Gossip Genie Blog

What I’m Reading: #SMWChicago’s Twitter Feed

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Happy Social Media Week, Chicago!

For those who may have missed the memo, industry leaders are meeting right in our own backyard this week to discuss, explore, analyze, and dissect the current social media environment. Influencers and speakers from top brands like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and yes, Gossip Genie (!!!) will all be sharing their knowledge with those eager to listen and learn. Overall, this event provides us – particularly social media nerds like myself – with an endless well of thought-provoking conversation about how to improve our content in the now as well as the opportunity to collectively ponder where social media is heading in the future.

Our very own Genie, Taryn, will be taking on #SMWChicago tomorrow to discuss best practices when it comes to photos and videos on social (everyone’s favorite!). If you’d like to check out her session, there’s still time to snag a ticket here.

So far, I have been keeping up with the event by closely monitoring its hashtag, #SMWChicago. This feed is the best place to receive panel highlights, insightful quotes, and photos from the event. While reading through the tweets, I found a few that stood out to me among the rest.


Main Takeaway: your customers are looking at your pages so make it count!

So many brands view social as an item to check off their to-do list when in reality, it requires a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t to be effective. This understanding could be the deciding factor in whether you close the deal or not.


Main Takeaway: all of your social media content should work toward accomplishing the same goal – sharing what honestly sets your brand apart from the rest.

When competition in a market is fierce, you need to provide customers with a valid reason to choose your company over the other guys. Social media is a great way to communicate this message to your target audience and get clients through the door (or for our online business friends, through the checkout page!).



Main Takeaway: make your product or service a must-have, not a want.

When your business provides something amazing, the recommendations and chatter come naturally. People love talking about the products they’re digging with their family and friends so they can experience its benefits as well.

For more updates on this event, feel free to follow me on Twitter: @KristinaKnap! I’ll be retweeting the best content coming out of the panels and discussions as well as adding my own two sense.

How to make a splash at your tradeshow on social media

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Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the International Vision Expo in Las Vegas and live covering the event on social media. The International Vision Expo is a conference and expo for the eyecare and eyewear industries, displaying the latest in fashion, technology, and education. Gossip Genie previously attended Vision Expo East in New York but we had bigger role at Vision Expo West and incorporated a wealth of new campaigns to drive engagement and increase reach at the show.

As a result, interaction with the show via social media reached record levels at Vision Expo West 2016, with a 700 percent increase in Facebook engagement over 2015 and more than 30 percent increase in Twitter impressions. The official show hashtag, #VisionExpo, was used more than 4,500 times during the show, and more than 20k people viewed the official Vision Expo Snapchat filter.
Here are a few tips to increase social media engagement at your next tradeshow or event:

1. Highlight exhibitors in unique ways
Vision Expo West offered 180,000 square feet of exhibit space with more than 100 new fashion brands debuting fall lines so there was a lot of ground to cover! It’s important to feature the many different brands present but with so many exhibitors, it can be hard to think of new and unique ways of highlighting them. Getting face time with the owners and designers behind the eyewear at Vision Expo was helpful to gather interesting information and tidbits to tweet out and use for content.img_7354

2. Use video to engage people who can’t be there

A major component of our social media strategy at Vision Expo West was to increase the use of video at the show. Prior to the show, we teased the event through video clips from past Vision Expo attendees and exhibitors to drive registrations for Vision Expo West 2016. We also launched a Snapchat account for the show where we used video to document key events at Vision Expo West, including a party at Tao Nightclub. Our Snapchat stories were viewed over 20,000 times. During the show, we used Facebook Live to broadcast the Vision Expo Pop-Up Talk series, the most popular of which featured a model showing off the latest fall eyewear trends. This allowed the audience at home to get insight into the interesting things and educational courses happening at the show.

I also had the chance to film ’90s singer Lisa Loeb, who was debuting her eyewear line at the show, on Facebook Live and interview her about her frames.

Video content really gives your audience a behind-the-scenes look at the event.

3. Connect with local bloggers to attend the event 

A great way to increase the reach and engagement on social media for your show or event is to have influential bloggers attend. We incentivized bloggers to attend with a free pair of designer eyewear. We also had the bloggers host a giveaway on their blogs with the eyewear to help increase our engagement with the #VisionEpxo hashtag and expand our follower base. This was a win-win for the blogger and the exhibitor, Marchon Eyewear.


4. Promote the hashtag and always use engaging, high quality photos

It goes without saying, but captivating images always resonate better. We were lucky to have some amazing frames and displays to photograph and share on social media!



Stress Less: 12 Ways to Stop The Worrying

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12 Ways

I have to warn you, guys, the statistics on stress aren’t pretty. Stress is the “basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease” and “1 in 5 Americans experience extreme stress” regularly that includes shaking, heart palpitations, and depression (

With work, family, bills, friends, and errands constantly on our minds, it’s easy to let it get the best of us. We spend all our time working on project after project and running from event to event without ever taking a moment to step back. However, we seriously need to remember the importance of breaking this cycle of overexertion and focusing on self-care. After all, you always want to put the best version of yourself out there for the world!

I took a moment to ask friends and coworkers how exactly they handle stress and anxiety for this blog. So, the next time you feel like everything’s falling apart and you can’t calm down and you just want to run away and never come back, I recommend using one of these strategies instead.

  1. Working Out

Working out helps me. Yoga to clear the mind, and intense cardio to release energy from a busy day.” –Elizabeth

Break a sweat to forget! Working out is a positive way to refocus your energy and relieve tension. It gets the endorphins pumping to lift your mood and calm the mind.

If you like to run, I recommend trying out Spotify’s ‘Running’ function. It will create a playlist of songs that have the same tempo as your running speed to keep you moving.

  1. Bath Time

For me personally, a bath is usually my go-to activity for stress relief. I drop in a rose-scented bath bomb, put on Gypsy Kings radio, and focus on mindfulness. Don’t forget to silence your phone too!

  1. Journaling

Journaling is an excellent way to reflect on the day. You can write about your worries, list out your blessings, or doodle to your heart’s content – whatever works for you.

Bonus: for those looking to try something new, try a 30-day journaling challenge. Pinterest has loads of these challenges, which give you a specific topic to discuss or task to accomplish each day.

  1. Pouring Yourself a Drink

Sometimes, a refreshing beer or tasty cocktail can do the trick. As long as you don’t go overboard (nobody needs to deal with a hangover during a busy week), go for it – you deserve it!*

*Wine is best served with a side of Bravo and a carton of cookie dough ice cream.

12 Ways (1)

  1. Adult Coloring Books

Keeping yourself busy with a fun yet mindless task like coloring is a good way to divert your attention elsewhere. You can buy loads of different kinds of coloring books at the dollar store. Peace of mind for a buck? Yes please.

  1. Making Playlists

Creating a kickass playlist for your commute or workday can make the rest of your week much more enjoyable. It gives you something to look forward to rather than just dreading everything on your to-do list.

  1. Reading

Putting down the phone and picking up a book is a good way to give your mind, neck, and eyes a rest from technology. I know you have a whole stack of novels you’ve been meaning to get to anyways.

My current recommendations:


Let me know what you think when you read them!

  1. Volunteering

“I go to PAWS animal shelter, and volunteer in ‘Kitty City’ AKA I play with kittens for 2 hours.” –Shannon

Giving back is another positive way to refocus your energy. You’ll be too busy interacting with new people, making memories, and putting good back into the world to think about yourself.

  1. Unplugging

Sometimes, you just need to isolate yourself from our constantly connected world. Putting off text messages to the next day, saving emails for first thing in the morning, and logging off Facebook can make all the difference.

Things to do that don’t require a phone, laptop, or TV:

  • Play a board game
  • Walk your dog
  • Do a Sudoku
  • Sew something
  • Ride your bike
  • Buy fresh flowers
  • Write a letter
  • Throw around a football
  • Clean out your closet
  • Make coffee


  1. Phoning a Friend

Just letting everything off your chest and venting is sometimes the answer to all your problems. Call a friend and ask them to talk – something this simple could be just what you need.

Shoutout to my go-to friends – you know who you are.

  1. Crafting

Scrapbooking, crocheting, collaging, painting, modge-podging – whatever floats your boat! Working with your hands can be a nice way to give your mind some time off.

  1. Meditation

“I use Buddhify and Pacifica.” –Sonia

Taking the time to meditate can help you re-center your focus on the things that truly matter. There are loads of apps available in the App Store or Google Play for you to try out.

Pro tip: if you are new to meditation and don’t want to spend money on an app, Spotify has loads of meditation sessions available in their ‘Word’ section.

12 Ways (2)

So there you have it! I hope one of these strategies can help you manage your anxiety and take the edge off your day. I’ll leave you with this little reminder: “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

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!


How I Keep Up with my Creative Technical Skills

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Working in social media means constantly being up-to-date with the latest digital trends and playing the role of copywriter and art director. With a degree in PR, I have to admit, my education did not include photography or graphic design classes, so learning on my own time has been essential to working in this industry. There’s two resources that I highly recommend if you’re like me and didn’t learn these skills in school or just want to brush up on your skills.

Adobe Creative Cloud

I have a Creative Cloud subscription, which gives me complete access to all Adobe programs—Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, you name it. There are various videos for each program that range from tutorials for beginners to projects for developing your skillset. I like to take advantage of the community forums for troubleshooting and figuring out how to do specific application actions.

Photo Credit: TechSoup

Photo Credit: TechSoup

My latest obsession has been the LinkedIn-acquired online learning database The site is organized by different learning paths— design, IT, photography, web, etc.— where you can watch nearly 5,000 videos and complete “assignments” with downloadable exercise folders specific to each course. If you’re new to any of these disciplines or need someone to tell you the basics of what to learn, then is perfect—it’s just like taking an online course, but at your own pace and with no grades. The videos are also extremely high quality and very clear to follow. As an added bonus, you can receive certifications for the courses you take, which is a great feature to use at a company for continuing education.

The best part about each of these resources is that I can use them at my own convenience to work around my work and personal life. Economically, I’m spending about the same or even less on a yearly subscription of each of them than I would by just taking a single class at a college.

4 Brands That are Winning Snapchat

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Businesses Snapchat

The social media app, Snapchat, is used to send and receive fleeting photos and videos to friends that disappear immediately after they are viewed. The user can also add goofy filters, stickers, and text to the media they send out. Nearly 5 years after its initial release, big and small brands are finally jumping on board the Snapchat express.

As your typical millennial, I spend a lot of time on snapchat. I not only use the app as a means to share unflattering pictures of myself with my closest friends, but also as another way to feel closer to the brands and businesses I love.

I’ve rounded up 4 brands I think are killing it on Snapchat. I want you to keep in mind these are the organic “stories” posted by brands, not the paid “discover” content.

1. Beauty Subscription: Birchbox (birchbox)

Businesses Snapchat

Birchbox’s snapchat channel is always fun and engaging because they use the platform to highlight their different beauty products and showcase how to apply them. Another reason I love their snapchats is because Birchbox takes on the “divide and conquer” approach by following the beauty routine of a different Birchbox employee everyday. Color me obsessed.

2. Online Magazine: Pop Sugar (POPSUGAR)

Businesses Snapchat

Popsugar is an online magazine that covers everything from beauty and fitness, to pop culture and news. I love watching Popsugar’s snap story because they have a wide breadth of content on their channel. Some days they’ll share a workout routine, other days they’ll have their editors try new beauty trends. It’s fun, conversational, and true to brand. Love it.

3. Blogger: Corals and Cognacs (Coralsncognacs)

Businesses Snapchat

Hallie is a two-for-one deal. She’s part blogger, part Soul Cycle instructor, and 100% on top of her snapchat game. Her snaps achieve exactly what the platform set out for them to. She successfully gives you personal insight to her daily life as a hybrid member of the American workforce while simultaneously making you feel more like friends than a passive reader of her blog.

4. Fashion line: Free People (freepeople)
Businesses Snapchat

You might be familiar with Free People. Big retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom sell the popular fashion line in their stores nationwide. The main reason I love their snapchat is because they give viewers a sneak peek at their new clothes and fashion trends for the upcoming season. They also shoot a lot of “BTS” or “behind the scenes” content of their photoshoots! Free People is branching out of the status quo and giving their audience an intimate insight to their business. 

Do you follow any brands on Snapchat? Who are your personal favorites?


The Cultural Phenomenon of Pokemon Go

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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:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 2.14.24 PM

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:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 2.14.55 PM

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:

pokemon-go-has-evolved-into-a-lot-of-memes-32-photos-16Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 2.19.14 PM

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My Favorite Mommy Apps

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  1. As a busy working mother, the idea of keeping up with a Baby Book is daunting. I received a few beautiful baby books to document Liv’s every milestone. Her first birthday is almost 2 months away and those books may still be sealed in their packaging. Thankfully there is an alternative to the traditional baby book and that is something called, Qeepsake. Qeepsake texts you a question about your child. You text back your response, and an entry is added to your child’s private journal.unnamed
  2. When it came time to choose a monitor, I knew that I wanted something that would sync with my phone. I chose the Dropcam by Nest. No matter where I am in the world, I can spy on Liv while she is sleeping. I was in New York for work and with the touch of a button, I could see my sweet girl snoozing away.
  3. IMG_8462I thought I took a lot of pictures of my dog, until I had a baby. The photo shoots are daily and each picture is more adorable than the one before it. In order to prepare for Liv’s first birthday, I wanted to make sure I had a monthly picture with a couple of her current interests. The app Baby Pics is my go to for cataloging those monthly milestones. IMG_89584. Baby Center App is great resource for staying up to date with growth and developmental milestones. I love the fact that you get information personalized to you based on your child’s age. Screenshot 2016-07-12 14.57.55

5. Etsy – this app is dangerous because you can find so many adorable things for your baby. I have splurged quite a bit on the amazing handmade clothing.


IMG_0024Jeans: Got Threads on Etsy ($25)

IMG_0972Shoes: Little Bean Footwear on Etsy ($25)


IMG_0053Faux Leather Leggings: Viva La Glitz on Etsy ($19)

Headband: The Fairy Factory Shop on Etsy ($11.95)

Vest: HinkleysHooks on Etsy ($25) – comes in a variety of colors