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Gossip Genie Blog

Do you Snagit? If you don’t, you should.

By | Gossip Genie Blog | One Comment

What is Snagit you ask? Snagit is a screen capture tool available for Mac and PC. It is a powerful and useful tool that is very user-friendly. This product gives you the ability to capture everything from a single tweet to whole webpages; no matter how far down you have to scroll to see the page. Once the object or area is “snagged,” you can cut, crop, trim, and erase anything you do not need. There are many different editing tools included. I use this program for every promotional graphic I create. Snagit doesn’t pretend to be Photoshop, but you can create basic images on it with little effort.

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With how user-friendly and simple the software is to learn you’d think Apple created it. The best part of this software is how fast it is. A little rollout menu is always active and hidden on your screen. When you see an image all you have to do is move your cursor over, click the big red button and capture what you need. The program is set to instantly open the editor for you after the capture.

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I use it on a daily basis and would recommend it to anyone that works in the digital industry. It is very useful professionally and one of my most used applications. But don’t take my word for it, try it out for yourself! Snagit is free to try for 15 days. If you like it, it is $49.95 to purchase the program.

Did I mention you can also use it to record your screen? Well yeah, it does that too.

Want more info? Here is a quick overview of Snagit:

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Why Every Brand Should Be Using “Tagboard” For Hashtags

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

hashtagAh, yes, the hashtag. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the hashtag symbol embodies all that is gloriously social media speak. In just a short few years, it has grown into a social behemoth that is now utilized in many (if not all) of the social networks out on the web — and it’s safe to say that brands have taken notice. But are brands really capitalizing on the hashtag’s fullest potential?

Social media has given everyone a voice, and brands that effectively use social media know that they need to amplify their audience’s voice to show that they’re listening. So if you’re a brand and are looking for a new way to engage with your fans, this is where Tagboard becomes your new best friend.

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Tagboard
is capitalizing on the usage of hashtags in social media and has built a platform for specific topics that are alive on the web and gives them an aesthetically pleasing home where users can find more info about a certain hashtag. On the other side of the coin, companies have the ability to customize the design and imagery of their Tagboard pages to help frame the conversation and brand, all in real-time.

Layman’s terms: Tagboard takes hashtag-associated content from the big name social networks, including videos from Instagram and Vine, and lumps them all into one place, saving you the hassle of logging into multiple social networks and having to switch back and forth.

If you’re looking to help your brand inch closer to brand champion status, I suggest hopping on the Tagboard train! The company even shares helpful tips and creative ways brands can integrate Tagboard into their social media marketing:

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tagboard-conferences

tagboard-wedding

 

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Wondering what it looks like on the user-end? Gossip Genie’s Social Media Week Chicago event is a great example of how Tagboard can make live-tweeting from events more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes:

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Tagboard definitely has something special here and brands should take notice. Being a power user myself, I happily endorsed the platform during the Q&A portion of our Social Media Week event, and so far the reviews have been positive from the audience!

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Will you be giving Tagboard a try? Let me know what you think of it!

A Flatout Masterpiece

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

If there is anything we love at Gossip Genie as much as social media, it’s delicious/nutritious food to fuel our creative brains. Last week, our friends from Flatout Bread  dropped off a generous sampling of their products. IMG_8946Let’s just take a moment here to discuss the amazingness this product, if you thought deliciously healthy was an oxymoron, Flatout Bread will prove you wrong. It IS healthy and delicious, with only 90 calories and 9 glorious grams of protein, Wonderbread execs are shaking in their boots!

Immediately after our Flatout goodies arrived, we tore open a package and sampled the raw product, no peanut butter, jelly, sauce, hummus or even mustard in sight. To our delight, it was quite the treat in its naked form.  This is important because you may find yourself in an emergency situation, such as the Apocalypse and condiments may not be an option. Therefore, you have to choose food you trust to be tasty even in its plainest form.

Now for the fun part -A package of  Flatout Flatbread comes with 6 wraps and each is a blank canvas. With every new creation, I felt like I had created something worthy of a museum display. Every artist needs inspiration and I chose to use Instagram as mine, I simply searched the hashtag #FlatoutBread and I was in recipe heaven.

I am a big fan of goat cheese so I was inspired by this photo posted by RIDICULISSA on Instagram:

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Goat Cheese Pizza 

Recipe

1 Flatout Wrap (Original)

Goat Cheese – spread goat cheese to cover entire wrap

Chopped tomatoes to cover wrap

Chopped basil to top the tomatoes

Hot pepper flakes (just enough to taste)

I put the finished product in the toaster oven for about 7 minutes and it was perfect!

Strawberry Cinnamon Wrap

 This one is from Saraheevans_livingfitclean via Instagram.photo 2

Set the oven to 350

Chop one cup of strawberries and coat with Stevia

One Flatout wrap and spray withPam (coat lightly). Sprinkle with cinnamon and Stevia and bake for 2 minutes. Fill the wrap with Strawberry yogurt (I used Fage) and strawberries.

For a healthy oven-free lunch, load your wrap with veggies and chicken, add a sprinkle of pepper & salt and a spritz of lemon. Elizabeth created this little work of art in less than two minutes.

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For more mouth-watering Flatout recipes, check out their website, make sure you like Flatout on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Tricks of the Trade: Tips To Make Managing Social Media Accounts Easier

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

Managing multiple social media accounts on a daily basis requires a lot of toggling between different browsers, platforms, applications, and sometimes even desktops.  Establishing systems and using the right tools can save your (and your laptop’s) sanity.

Here are some tips and tricks to make managing your social media accounts easier:

To search for a document easily: Download FoundApp.

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Sick of never being able to find anything on your crowded desktop or in your downloads folder? FoundApp simultaneously searches all basic file types on your computer, in your folders, Google Drive, and Gmail attachments- even ones you haven’t download yet. It also lets your preview the document in full so that you can make sure you found the right one. Then you can drag and drop it anywhere, right from the app.

To separate business and personal accounts: Create Google Chrome profiles 

You can create as many Google Chrome profiles as you need — one for work, personal use, or even one for each of your clients — and you’re free to toggle among multiple accounts at once. Each is fully customizable with account-specific bookmarks, Chrome apps, saved passwords and more.

To easily send documents between your phone and computer: Download DeskConnect

Hate sending pictures you want to post on Instagram to your email, then having to open the email and download and save the picture to your phone? DeskConnect will be your lifesaver. With DeskConnect, you can stop sending yourself endless emails with links and attachments. It makes it easier to send anything and everything between your devices.

To manage from your phone: Download Facebook Pages

This app will alert you to Facebook page activity that needs a timely response, and the functionality is more robust for page management than the regular Facebook app. You can have both apps on your mobile device- the regular Facebook app for personal use and the Facebook Pages Manager for business use.

To easily access your top sites: Download Google Chrome’s” X New Tab Page” App

“X New Tab Page” provides speed dials for your top sites and makes it easier to open installed Chrome apps. You can add all of the sites that you use on a daily basis to manage your accounts. That way, you don’t have to search through bookmarks or even type a URL address in. All of your top sites are just a click away. Here’s a look at my “X New Tab Page” that I also use as my homepage:

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To impress clients with a presentation: Use Prezi.

Prezi is much like PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote. While PowerPoint is most people’s go-to program for putting together slides for a presentation, Prezi differentiates itself by providing a totally new way of designing a presentation. Instead of a presentation being arranged as a sequence of slides, with Prezi it’s arranged hierarchically so that the presenter can show an overview and then zoom in on areas to provide more detail. At Gossip Genie, we started using Prezi when we were invited to present at Social Media Week in Chicago. Although we were frustrated with it at times, it ended up being a great platform and now we use it when making any presentation to a client.

Instagramming your brand

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

For over three years, Instagram has been a home for snapshots of passing memories, up and coming brands, millions of get-to-know faces and more. With the ever-changing digital world birthing new ways for businesses to expand, market and sell, brands desperately need to keep up. And let’s just say, if your brand doesn’t have a presence on Instagram, you aren’t keeping up with the latest trends as fast as you should be.

instaPerusing the “Instagram for Business” blog on Tumblr would be a great first step. The blog allows you to explore how successful, existing businesses on Instagram use the social sphere by providing various tips, brand spotlights and news from the Instagram headquarters. So, if you’re an Insta-newbie, wanting to put your brand on the Instagram map, check out the blog and see how others are successfully utilizing this social outlet to their advantage.

To help you grasp the amount of people your brand could reach on this social sphere, who are actively engaging, sharing, here are a few stats provided by Instagram:

150 million amount of monthly active users

60%+ people outside the U.S.

16 billion photos shared

1.2 billion likes per day

55 million average photos posted per day

Using Instagram for business allows you to humanize your brand, expand your audience and reach, get followers involved, and show-off your products/services in a digital “window-shopping” experience.

Plus, now that Instagram is playing with advertising, hopefully in the near future more and more businesses can take advantage of marketing ventures on this social realm.

 

How do you use Instagram for your business?

Summer House Brings Summer to Chicago in November

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

As winter approaches in Chicago, the newly opened restaurant, Summer House will make you feel like you are in the midst of your favorite season all year round. I was born and raised in Lincoln Park and when something new is coming to that area, I get really excited. Sometimes that excitement ends in disappointment but not last night.

At 30 degrees and depressingly dark at 4pm, I was debating whether or not to order in last night or venture out to make the most of a Friday night in Chicago. I chose the latter and was absolutely delighted by my decision. The minute I stepped in to Summer House, I felt like I was in Santa Monica, CA or the Hamptons.

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The upscale beachy decor helped me to forget about the temperature outside. The vibe was exactly what I needed, upbeat, hip and chic. Throughout the restaurant there are “YES” signs because the restaurant aims to please. Our waiter said his intention is to be able to say “YES” to all of our requests and that he did! The service was impeccable and our waiter had a great sense of humor. Head Chef and partner, Jeff Mahin, came to our table several times to offer suggestions and check on us. The most important part, the food, was some of the best I have had in Chicago. That says a lot coming from me because anyone that knows me, knows I am super picky.

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Let’s talk dishes. Our party of four split everything which meant we all got to taste a little of everything.

First out: Hamachi Tartare &  Green Apple – This pairing was unexpectedly delicious and the hamachi was super fresh.

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Super Green Salad – I am a fan of anything with Kale and this salad is sure to become my go-to pickup for a late afternoon snack during the week.

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Sweet & Spicy Eggplant – Just the right amount of sweet versus spice to make the whole table yearn for seconds. I love seeing an eggplant appetizer on a menu, it’s such an underrated vegetable.

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Spicy Calamari -I will never eat regular old fried calamari again because this tempura coated treat was the best calamari I have ever had. We were too busy chowing down that I forgot to take a picture right when this dish came out, this is 3/4ths eaten.

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Yuzo Bay Scallops – Out of everything I ate, this was my least favorite but I am not a big fan of scallops. My table mates loved this dish and don’t get me wrong, these were tasty but I definitely enjoyed the other dishes quite a bit more.

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Roasted Cauliflower – I have to admit, if Chef Jeff didn’t suggest this dish, I would never have tried it but I am so glad he did. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t choose a cauliflower dish but I couldn’t get enough of this. It had a great kick to it because of the jalapeno pesto and I would urge everyone that goes to Summer House to try this dish.

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Long and slow Short ribs – The meat was incredibly tender and if it was socially acceptable, I would have licked the plate to ensure none of the aligot mashed potatoes went uneaten.

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Dessert – I know my desserts and I am critical of sweets because those are my specialty. If there is one place you don’t want to skip dessert, it’s Summer House. I will be dreaming of the delicious warm chocolate chip Rice Krispie treat cooking with pumpkin spice ice cream on top, for years to come. To the right of the world’s best cookie, is the decadent chocolate cake with peanut butter and chocolate drizzle, it was extremely rich but incredibly scrumptious.

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As we all know, I strongly believe in the power of social media to make or break brands. Therefore, I am using my network to spread a great word in an effort to help make this brand. I never endorse something I am not a strong supporter of and it’s no different with Summer House. Spread the word about this place because summer in Chicago is here to stay. Check out the rest of Summer House’s menu, make a reservation and follow them on Twitter for a mouthwatering newsfeed.

Twitter: From Hatchling to Heavyweight

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, What's Trending | No Comments

Twitter IPOThis week marks a huge moment in the history of Twitter as the social platform listed publicly for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TWTR. What once started off as an egg (like every new user who joins), Twitter has evolved into a soaring tech animal that has dramatically changed the way we interact with not only the web, but with each other. With billions of messages tweeted each week, and public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama who regularly use the platform, these are just a few factors that have had a major role in Twitter’s meteoric rise leading up to its big initial public offering. In honor of Twitter’s IPO, Mashable created an infographic that vividly captures Twitter’s life from infancy to adulthood.

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Unique Digital Media Stats from 2009 Compared to 2013

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

On February 10, 2009, I put together a list of 20 compelling digital media statistics in sequential order. Today, nearly 5 years later, it’s shocking how much these statistics have changed.  The statistics in black are from 2009 and the ones in blue are from today.

 

1 trillion unique URLs in GOOGLE’s index

Unable to find updated info for this stat

 

2 billion GOOGLE searches per day

5 billion GOOGLE searches per day

 

3 billion minutes spent on FACEBOOK each day

10.5 billion minutes spent on FACEBOOK each day

 

4 million videos are uploaded on FACEBOOK each month

2 billion videos are uploaded on FACEBOOK each month

 

5 million users on TWITTER

218 million users on TWITTER

 

6th most trafficked site in the US is FACEBOOK

2nd most trafficked site in the US is FACEBOOK

 

7% of employees admitted checking their personal email at work

81% of employees admitted to checking their personal email at work

 

8 million people access the web from their phone

1.2 billion people access the web from their phone

 

9 hundred thousand BLOG posts a day

2 million BLOG posts a day

 

10 videos watched on average by a HULU visitor

12 videos watched on average by a HULU visitor

 

11% of FACEBOOK users are over age 35

65% of Facebook users are 35 or older.

 

12% of professionals use DIGG at work

Does anyone still use DIGG??

 

13 hours of video uploaded to YOUTUBE every minute

100 hours of video uploaded to YOUTUBE every minute

 

14% of Americans post their videos online

31% of Americans post their videos online

 

15% growth rate per year in social networking

18% growth rate per year in social networking

 

16% decrease in newspaper ad revenues in 2008

Print IS DEAD!

 

17 million XBOX live online gaming service users

46 million XBOX live online gaming service users

 

18 million people online in Iran

42 million people online in Iran

 

19% of influential consumers use podcasts

45% of influential consumers use podcasts

 

20 million US MOBILE phone users cut land lines

More than a quarter of U.S. households have ditched landline phones, a trend driven by younger Americans relying on their cellphones, according to Census Bureau 

LinkedIn company pages, why you need one

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

The benefits of an impactful, strong LinkedIn business page are endless. A LinkedIn company page gives you a sphere to engage, attract other professionals in the field and share company updates, news, job openings, all while establishing you and your company’s credibility.

Can it get any better?

Here are some encouraging stats from LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 238 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
  • There are over 30 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.
  • LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups.

Linkedin-iconThe LinkedIn sphere opens up a whole new way to hire, market and sell. With recent college graduates and job-searching professionals on the prowl, you have the opportunity to potentially find a slew of adept candidates on LinkedIn to help expand your business. Not only that, your company page can attract not only current employees, but other professionals that work in appropriate fields or are interested in your products/services.

The key is to give LinkedIn members a compelling reason to follow your company page, which can be done by creating a constant, reliable feed of high-quality news, product updates, influential articles, etc.

After creating a business page, another option is to form a LinkedIn group to continue to promote discussion, and further engagement and exposure.

The bottom line: LinkedIn is a popular, professional social media outlet that businesses should take advantage of. Creating a company page will open up new opportunities; you’ll be able to meet fresh talent, connect with potential product/service buyers, communicate with prospects in the industry, strengthen credibility and further marketing efforts.

How has a LinkedIn company page helped your business?

 

 

Vine Becomes More Awesome, Adds Sessions and Time Travel

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

Vine, the Twitter-owned app, unveiled two new updates last week that gives its users more flexibility with their six-second works of art.

vine_sessionsSessions is one of the new updates that adds a draft-like feature, allowing users to no longer need to finish videos immediately after recording their first clip. With Sessions, users are now able to save any post and come back to it later, up to ten posts at once. It also allows users to check out the work of others mid-Vine for some inspiration!

time travelThe second new feature (and this one is a biggie) is Time Travel. With Time Travel, users can remove, reorganize or replace any shot within a post at any time – it essentially lets users edit their videos, where in the past, Vines had to be shot continuously without a mistake. Now, when shooting a video users see a new green bar that allows them to organize shots as well as a new “Edit” button when in preview mode.

With 40 million Viners and counting, the release of these updates not only gives users even greater flexibility working with their six-second creations, it will definitely entice users to become even more creative. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing the next wave of Internet famous vines popping up on the news – just ask Ryan McHenry, creator of ‘Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal,’ how things are working out for himself after his vines went viral!