Social Sharing at It’s Best

Social sharing is one of the best ways for websites and blogs to promote their content and foster an engaging community built around their brand. The benefits of sharing branded content on social media far outweigh any negatives, successful brands on social media experience increased conversions, exposure, and leads. Included below are three brands that I think are using social media to effectively share their content in a way that increases brand recognition and community engagement.

1. IGN

Source: IGN Facebook is a gaming news network that publishes entertainment related news and reviews, whether that be for games, movies, tv, or comics. They share mostly editorial content to their fan-base of over 154 million across a wide variety of 22 different platforms. The reason I find the way IGN uses social sharing to promote their content so good, is how they leverage the strengths of each social media platform they are active on.

Their Twitter feed includes short, effective headlines and compelling visuals to draw people in to the website. On Snapchat they use intriguing visuals and headlines to encourage people to interact with their content. Their Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch profiles are similarly optimized for each network audience’s preferred content. Their well optimized social sharing strategy leads to a high following on each network and a high engagement rate on most content they share.

2. Essential Products

Source: Essential Facebook

Essential products is a start up phone maker that offers a unique Android powered phone and accessories. Their social media content mostly consists of posts pertaining to the products they sell, but they also share relevant content that their ideal consumers may appreciate like about services they’ve partnered with or news sites their products are mentioned in. Their primary social channels are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter but they also post videos on their YouTube channel and official Reddit sub.

I find that their high engagement rate and transparency with their community to be the best aspect of their social sharing. They will be upfront and honest with the community regarding their product and software releases, giving the technical answer as to why a popular accessory is releasing later than expected is just one example. Additionally, the company’s staff will hold monthly AMA’s on Reddit to answer some of the community’s most popular questions. This level of interactivity and communication is especially impressive considering that they are a start up company with a relatively small team size. It’s because of the strong-knit community that surrounds the brand on social that I enjoy interacting with and following the content they post.

3. DriveTribe

Source: DriveTribe Facebook

DriveTribe is a website that features a community of users and categories (or Tribes as they are called) which focus primarily on the anything automotive. Founded recently in 2016 by the previous hosts of UK Top Gear and current hosts of Amazon’s Grand Tour James May, Richard Hammond, and Jeremy Clarkson the site has rapidly garnered a massive following of dedicated users. DriveTribe is a bit of a unique site in this list in that they are a bit of a social media site in and of itself. However, DriveTribe still encourages community interaction on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

What sets DriveTribe apart from other automotive news outlets is how much emphasis they place on community engagement. The site and their social profiles all encourage sharing and community interaction, finding other automotive enthusiasts that like the same things you do and joining with them. Their social content often includes media contributed by their websites community members, leading to a wide array of entertaining and interesting posts for any automotive enthusiast. As such their posts generate an incredibly high engagement rate, with people sharing the content with others and building upon that community surrounding the brand.

Socially Sharing

In summary, the above three brands demonstrate how effectively using social media to publish relevant content can help tremendously in accomplishing marketing objectives. Each of these brands understands what their target audience wants to hear from them and effectively leverages the different social media platforms to increase exposure for their brand and content. Any company could do well by analyzing what these brands do right and adapting the practices used for their own medium.

Social Sharing at It’s Best

Email Marketing—Spam Practice or Essential Marketing Tool?


Nearly everyone gets some kind of email marketing, whether they remember signing up for it or not is another question. Often times the first thing that comes to peoples minds when they hear the phrase “email marketing” is spam and shadiness. However, according to research done by Smart Insights and GetResponse, email marketing is still rated as one of the most effective digital marketing channels right alongside social media marketing.


So why is email marketing still rated so successful today? Well it’s largely thanks to the powerful features offered by email automation software from companies like MailChimp and Constant Contact. With many companies utilizing these rather affordable tools for their email marketing, it allows them to intelligently personalize email, segment effectively, and optimize emails for maximum engagement and conversion. This all contributes to a generally successful ROI when it comes to email marketing.

But how about me? How do I interact with email marketing? Well I find that I will only stick to receiving marketing emails from my favorite companies and brands, ones I trust. Their emails also will need to have a compelling subject, usually promising something of value to me, like a coupon or significant savings on a product I’m interested in. Only if the offer is compelling will I open the email and take action. Many times I have found that if the company says the included offer is an “email exclusive” or is available early for me, it will cause me to take action and convert. However, everyone treats email differently and this is just my experience. What about others?

I asked three friends of mine what makes emails compelling to them. Here’s what they had to say:

What makes emails interesting and worth your time to open and read?

A: They usually need to be about sales or new things that I care personally about, like concerts in the area or a good sale on one of my favorite brands.

B: The subject of the email usually has to reveal some type of new information or discount for me to be interested. Otherwise, general emails that don’t offer me a discount often don’t get opened.

C: If I see a good discount in the subject it usually will make me look, especially when the product is something I use or want. Or if the subject line states some kind of factoid on a subject that interests me.

Do you ever take any action as a result of the emails? Why or why not?

A: The only time I’ll take action will be if it’s a good sale or a great band I’ve been wanting to see. If I know there’s a better offer coming soon, I’ll usually wait for that.

B: Yeah, I will take action when I see a discount is offered and I want to see how good it is or how much money I would be saving. Or if the subject matter is really interesting to me and there is additional information on a website or blog, I’ll usually click to read more.

C: Yes, I have taken action on emails, usually only if I feel strongly about the cause or if the good discount is being offered on something I need.

What about the CAN-SPAM act? What is it and how does it affect me?

CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing. It was an act passed in 2003 in order to establish rules for commercial email and messages, forcing businesses to give users the right to stop receiving emails should they desire and outlining the penalties that can be incurred should businesses violate these regulations.

This act effectively prevented email users from being spammed with unwanted emails. It also enacted several common practices for sent emails, like including a way for users to easily unsubscribe from unwanted content.

In the end, due to the level of customization and targeting offered with email marketing today, it still remains a valuable tool for marketers to use up to this day. Email marketing can provide businesses with valuable leads, help drive conversions, and increase revenues, even during this age of social media focused marketing.

Email Marketing—Spam Practice or Essential Marketing Tool?

How To Change the Oil on an Audi A4


Want to save money and feel good doing it? Changing your car’s oil yourself can be much cheaper than taking it to your local auto shop or dealer. Plus it gives you the satisfaction of a job well done in the end! Below is a basic overview of the steps required to change the oil on an Audi A4, but the same steps can also apply to several other Audi and Volkswagen models of the same year.

Tools You’ll Want

  • Regular screw driver
  • 19mm wrench
  • Oil filter wrench
  • An empty bucket or container
  • Pouring funnel
  • Rubber gloves

Step 1:

Warm up your engine, allowing it to run for 5-10 minutes. This will ensure the used oil will drain easily out of the engine.

Step 2:

Use a regular screw driver to remove the under-body splash pan.

Look for screws on bottom sides as well as each wheel well.

Step 3:

Open your hood, locate the oil fill cap and loosen it, but do not remove it just yet!

This will allow the oil to freely flow from the bottom of the engine.

Step 4:

Place your empty bucket or container below the engine oil drain plug. Then with your 19mm wrench loosen and remove the drain plug. Allow the used oil to fully drain from the engine.

Step 5:

Place your bucket or container below where the oil filter is located. Use your oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the used oil filter.

Step 6:

Clean any excess oil residues from affected areas and screw the oil drain plug back in tightly.

Step 7:

Using your new motor oil, lightly apply oil to the new oil filter’s rubber seal with your finger. This will ensure the seal is tight and allow the filter to be more easily removed on your next oil change.

Step 8:

Screw on the new oil filter with your hand.

Step 9:

Remove the oil fill cap and use a funnel to begin filling the engine with the correctly specified oil as found in your car’s manual. Fill the engine with .5 – 1 quart less than it’s total capacity (also found in your manual).

Use the dipstick to check the oil level ensuring you don’t overfill the engine. Continue adding oil until the proper oil level is obtained on the dipstick.

Step 10:

Reinstall the oil fill cap on the engine and allow the vehicle to run for at least 30 seconds.

Step 11:

Check for any oil leaks in and around the areas worked in and make one last check of the oil level with the dipstick. If the level is lower than it should be, add more oil as needed.

Step 12:

Dispose of the used oil by taking it to an appropriate recycling center. Make a note of at what mileage the oil was changed, and at what mileage the oil will need to be changed again.

Just like that your oil is changed! 12 easy steps to save you money in the long run. Doing it yourself not only provides you with the satisfaction of doing something with your hands, but also alleviates the extra cost associated with labor that you pay at a dealer or auto shop.

For more DIY repair and maintenance information, check out

How To Change the Oil on an Audi A4