5 Most Instagrammable Places in Jamaica

If you’re traveling to Jamaica or consider yourself a dryland tourist, here are the top 5 places you must take for Instagram. These locations will have you using the #ILiveWhereYouVacay hashtag in no time. You can vote here.

The Grande is rafting on the Rio Grande

There are many variations to this, but any pose you choose will definitely be monumental. Go early morning and float gently through the waters on your long bamboo raft. The ride itself is about 3 hours but make sure you bring your own photographer because it’s difficult to keep your balance and take a selfie at the same time.

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so far so good 💕 #themacmillans

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Frenchman’s Cove is a Classic

Taking a picture at the famous swing at Frenchman’s Cove is a must when visiting Portland. Other major cool spots include the river flowing into the beach, Blue Lagoon and the Trident Castle. Almost every spot in Port Antonio is grand.

 

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Finallyyy wearing my swimmy @keishals loveee it😻😻

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Sandals Suite Life is the Living Your Best Life Hashtag IRL

If you want to say you’re truly living your best life, you have to photograph the over water bungalows. Jamaican Influencers such as Corey Hamilton, Natasha Leeds and Yendi Phillips have taken epic shots there. The drone shots of the heart shaped bungalow formation shot!

Take the Plunge at The Old Spanish Bridge

Another money shot is the Old Spanish Bridge, a hidden gem is just 45 minutes from Ocho Rios. The road may only be for the 4 wheel drive but it’s definitely worth the effort. With its rope swing, you can get a pretty cool capture like Kaci Fennel’s. If you’re into landscape shots the bridge in the background is also quite beautiful. If you’re brave enough,  get some video swinging on the rope!

Strawberry Hill Hotel is the Mostest

Just imagine an image that looks like you’re staring over a cliff overlooking Kingston but it’s really just an Infiniti pool? This optical illusion is a must for anyone visiting Jamaica. Not to mention the view itself!

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Reflecting…. • • "Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you" • • There are moments in life where I get lost in my head; lost in my feelings…just yearning for clarity. The past couple years have just been filled with so much loss it has left me doing a lot of questioning. Some persons who I truly loved, cared for, respected and held in high regard have left this realm. Some through agonizing illness, tragic accidents and some violenly ripped away. I ponder on each of them. I ask repeatedly "Why would God let bad things happen to good people?" Why would God allow His children who are serving His kingdom to experience such suffering? I remember struggling with this very concept with my mother's death and I was so hurt and felt so betrayed by God as a young girl that I turned away from Him. 16 years later, I am now asking again…this time from the perspective of someone who has rekindled her relationship and who is serving His kingdom. And while it still carries weight and pain, I acknowledge the promise of free will of man. I understand that as mankind we have choice. And with that comes so much of the turmoil we now encounter in existence. But I also more than anything understand that what we do here is not about us, but living in His truth and promise, in accordance to His word, to fulfill the purpose He whispers in our soul, and when the day of reckoning comes, to go home to Him knowing it is well and it is done. #MyHeartWasHeavy #SometimesYouHaveToBareYourSoul #But #IPlaceItAtHisFeet #ThePowerOfSurrender #Peace #Understanding #Clarity #ForMyFriends #ForMyLovedOnes #ForThoseFeelingHurt #ForThoseGoingThroughLoss • • Thank you @_jayenigma for this capture. • • PS. @keneealintonboutique I LOVE this dress!

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Honorable mentions include:

Waterfall at Serendipity Holistic Resort

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#serendipityresort #bluemountain #jamaica my #paradise

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Fleet Street

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В Кингстоне (столице Ямайки) мне посчастливилось побывать в замечательной местной школе (Holy Family Primary & Infant School). Здание этой школы и часть улицы (Fleet st.), на которой она находится, полностью в граффити (то, что вы видите, это лишь малая его часть)😍! Я не могу передать словами тот восторг, который я испытала, когда мы наконец-то нашли это необычное место (thanks, Jan😘)!!! Кстати, нам позволили зайти на территорию школы! Так что мы сняли на видео весь двор, маленьких ямайских детей в школьных формах и даже кабинеты!!!! Скоро я сделаю видеоролик👍🏿 #jamaica #kingston #art #family #school #streetart #travel #magic #street #fleetstreet #traveladdict #photography #graffiti #graffitiart #beauty #building #vacation #tbt #instaart #holiday #арт #стритарт #отпуск #путешествие #искусство #школа

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Victoria Pier Waterfront/DownTown Kingston 

So all these places are up for debate! Do you agree with picks? Which places do you think are the most instagrammable places in Jamaica? Vote here

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Jamaican Brands you MUST follow on Instagram

Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 1.38.27 AM.pngGood design is so important in getting the right audience to flock to your brand. Great design induces brand loyalty and affects the subconscious. It’s a lot more important than a lot of marketers realize.

I really would love to raise the standard of design in general for social media in Jamaica. I think it can be done. I see it in these pages. So let’s get into it:

  1. @Bijoux_ja is a mood. The luxury is finite on this page. But it still has the ability to be authentically Jamaican. I don’t know how they do what they do but I love it. You should follow them just for the aesthetic. It’s a must.
  2. @Swizzbeads The editing might throw you off but that’s what makes their page so unique. Not to mention the detail to the styling. The model seems to take her swizz beads everywhere. Makes us want to go too.
  3. @summerhouseja From the teasers to the attention to details, this page is an aesthetic. The images are inviting and it really makes you want to go. I’m not a fan of grids but I think this was a perfect way to launch the restaurant and spark interest. The content is also great. The way they gave you insight into the concept was very well thought out.
  4. @jaejolly This carefully curated feed is on point! They focus on creating an aesthetic and switch up between models poses and swimsuits images. The brightly colored swimsuits pop off the page and the whole island vibe got us wanting to live in the jungle. 10/10 would recommend!
  5. @maxiestores They make the effort to really curate their feed. It always has a theme! It might be red theme or a blue theme but its so seamless. I live for it!
  6. @chillitosjamexican I don’t know who their agency is but they look like they have one. Those images are taken with lighting and symmetry in mind. It targets the Millennials well with just a touch of humor to keep you wanting more.
  7. @cafeblueja Last but certainly not least Cafe Blue is one of my faves! It’s so authentically Jamaican and they are always doing fun to stuff to spark interest from their audience.
  8. @kayainc It’s all about the green! This carefully curated feed showcases the offerings of the dispensary Kaya Inc. It also give you developments in the cannabis industry.

Well those are the list of my favorite brands to follow on instagram. If there any other that have a great aesthetic: careful placement of photos, great photos and a thought behind it let me know. What makes a great instagram feed? Let me know.

Please don’t tell me about personal accounts. I want to know about brands only. I might do one for personal accounts soon. Let me know if you’re interested in reading that one! Don’t forget to follow me on instagram at @kesigardner

 

5 Trends Destined to Shape the Media this Year

Last month, myself and a few other marketers came together at a #MarketersMeetUp to discuss our forecasts for 2015. It was an interesting conversation that lead to predictions far beyond this year. These are a few that really stuck:

1. The use of Social Media Influencers.

While Facebook campaigns and viral videos are interesting and can garner likes and shares, they don’t always produce engagement that is long-lasting. With endorsements from social media influencers such as tv personalities, athletes, musicians, etc., brands can not only reach target audiences but can create long-lasting advocates who will willingly share their love for the brand.

Chris Gayle at the 2014 Miss Jamaica Universe Pageant

See the list below of top influencers in Jamaica by category by Twitter followers:

Sports-related: Usain Bolt (< 3.6mil), Chris Gayle (<1.9 mil), Lennox Lewis (<375,000), Yohan Blake (<300,000).

Music: Sean Paul (<1.2 mil), Tessanne Chin (<250,000), Mavado (< 200,000), Jah Cure (<190,000), Taurrus Riley (<160,000), Wayne Marshall (<100,000), Chronixx (<82,000), Protoje (<32,000)

TV Personalities: Miss Kitty (<100,000), Yendi Phillips (<60,000).

An endorsement in a tweet, Facebook post or Instagram post by these top accounts could create an impact.

2. Mobile Integration

With the invent of LoopJamaica.com and its seamless integration onto every new Digicel smartphone, having the latest news at your fingertips will allow brands to target audiences even when they are away from their computers. As mobile use continues to grow, brands will have another channel to tap into. Communication is now a two-pronged approach: stories about the brands and offerings tied into ads with the links to more information about products.

Gleaner and Observer are right behind. Both have apps available for download. Most recently, TeenAge Observer discontinued its printed publication and will now be exclusively online allowing for brands to tap into the Jamaican youth market. With the high cost of print media, the possibilities of curating content that will engage preteens and teens online is limitless.

3. Online influencing offline

With the success of Dutty Berry, a vlogger who inspired Jamaica to support Tessanne on her road to winning “The Voice” and more recently Bella Blair, brands will feel compelled to utilize these personalities to become ambassadors. The real value in their presence is that they are already engaging online, have a strong fan base and are reaching the audience in a way that traditional media sometimes doesn’t. Bella Blair for example, has a YouTube channel with over 35,000 subscribers and within the past year, received her own show called, “Bella’s Bizarre World” on RETV. Bella is creating content that is fresh, young and different but still appealing to a wide audience. Check out Bella in the new 2015 Cran Wata Ad:

Cran Wata Bella TV Ad

Check out the video that inspired the TV Ad 

4. Mobile Dominance

Its been in discussion for years and now it seems to be on the “tips of the tongues” of many folks, particularly as the rise of mobile usage and telecoms are determined to sell phones and data plans. Websites will have to be designed for mobile as you will lose the interest of readers in a second. Mobile e-commerce is also a forecast for 2015.

5. Blogger Nation

With the success of the Caribbean Blog and Social Media Awards late last year, brands witnessed the possibilities of using bloggers to create content around their messages and offerings. As bloggers continue to grow their audiences and create content that is personal and inspiring–brands will want to get on board.

Here’s Irie Dawta’s Orange Chicken recipe featuring Tru-Juice

Digital Trends of Summer 2014

Shutterstock
Shutterstock

School is out, the weather is hotter and people are in the mood to have fun! Kids have hours to spend with their friends, taking pictures and posting “selfies” on Instagram.  No matter where you are in the world, check out these cool digital trends for the summer:

Instagram: With Instagram boasting 7 million users daily, brands are now not just talking about their products but the lifestyle their brand portrays. This summer, you are finding companies showing how their products can be integrated into summer fun! Companies like Target are showing how you can use everything you can find in their stores to make your summer more enjoyable.

Hashtags: Hashtags are here to stay and for the summer, social media aficionados are taking advantage of popular hashtags like #summervacay, #100DaysofSummer, #FeelingDrake and variations of the selfie like #usie. If you’ve been travelling for the summer, you’re more than likely going to include the hashtag of the country or town you’ve visited.

Mobile Apps: Mobile apps continue to serve as a source of entertainment and knowledge for many kids and adults alike. Many are spending hours playing the new Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game in which you can rise to fame by dating stars and filming endorsement commercials. Its the fourth most downloaded free app on iTunes this summer. Be sure to check it out! I’ve been playing it all week.

Snap Chat: With 26 million users in the U.S. and over 400 million snaps per day, marketers should definitely consider including SnapChat in their efforts especially if they are targeting the tween market.

What are some of your favourite digital trends or apps you’ve been using during the summer?

 

Tweens and Facebook

Facebook recently changed their policy to allow 13-17 year olds to post publicly on Facebook. Which is fairly interesting because many of their tween market has shuffled to Instagram.

The whole idea of giving a tween such freedom is quite scary. With the incredible popularity of Twitter and Instagram among the teen market many people might wonder if this is just another attempt to get them to go back to using Facebook more often.

In all honesty, I prefer Instagram for my tween. Even though she’s allowed post pictures with location, her profile can be very private and unlike your Facebook you’re allowed some anonymity.