source, too — for example, Kodi or Jellyfin.

Plus, you don’t even have to sacrifice having a remote. You can use apps like Google Remote Desktop to control your computer from your phone.

3) Don’t Forget About The Sound

If you’ve invested this much into your home media setup, you can’t forget about the sound. It’s what really makes the experience. What’s the point of a giant 4K TV if you’re using a tiny internal speaker while watching Star Wars?

Sound systems have gotten better than ever. And, you can forget about wires running across your floors — everything’s wireless.

Your main challenge will be deciding between soundbars and speakers. Soundbars are easier to set up while speakers provide better sound. You can read all the online reviews you want, but you’re better off going to your local electronics store so you can hear the differences in person.

Harness the Power of Your Home Media Center

Now your setup is complete. You may consider adding a few more peripherals. You should download some remote control apps so you can do everything on your phone. Likewise, you may want to invest in a couple of Chromecasts to extend content into other rooms of your house. These are particularly helpful for older TVs and are less expensive than Apple TVs while still being quite functional.

Now that you have your streaming platforms ready, you can unlock even more content with a VPN. When you use a VPN for Mac, Windows, or mobile, you can access content from around the world. Netflix is one great example. It has tons of American TV classics like Suits, Brooklyn 99, and Archer only available outside the US. Likewise, it has tons of content you can only find in the US version. With a VPN, you can switch between Netflix regions to get everything you want. 

MEET THE NEW GUY – Media Mikes welcomes writer Michael D. Smith

It is with great pride that we at Media Mikes are able to introduce you to our new film reviewer/writer:  Michael D. Smith.

Michael began his film critic path by writing movie reviews for his college newspaper for a couple years. After graduation, he wrote reviews for his hometown paper in Harrisonville, Missouri for six years before becoming the Arts & Entertainment editor and film critic at a publication in Overland Park, Kansas. a position he held for three years.

Our newest “Mike” – Michael D. Smith

In 2009 was offered an opportunity at KCMETROPOLIS.ORG where he predominately covered independent/art house films.   He will now cover them for Media Mikes as well as contributing commentary when the mood takes him.

Michael is a long-standing member of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest film critic group in America.

You can find his first review for Media Mikes, of the film “Mountain,” HERE

“GET OUT” chosen the Best Film of 2017 by Media Mikes readers.

After tabulating the votes from more than 3,000 entries, “Get Out,” writer/director Jordan Peele’s debut feature, was chosen the Best Film of 2017 by the readers and staff of Media Mikes.   The film also nabbed Peele the award for Best Original Screenplay.

 

Director Guillermo del Toro was chosen the year’s Best Director for his film “The Shape of Water.”       

 

In the acting categories, James Franco was selected as Best Actor for his role in “The Disaster Artist” while Frances McDormand was chosen Best Actress for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the supporting categories, Sam Rockwell was named Best Supporting Actor for “Three Billboards” while Allison Janney was named Best Supporting Actress for “I, Tonya.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Coco” was chosen the year’s Best Animated Feature.

 

“Call Me By Your Name” was recognized for it’s Best Adapted  Screenplay.  Benjamin Wallfisch was named Composer of the Year for his work on “IT” and “Bladerunner 2049.”

Pick the Winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards and Win Some Swag!

Hello 2018.  Which means it’s time to say goodbye to the films and performances we loved in 2017.  And once again, the readers of MediaMikes.com will have the opportunity to choose the winners of the 2017 Media Mikes Awards.

All you have to do is let us know your pick as the Best in each of the following categories:  Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Animated Feature.  You can leave your nominees in the comments below or send them HERE

All nominations will be totaled up and the winners announced on Monday, February 12th.  (5) random entries, either on this post or via email, will be selected and will receive a selection of 2017 movie swag.  Balloting runs through 6:00 pm CST on Sunday, February 11, 2017.  Thanks for voting!

Media Mikes staff picks the Best and Worst Films of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close it’s time our film critics look back on the movies they enjoyed and the ones they didn’t.  Enjoy!

 

Mike Smith –  You must remember, it takes a lot for me to dislike a film – if it’s in focus I’ll give it a “star” – so the few on my list are, as Joseph Bologna said in MY FAVORITE YEAR, “Stinkburgers!”  Happy New Year.

 

THE BEST

1.  ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD – I was a teenager when John Paul Getty III was kidnapped and I was intrigued about the case then as much as I am now.  For those of you who may have been out of the loop, director Ridley Scott had already finished this film, with Kevin Spacey appearing as billionaire/grandfather John Paul Getty, when news of Spacey’s “issues” came   out.  Rather than have his film judged, unfairly in my opinion, with it’s association with the disgraced actor, Scott was able to gather his cast and crew together in late November and re-shot all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer now playing the part.  That he was able to do this and complete a flawless edit in a month is worthy of an award just on that achievement alone.  I wonder if Plummer will thank Spacey in his Oscar acceptance speech?

2.   GET OUT – I was late to the table in seeing this (thank you Academy screeners).  Writer/director Jordan Peele gives us not only one of the most original horror films ever created, but also uses his art to make us all sit back and recognize the world we are living in.

3.  THE POST – Tom Hanks.  Meryl Streep.  And the master director, Steven Spielberg.  Put them together with a story that was actually taken from the headlines and you’ll get a lesson not only in first-rate film making but in how this government is supposed to run.  Will make an amazing part of a double feature with ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN.

4.  THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI – A first rate story backed by powerhouse acting, if this film doesn’t bring Sam Rockwell his first Academy Award nomination then the fix is in.  Extra points for it’s make-up work, created by the drummer of my garage band in high school , Corey Castellano.

5.  SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING –  Yes, there have been some great superhero films the past few years, but THIS was the Spider-man we’ve all been waiting for.  Instead of the polished young man/junior photographer, we get a nervous, anxious teenager still trying to understand his gift.  Extra points for making Aunt May a hottie.

6.  IN DUBIOUS BATTLE – The first film on my list to star and be directed by James Franco, this adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel features amazing performances from a cast lead by Franco and Vincent D’Onofrio.

7.  THE SHAPE OF WATER – Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, proving that love can exist anywhere.  Sally Hawkin’s wordless performance is heartbreaking.

8.   THE DISASTER ARTIST – Film number two from Mr. Franco and company.  A behind the scenes look at the making of a film that ranks as one of the most unusual off all time.

9.   STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI – I don’t understand all of the backlash this film is taking.  Writer/director Rian Johnson has taken the galaxy on a new direction and I have no doubt that J.J. Abrams will bring this final trilogy to a satisfactory conclusion.  If you don’t tear up when Luke Skywalker and Princess/General Leia embrace than you’ve obviously gone over to the Dark Side.

10.  IT –  If you read my review, you know I FRICKIN HATE CLOWNS!  That being said, this is the film that kept me up nights long after I first saw it.

 

THE WORST

BEFORE I FALL – Good lord, what a piece of junk!  Imagine if you will the worse movie ever made involving the supernatural and GROUNDHOG’S DAY.  Now multiple that by 100.  A young girl keeps dying, then coming back, only to die again.  After the third time I was silently praying that the next one to die would be me.  Note to the filmmakers – Valentine’s Day is on February 14th, not the 13th.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US –  This came out a few weeks before BEFORE I FALL, and the latter was so much worse that I found myself apologizing to it on my Podcast.  A woman gives birth to a baby while in space.  For some reason, this makes him as vulnerable to the world as Sam Jackson was in UNBREAKABLE.  Now a teenager, the youngster comes to Earth to meet his on-line gal-pal and find his father – whose identity is obvious 10 minutes into the film.

FIST FIGHT – How in the world can you make Charlie Day UN-funny?  This film has three credited writers, none of whom apparently have never heard of comedy.  Shame on you.  Charlie deserved better.

 

Mike Gencarelli

 

BEST

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Music was amazing, especially the new songs. Emma Watson was amazing. Overall perfect!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – VOL 2 – Nearly perfect. Love everything about this film. Drax steals the show!

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE – I’ve seen this film probably 25 times already and it only gets better and better with each viewing. So much is packed in here and is super funny and yet still heart filled.

GET OUT – Funniest movie I’ve seen all year (according to the Golden Globes assholes). It is really a creepy mind fuck that does not get out of your head.

IT – Expectations were HUGE and they were destroyed! Great scares. Finally a GOOD Stephen King adaptation

BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Gorgeous, slow moving yet full of detail and deeper meanings. Perfect sequel.

THOR: RAGNOROK – Absolutely insanely funny, easily one of the top Marvel films to date.

COCO – Great songs and a real family message, which I loved.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI – No explanation needed.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN – Music is outstanding. This movie makes me so happy.

 

 

 

WORST

RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER

RINGS

GOESTORM

ALIEN: COVENANT

BAYWATCH

THE DARK TOWER

THE EMOJI MOVIE

TRANSFORMER: THE LAST KNIGHT

POWER RANGERS

THE GREAT WALL

 

 

Lauren Damon – Lauren will share her reasons behind her choices later this week in a separate article.

 

BEST

 

  1. THOR: RAGNAROK
  2. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
  3. I, TONYA
  4. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
  5. IT

 

WORST

 

MOTHER!

 

 

Jeremy Werner – I didn’t rank my top movies of the year because I felt like anyone of these movies could be my favorite on the year. That’s how good 2017 has been to us cinephiles.

 

Top 5 in No Particular Order:

 

BABY DRIVER –  With Edgar Wright in the driver’s seat, nearly every little thing about “Baby Driver” is perfect, from the action sequences, the dialogue callbacks, and the perfect harmony between soundtrack and cinematography. One of the most accessible and fun movies of the year.

 

 

GET OUT – Jordan Peele’s satirical horror has already cemented the first time director in the annals of horror movie history. From the first to final frame, “Get Out” meticulously weaves a thrilling horror,that not only scares, but masterfully comments on 21st century racism.

 

DETROIT –  On that same note, “Detroit” gives a history lesson on America’s racism. Unlike “Get Out,” Kathryn Bigelow couldn’t tinker much with reality. Out of everything I’ve watched on the year, “Detroit” was the most visceral as it unrelentingly forces viewers to live through a horrific and tragic ordeal.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBINGS, MISSOURI – This may be writer and director Martin McDonagh’s best work, thanks to an outstanding ensemble cast, led by Frances McDormand. The film is a puree of heart-wrenching drama, side splitting comedy, and a mixed message about how morality is never black and white.

THE FLORIDA PROJECT – Some in modern America don’t have a home, or even an apartment, to retreat to at the end of the day. Those lower class families, sometimes with unemployed and/or single parents, scrounge for pennies to pay to live at rundown motels in the shadow of America’s corporate greed. “The Florida Project” is about those people and at times it’s oddly beautiful.

 

Movies on the Outside Looking In:

 

BLADE RUNNER 2049

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES

GOOD TIME

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

 

Movies You Should Never See That Were Unfortunately Released in the Same Year as the Above Movies:

 

A DOG’S PURPOSE – Mixing reincarnation with a Christian message is confusing, but at its core I believe this film attempts to preach a misguided and dangerous message about humanity’s power and even God’s power over animals. If you’re a dog lover, donate to a local animal shelter instead of buying this dog turd of a movie.

 

BAYWATCH – So it IS possible for the Rock to make a genuinely terrible film?  Lacking in any heart, fun or laughs, this comedy reboot tries to follow in the footsteps of “21 Jump Street,” but instead trips and falls flat. A TV show about hunky beach detectives shouldn’t be that hard to make fun of.

 

CHIPS – Speaking of reboots, here’s one that should have been left behind at the pitch meeting. Dax Shepard, who I’m sure is a wonderful outstanding guy, continues to find funding for his terrible movies. Dax, maybe the things you liked as a kid should remain a fond memory.

 

HOME AGAIN – I’m not the target audience for this film, but I’m also not sure who is. It plays out like a weak sitcom before the predictable ending that wraps up every problem with a neat bow tie. I felt like I was watching a “Lifetime” original TV show lacking any creative effort.

 

POWER RANGERS – I am the target audience for this and I found myself bored. I’m not sure why the Power Rangers needed a gritty reboot, complete with forced subliminal advertising, but I would have been fine with it if it had attempted any character development or compelling storytelling.

 

Other movies that should be forgotten about forever and never mentioned again: THE MUMMY, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD and XX.

 

 

Loey Lockerby

 

BEST

 

GET OUT

THE DISASTER ARTIST

THE BIG SICK

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

DOWNSIZING

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

BLADE RUNNER 2049

DUNKIRK

STAR WARS:  THE LAST JEDI

LOGAN

WORST

WISH UPON

THE MUMMY

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD

SUBURBICON

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS

 

 

The Increasing Role Of Social Media In The World Of Online Casinos

Whether the business is big or small, social media networks can play a huge role in helping them develop. This is thanks to them being excellent for attracting new customers, keeping existing customers entertained and informed, marketing new products and services and providing the vital link between a business and its customer base. With billions of people regularly using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, it’s no surprise businesses such as online casino brands are taking advantage of what social media has to offer.

For a start, engaging with customers these days is huge, especially on platforms such as Facebook. People who visit online casino sites they want to feel appreciated and not only that but they want the services on offer to be kept updated with fresh content. Through social media, it’s remarkably easy to inform customers and potential customers of the latest games, services and promotions on offer. Social media also allows reactions to be gauged accurately too through the use of likes and comments; which is invaluable to any successful service. It’s the ideal link between customers, both new and existing, and the business.

So apart from social media being great for marketing purposes it’s also a great way to actually get to know the customers too. When an online casino operator knows what a large part of their fan base wants from a slot game for example, they can set about ensuring that it accurately reflects their tastes as much as possible. It reduces a lot of risk involved when bringing fresh content to the table. Knowing what somebody likes beforehand is a great advantage and social media can help make this possible.

Keeping customers happy and interested is vital in the success of any business, be it online or offline. Online casinos, Unibet being a perfect example, are renowned for having promotions on for both new and existing customers and what better way to get the message out there than through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? It won’t just be members who take note either as special offers such as a triple deposit bonus will spread like wildfire on social media from person to person remarkably quickly.

Social media also allows for promotions, special offers and information to be presented to people in much more engaging ways through images and videos. Online casinos often utilize these methods well in order to communicate directly to people and as they will also attract more feedback than a generic Facebook post for example, they’re great tools to ascertain what customers like and dislike.

The role of social media has never been more important, especially for highly competitive businesses, as per seen in the online casino industry. It’s vital that customers are kept happy and are regularly engaged in the right ways and the likes of Facebook and Twitter make this a whole lot easier. With social media also being a hub for accurate feedback on the latest services and products, it’s a crucial tool when it comes to delivering the fresh content that people want and need.

Get Your Vote in For The 2016 Media Mikes Awards and Win Some Great Swag

2016 is coming to a close and you know what that means. It’s time to vote for the 4th Annual Media Mikes Awards. Once again you, the readers, help choose our winners in six categories, with the staff of Media Mikes deciding on others. And, once again, (10) lucky entrants will be randomly chosen to win some great swag.

All you have to do is pick your favorites in the following categories: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Animated Feature. When you have your choices, just email them to MikeS@Mediamikes.com That’s all there is to it. Last year over 3,000 readers submitted their choices.

The voting period runs through Sunday, January 8th, with the winners being announced on January 15th.

Good luck!

Get Your Vote in For The 2015 Media Mikes Awards and Win a 2015 Movie Prize Package

2015 is almost over and once again it’s up to our staff and readers to decide who did it best in the world of film this year. And, once again, (10) lucky readers will win a nice selection of movie swag – T-shirts, DVDs, CDs, whatever we have in closet. This year readers can send in nominations for the following: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Animated Feature. Other awards will be decided by the staff of MediaMikes.com.

All you have to do is list your choices below. Or, if you prefer, you can send them to MikeS@mediamikes.com. One nominee per category, please. Voting ends on Sunday, January 3, with the winners announced on Monday, January 11. Good luck!

“Birdman” Dominates 2014 Media Mikes Awards

After two weeks of email and on-line submissions by the staff and readers of Media Mikes.com the winners of the 3rd Annual Media Mikes Awards have been announced.

“Birdman” led all films with four awards, including (2) for director and co-writer Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” was chosen as the Best Film of the Year. Michael Keaton edged out Jake Gyllenhaal to win the Best Actor Award for his work in “Birdman” while Reese Witherspoon out-dueled Julianne Moore to take the Best Actress prize for “Wild.” Another tight battle saw “Big Hero 6” narrowly out-point “The Lego Movie” for the year’s Best Animated Feature.

In the supporting categories, the races were not even close, with Mark Ruffalo running away with the Best Supporting Actor prize for his work in “Foxcatcher” and Emma Stone doing the same in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “Birdman.”

In awards voted on by the staff, “Birdman” took home the Best Original Screenplay Award while “The Imitation Game” was honored as the year’s Best Adapted Screenplay. “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me” was chosen the year’s Best Documentary Feature. Composer Alexandre Desplat won the Best Original Score Award for his work on “The Imitation Game.”

THE COMPLETE LIST OF WINNERS:

BEST FILM – “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

BEST DIRECTOR – Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu – “Birdman”

BEST ACTOR – Michael Keaton – “Birdman”

BEST ACTRESS – Reese Witherspoon – “Wild”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Mark Ruffalo – “Foxcatcher”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Emma Stone – “Birdman”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – “Big Hero 6”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolas Giocabone and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu – “Birdman”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Graham Moore – “The Imitation Game”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”

BEST ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SCORE- Alexandre Desplat – “The Imitation Game”