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Social Media

Social Media: The Differences Between a U.S. & UK Audience

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Previous to working at Gossip Genie, I lived and worked in the UK.  This meant I predominately targeted a British audience in my PR and social media work.

This all changed when I moved to Chicago and became a fellow Genie. Many of our clients are U.S. based and we manage their social media channels. Suddenly, I had to learn how to use an ‘American voice’ in my outreach and it has certainly been an interesting experience getting to grips with a U.S. audience.

Firstly, it took me a little while to get familiar with different words and spellings. That ‘mum’ should be ‘mom,’ that ‘learnt’ should be ‘learned,’ that ‘colour’ is ‘color,’ that ’sweets’ are ‘candy,’ and that you can never, ever use the word ‘awesome’ enough here. And then there’s the date format: always write the month, then the date of the month: December 25th, not 25th December – it’s only acceptable to do that when writing 4th of July.

Now, these new word formats have become a habit and sometimes I accidentally use them when emailing my British friends back home – and they don’t hold back on calling me out for it.

Exclamation marks are far more prevalent in the U.S. social media world, too. I remember during my three-year journalism course at university, we were permitted to use only one exclamation mark in our writing, otherwise we’d fail.

There’s also a different tone of voice. I am going to generalize here but, based on my experience, American consumer brand messages tend to be more positive, upbeat and excitable. Whereas, that needs to be toned down for a British audience. We like sarcasm. ‘Sales talk’ and cheesiness isn’t as commonly accepted there.

For example, McDonald’s UK‘s tweets to customers contain far fewer exclamation marks and smiling emoticons, in comparison to the McDonald’s U.S. twitter feed. Or let’s compare the UK and U.S. versions of Elle Magazine on Twitter. The U.S. version likes to tweet EXCITEMENT using capital letters, whereas that doesn’t happen on the UK version. For example, look at their different approaches to celebrating Brooklyn Beckham’s birthday today:

t1

t2

So, in conclusion, Brits are a miserable bunch. Just kidding! <- note the use of an exclamation mark. The conclusion of this article is that it has been a great experience learning how to work with a different audience, just like I am enjoying broadening my understanding of the U.S. press (particularly the local press in Chicago) during my PR work here.

 

 

 

The Art of Remembering

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One critical skill of being a social media manager is the ability to remember. Not only is it a critical skill in my job, but in every job. Cab drivers need to remember streets, hairstylists need to remember cutting techniques and surgeons need to remember where to properly cut during surgery.

When I first started at Gossip Genie this was a new industry to me, so I will admit I slightly struggled with remembering small details. For example, how many times a week to post for each client, which graphics need to be created for the week, growing Twitter accounts, ad budgets for each client, etc. Over time, I found a system that works for me and learned a few tricks along the way from my fellow Genies. Here are some worth sharing:

  • Create a list. To-do lists are key to remembering what needs to be done for the day. I am very old school and like to keep a physical planner. Since my job requires me to type all day, I find that it’s easier for me to remember things when I take a break from the keyboard and write it down with a pen. When I finish a task, I either cross it out or highlight it. If you like keeping to-do lists on your computer, try Momentum, which was blogged about previously. Every time you open a new tab in Google Chrome, your to-do list will reoccur.
  • Do it immediately. When someone tells you an important task or something to do, either do it immediately or write it down immediately. Chances are, if you store it in the back of your head, it won’t be a priority until you are re-reminded by someone else. If you’re in a hurry or currently busy, even writing down a few words will jog your memory later.
  • Stay organized. Staying organized plays a major roll in remembering. If you’re desk or mailbox is a mess, it won’t be easy to refer back to things in a pinch. Not only does my planner help me stay organized, but so does my Gmail account by color-coding different clients and projects. If you’re interested in learning how to simplify your inbox, this post gives an in-depth walk through.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. If you are starting out in a new job or industry, it’s ok to ask questions. It’s better to ask and to do it right than not asking and doing it wrong. Asking questions shows that you are genuinely trying to learn and want to do your best.
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What a typical week looks like in my planner.

Do you use any other tips or tricks to help you remember at work?

SOCIAL MEDIA OUTPOUR OF POSITIVITY

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Social media sometimes gets a bad reputation for being linked to bullying and general meanness. Many find it easy to hide behind a screen and dish out hateful remarks. But what about the people who want to lift others up? Well, there’s an app for that.

Courtesy of Outpour

Courtesy of Outpour

Created by Calvin Liu, the new anonymous app called Outpour is turning the tables and encouraging positivity not negativity. All a user has to do is write his or her compliment and select the user who it will go to. There’s no need to be shy either because it’s completely anonymous. So, if you feel uncomfortable expressing feelings towards people but want them to know, this is the perfect way to lift their spirits and give recognition where it’s due.

While other anonymous apps like YikYak and Whisper certainly have positive aspects about them, Outpour is specifically designed to be uplifting and positive. But wait; wouldn’t this be an outlet for people to anonymously bully? Outpour makes sure a user only gets one profile to stop trolling. Also, if someone gets blocked by another user, a mediator investigates the blocked user and risks getting banned from the app.

Everyone loves receiving compliments. It can turn any mood upright. I, for one, love the concept and can’t wait to start sending out love to all of the people in my life that deserve positive affirmations.

Outpour Message

Download Outpour here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/outpour/id931354378?mt=8

 

Networking tips I learned from being in a sorority

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After work today, I will be attending my first networking event since college. However instead of mingling with other college students and a few business professionals, I’ll be interacting with many business professionals in a completely different environment all while representing a company. Though this is my first professional event, I realized that networking shouldn’t be a new task. I was a member of a sorority in college and sorority recruitment taught me a few tips I need to rock a networking event.

First Impressions 

It is a known fact that it takes seven seconds to make a first impression on someone. Usually in those seven seconds, one notices how you dress, if you make eye contact and whether or not you have a firm handshake. Failure to do any of these can make a person seem careless and uninterested. You want to talk to someone who cares, right? So show people you care and give them your undivided attention. Most importantly, always remember the names of who you meet because you never know when it may come in handy down the road.

Making Connections

During recruitment we are required to talk to about 5 different girls from completely different backgrounds. This is just like networking, talking to people from completely different industries. Though it is important to meet as many people as you can, it is more important to make meaningful connections with a smaller amount of people. It’ll make following up with people easier when you can reference conversations you had. And no matter how different an industry is from yours, you can definitely find something in common, you just have to find it.

Be Prepared

People go through sorority recruitment because they want to know more about the sorority and see how they can benefit from it. Like a networking event, people go to meet new others and see how they can benefit from those conversations. But in order to make those mutually beneficial relationships, you have to asks questions and be prepared for questions in return. There have been many times I was asked, “What is your philanthropy?” or “Why is your symbol a lyre?” I had to know these facts off the top of my head. While networking, you will have to know about your company and be able to answer any question that comes your way. You also don’t want to bore people with details so be able to make answers short and to the point.

What are some of your favorite networking tips?

 

How Facebook Has Evolved Over the Years

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Facebook was created on February 4, 2004 and this month the behemoth social network is celebrating its 11th birthday. First debuting on the Harvard campus as “The Facebook,” the social networking powerhouse has become a tech giant.

This is how Facebook has changed over the last decade:

2004

348500-the-facebook

 

The Facebook debuted on Feb. 4, 2004 at Zuckerberg’s alma mater, Harvard University. One month later, it also went live at Stanford, Columbia, and Yale, and continued to grow  to support more than 800 college networks.
2005
2005 FB
This is what a typical profile looked like in 2005. Very reminiscent of Myspace, no? This is also the year that “The Facebook” opened up to high school students.
2006
Facebook-in-2006-01
On Sept 20, 2005 thefacebook.com officially dropped the “the” and became Facebook. This is the year Facebook opened to all students over 13 with a valid email address and when they allowed multiple photos on your profile page, allowing images to take a far more central place in the Facebook universe. This is also the year yours truly joined Facebook the summer before my senior in high school.
2007
FB 2007
This is the year the “mini-feed” was introduced, later known as the timeline. Several weeks after the Mini-Feed went live, Facebook moved beyond schools and opened to anyone with an email address. This year, video was introduced to Facebook as well as a Facebook app for iPhone. This is also the year yours truly joined Facebook as a senior in high school.
2008
FB 20082008 feed
This year, a new Facebook “wall” was introduced as well as a cleaner-looking profile with a menu bar up top.
2009
FB 2009
In March 2009, the Publisher tool from user profiles was added to the main homepage to let you post links, photos, videos, or write a note without an extra click. The Facebook homepage also updated in real-time, modeled after Twitter.
2010
348494-2010 facebook new profile 2010
Laying low for most of 2010 due to protests from all the changes in 2008 and 2009, Facebook introduced a new profile design in December of 2010, including photos and an “about” section displayed at the top of your profile.
2011
FB 2011 2
2011 was the year the “Timeline” was introduced. Designed to “tell the story of your life,” the Timeline featured a large cover photo and a Pinterest-like assortment of posts that scrolled back through your Facebook history.FB 2011
This is also the year the “ticker” in the right hand side of the Facebook timeline was introduced.
2012
This was the year Facebook bought Instagram. Very little changes to the Facebook appearance.
2013
FB 2014 2 faceboo hashtag
Facebook introduces hashtags and verified accounts.
2014
FB 2014

A Touchdown for Social Media

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After an entertaining night of football, it’s time to sift through the Super Bowl aftermath. Sure, everyone is talking about the commercials that aired last night but people are also talking about the social media excitement during the game. With a hefty price tag that is put on commercial space, more and more brands are getting smarter and moving to another arena, it’s social media outlets. Quite frankly, I think that the real action took place online last night. Even the commercials included hashtags. So, here are my favorite social media moments of Super Bowl XLIV:

Katy Perry teamed up with Universal Music Group and Pepsi to promote and sell Perry paraphernalia via Twitter, YouTube, and Shazam along with a variety of other internet-linked devices like Roku. All twitter users had to do was include @Visa and @Pepsi to qualify them to shop. Items were purchased through the new “Buy Now” button.

Katy Perry Post

We were all lovin’ McDonald’s social media campaign. For every commercial break, McDonald’s was giving away huge prizes and all you had to do to win was Retweet!

 

McDonald's Campaign

 

McDonald's Tweets

Soutwest Airlines also joined in on the action with their own giveaway. Use the hashtag #MiddleSeatSelfie and you could get a couple freebies on your flight.

Southwest Airlines Tweet

One of my favorite campaigns of the entire night was Coca-Cola. It used Twitter and Facebook to launch the new campaign, #MakeItHappy. This hashtag is used to reply to negative posts with positivity. I mean, how can you not love a campaign like that.

Coca-Cola Campaign

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snapchat: The love, the backlash and the viral stir

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Two days ago a very popular phone app, Snapchat, came out with a new update. No big deal, right? Applications come out with new updates all the time, usually with a minor tweak or two. However this change came with major love, major backlash and caused a viral stir.

If you aren’t familiar with Snapchat, it’s an application where one can send a picture or video to a friend for up to ten seconds before it vanishes into thin air. But be careful, there are the occasional “screenshots” that can happen if the user on the other end of the “snap” is quick enough to press a few buttons. One can also send “Stories,” which are public pictures or videos sent to everyone in their Snapchat contact list for only 24 hours.

The love: Snapchat’s main feature from the update is Snapchat Discover, which allows users to explore “Stories” (news content) from different editorial teams, ranging from Cosmopolitan to National Geographic. Due to the variety of news outlets available, there is definitely something for everyone. Every 24 hours a new edition comes out, including full screen photos and videos, flawless advertising and beautiful long form layouts. Think of this feature as a mini magazine or newscast on the go, with new editions everyday.

The backlash: Before the update, Snapchat had a feature called “Best Friends.” This allowed users to view the top three users with whom another friend exchanged pictures with. The names on this list were determined by the number of times messages were exchanged with a particular friend. This provided public insight as to who was talking to who in one’s contact list. Many people used this for virtual stalking. After the update, this all disappeared. No one was able to see which friends were messaging each other, and it made everyone very upset.

The viral stir: After people realized the best friend feature was removed, they took their comments to social media.

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Due to high demand and the stir that was caused from removing “best friends,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegal announced the feature will come back in the next update. This just goes to show the power of social media and how much of an influence it can really make.

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Gossip Genie’s 5 Year Anniversary

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In exactly two weeks it will be Gossip Genie’s 5 year anniversary! I cannot believe that on February 10th, we will have been in business for half a decade. I like the sound of half a decade because it makes me feel like we are no longer in the startup category but I know many people consider a 5 year old company to still be very young. I remember the day I decided to embark on this entrepreneurial adventure. I was with my mother in her kitchen discussing a business plan. We were brainstorming names for the company and I am so glad I didn’t settle on some we had thrown out there, such as: Monieson Media – I got married the following year and changed my last name from Monieson to Liberman. That would have caused all kinds of confusion and despite the occasional piece of mail we receive addressed to Ron Monieson, there was no negotiating on whose last name would be our family name.

Over the course of 5 years, I have managed 20 different employees, never more than 7 at a time. I have said before and I will say it again, good employees are hard to find. Of those 20 people that I hired, I think all of them had and have a lot of potential. The majority of the 20 people were with me over a year or close to it. Hiring, firing and key employees moving on to other opportunities is the hardest part of running my own business. You are only as good as your employees. I realized that a long time ago because when I started Gossip Genie, I was working 14 – 16 hour days doing EVERYTHING from account management, business development, accounting, prospecting, company marketing and everything in between. I couldn’t handle it and I knew I was going to burn out quickly. I do think it’s important for a business owner to do every job within their business before hiring someone else and delegating. After a few months, I hired a few interns to help with some administrative tasks. A year into the business, I hired someone full time and learned a hard lesson.

I was naive and hired this person without a non-compete or a contract in place. Finally, I had help from someone that knew the industry and knew how to service clients the way that I was doing for the past year. Fast forward to a couple of months of working together and she was unreliable, sloppy and lazy. I had to let her go. Little did I know she was going to make me pay for that decision. At the time, I had 5 solid clients, 3 of which this woman managed to turn against me. Overnight, she started her own social media company which automatically had 3 great clients. That’s all the detail I want to go into with that story but the moral is that I learned my lesson, I bounced back and rebuilt. Oh and no, she’s no longer in business.

When it comes to Gossip Genie, I really take everything to heart, losing clients is not something I take lightly. I always need a thorough explanation because I try to learn from it and apply it to the future. Often times, employees moving on is a natural progression in someone’s career but I still need to know why and if necessary adapt the way I manage to try to keep my team happy going forward. I am finally at a place where I can lean on my team and I know they have my back. I really feel that everyone is working for the betterment of Gossip Genie and that is a fantastic feeling to have going into year 5.

Here is a screen shot of my first website – which I built myself to save money through Wix…we have come a long way with the new Gossip Genie site we launched last month.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 2.21.30 PM

 

Why Blogging Matters

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It’s 2015. It’s a new year, folks! It’s time to make resolutions and stick to them. It’s time to refocus, recharge, and realign your objectives for the upcoming year.

In addition to my yearly New Year Resolutions to try and eat fewer sweets (yeah, right) and become a more decisive person (I decided this should be my resolution. That counts, doesn’t it?), one of my main resolutions for work in 2015 (and one I’m much more likely to stick to than the aforementioned attempts at self-improvement) is to blog on a regular basis.

Why Blogging Matters for Your Business (1)

Here are some reasons why:

It helps drive traffic to your website. And if you haven’t noticed, Gossip Genie just got a new website. The more visitors, the better I say.

In fact, 55% of companies that blog generate more web traffic.

It helps establish authority. We have great minds working at the Gossip Genie office and our blog is a great place to share our social media tips, advice, and insights.

It’s a great way to generate leads. 57% of companies have acquired customers from their blog and 61% of customers use a blog to research a company. Here’s a handy infographic with these stats.

Blogging is also an effective way to display knowledge or thought leadership, to curate content, and start conversations

In addition to blogging for this site, Gossip Genie offers blogging and blogger outreach services to help launch and effectively manage your company’s blog. Learn more here.

What would you like to see me blog about this year? Feel free to share in the comments!

 

 

What happens when you delete your Instagram account?

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Things you should know before deleting

If for some reason you want to delete your Instagram account, there are a few things you should know.

 

  1. Once you delete your account, your username is GONE FOREVER. Repeat, not you, nor anyone else can ever claim your username again.
  2. You must login to Instagram.com because you are not able to delete your account within the mobile app. Here’s how: Sign in –> Click on your profile icon in the top right hand corner –> Edit settings –> Scroll down to the bottom –> Click on ‘I’d like to delete my account.’
  3. Unlike Facebook who allows users to go into a ‘hiding period’ where their profile doesn’t exist but the data and photos still do, once a user deletes their Instagram account, they will not have access to any of the photos previously uploaded on that account.

 

Special Tip: If all you want to do is change your username, you can do so easily by clicking on ‘Edit Your Profile’ and type in a new username in the second box from the top. Immediately following your name change, your old name will be up for grabs and available to the Instagram universe.