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Anneliese Peper

Social Media Trend: Instagram Themes

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Ever since Instagram changed their algorithm, brands and influencers have been trying to figure out ways to stand out on this visually appealing platform. Remember the days when we used to post a picture just because we liked it? Even if it was grainy or out of focus? So long are those days! Now that we live in a time where people can make a living off their Instagram account, perfection is key and so is being deliberate on every single detail, down to the exact filter.

This ultimately results in one stunning Instagram theme, where photos transition effortlessly into the next. Brands and influencers who can execute this flawlessly truly are magicians because not only is it an art, but also a science.

Check out some of my favorite accounts and their overarching themes!

Pop of Blue

Dark and Moody

Vivid Colors

 Greyscale 

Muted Neutrals

Gorgeous, right? No matter what your personal aesthetic is, we can all agree that each theme is so well done and thought out.

If you’re thinking about creating a theme on your own feed, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Find what inspires you

Whether you love to travel or are into fashion (maybe even BOTH), figure out what you want your theme to represent. Obviously it would represent you, but what specifically about you? If you’re an avid traveler, your theme may consist of all the exotic places you have visited with colorful imagery. If you’re a fashion blogger, your theme may consist of fashion and makeup.  If you’re an interior decorator, your theme may consist of color, contrast and so much more. The point is, the possibilities are endless just as long as you know what inspires you and makes you happy!

Know your personal style 

Knowing what you like and what you don’t like will help narrow down your theme from the get-go. For example, my wardrobe and everything in my bedroom mainly consists of neutrals and black. With that, I know I wouldn’t want my theme to be bright and colorful because that’s just not who I am. I know I like dark colors with hints of gold and pink, therefore I would want my theme to match that aesthetic.

Be picky

When it comes to your Insta-game, don’t be afraid to be picky! If you’re taking the time to create a theme for your feed, make sure you are 100% proud of it. Don’t settle for grainy pictures or mismatched color combos because at the end of the day, it defeats the purpose of a well curated feed.

Have fun with it

Let your imagination run wild! Of course themes have to be cohesive, but if you get bored of one, feel free to change it up. I have seen many Instagram accounts that change themes every couple rows and they still look effortless and stunning. Check out the one below!

 

 

 

What Gossip Genie taught me in 2016…

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As 2016 comes close to an end, I’ve started reflecting on everything that has happened this past year. Everyone can agree that 2016 wasn’t the best year, but for me this year has been the hardest year of my life. It was challenging, draining and never ending in every aspect. But as I think back and relive the rollercoaster of emotions that I went through, 2016 was also humbling and inspiring. I can honestly say Gossip Genie played a large role in that with 2 major things working there taught me.

It’s okay to accept help

If you know me, you know I am not a fan of asking people for help. I like to think I can juggle everything on my own and still come out strong. But when life happens and hits you with an unexpected dose of a reality, it’s easy to lose track of things and completely lose focus.

Earlier this year my mother passed away and it really took a toll on me. During that time, the love and support from the Genies were far beyond amazing. They picked up my workload without hesitation and didn’t bother me for a second about work. They allowed me to take the time I needed for myself to heal. The way everyone came together to support me during a difficult time made me realize that it’s okay to just let go and accept help. Even when you feel like you can handle it all on your own, sometimes you really can’t.

And that’s okay because no one is perfect.

It’s okay to take risks

Although my mother passed away in March, it wasn’t until this summer when I realized I never took the time to process what happened and properly grieve. With that, I made the hardest decision in my professional career and took a break from Gossip Genie. It was a huge risk because I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t have a plan or an idea of what I even wanted to do. I just had a gut feeling that leaving was the best thing for me in that moment.

Fast forward 3 months and I am back at Gossip Genie with the biggest smile on my face. Because I did what I felt was best for me, I was able to experience so much in a short amount of time and come back with a clearer mind. I was able to take time for myself, travel to different countries and figure out what I truly wanted. I connected with family members I never knew I had. I even visited my dad who I haven’t seen in over 5 years. But most importantly I learned how to be myself again and be happy, which allowed me to be an even better, more productive employee.

So if you are ever unsure or are afraid to do something in 2017, listen to your gut and don’t be afraid to take the risk. In the end, no one knows you better than yourself.

Quick Tips for a Successful Blogger Outreach

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For the past three months, I’ve been spending a large amount of my time focusing on blogger outreach for various events across the country. Blogger outreach is one of my favorite things to do for a client because it allows me to take an in-depth look at the brand, see which influencers would be a good fit and reach out to them in hopes of forming a relationship that would benefit my client. Nothing is more gratifying than having an influential blogger take an interest in my client and having them willingly write a full blog post. Although the reward is great, like giving my client a ton of exposure across the country, blogger outreach is definitely not a walk in the park. Below are a few tips I’ve compiled for a successful blogger outreach.

Stay Organized

Before starting any blogger outreach, it is important to have a designated spot for all blogger info. I suggest creating a Google Doc because it allows you to create columns where you can list the blogger’s name, email address, website, Twitter handle, Twitter followers, notes, etc. You can also color code rows to see who has replied “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe.” Not only will this keep your info in one spot that’s easily accessible, but it also shows who you’ve already reached out to. Nothing is more embarrassing than reaching out to the same blogger twice. Please, don’t be that person.

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Know Your Bloggers

Since there are thousands of bloggers in various industries, it can be tricky to figure out which ones are the best for your brand. That being said, it is imperative to do your research and be very selective. For example, you might find the perfect fashion blogger with a large following, but if she hasn’t tweeted since January 2016, she most likely isn’t the best fit for your brand. You want to make sure that any blogger on your list is also active on his or her social media channels. That way when they create the blog post, it’ll be blasted across their social channels, leveraging the reach with their followers.

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Incentivize

It is extremely common for bloggers to charge $500-$750 for a sponsored blog post, but not all brands can afford that. Instead of breaking the bank, give the bloggers an offer they surely can’t refuse. For example, if you’re a footwear company, offering a free pair of shoes in exchange for a blog post is much more feasible than paying a ridiculous amount of money. And let’s be honest, what blogger wouldn’t take a free pair of shoes? Don’t forget, blogger outreach is all about having a mutually beneficial relationship for the brand and blogger. If the brand wants a blog post, the blogger needs something in return.

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Maintain Relationships

 Once you reach out to bloggers and they agree to write a blog post about your brand, don’t end the relationship there. Always make sure to follow up and stay in constant communication when appropriate. To this day, I still communicate with bloggers I initially reached out to months ago. If I need my client to be retweeted in order to gain more contest entries, I’ll ask those bloggers and they will be more than happy to do so due to maintaining a positive relationship. I also know that I can always rely on those bloggers for future reviews and giveaways for other clients I might have in mind as well. We have all heard that saying, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know.” You never know when you may need your fellow bloggers down the road!

Why Snapchat Should Be On Your Radar

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If you’ve read my blog posts before, you know I’ve always been a fan of Snapchat. For the rest of the world, it didn’t seem like anything to pay attention to. It was just another social app that would cause a stir for a couple months until it fizzled out. But alas, it’s still here and making waves like never before!

Now you’re probably thinking, “So what? Why should I care about Snapchat?” I’ll tell you why. Remember when Facebook first came on the scene? No one imagined the impact it would make on digital advertising today. That’s exactly what is happening with Snapchat. Mark Zuckerberg even believed in the app so much that he tried to acquire it for $3B. Snapchat declined. With that, the rise of Snapchat sounds quite familiar, like Facebook’s rise back in the day. That is why I compiled the top 3 reasons why everyone (especially marketers) should keep Snapchat on their radars.

It’s not perfect 

Let’s be honest, social media has made many people obsessed with making their lives look perfect. Bought a new car? Post it on Instagram. Completed a workout? Post about it on Facebook. But the great thing about Snapchat is that it eliminates this seemingly perfect life. An article that went viral last year, by Andew Watts, stated it perfectly, “Snapchat is really where we can be ourselves while being attached to our social identity.” It allows us to share our embarrassing /funny moments with our friends, without the fear of being judged. This is especially ideal for undergrads entering in the workforce trying to cleanup their profiles, because after 24 hours everything disappears.

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It’s the cool thing to do

Facebook was the cool site to be on when it first came out, only appealing to college students. Now the site is one of the largest companies in the internet/tech space. But why was everyone on it before? Because it was cool! Right now, Snapchat is the cool thing to do, especially with the younger generation. According to a Piper Jaffrey survey from the Wall Street Journal, Snapchat is the most popular social network among American teens, with 19% stating it’s the most important network. If you’re a marketer and this is your audience, this is definitely a space you should look into. However, keep in mind it has to make sense for your brand because Snapchat isn’t for everyone.

It’s a free for all

Since Snapchat is still fairly new, there isn’t a way to measure best practices. It’s still in the stage where brands can do whatever they please with their accounts. With Facebook business pages, people post certain content because they know what works and what doesn’t work for their brands. Snapchat doesn’t have that measurement, which allows for a wide range of creativity. For example, my alma mater Marquette University has an account for the founder of our university, Father Marquette. He can be seen around campus attending club meetings, dressing up for Halloween or hanging out in the Quad. I am not biased or anything, but Marquette has mastered their Snapchat game and it is going strong.

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How Instagram & Snapchat Changed Fashion Week

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September is by far my favorite month of the year. Not only is it the first official month of fall, but it is also considered the January of fashion. And every New Year calls for a celebration. In this instance, it’s Fashion Month!

Fashion Month features a new fashion capital each week, New York, London, Milan and Paris, showcasing upcoming trends for the year. Yesterday marked the last day of Paris Fashion Week. As I scoured the Internet yesterday and all month-long, I noticed there were two apps I constantly used to stay up to date with the latest shows, Instagram and Snapchat. These two platforms changed Fashion Week in completely different way, not only for the designers, but for the viewers as well.

Instagram

With almost every fashion week moment being photographed, designers are now trying to figure out how to make their show the most memorable in the digital space. What better way to make a moment memorable than making a statement on the one thing that would be photographed the most? No, not the clothes, but the runway. Taking a look over the past few years, it seems as though fashion show producers kept Instagram in mind while designing the sets. Long gone are the days where models did a fast catwalk down a muted runway with difficult lighting.

Below you can see the incredible difference in stage design. In 2010, when Instagram first came on to the scene, the runway looked like a normal runway. Barely any color and the girls were photobombing the money shots. Fast forward 5 years later and we have a more visually pleasing fresh floral background, which took hundreds of thousands of flowers to decorate – huge difference.

Christian Dior 2010

Christian Dior 2010

Christian Dior 2015

Christian Dior 2015

Let’s not forget Karl Lagerfeld’s infamous Chanel supermarket last year. This runway show was a goldmine for Instagram. Guests who attended the show were even allowed to take home a piece of the supermarket as a souvenir.

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Chanel 2014 – Image courtesy of NBC

In a nutshell, designers and producers have to be more creative in order to standout, while keeping in mind their shows will be photographed, uploaded and talked about instantly. And let’s be honest, every designer wants to make a lasting impression and be the most talked about show (like Karl Lagerfeld).

Snapchat 

Fashion Week was an event only seen and experienced by the elite. Now it can be experienced by anyone and everyone at the tips of their fingers, literally. 10 years ago, there was no way for us non-fashion bloggers, celebrities or editors to know what happens behind the scenes. Nor would we be able to see the show in real-time. We would have to wait until a day or two after for the show to be uploaded on Style.com. Now we can pretend we were actually there, at least for a few moments.

Thanks to Snapchat’s Snap Stories, I was able to see behind the scenes of not only New York Fashion Week, but also London, Milan and Paris. Below are a few photos I snapped during those weeks, showcasing how sets were built, fun facts and first looks.

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Because of Instagram and Snapchat, there is no denying that social media has changed Fashion Week. Designers have to be more creative and compete to standout, while we can sit back and enjoy all the cool things Fashion Week has to offer. Alright – maybe not the swag bags or the chance to hang out with celebrities, but being able to pretend I am almost there is good enough for me!

Wearable Technology

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A trend that has been piquing my interest lately has been wearable technology. Working in social media has sparked my love for all things technology related. But throw fashion into the mix and I’m practically sold. We’ve seen wearable technology everywhere with Apple watches, Tory Burch Fitbits, Diane Von Furstenberg Google Glasses and many more.

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Seeing how technology and social media has progressed, I only see this trend continuing to grow as time goes on. That being said, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and purchase my first tech piece, a Rebecca Minkoff Notification Bracelet.

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The concept of the bracelet is simple. Wear it on your wrist, stacked with your favorite pieces, and whenever you receive an important phone call or text, it’ll discreetly vibrate. Now how does the bracelet know when to vibrate and for whom? With the beautiful technology of bluetooth and a phone app.

Once you purchase the bracelet, you are instructed to download the Rebecca Minkoff app which will sync up with your contacts. From there, you can choose who you want to have in your “inner circle” to receive notifications from.

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I think this is genius because Rebecca Minkoff is a designer who truly knows how social media and technology are influencing everyday life. Not only has she tapped into her consumer, but she is capitalizing on her audience’s technology habits. In an interview with CNBC she states, “Our consumer has her phone in her hand all the time. She’s in touch with technology. It would only make sense for us to communicate to her in a way she receives information.” Again…genius.

When I first purchased this bracelet, I thought I would be able to sync my social media profiles and receive those notifications. Unfortunately I was mistaken, but I am still in love with how it looks and the idea of not always having to check my phone every time it vibrates for those annoying banner notifications. I also don’t always have to have my phone out, but still know when an important call or message is coming in.

However, over time I do believe that wearable technology will start to incorporate social media profiles. Social media is an industry that was barely around 10 years ago. Now it is an integral part of businesses and contains valuable information such as analytics and countless data. It’s only a matter of time until we will be able to check our Facebook messages on a bracelet or necklace.

Summer Reading For The Young Professional

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Being a young professional, I am obsessed with reading biographies that have career advice intertwined within them. I find it so inspiring to read about people who have made strides in their industries and learning about their journey along the way. By the time I’m done reading one of these books, it always reignites a flame in me to stay focused on my career and be the best that I can be. If you’re a young professional looking for motivation, I’ve compiled a list of my top four favorite books. I promise they will not disappoint!

1. “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You” by Kelly Cutrone

Kelly Cutrone, a public relations guru in the fashion industry, is the reason why I wanted to get my degree in PR in the first place. I would always watch her show, Kell on Earth, when I was in high school so when I heard she came out with a book, I had to get it.  I was not disappointed. This book was a clear wake up call that it’s impossible to have the perfect life when you are starting out in the “real world” and that it’s okay. Kelly mentions that while it is important to stay on top of your game, you will struggle at times. But if you can surpass those struggles and learn from them, that’s what will make you a better professional. On top of that, she gives brutally honest career advice with her most famous piece being, “If you have to cry, go outside.”

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2. “Normal Gets You Nowhere” by Kelly Cutrone

This book is the sequel to her first one, however the message is completely different. While the first book was about how to start your professional career, this book is about how to stand out in that career. No one ever wants to blend in and get lost in the corporate world. However, this is a great reminder that you have to constantly keep standing out, in any career field. To do that you have to reinvent yourself and create a personal brand. Kelly makes a good point by stating that history was made by world-changing people who did not fit in. So instead of accepting the status quo, she tells you to challenge it.

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3. “#GIRLBOSS” by Sophia Amoruso

Unlike the first two books, #Girlboss is more biography related but still has great career advice. Sophia Amoruso, founder of one of the largest e-commerce sites Nasty Gal, shares her journey on how she turned a small eBay store into a $100 million fashion retailer with more than 350 employees. By the time she was 28, Nasty Gal was bringing in about $23 million. That piece of information alone is inspiring, so imagine reading her whole journey. It was so great that I couldn’t put it down and finished it in one day.

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4. “Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It In Your Career. Rock Social Media.” by Aliza Licht

This is my current read and I am almost finished. Aliza Licht, SVP of global communications at Donna Karen International, shares how she dropped out of medical school last minute to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Clearly it was struggle for her because all she knew was biology and science, but she figured it out and made a name for herself as the ‘DKNY PR GIRL’. She covers various topics like getting experience when you have no experience, going for promotions, being socially savvy, social media damage control and much more. I am also a huge fan of this book because she has a whole section dedicated to rocking social media. Once I finish the book, I will be sure to write a review on the blog. Stay tuned!

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5 Characteristics of a Social Media Manager

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Tomorrow will mark my 5 month anniversary at Gossip Genie. In honor of it, I’ve compiled a list of the 5 top characteristics one must have in order to be a successful social media manager.

  1. Organized: At an agency, you’re expected to manage multiple accounts at once. With multiple accounts comes a lot of work. You have your daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks that must be accomplished within each account. And then when you least expect it, you’ll get the occasional project that you didn’t plan on. That’s why being organized is so imperative, so you can easily change your schedule and adapt to whatever is going on at the moment. This also means you must be very good at multi-tasking.
  2. Creative: Because our work is so visual, one must think of new and exciting ways to a engage an audience, whether it be through images, contests or compelling content. Creativity is key because you don’t want to post the same type of content. If you do, you’ll end up boring the audience and lose their interest. If you lose their interest, you’ll lose their business.
  3. Responsible: As Voltaire would say, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” This in fact is very true. Being a social media manager of an account means that you are representing the company and managing their reputation via social media. You are responsible for what is posted and must know the appropriate content to post. Every brand is different so you don’t want to post content that won’t target your audience. You must always use your best judgment when posting.
  4. Team Player: Being a team player means you’re all working towards the same goal. We all want our clients to be successful so we all help each other out when need be. That can be anything from bouncing ideas of one another to watching someone else’s account while they are on vacation. When everyone works together, everyone is successful together.
  5.  Focused: Being a social media manager isn’t a job for everyone. It is very easy to get lost in the world wide web and get distracted by something random in your newsfeed. That’s why it is important to stay on task and stick to your to-do list. If you don’t, you end up wasting your day and valuable time that could have been spent on the client.

What other characteristics do you think should be added to the list?

The Snapchat Update Decoded

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I am a huge fan of the app Snapchat, so when I heard there was a new update, I had to blog about it.

If you read my previous blog post, I describe what Snapchat is and how it lost an important feature that had everyone talking on social media. The app developers decided to get rid of “Best Friends” to protect the privacy of certain people. Once this was discovered, there was viral backlash and Snapchat announced it would bring back the feature in it’s next update.

That time has finally come.

Instead of publicly listing everyone’s top “Best Friends,” Snapchat replaced this social hierarchy with emojis (because who doesn’t love emojis). Now, your top best friend will have a heart emoji next to his or her name and the rest goes on. Below is a clever infographic that shows this hierarchy in terms of Beyonce’s inner circle.

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Another interesting thing to note about the update is how Snapchat is slowly integrating gamification. Gamification is the idea of applying gaming concepts to real life environments in order to motivate a behavior. Before the update, “Best Friends” lists were set in stone, whether one snapped regularly or not. After the update, one must snap regularly to keep the emoji list and see who is engaging with each other in your contact list. This subtly encourages users to keep sending snaps in order to keep their lists going, which leads to Snapchat gamifying social interactions. While gamification is projected to be a $2.8 billion industry in 2016, I’m not surprised Snapchat finally jumped on the bandwagon.