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Gossip Genie Blog

4 Perks of a Dog-Friendly Office

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What’s so wrong with bringing your fluffy companion to work? Let me tell you: Nothing. In fact, bringing your dog to work may have more benefits for your office than you would think. If your company has a strict “No Pets Allowed” policy, they might reconsider after reading these 4 major reasons why having a dog-friendly office is worth it:

  1. Pet Therapy – It’s a real thing. How can you not feel comforted when looking into the joyful eyes of a dog? Dogs have a way of easing tension and reducing stress. They can boost employee’s moods and improve happiness with each wag of their tail. Some call if magic, we call it puppy love.
  2. Bonding Tool – Dogs can encourage positive social interactions in the workplace. A dog-friendly office can unite a team by promoting communication. It encourages co-workers to mingle and start conversations with one another (even if it is about the dog). This means that co-workers are bonding and at the very least have common ground to communicate.
  3. Welcoming Environment – Dogs are the equivalent to happiness. They create a positive and welcoming atmosphere. Having a dog-friendly work place sets a tone. It makes the culture feel open, casual, and relaxed. This in turn develops a positive company culture and improves employee morale.
  4. Increased Productivity – Why do dogs increase employee productivity? Aside from the fact that dogs can improve employee morale and satisfaction, they also encourage healthy lifestyles. Dogs in the office will need to be walked and taken out for bathroom breaks every now and again. Letting your employees take short walks with their dogs can help to improve focus, work efficiency, and overall employee gratification. Employees are then allowed to take a little breather to get some fresh air and come back feeling refreshed and ready to work.

 

At Gossip Genie, you will likely find a pup roaming around our office. The benefits may seem insignificant, but they make a world of a difference. Who let the dogs in? We did. Woof, woof, woof, woof, woof.

 

5 Reasons It’s Good To Be A Genie

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As August begins, I am celebrating five years at Gossip Genie. Five years, twenty-five thousand emails, and countless conference calls later, I’m taking the time to reflect on what I love about my job and why I’ve invested half a decade of my life with Gossip Genie.

In the US, the average time spent at a single company is 4.6 years. But what makes a person stay with a company and invest in their career there? As I look back on the last five years, here are a few of my reasons why:

The Challenge

At the end of the day, I couldn’t be in a job or position that didn’t challenge me. I thrive on learning new things, challenging myself and others, and getting out of my comfort zone every once in awhile. Being at Gossip Genie and working in social media, I am never bored. There’s always a new challenge on the horizon, which makes my job exciting and, ultimately, worthwhile. Without a challenge, there is no reward.

The Clients

I have been very lucky to have worked with some amazing clients over the last five years. Working with entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, and CEOs from all different kinds of industries, I’ve gained insight into worlds I’ve never imagined and had the privilege of being a part of their story, even if just for a little bit. Our clients are what drive our business and I relish the opportunity to create lasting relationships with them.

The Culture

Flexibility, work/life balance, and an energized culture are paramount to a person’s decision to stay with a company and at Gossip Genie, I ‘m lucky to have all three with a work from home policy, fun company outings, and flexibility to balance my workload and my life.

Work That Matters 

I’m not a doctor saving lives on a daily basis but I like the fact that the work I’m doing matters to my clients and their business. There’s a great deal of satisfaction knowing that you’re proud of the work you’re putting out there and that it is resonating with an audience.

The People

I am nothing without my Gossip Genie team. It’s great to work in a collaborative environment where everyone is marching towards the same goal. To my team: you motivate, inspire, and challenge me and I am lucky to not only call you colleagues but friends. And to Jacqui, our fearless leader, thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Gossip Genie journey.

A look through my past 5 years at Gossip Genie:

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Facebook Advertising 101: Ad Formats & Placements

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When it comes to running Facebook ads, it’s important to choose the best type of ad for your campaign’s specific goals. In Part 2 of my series on Facebook Advertising, I’ll go into the different types of ad formats and placements available for your advertising campaign. Check out Part 1 for a recap on the different types of Facebook ad objectives.

Ad Formats

A Facebook ad format is the way your ad is presented creatively. Each ad objective has different ad formats you can choose from, and not all ad formats are available for all ad objectives.

Different Types of Ad Formats

  • Video Ads– Best used for awareness and consideration ads; videos uploaded natively to Facebook receive 30% more views!
  • Photo Ads- Ads used with photos of your product or company; always use high-res images
  • Slideshow Ads– Upload your own or use photos to create one- you can also add music and text overlay- make sure the first photo in the slideshow is the best to capture your audience’s attention
  • Carousel Ads– Format that shows a number of “cards,” each with a different image and the ability to link to a different destination
  • Canvas AdsFacebook calls canvas ads a “full-screen ad experiences built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.” They are interactive, fully-immersive ads that eliminate the need to go off the app for information by combining photos, videos, GIFs, text, and CTA buttons, it delivers what some call a “microsite-like experience” that allows people to click, scroll, swipe, and tap to engage with brands right on the Facebook platform.
  • Dynamic Product Ads- Connected to a site’s product catalog, they automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet. You upload your product catalog and set up your campaign once, and it continues finding the right people for the right product for as long as you want. (only available in Product Catalog Sales objective)

Ad Placements

Types: Mobile and Desktop News Feed, Right Column, Instagram, and Audience Network (third party mobile app and mobile websites

Recommendations: When running an ad, use all ad placements (unless image or copy isn’t optimized for Instagram) and monitor the performance of each ad placement

 

#PutYourPhoneDownAnd ________.

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Did you notice that the hashtag #PutYourPhoneDownAnd is trending on Twitter today? As a person who often advocates for unplugging and putting your phone away whenever possible, I absolutely love the sentiment! I even participated in the conversation on one of our client’s Twitter channels.

At Gossip Genie, we recommend participating in trending conversations on Twitter when they are relevant for your brand. When done correctly, you can bring new eyes to your page and increase engagement and buzz. The key is knowing how and when to chime in.

Here are a few of my favorite #PutDownYourPhoneAnd Tweets from brands and individuals alike.

The Gossip Genie Chicago Restaurant Guide

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At Gossip Genie, we LOVE to eat. When we aren’t eating, we’re talking about food or planning our next meal. As a team of foodies, it only made sense for us to create our own Chicago restaurant guide. Here’s what each Genie said were their favorite places to chow down.

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Anthony’s List: 

Kristina’s List:

  • Favorite Restaurant: Au Cheval
    • “It’s true what they say – Au Cheval’s burger literally melts in your mouth! Ugh, I would eat one of these every day if I could. When you order the burger, though, be sure to get the bacon. It’s thick cut, delicious, and an absolute a game-changer!”
  • Favorite Brunch Spot: Kanela Breakfast Club
    • “I’ve been to loads of other brunch spots, and none even come close to how delicious Kanela is! At this point, I’ve tried nearly everything on the menu… and haven’t had a critique on any of it! Plus, the spicy Bloody Mary comes with a mini grilled cheese. GRILLED CHEESE.
  • Favorite Date Night Spot:Carnivale or Homeslice
    • “If you’re looking to dress up a little and hit the town, Carnivale is such a fun spot. It’s bursting with color and energy, and its drinks are fruity and delicious. For a more casual, laid-back night out, Homeslice rocks, especially when it’s warm out and the patio is open.”
  •  A Spot I’ve Been Dying to Try: Piccolo Sogno. I’ve heard so many amazing things but haven’t had a chance to go yet! Definitely on my summer to-do list.

    Keenan’s List

  • Elephant and Castle
  • Sweetwater
  • Aloha Poke
  • Lizzie McNeill’s Irish Pub

Taryn’s List

Anneliese’s List

  • Favorite Restaurant of all time: Café Ba-Ba-Reeba
  • Best Grilled Cheese: Four Shadows
  • Best Pizza: Art of Pizza
  • Best BBQ: Barn and Company
  • Best Mexican: El Presidente
  • Best BYOB: Tango Sur
  • Best Steakhouse: Mastro’s
  • Place I have been dying to try: Au Cheval
  • Best Brunch: Flo

    Ali’s List

  • Favorite Restaurant in Chicago: Au Cheval (so far).
    • Order the burger. It’s the richest, most delectable burger I’ve ever had. It’s a special treat for sure!
  • Favorite Spot for Brunch: St. Lou’s Assembly.
    • TIP: They have a great back patio that’s perfect for enjoying your meal + a little bocci ball action.
  • Favorite Date Night Spot: Chicago Cut Steakhouse
    • It’s right on the Chicago River so the views are spectacular. Their service and food is ??
  • A Spot I’ve Been Dying to Try: Girl & The Goat!
    • It’s really hard to get a reservation there but it’s at the top of my list. I love Chef Stephanie’s restaurants here in Chicago, and I heard the Girl and the Goat is her best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon’s List

  • Crosby’s Kitchen
    • They have a salad that I will order above all else. I’m not a “salad when you go out,” kind of gal, so you know it’s epic.
  • Taco Joint
    • If you’re looking for guac options and a killer appetizer list, look no further. They also have a sick Happy Hour special involving Modelo and Tequila.
  • Home Bistro
    • Get the mussels and fries combo. Bonus: it’s BYOB.
  • DryHop Brewers
    • Perfect for a casual date night. Grab a flight of your favorite beers at this perfect gastropub.

Jacqui’s List

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are there any places you think we’re missing? Comment on the post to let us know!

7 Kickass Characters To Inspire You Professionally

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Let me just start by saying this: sometimes, work drags. You feel tired or burnt out and wonder why you have no drive to take your productivity to the next level. You do everything you can to jazz yourself up: brew a fresh cup of coffee with the office Keurig, put together a to-do list on stationary that says ‘hustle,’ crank up the 90s Pandora on your computer…. yet getting out of the slump can be no joke. We’ve all been there, and that’s where this list comes in.

As a creative, one of my very favorite things is to unexpectedly find motivation in my everyday life. One of the best places to find it is in the media we consume. For example, I went on a full-blown Mad Men kick once, which inspired me to constantly think ‘big picture’ (it also led to a 60’s-inspired wardrobe of bold patterns and high neckline dresses). I also had my La La Land phase recently that opened my mind to looking at colors and angles in brand new ways (honestly, I don’t think I ever quite left either of these phases…).

With this in mind, I asked each of the Genies to share with me a fictional character (TV, movie, or book) that gave them a career boost when they needed it. Each of these characters embodies a trait that they see imperative to success and have tried to implement into their own professional lives.

Without further adieu, here are 7 boss characters that can totally snap you out of your funk.

Ali: Kimmy Schmidt // Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

“Her positivity and courage inspires me to be like that everyday in and out of the workplace. Her love for life and the little things is contagious, and I hope to bring that happiness to my co-workers.”

7 inspiring characters

Anneliese: Elle Woods // Legally Blond

“Elle demonstrates that perseverance and hard work can really get you where you want to go despite her struggles. She lets her haters be her motivators and understands that she can accomplish anything as long as she sets her mind to it and believes in herself.”

7 inspiring characters

Anthony: Atticus Finch // To Kill a Mockingbird

“I read To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school and ever since then, Atticus Finch has stood out to me as one of the most inspiring fictional characters I’ve encountered. He embodies the kindness, intelligence, and sense of empathy I always strive for on a daily basis, whether it was in the way he raised his children as a single father or how he always stood up for what he believed in in the face of adversity. And he has one of my favorite quotes of all time, which guides me on how I act in my personal and professional relationships: ‘If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.’”

7 inspiring characters

Keenan: Jim Halpert // The Office

“Jim always found a way to stay motivated and driven. Coupled with his knack for always trying to get a laugh no matter the cost, his outlook has always helped push me to see past the bad and chase the good!”

7 inspiring characters

Kristina: Leslie Knope // Parks & Rec

“In addition to her love of waffles and fervent commitment to friendship, Leslie inspires me to never, ever give up. No matter what unexpected challenges are thrown at her, she always finds a solution by thinking out of the box. She also manages to keep a positive attitude even when others try to bring her down (looking at you, Jamm). This perseverance and passion always reminds me to keep working to my goals!”

7 inspiring characters

Shannon: Alicia Florrick // The Good Wife

“She’s smart, determined, confident and doesn’t let anything stand in her way of being a total BOSS. She’s not mean, rude, or unprofessional, but she doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s the best, and she knows it.”

7 inspiring characters

Taryn: Tina Belcher // Bob’s Burgers

“I most admire Tina Belcher because she’s a strong, independent, young woman that knows her worth. Tina is exceedingly honest with herself and others and doesn’t change her beliefs to become more agreeable. And even though she’s strong-willed, she knows when and where to ‘drop her charm bomb.’”

7 inspiring characters

Fun Holidays Worth Mentioning This Summer

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The Gossip Genie team will be the first to tell you that social media has completely changed the world we live in. One noteworthy difference is that we now observe obscure and silly holidays that we wouldn’t have known about 5 to 10 years ago. For example, did you know that National Wine Day is May 25th? If you didn’t know it now, you’d definitely find out the moment you logged into Instagram that day!

Luckily for us, using the trending hashtags and participating in the holiday celebrations can help increase engagement and draw new eyes to your pages. Here are some fun holidays we’ll be acknowledging on our brand’s pages all summer long. Will you be joining the conversation?

  • May 19: National Bike to Work Day
  • May 28: National Hamburger Day
  • June 1: Say Something Nice Day
  • June 2: Leave the Office Early Day + National Doughnut Day
  • June 5: World Environment Day
  • June 7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • June 8: Best Friends Day
  • June 18: International Picnic Day + International Sushi Day (and Father’s Day)
  • June 21: International Yoga Day
  • June 23: World Pink Day
  • June 29: Camera Day
  • July: National Picnic Month
  • July 7: Chocolate Day
  • July 16: National Ice Cream Day
  • July 22: Hammock Day
  • July 23: National Hot Dog Day
  • July 29: National Cheesecake Day
  • August: Family Fun Month
  • August 1: National Girlfriend’s Day
  • August 4:  National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
  • August 5: National Mustard Day
  • August 6: Friendship Day
  • August 10: National S’mores Day
  • August 19: National Potato Day
  • August 26: National Dog Day + Women’s Equality Day
  • August 31: National Eat Outside Day

Why Your Business Needs Community Management

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If there’s something all businesses have in common, it’s that they all strive to be successful. What makes a business successful? Well, to answer something like that we would need to write a blog with multiple chapters in it. Let’s cover one of the factors of making a business succeed: Customer engagement AKA Community Management.

What is a Community Manager?

“A community manager is responsible for advocating for the brand on social networks. They create their own social persona and actively go out within the online community to connect with potential customers and advocate the brand.” – Sprout Social

Using community management will help bring your brand alive. It is something that will reach out to your audience and can help them feel special.

What makes a good Community Manager?

  • Building a voice and staying consistent

Do you want to sound perky and positive? Sarcastic? Professional? Pick a voice that will match your brand and keep it consistent.

  •  Answering questions or comments in a timely manner

If I am a customer that wants to express how much I love or hate a product on your Facebook page, I want to be heard. I am expressing it for a reason. Community managers should answer these promptly. Whether if it’s a Like, a comment, or both – show your customer that you care.

  • Post relevant content on your brand’s pages

If you’re a soup factory and you post an article about the latest Coachella fashion trends, that will not only look silly on your page but it also just doesn’t make sense! Even though Coachella is something trending at the moment, that doesn’t mean you should post about it. If you’re a soup factory, post a mixture of promotional content and articles that relate to enjoying a cup of soup!

Finding the right Community Manager can be difficult. It’s also just another thing to think about. Luckily, our team of Genies are experts at community management and can easily adapt to any type of business. We’ve worked with lawyers, magazines, food industries, car dealerships and more! If you need more guidance on community management, don’t be afraid to reach out to us.

2 years as a Genie

Being a Genie Just Got 2x Sweeter

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Time flies when you’re having fun! As cliché as it sounds, this is genuinely how I feel about my time at Gossip Genie. As of this month, I have now been here for two (yep, count ‘em!) whole years. Two offices, two job titles, two annual Cubs games, two (beautiful) Libermans, and ‘two’ many Happy Hours to remember later, I have experienced so much good during my Genie days.

Anybody who knows me well (even people who don’t know me well, honestly – I’m talking high school acquaintances and friends of friends) is well aware of the fact that I love my job. I talk about it constantly in-person and online because I’m fortunate enough to enjoy what I do day in and day out. Over the years, I’ve picked up quite a few life lessons that are going to stick with me for the long haul.

Practice What You Preach

2 years as a Genie

Social media builds your brand. Social media keeps you connected. Social media is a game-changer.

These are all things I tell my clients, and all things I truly believe. During my two years, I’ve seen what social media is capable of. For big and small goals alike, social is a roadmap to achieving them successfully.

Because I know how powerful of a tool it is, I take my personal social seriously. I started building my reputation on LinkedIn by sharing valuable content and making meaningful connections (you yourself are a brand too, you know!), and I’m dabbling with the idea of starting a blog of my own as a creative outlet. I stay up-to-date on the exciting happenings in the lives of my friends and family on Facebook and constantly check Twitter for the day’s trending news stories (pro tip: find the latest Chicago news, national news, and social media news in my Lists – @kristinaknap).

Never Stop Learning

Ahhh, I cannot express how much I have learned to roll with the punches over the past two years!

Social media is the most wonderfully and infuriatingly dynamic industry there is. Right when I really know how to work a platform’s algorithm or rock a blog post, guidelines and rules change at the drop of a hat. While this sounds exhausting, it’s also one of my very favorite parts of my job. It means I constantly have new things to learn, new puzzles to crack, and new hacks to figure out – so long boredom!

As Gossip Genie grows, so does our list of services. Since I’ve been here, we’ve added four more snazzy options to our bag of tricks: photography, videography, blogger outreach, and social media audits. I LOVE having not only the opportunity but the encouragement to be involved in this. It keeps me on my toes!

Your Coworkers Can Be Your Best Friends

2 years as a Genie

The Gossip Genie team is such a stone-cold pack of weirdos, and I could not be more proud (a Bridesmaids quote in this post was inevitable)!

No, on a very serious note, the people I have the honor of working with every day are a major, major reason that I love my job so much. We are constantly building each other up and pushing each other to reach our full potential. We never stop laughing and make time to hang out outside of the office. All of these factors make for one kickass and unique work environment! I can’t express how refreshing it is to work with people who just.. get it. They understand work-life balance and are always ready to pick you up when you’re down.

Adventure Is Out There

2 years as a Genie

New experiences are the spice of life and at GG, I always have plenty of them! Whether it’s flying off to New York to live cover an event or volunteering with Chicago Cares, GG has provided me with countless opportunities to immerse myself into a brand new adventure.

This holds true in my everyday life too. Sometimes the answer to life’s biggest challenges is just to dive in and take them head on! This past year has been a huge year for me. I got engaged to the most wonderful person in the world, moved out of my childhood home, crossed adopting a shelter dog off my bucket list, invested in a little, blue car, and am becoming a very proud aunt and godmother this month! While navigating all of these major life changes at once is pretty scary, I feel much more comfortable knowing I have such a wonderful support system – in and out of the office.

Be The Best Version of Yourself

2 years as a Genie

Potentially the most important thing I’ve learned from Gossip Genie is to never settle.

Professionally, dreams don’t work unless you do – this is something I’ve taken to heart. It reminds me to keep striving for more and to never cap the ceiling on what I can accomplish with ambition, elbow grease, and a little help from my coworkers. Personally, a motto that always sticks with me is ‘I will live my life sincerely.’ In order to live a life you’re proud of requires becoming a person you’re proud of so never stop working on you.

Genies Bring the Buzz to Vision Expo

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Another year, another Vision Expo! The International Vision Expo is a tradeshow for the eyecare and eyewear industries, displaying the latest in fashion, technology, and education. It is held twice a year in New York and Las Vegas and the Gossip Genie crew headed to New York this month to live cover Vision Expo East 2017. While at Vision Expo East, our team had the chance to display our wide array of talents, including live social media coverage, photography, videography, and consumer press/influencer outreach.

Vision Expo East had an expanded presence this year, with 714 exhibitors spanning 270,326 square feet of expo space, fashion shows highlighting the latest eyewear trends, and over 320 hours of education sessions. Needless to say, the Gossip Genie team had their work cut out for them!

Here’s how we used our talents to increase the engagement and reach of Vision Expo East 2017:

Social Media

We used social media to highlight all of the amazing eyewear and technology on display at Vision Expo East. Through live Twitter updates, Facebook Live video, Snapchat, and Instagram updates and Stories, social media posts reached over 3.2 million people during the show with over 9,000 engagements.

Video continues to be a huge source of engagement on social media and we incorporated video into our strategy through the use of Facebook Live, including live streaming the fashion shows that were emceed by celebrity host Jill Martin of the Today Show. Videos during the show had over 11,700 views.

 

Streaming a Fashion Pop Up Talk at Vision Expo East on Facebook Live.

Kristina designed custom Snpachat filters for the show, which were used 38,600 times, and did an incredible job highlighting the fun, unique aspects of the show floor through Instagram story updates.

Kristina trying out the latest eyecare technology at Vision Expo!

Photography + Videography

Our photo/video team took 3,872 photos and over 1200 video clips during Vision Expo East! Taryn did an amazing job capturing the energy and excitement of the show through her photography talent. Here’s a look at some of the incredible photos she took:

Keenan, our resident videographer, was tasked with capturing everything from attendee and exhibitor interviews, show floor b-roll, education sessions, and even filming a “day in the life” of Iris and Seymour, the eyeball mascots for Vision Expo sponsor Think About Your Eyes. He continually came up with creative ways to showcase the show. Stay tuned for the results!

Keenan filming an interview with Lafont Paris at Vision Expo East.

Keenan filming a “day in the life” of Iris and Seymour!

The photos and videos taken during the show will be used for our social media posts and ads for future shows to help drive registration and attendance.

Consumer PR/ Influencer Outreach + Press Event

Anneliese greeting media at the Press Preview!

A great way to increase the reach and engagement for an event is to have influential bloggers and press attend. Anneliese knocked it out of the park with the social media influencer/blogger and press outreach she did for Vision Expo’s Press Preview, which was a major hit with 33 media attending, totaling over 12.7 million impressions. The Press Preview gave media an early preview at the hottest eyewear trends at Vision Expo East and media was also given a front row seat to the fashion shows. The latest eyewear and tech showcased at Vision Expo has already begun to hit the pages of leading magazine and social media influencers’ accounts! Take a look at the media buzz from Vision Expo here.

The Gossip Genie team had a blast at Vision Expo!