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Anthony Less

4 Things I’ve Learned In My 4 Years at Gossip Genie

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August marks my fourth year working at Gossip Genie. I started as an intern about a year after graduating from college and I have learned a lot in the past four years, growing professionally, as well as personally. My job at Gossip Genie and as a social media manager moves very fast and doesn’t leave much time for self-reflection but I thought I’d take the time to look back on the past four years and a few of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Change is good

I was originally pursuing a degree in psychology in college, with the goal of attending graduate school. After taking a few marketing classes and realizing how I could apply my psych classes to my marketing ones, I started interning at a few digital marketing agencies, eventually landing at Gossip Genie. The rest, they say, is history.
From then on, I’ve been open to change and the good things it can bring. In my role at Gossip Genie, change is inevitable as the social media space is constantly evolving. You must adapt at a moment’s notice to the latest trends, client demands, and even the occasional social media crisis. It certainly keeps you on your toes, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Get out of your comfort zone

Whether it’s been jumping into the fast-paced arena of live social media coverage or presenting a sales pitch to a client, I’ve learned that you have to push the limits of what you think you’re capable of. I’ve always been a little shy and quiet and working at Gossip Genie has really brought out a more vocal side in me. When I first started working at Gossip Genie, I had no sales or client relation experience and I was reluctant to speak up in certain situations. I’ve been lucky to have a supportive team behind me who encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and I’ve learned how important it is to voice your opinion and experience new things. 

Relationships matter 

In business, as in life, it all comes down to relationships and the bonds you create. My biggest goal as a social media manager is to create a collaborative and positive relationship with my clients. At Gossip Genie, I’ve been fortunate to work with and network with an amazing group of people from across all different industries. Being able to maintain a good client relationship and receive positive feedback on a campaign or initiative is one of the greatest perks of my job.

Girls Rule

If you haven’t noticed, I’m usually the only guy on the Gossip Genie team. Fortunately, I am surrounded on a daily basis by kick-ass women who motivate, inspire, and challenge me. I am lucky to not only call them colleagues, but friends.

Here a few more things I’ve learned over the years at Gossip Genie:

Donuts are a great way to celebrate birthdays…or a Monday.


Always bring an extra charger when covering a live event on social media. For more tips on live social media coverage, visit here and here.

Here’s Elizabeth and I live-covering the National ProStart Invitational the past 3 years:


An office that allows dogs is a happy office.


Always be prepared for an impromptu client photoshoot.

Sometimes, happy hours are a must.


I’m grateful I’ve been able to work for such an amazing company and see it grow (and myself) over the past four years. I’m excited for what’s to come!


The Cultural Phenomenon of Pokemon Go

By | Funny Photos, Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending | No Comments

Pokemon Go is taking the world by storm. Since the app launched on iOS and Android on July 6, it has become the most downloaded app in both Apple and Android app stores, surpassing Tinder, Twitter and Snapchat in downloads and active users and has generated an estimated $14.04 million in revenue since its release, according to SuperData Research.

It also recently became the biggest mobile game in history, surpassing Candy Crush.

Needless to say, it has become nothing less than a cultural sensation in the blink of an eye.

Here are some things to know about the game, including how you can use it to market your business.

How does the game work?
The augmented reality game uses your phone’s GPS and camera to find virtual Pokémon creatures in your neighborhood. The app tracks user location and uses notable real-life landmarks as “Pokéstops” where players can collect Poké Balls and capture Pokémon. So instead of catching Pokémon in the traditional digital landscape, players are forced to get off their couches and explore the real world to capture Pokémon and engage in virtual battles. As players move around they encounter different Pokémon depending on the time and their location.

How can you use it to market your business?

Figuring out whether your business is a PokeStop (where players can collect rewards) or Gym (where players team up to defend their territory) is the first thing you should do. PokeStops and Gyms attract foot traffic without any effort. You can easily advertise your business as a PokeStop or Gym through social media, which is what a lot of business are doing to drive traffic into their stores.

This Utah-based clothing store used Instagram to get people to come into their store:

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For businesses that are not benefiting from naturally occurring Pokétraffic, there are other opportunities to attract users of the app into your stores. One of the items available for purchase in the game is a ‘lure module’.

Lure modules attract Pokémon to a particular Pokéstop for 30 minutes, and it will affect the area around a Pokéstop too of approximately a 500 metre radius. If your business falls within those bounds, purchasing a Lure Module during some of your downtime might just increase your Pokésales and maybe net you some Poké returning customers.

This Pittsburgh food market dropped a lure and offered a discount on their menu items:

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Also, New York pizzeria L’inizio Pizza Bar saw sales rocket up 75 percent this weekend after its manager, Sean Benedetti, spent $10 to have a dozen Pokemon lured to the location, according to the New York Post.

Here’s a look at some funny Pokemon Go memes that have taken over social media:

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Happy Social Media Day!

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This year will mark the seventh annual Social Media Day, an event that was first launched in 2010 by Mashable to recognize the incredible growth and impact the digital revolution has had on our world.

 To get an idea of how big the impact is, take a look at these amazing stats about social media:

Here at Gossip Genie, we are all about social media. We live, work and breathe it. So for us, every day is social media day! But this specific day allows us to reflect on the significance of social media and to highlight the ways digital culture has revolutionized how we communicate.

Want to participate in Social Media Day? Use #SMday on any social network and check out Mashable’s website for meetups in your area.

How Netflix Viewers Respond to Images (And How To Apply It To Your Social Media Posts)

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight | No Comments

Netflix is well known for using data-driven marketing to come up with more intelligent and focused recommendations to keep you watching.

Recently, they conducted a study that goes beyond just what movies and TV shows you like. Their study, “The Power of an Image,” sought to get a better understanding of how the images they use on their homepage impact user behavior, finding that the thumbnails displayed are one of the biggest reasons someone chooses to click play or not. They found that images “constituted over 82% of people’s focus while browsing,” making it a hugely influential factor in what people chose to watch.

In the study, Netflix reports that if you don’t capture a member’s attention within 90 seconds, that member will likely lose interest. On social media, you have even less time to capture someone’s attention as they’re scrolling through their feed. Which is why imagery is so important. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to be shared on social media than other types of content and Facebook posts with images see more than 2X more engagement than those without images (Source: HubSpot).

Let’s take a look at the biggest trends Netflix found in their study and how it can be applied to your social media posts:

Showcase Emotions

The study found that images showing faces that expressed a wide-range of emotions performed better than those without. They said, “Faces with complex emotions outperform stoic or benign expressions — seeing a range of emotions actually compels people to watch a story more. This is likely due to the fact that complex emotions convey a wealth of information to members regarding the tone or feel of the content.”

Testing the below images to promote their series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” they found that the image of the two main characters making exaggerated facial expressions performed the best.


Takeaway for social media content: Using images with faces is an effective strategy to increase engagement. More specifically, you should post images that convey the emotional tone or feel of your content. When taking photos or choosing from stock photography, pick the images that have the most expression to reel in your audience.

Less is More

Netflix also found that images that contain more than three people lead to a significant drop in user engagement. This finding changed the way they approached the promotion of one of their most popular shows, ‘Orange is the New Black’. In Season 1, they featured the entire cast in promotional images, while for seasons 2 and 3, they showcased only the main character.

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Takeaway for social media content: Don’t post images that are too busy. Simple, clean images will perform better, particularly when displayed on a smaller scale. And since most social media posts are viewed on mobile, you have less space and a smaller image size to capture an audience’s attention with your visual content.

Audience Preferences Differ by Region

With artwork for Netflix’ series “Sense8,” the company was able to get a glimpse into the differences in response to imagery across various cultures. Netflix stated that “Examining regional differences helped us see that while great stories transcend borders, it is important to understand how presenting each story in different regions impacts how quickly members from around the world actually discover that story through artwork.”


Takeaway for social media content: Tailor your content and images to your specific audience. Know your target market and make sure every graphic and image you share is relatable to that audience. If you’re not sure what your audience is going to respond to, test out various content to see what’s working.

While the findings here are obviously focused on movies and TV shows, it goes to show how powerful images are and the ability they have to move people in powerful ways. The study offers some interesting lessons in what types of images generate better engagement; such as limiting the amount of people you have in your photos and using images that showcase more complex emotions. Take note of these and you may be able to generate better engagement and get more people to click through and read your posts.

How to Cover a Live Event on Social Media

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Snapchat, Social Media Spotlight | No Comments

This past weekend marked the sixth year in a row Gossip Genie has covered the National ProStart Invitational (NPSI) live on social media. This is the third year in a row Elizabeth and I have attended. The Invitational, held in Grapevine, Texas this year, consisted of two days of intense culinary and restaurant management competitions.

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The culinary competition tested the teams’ creative abilities as they prepared a three-course meal in 60 minutes and students competing in the management competition were tasked with developing a proposal for the next promising restaurant concept, which they presented to a panel of industry judges.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 10.32.56 AMIt was all on Gossip Genie to translate the excitement and energy of the 2-day event on social media so that the ProStart audience in attendance, and at home, could follow along with the competition.

Each year Elizabeth and I have covered NPSI, we have adapted our strategy to reflect the latest social media trends and to increase coverage of the event.

Here are a few things we included in our live updates this year:


The primary audience at this event is high-school age students. Since over 60 million of Snapchat’s 100 million daily users are between the ages of 13-24, we knew we had to be on Snapchat to reach this target demographic (Source: Social Media Examiner).

We created a custom filter for the event so that students in attendance could brand their own snaps with the NPSI logo and hashtag.


Take a look at our Snapchat story from Day 1 of the competition:


Facebook Live

In previous years, there was a live stream hosted on ProStart’s website that we directed our audience to so that they could tune into the competition and the awards ceremony if they were not in attendance and wanted to cheer on their teams from home. This year, there was no live stream so we turned to Facebook Live to give our fans access to key events during NPSI, specifically the awards ceremony.

We went live on Facebook during the awards so that our audience could find out the NPSI winners in real time. The live video received over 3,000 views and close to 200 comments throughout the live stream congratulating the winners. It was a great way to engage people who couldn’t be at the event.

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Twitter Updates

Twitter is a great platform to provide instantaneous live updates and we used this network to capture key moments, quotes and images from each team during the competitions and award ceremony. Twitter was also a great place to interact with students, educators, fans, and donors/sponsors of NPSI.


Live Stream Updates

For the second year in a row, we used to broadcast all social media surrounding NPSI. It collects all social media posts using the event hashtag, #NPSI2016, to bring to life the competition with real-time social media interaction on a big screen. We displayed the live feed on large screens right outside of the culinary and management competitions s so that people in attendance could follow along with all of the social media chatter.

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Facebook Live: Why Live Video Matters for Your Business

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight | No Comments

With more and more ways to stream live video popping up, Facebook is getting into the action. I’ve talked a few times here about the emergence and popularity of video content for social media, specifically Facebook. Recently, Facebook has unveiled Facebook Live video, a streaming video service, similar to Meerkat and Periscope, where viewers are able to tune in to a live video stream from a business or personal page.

Live video has been a point of focus for Facebook in recent months, as it looks to broaden its News Feed to include more real-time content.

According to Facebook, people spend three times longer watching videos when they’re live compared to videos that are not live. To account for this, Facebook is altering its News Feed algorithm to make sure live videos appear higher in the stream.

In their latest blog post, they said:

“Now that more and more people are watching Live videos, we are considering Live Videos as a new content type – different from normal videos – and learning how to rank them for people in News Feed. As a first step, we are making a small update to News Feed so that Facebook Live videos are more likely to appear higher in News Feed when those videos are actually live, compared to after they are no longer live.”

I’m excited to explore Facebook Live video further for my clients. It is great for marketers because it gives the ability to create an intimate, authentic connection with your audience while humanizing and personalizing your brand through behind-the-scenes video, coverage of live events, Q & A’s and more. Facebook Live also allows your audience to subscribe to your stream so that any time you are broadcasting, your audience gets a notification that you are live. I will keep you updated on my experience with Facebook Live!

All You Need Is Love (And a Killer Social Media Campaign for Valentine’s Day)

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

It’s February and love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. Whether you’re planning an extravagant celebration with a loved one or staying in with Netflix, it’s hard to ignore the romantic holiday, especially on social media. If you’re a brand or small business, it’s wise to start planning a campaign to capitalize on one of the largest spending holidays. In fact, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $18.9 billion this Valentine’s Day.

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What are they spending it on? Take a look:

  • 53.2% of Valentine’s Day consumers will purchase candy, generating $1.7 billion in sales
  • 1 in 5 (21.1%) will purchase jewelry, totaling $4.8 billion
  • $2.1 billion will be spent on flowers
  • $3.6 billion will be spent on a special meal or movie tickets
  • $2 billion on clothes
  • $1.5 billion on gift cards

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Who’s doing the spending? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Adults 25-34 are outspending all other age groups at an average of $213.04
  • 35-44 year olds will spend an average of $176.21
  • 18 to 24 year olds will spend an average of $168.95


Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to tap into a social media campaign for your brand or business.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

Tap into current issues

A new campaign for Sweethearts, the candy sold almost exclusively as a Valentine’s Day product from candy maker Necco, seeks to give the brand a modern makeover by plugging into social themes, including marriage equality.

“Our communities are becoming bigger and more connected,” said Necco CEO Michael McGee. “For a brand, that means traditional, one-sided communication is not enough. You have to find ways to help consumers participate with your brand and have your conversation become interactive.”

To achieve this for Valentine’s Day, Necco is inviting folks to visit a contest website and share their sweet stories  “of sharing, love, friendship and words from the heart” for a chance to win $5,000. On the homepage, they’re greeted by the campaign’s centerpiece—a video that tells the story of Jack and George. Now in their 80s, the Texans have been “sweethearts” for 55 years. They wed in 2015, shortly after the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. This year marks the first Valentine’s Day they’ll be able to celebrate as a legally married couple.

Necco’s McGee believes tapping into current issues/trends will pay off for Sweethearts. By telling sweet stories designed to melt consumers’ hearts (and make them think just a little), he anticipates boosting sales 20 percent this year.

Let your audience participate

Tiffany & Co. is asking the age-old question, “What is love?” to explore the different definitions of today’s romantic relationships. In addition to posing the question on their social media channels to garner responses, Tiffany’s Valentine’s Day campaign has a webpage featuring testimonials from an assortment of individuals, a gift guide and a love generator that presents consumers with an opportunity to express their personal answer to the frequently pondered question. Their answer is then created into a hashtag in GIF form that can be shared via social media. With so many personal interpretations of what love is and means, it’s an interesting and unique way to drive audience participation.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 8.20.43 PM



Target Men

Valentine’s Day is a traditionally female-oriented holiday. But men are most likely the ones shelling out the dough for presents, so why not target them? One of our clients, PrettyQuick, is a beauty-booking app aimed primarily at women. Almost all of our ads and social media posts are targeted towards females. This year, we are launching a Valentine’s Day ad geared towards men to get them to buy a PrettyQuick gift card for their significant other for a day of pampering. It never hurts to think outside the box of traditional holiday marketing and tap into a new audience.

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Target Singles

In the vein of targeting a different audience, the National Retail Federation report notes that 45 percent of Americans don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Interestingly, though, many of them plan to get together or treat themselves to something special.

It’s interesting data because it can create new opportunities to woo singles who may not have elaborate plans for the annual celebration of love, but are still willing to spend money.

With 10 percent of happy singles planning to buy gifts like jewelry, spa, and apparel for themselves, you may want to seize this opportunity by planning a special campaign directed at this group.

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Get Cheeky

Last Valentine’s Day, Huggies partnered with Pandora to create a “baby making” playlist that they shared on their social media channels with the slogan “See you in 9 Months.” The brand reported a 22% increase in social interaction. Getting a little risqué with your social messaging is not for every brand, but when done wisely, it can spark a conversation and renewed interest in a brand.


Strike up a partnership and Starbucks partnered together last year for the worlds largest #StarbucksDate. On February 13th, Match’s mobile app included a section called “Meet at Starbucks.” Match users who click on that button were able to email one another and meet up at a nearby Starbucks. According to Starbucks, the feature helped people “more easily reach out and make that first coffee date.” They were also encouraged to share their coffee date with the hashtag #StarbucksDate.


Thinking of creative ways to partner with another brand or company for a Valentine’s Day promotion is a great way to extend the reach of your campaign, reach a new audience, and maybe even help people find love!



Have we lost the art of conversation?

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Take a moment and think about your daily interactions. Do the majority of them involve eye contact or face-to-face interaction?

Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and professor at MIT whose primary academic interest is the relationship between humans and technology, recently came out with a book called “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.” In the book, Turkle argues that texts, tweets, Facebook posts, emails, instant messages, and snapchats—these simultaneous, rapid-fire instances of online communication—have replaced face-to-face conversation, and that people are noticing the consequences. Over-reliance on devices, she argues, is harming our ability to have valuable face-to-face conversations, “the most human thing we do,” by diminishing our capacity for empathy.


That is very worrying to me.

I am all about the power of digital media to enhance and even empower communication. I think it’s a great tool to stay in touch and for businesses to market themselves. What worries me is the reliance we all have on it.

Think about it. Children today communicate mostly through texts and social media posts. No wonder Turkle predicts their capacity for empathy is diminishing- they’re able to churn out bullying words and insults in the form of a social media post or text message without ever seeing the hurt on the other person’s face or realizing the impact their hurtful words have on another person. When you speak to people in person, you’re forced to recognize their full humanity, which is where empathy begins.

We’re constantly communicating with one another- liking a post on Instagram, wishing someone a “Happy Birthday” via a Facebook post- but have we lost the art of conversation? Think about the dinner table. Next time you’re at a restaurant, look around and notice how many people around you are on their phone. Our constant dependence on our smartphones and digital technology is actually impeding our sense of intimacy and interaction. We’re so busy wondering what we’re missing online that we don’t realize what we’re actually missing is sitting right across from us at the dinner table.

Personally, I don’t want to live in a world where empathy, that fundamentally human ability to relate to one another, has been replaced with robotic messages sent from a phone.

So, I challenge you to do the following:

  1. Next time you’re at work and you have to tell a coworker something, get up out of your chair and go visit them at their desk instead of sending an email or instant message.
  2. Going to a concert? Put away your phone for a full song. Don’t record it or try and get a good picture of the band. Just enjoy the music.
  3. When you’re out to dinner with your family, friends, or on a date next, tell everyone to keep their phones in their pocket or purse for the duration of the meal and have a meaningful conversation that isn’t interrupted by the constant flow of digital content.
  4. Stay in the moment! We can all learn a little something from this lady:
John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

John Blanding/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

Top 5 Sites for Social Media News

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Words of Advice | No Comments

The social media industry is constantly changing. That’s why it’s crucial to stay up to date on all of the latest trends. Here are the sites I use to stay connected to what’s happening in the social media marketing world.

SmartBrief on Social Media

Looking for a recap of all of the social media news on the Internet? Look no further than SmartBrief on Social Media! They employ top editors in various industries who scour the news for you and pull top stories from sites such as AdAge and Forbes to curate the most important stories into one daily email. Now you can dig through the clutter online and stay up to date on all of the latest social media news, updates, and trends.

Google Alerts

Google alerts help you monitor the Web for interesting new content related to any topic you’re interested in. Simply enter keywords such as “social media marketing” and “create an alert” and Google will send you daily emails with content related to your keywords.

At Gossip Genie, Google alerts are also helpful for us to stay on top of any news coming out about our clients. I have alerts set up to let me know anytime my clients’ names appear on Google so that I can easily use those for content on social media.


While I breathe social media day in and day out for my job, I also like to stay connected with what’s happening around the world and theSkimm is a fun and easy way to do just that. It gives you the scoop on current events and breaking news in a daily e-mail newsletter that’s the perfect way to start your day. I “skim” over it while brushing my teeth in the morning! Now you can be well informed on everything from what’s going on in the Middle East to the latest crazy thing Donald Trump said.

Social Media Examiner

Their mission: “help you navigate the constantly changing social media jungle.” This site is very useful for step-by-step articles and directions on how to leverage social media for various marketing purposes. The topics are very technical and are perfect for helping social media marketers learn how to connect with customers, drive traffic, generate brand awareness, and increase sales.

Gossip Genie Blog!

The Gossip Genie team is full of social media experts dispensing valuable social media tips, tricks, and advice. Follow our blog and social media pages to stay up to date!


How To Market to Different Generations

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The golden rule in any type of marketing is to know your audience. With social media, though, how do you know which platform to use and what content appeals to different generations and their different sets of values and expectations?

First, let’s take a look at the different generations you’re probably marketing to:

Millenials (also known as Generation Y) are Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s. They are the largest generation in the US, representing ½ of the total US population (Source:

Generation X is the generation born after the post-World War II baby boom with birthdates ranging from 1960s to the early 1980s

Baby Boomers are the people born during the post-World War II baby boom, with birthdates between the years 1946 and 1964.

Generation Z are those after the Millenial Generations, with birthdates ranging from the lates 1990s to present day.

Social Media Today posted a great infographic on how different generations consumer content online. Let’s break it down.


In social media marketing, you have to understand when generations are consuming content based on when they’re awake, busy, or likely browsing the web or checking their phone/social networks. Most generations consume content in the late evening, some time after dinner and before bed. Consider posting content during this time to reach the largest audience. If you’re looking to target baby boomers, consider posting content earlier in the morning as well.

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If you’re targeting Millenials or Generation Z, go mobile. According to a recent survey by Social Media Today, 200 million Facebook users view the site strictly on their mobile device, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of those people are under the age of 18. To be effective in this space, consider running mobile-only promotions. Generation Z is likely using social network other than Facebook and Twitter, so use other social networks like Instagram and Snapchat to post content and host contests.

Millenials and Generation Z are also into multitasking They’re likely on their computer, phone, and watching TV at the same time. Launch campaigns across various networks to target them effectively.

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Here are the social platforms each generation uses most often to share content:

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It seems blog articles are the most consumed content across all generations. If your company doesn’t have a blog, it’s probably something you should consider implementing as a part of your marketing strategy. Check out this article on why blogging matters for your business.

 Images and videos are also the most shared visual content and video is becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool.


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