Shadow and Bone: Social Media Marketing Done Right

image credit: Seventeen on YouTube

As a huge fan of the series Shadow and Bone, fixating on the recently released second season has been taking up a lot of my time. The books that they are based on are highly beloved by not only myself but thousands of others, and thus this already generated buzz from the beginning. And when there’s this preconceived anticipation going into something like book-to-screen adaptations, it can be a hard thing to manage. Fans have a certain level of expectation and there’s almost this sense of vulnerability in letting people take the reins of these characters and storylines that resonate so deeply with existing fans that there is a sort of protectiveness over as a result, when it comes to doing them justice. Navigating this is no easy feat and yet the entire team behind this show has done it with such grace. I could gush about the specifics of this within the show itself for ages, but their social media marketing has also felt noticeably gripping, putting on an authentic showcase that really serves to elevate the elements fans are looking to get from this series. They seem to have nailed it in a way other shows have struggled to do and two recent videos ( and I watched that took a more in-depth look at this got me inspired to talk about it as well.

image credit: @shadowandbone on Instagram

I think a big part of why the marketing and the press tour surrounding this release has felt so organic and that much more “real” and appealing, is simply because it is. This TikTok posted by one of the cast members and the caption accompanying it, is just one example in proof of this. But whether you believe it to be real or fabricated, this element plays undeniably well into what the story they’re trying to tell is all about. A cornerstone of this series, and something that is a well-loved talking point among fans is the aspect of “found family.” These people, who are thrust together by their circumstances and in the process end up coming to develop this profound love and care for each other, a second family. It seems the cast themselves, in coming together to bring this show to life, have done the same. There is an inarguable sense of chemistry between the castmates, and this is something that the marketing team has really allowed to shine in the promotion of this season. And, despite the fact that there were new major characters added this season and thus cast members who hadn’t been a part of the group quite as long, you’d never be able to tell this looking at behind the scenes footage and interviews. This also aids the less serious, more human side of things people are looking for from the content they consume these days. Celebrities have been made to feel more accessible than ever before through social media and by showing the more lighthearted, “what’s going on in between takes?” side of things, particularly in a show that deals a lot with darker, heavier, subject matter, people are able to better relate to and feel a deeper sense of connection to the production.

Here’s some of the aforementioned behind-the-scenes photos:

all images belong to @shadowandbone on Instagram

Building on the previous point of cast chemistry, something that’s stood out pretty significantly to me is the nature of the press junkets the cast has been doing. Firstly, the format of interviews they’ve leaned into is highly effective. When I typically watch interviews for TV shows and movies, the best ones are almost always the ones where the cast themselves are given sole control of the interview. When a moderator or interviewer is introduced, there seems to be a greater sense of awkwardness and just general reservation that isn’t there when it’s the cast alone. This makes sense of course, as the cast is already well-acquainted with each other and so there is a greater sense of comfort and lessened sense of inhibition. This is where a lot of that authenticity comes in, as you get the sense that this is what their time together might look like on a day-to-day basis, with call-backs to past memories together, and even inside jokes referenced. It really drives home the point that this cast has immense chemistry with one another. Another big thing is the topics of these interviews. They’re making sure to do a lot of upbeat, fun prompts, with things like “try not to laugh”, “who knows who best”, “guess the emoji”, reading thirst Tweets, and more. These scenarios readily open the door for them to just have a good time and be silly from the get-go, again giving fans a greater sense of the personality behind the screen and deepening the impression of the bond between castmates.

The third thing that they’ve done a great job of, both on the cast’s part and the social media team’s part, is knowing and listening to their audience. Again, because there is already a whole series of books telling this story, fans want to feel like the actors portraying their favourite characters know what their characters are all about. This is especially important in this scenario due to the very intricately woven plotlines and serious topics that, despite being set in a fantasy world, are all too real for many fans on even some level. Luckily, this is another topic that the cast has heavily focused on during press. Cleverly, the Netflix has released several videos of the actors watching and commenting on select significant scenes for their characters across their social media platforms. In hearing these discussions, it is clear these actors have done their research. They have a deep grasp of the nuances of their characters beyond what has been touched upon on screen, making it clear that they have read the books, and diligently at that. Again, as a huge fan, I can vouch for this. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out the comments from other fans under this video. On this note, the social media accounts for the series as well have been very perceptive to what fans want and posting as such. And again, have a good grasp of the characters and the books and have spun this knowledge into engagement with their audience. They even had a popular content creator who has taken on this sort of role of spokesperson for fans of the series to host the official premiere of the show, flying her out to Los Angeles and having her do a social media takeover on the official Shadow and Bone Instagram account. And again, the people running the social media also know not to take themselves to seriously, participating in the “fangirling” for lack of a better word, that is constantly going on.

The following is a list of just recent Tweets and posts Retweeted by the official Shadow and Bone Twitter as examples:

All in all, it’s clear that the Shadow and Bone marketing team knows how to set things up for success. Their strategies have been highlighting everything we tend to look for as fans, and thus this is a great look at social media monitoring and marketing done right. I’d highly recommend the first two videos I linked for a look at some more specific examples of their smart moves, but more than that, I’d recommend that you go stream Shadow and Bone on Netflix (not sponsored, though I wish it was).


Fan or not, Shadow & Bone can teach us all a lesson when it comes to social media:

#socialmedia #shadowandbone


Netflix’s Shadow and Bone- a crash course in social media marketing:

What Does it Mean to Be Real?

image credit: Anna Shvets on Pexels

BeReal- one of the internet’s latest viral social media platforms. I, like many, was quick to jump on the train when the platform first began to gain traction last summer. Staying true to its namesake, it is heavily promoted as a more authentic form of social media but, after seven months of using the app, I have a different take. To me, Be Real is first and foremost about connection. Of course, this isn’t different to many of the other social media platforms out there, connection and community are the glue that holds social media together as a whole, but BeReal brings the capability to do it on a much more personal level.

What is BeReal?

image credit: RODNAE Productions on Pexels

First things first, what actually is BeReal anyways? The 2022 winner of iPhone App of the Year, the premise is, that with BeReal, each day everyone with the app gets a notification at the same, random time. From there, you open the app and take a picture with your front camera and back camera simultaneously, so your friends can see what you’re up to at that exact moment, no filters, no setup… except that’s not entirely true. Nothing can stop you from retaking your BeReal as many times as you’d like (though the number will be displayed with your post to discourage this), or you can ignore the notification altogether and come back to do it whenever you’d like. If you’re dedicated to sticking to the “rules”, this is not a problem, of course.

I stuck to these so-called “rules” very intensely for the first while. However, I soon found that I would constantly be hoping my BeReal would go off at the right moment, something interesting, and the premise of “authenticity” went out the window. It was a sort of pressure that took the fun out of it. Since then, I have instead treated it simply as a way to document each day through a photo. I’m someone that loves reminiscing and looking back at my days, as well as documenting my life through photography, and so treating it as a way of capturing the most memorable part of my day has totally re-shifted my perspective back to one of enjoyment. For this reason, I am of the opinion that the platform is completely overlooked for its potential as a “digital diary” of sorts. From speaking to friends who use this social media platform as well, I have gathered that I am not alone in this opinion. Pictures are sentimental to so many, so having a platform that allows you to take one photo per day which is then compiled into a calendar format, is the perfect way to document each day to look back on.

Keeping Conversations Flowing

image credit: Polina Tankilevich on Pexels

I don’t just enjoy BeReal for the photos alone. As mentioned, first and foremost, when I think of the platform, I think of connection. While BeReal has the option the share your images with everyone on the app, I much prefer the feature to share it with people of your choosing alone. I share mine only with my close group of friends, and as a result each day the app doubles as a hub for us to chat and catch up. We’re all at different places in our life, busy with school, work, and other commitments. As the times when we see get to see each other grow fewer and farther in between, this is one of the ways I can still feel connected to them. Even when we can’t see each other in person, BeReal is a great way to stay in the loop and keep up with what each of us are getting up to, and makes it easy for us to take the time to connect everyday. This is also a contributing factor to why I prefer to share more memorable moments through my photos on the app. Particularly when you post about a more memorable part of the day, the interactions that come from it feel much more meaningful. Through posting that photo and potential caption, we have already set out a topic of conversation in a way that feels natural and organic, in a way that we may not have been able to over simple text messaging. BeReal is a wonderful way to get meaningful conversations flowing, in a way that does feel closer to authentic, in the moment conversations as well because none of the comments are saved once the app resets the next day. For these reasons, it makes for a platform that opens up to potential to remain connected with friend digitally, but in a way that still feels intimate.

A Great New Feature

image credit: Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels

More recently, and much to my excitement, BeReal has made a clever partnership with Spotify. This is not only a great move in terms of trying to reignite online conversations surrounding the platform, but perfectly plays into the digital scrapbook, sharing-with-friends component, that I personally love. The platform now gives users the ability to link their Spotify account to their BeReal account. Making it so that when you take your BeReal for the day, if you’re listening to a song or podcast, it will be shared alongside it. It adds an extra component to your documentation of your day, and allows you to share your favourite music with others everyday, and maybe even get a new suggestion for your own listening too. I tried the feature out for the first time today, and my best friend was quick to comment expressing her shared love of the song, sparking a conversation about the playlists we’ve been listening to as of late. This is a great new collaboration that clearly amplifies the benefits the platform already provides.

At the end of the day, the truth behind BeReal remains highly subjective. To “be real” means different things to each user of this popular platform. It is an app that is still evolving in its more newfound popularity, so there is not doubt that what it means will also continue to change as the platform itself changes. While it has cemented itself as a favourite of mine for documenting my life and connecting with my close friends, you may love it for a completely different reason.

So, what do you think? Are you a user of this platform, and if so, how do you feel about it?


How do you #BeReal? Read more about the platform that took the world by storm here:



Are you using the viral platform BeReal? Discover what the app could mean to you:

You are What You Eat? What About, ‘You Are Who You Follow Online’?

Image via Andrea Piacquadio

With people spending so much of their free time on social media, the accounts they choose to follow can surely have a significant impact on their own views of the world. Social media can serve a variety of purposes such as entertainment, education, connection, and more, but one result that may be overlooked is how much social media can influence our own ideologies.

Evaluate the Feed

Especially beginning in 2020 with the pandemic, there was a shift in the type of content I was seeing on my social media pages. The validity of vaccines, the rise of the BLM movement, government laws regarding abortion, and knowledge into the inner workings of corporations, to name a few. These, and others, weren’t topics that were new by any means, but they were receiving a new kind of attention. Movements, news sources, and individuals were able to take more control over the narrative and provide their own resources, education, or insight without it being lost or misinterpreted.

During this time, I decided it was necessary to do a more thorough audit of my own social media, especially Instagram, and evaluate who I was following. To be honest, many of the creators and influencers I followed were mostly white, straight, young, females. The creators of colour that I did follow often rarely appeared on my feed. I began to use Instagram more as a news source. I found some accounts that provide resources and information as part of their platform. If there was a news story I heard about, I would try to find a direct source and see what they were saying about it themselves. A great thing about social media is it does give people and groups the opportunity to speak for themselves without their words being skewed by the media.

The Desire to Diversify

More recently I had sort of a realization that not everyone had made an effort to diversify their feed in the same way. Of course this makes sense, I logistically could not expect everyone to branch out with their learning. However, I didn’t realize how far some would go to ensure they weren’t being exposed to new information. In fact, while some people seek out accounts where they can learn, others are seeking out accounts that have the same ideals as them, problematic or not. Many people out there have no urge to expand their knowledge or be open minded on concepts they know little about. They seek others to validate their own opinions which only furthers their narrow minded thinking. Or it can involve people with little direction that are looking for an ideology to follow. This might be when people are more likely to follow or be influenced by celebrities or other figures they recognize. Often this can be the case with young people using social media who do not always have the same critical thinking skills. I feel this is in part why people like Joe Rogan and Andrew Tate can grow such a following. As Psychology Today discusses, this becomes part of a much more complex psychological phenomenon known as social psychology. This is why it is so important to consume a variety of media and news, and not take the opinions of one person as fact.  

Always Room to Grow

Picture from Matt Bernstein‘s Instagram

Two of the accounts I gain the most knowledge from are Matt Bernstein and ON CANADA PROJECT. I find they present important, difficult topics in ways that are easier to understand and more digestible. They also give great starting points of understanding for those interested into diving deeper into the issues. The news can be heavy and overwhelming for many, including myself, so finding sources that resonate and present in ways that speak to you personally is important. I also know that if I am not in the right headspace to consume the news, I can scroll past them and revisit their pages later without having to be worried about seeing a graphic or alarming photo as the first slide. There are so many people that take their own time and energy to educate others and put together resources, often at their own expense (mental and monetary), and I think these kinds of social media creators need to be recognized and praised just as much as other influencers.

There is still a lot of room for me to grow to keep an inclusive and diverse following. I try to follow and interact with people from a variety of different backgrounds. Some for informative content, and some for more fun content too. By no means do I think my platforms are perfectly balanced for who I follow. But I am much more conscious now of who I follow, who I continue to follow, and how often I go through my followers list. I am looking for accounts that challenge my thinking and give me insight into lived identities I may not know much about. I definitely have noticed a shift in my thinking from this change in who I am following. Seeing content from BIPOC, members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, disabled creators, and those living in bodies of various sizes, has certainly altered what is ‘normal’ for me to see on a regular basis even if I don’t have those encounters as much in the physical world. While there is still a lot of research that could be done into how who we follow online shapes the world views we have, there are already indications showing that diversity has positive impacts – so why not try!

What accounts do you learn the most from? Favourite BIPOC creators – educational or fun? Has there been an influential figure that you unfollowed because you thought they were negatively affecting you?  

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Are you trying to be a better person? Maybe you need to take a look at who you’re following online… 👀 #socialjustice #socialmedia #influence

When is the last time you actually looked through your list of who you follow? It might affect your own thoughts more than you think. Is it time for a social media review?! 🤔

Social Media; a tool for connection or a catalyst to loneliness?

The conversation surrounding social media and the positive vs negative effects is nothing new. However, as more platforms emerge and people are spending more time on them, the possibility for influence also increases.

Loneliness, Competition & Comparison

There have been many articles and studies that do corelate the frequent use of social media to more negative outcomes, and in particular a feeling of loneliness and isolation. Often, people spend a lot of time on these platforms and end up feeling worse about themselves. They can see others being successful, or looking certain ways, and compare it to where they are in life. This can especially be the case when following peers of the same age and feeling like you’re ‘falling behind’ when they post about reaching certain life stages. Many people, including influencers with large followings, post perfectly curated versions of their life. Seeming like they have it all together, all the time. A constantly tidy, organized house. A loving, put together family. And a social media feed that is aesthetically pleasing and shows travel, work success, and beauty.

One central element of social media is that it gives you access to profiles and pages of people from around the world. And while this can allow for more creativity and sharing of ideas, it also allows for more comparison. We are seeing glimpses into people’s lives and comparing it to our own without knowing the intricacies behind it. The person could make more money, or they might not work and therefore have more free time. Or they could be inherently unhappy with their lives, but that doesn’t show through the curated pictures on the screen.

Further, connections that are made can feel superficial. Posting for the ‘likes’ or comments rather than to have people fully understand or relate to you. Problems can also arise when people use social media connections to supplement connections in real life. The more time people spend online and the less in in-person social experiences, the more lonely they are likely to feel.

Connection, Compassion & Learning

As we talked about, social media is often equated to negative outcomes, especially in regards to mental health. But what about the positives? Personally, I hear positive outcomes of social media use talked about much less frequently. Social media use is often vilified in the media or by older generations, but one would think there must be some positive impact to something we devote so much time towards. Much of social media’s origins was based around connection. Finding people within groups to connect with. Whether it was people going to the same school, involved in the same sport, or interested in the same topics. It can be a way to bring people together, especially those that may otherwise have a harder time making those connections in real life.

Have a niche hobby? There is probably a Reddit discord about it. Want to find people in your area to meet up with for hiking? Facebook has tons of groups where you can make connections, local or more broad. Instagram can be great to build, or join, a network of like-minded people. If you enjoy travelling you can likely find people catering to specific types of travel. Solo, group, female, van-life, and much more. The various ‘Toks’ people may find themselves on within TikTok can give insight into particular groups’ struggles and expose the average person to conditions or people they may have otherwise not encountered in their life. This can allow for more compassion should they meet someone like this outside of the digital realm.

There is also a lot of learning that can take place within social media and it serves as another avenue through which to get news. Many groups, charities and movements have their own pages where they can provide information, resources and ways to be supported by followers. It allows visitors to get firsthand information that isn’t being edited or disrupted by traditional news media. It can be hard to know if connections are genuine, and in order to make real connections on social media one has to make sure interactions they partake in are not just performative.

Not One or the Other

Personally, I often feel both effects from using Social Media and it can be hard to control which way, positive or negative, those feelings go. The more mindless scrolling that I do, the more I feel disengaged. What do I try to remember? Most often I try to remember that, like myself, many people use social media as a highlight reel. While it has become more common for people to talk about struggles, or show themselves more naturally, the use of filters, edited pictures, and selective information is still many peoples preferred way of posting. I am no different. I use social media as a scrapbook of sorts. I show pictures and experiences with locations so that down the road I can look back and remember the experience. I enjoy taking photos and trying to capture the best memories. While I will occasionally show a negative experience, it is likely to be shown in the scope of having overcome it.

I think the most important thing people can do is be conscious of their time on social media. Really evaluate how they are left feeling after using particular platforms. Does this change based on the amount of time spent? After about 20-30 minutes I notice it typically shifts more negative for me. Further, I think people should pay attention to which platforms are more of a benefit and which ones produce more negative emotions. As with most things, the topic of social media being good or bad is a very nuanced conversation that will vary greatly from person to person. As an article by The Harvard School of Public Health discusses, it is less about the time spent on social media and more about how mindful people are being during this time.

When using social media, do you find you have experienced more feelings of positive connection OR negative feelings such as loneliness, isolation or comparison? Which social media app makes you feel the best? The worst? Have you made any conscious choices to help with these feelings? I hope this allows everyone to be even a little more mindful of their emotions while using Social Media!

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Social media; Is it a tool for #connection or a contributor to #loneliness? It’s not an easy answer and could be both – read more! #socialmedia #mentalhealth #socialmediaeffects

Feeling the effects of spending more time on social media? Can you distinguish between if you’re getting more positive or negative results? Click the link below to check out my latest blog post for some more insight into why its not so simple.

Pinterest: A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight

image by Brett Jordans via Pexels

Pinterest is by no means an unpopular social media platform. Quite the opposite in fact, it is one of the world’s largest, competing with mainstays such as Snapchat and Instagram. Yet, it is consistently overlooked in comparison to these other platforms. In spite of this, it is an invaluable resource for both business and personal use, and a tool I think more people should be utilising.

One of the reasons Pinterest is amongst my personal favourite forms of social media, is due to its versatility. For so many things, Pinterest is the first place I turn to. From baking, to outfit inspo, to drawing references, to home decor inspo, they’ve got it all. The classic search feature certainly makes finding what you’re looking for a breeze, but more than that, the organization of the app is convenient and innovative. The platform allow users to create categorized “boards”, where they can save “pins” like a sort of virtual bulletin board, which allows you to have multiple projects and ideas on the go without feeling overwhelmed. And these can be anything. For example, I have board to save recipes, a board to save photography I like, boards for stills and behind-the-scenes photos from my favourite films, and more (64 to be exact- and I know you’re probably thinking: “that sounds like overkill,” but I prefer to think it’s a testament to how much I love the platform). The possibilities are endless, and as someone who really prioritizes creativity and organization to thrive, this is essentially my dream platform. It’s heavily visual centric, and because of this I treat it largely like a digital scrapbook and vision board all in one, that I can look back on whenever I’d like.

image by cottonbro studio via pexels

Another contributing factor to why I love Pinterest is the way it disrupts the typical flow of social media that we are so used to on other platforms. While it is important to stay informed on current events and world issues, this is something that can prove to be very emotionally taxing, and we cannot discount the significant role this can play in our day-to-day mental health. TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and many other big platforms are flooded with doom-and-gloom, spreading news often times with a suffocating air of negativity. Pinterest in acutely aware of this issue, and has even previously launched a campaign to combat this issue and regularly encourages “intentional moderation” when it comes to the content you consume online. On top of simply being a fun platform, it is evident this is a company that cares, something that I know definitely factors into brands and businesses I favour. Within the platform itself, it’s largely a peaceful experience. It’s a place where you can unwind and peruse pretty visuals without much thought. Plus, Pinterest’s ideals are clearly reflected in its guidelines, cracking down on negative and exclusionary content, introducing multiple updates in recent years to combat this ( Pinterest is also much more independent compared to other platforms, as it doesn’t have to revolve around engagement and interaction between people if you don’t want it too. In this case it’s more of a leisurely browsing experience, wherein you can even online shop. As a result, Pinterest can be considered more of a “safe haven” compared to other platforms, another positive that makes it stand out.

For a full look at Pinterest’s community guidelines, click here. For advertising guidelines, click here.

As mentioned, Pinterest, while a great tool for relaxation and enjoyment, also has great perks from a business standpoint. Because Pinterest allows you to post videos and photos that act as links, the platform is a great hub to link various social media pages together, acting as one cohesive hub for all your posts. You can share Instagram, TikTok, and blog posts for example that will link back to their originating platform. Because Pinterest focuses so heavily on aesthetics, it’s a great way, especially for creatives to clearly communicate their visual brand in a recognizable and easy-to-digest way. If done right, Pinterest can be an incredible instrument for creators to direct traffic amongst their various social channels. Additionally, something that I’ve been watching with great interest, though it unfortunately seems to only be available in the USA at this time, is the Pinterest Creator Program. This program allows you to make money directly through creating your own original posts on Pinterest itself, a great way to monetize your social media efforts. With criteria that is straightforward and achievable, this initiative certainly opens the door for more people to make a business out of social media efforts alone, which I believe to be an exciting prospect. It creates more possibilities for creative and unique self-expression and careers like we haven’t yet seen.

For a look at some business tips for Pinterest, click here!

image by RODNAE Productions via pexels

Overall, Pinterest is a goldmine when it comes to all your social media needs. As an avid user of the platform myself, it is easy to recognize in my own habits and my experience with the general setup of the platform that it is a brilliant form of social media. Yet, I rarely hear people talk about it in the widespread way that other social media platforms of its calibre are used and discussed. Because of this I think many people simply are unaware of this great platform that is just a few clicks away.

So, for those of you who have yet to use the app, is it something you feel compelled to try out? Comment your thoughts below!


R U missing out? #Pinterest is the underrated platform you need! Here’s why I love it:

#socialmedia #businesstools


Pinterest might be the social media platform you’re missing: