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Social Media

Can You Prove the ROI of Social Media?

By | Helpful Information, Social Media, Words of Advice | No Comments

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“I don’t do social media for my business because I can’t measure its return on investment.”

“Social media doesn’t work for us.”

I remember hearing these words at various networking events when I worked in the UK and I believe some business owners still have this mindset, because I continue to come across companies that don’t have a social media presence – or even worse, they have a presence but are doing it all wrong.

I have had the pleasure of living in Chicago and working at Gossip Genie for over a year now, and one of the most important things I’ve learned at this job is how to make money for clients using social media.

The Gossip Genie team actually led a presentation about how to prove the return on investment (ROI) of social media activity at Social Media Week in Chicago in 2013, showcasing client case study examples (get in touch if you’d us to show you this presentation).

Without giving away too many of our secrets, one of our tactics is to use Twitter to identify and build relationships with a client’s target audience. We’ve found many new customers and sales leads for clients this way – and these are often worth thousands of dollars to the client.

Another example is using Facebook properly by sharing the right type of content to appear in more newsfeeds, as well as investing in carefully-targeted ads and experimenting with engaging boosted posts.

Even without concrete examples of social media activity leading to direct sales, it would be foolish for business owners to turn their backs on the promotional opportunities that exist with social media. Social media channels are another opportunity for your brand to be seen by thousands of people in your target market and a great way to engage with your customer base direct.

If you would like to learn more about how your business could benefit from social media support, please get in touch. As well as managing social media for clients on an ongoing basis, we also deliver one-off social media audits for businesses. We’d love to help your company to grow!

My First Few Weeks at Gossip Genie

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

People always say, life never turns out the way you think it will. Being the spunky almost-to-be-college-graduate seven months ago, I didn’t think that applied to me. I was ready to live in the big city, with my bachelor’s degree in hand, taking the Chicago PR industry by storm. But I quickly realized I was wrong. After I graduated, I interned at a PR agency and found that clipping client placements all day wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time. Three months later I took a job planning events in the modeling industry, thinking it would be glamorous like the shows on TV. That wasn’t fulfilling either. Then one sunny afternoon I received a call from the Gossip Genie herself, offering me an opportunity at her social media marketing firm. Obviously, I accepted.

I’ve never been in a position strictly social media related. That being said, my first few weeks at Gossip Genie were quite overwhelming. Coming into a new industry, with new people and a new way of doing things was completely frightening. On top of that, I am naturally shy when I immerse myself in a new setting. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Surprisingly it wasn’t.

My first week, I received my clients and the tools I needed to be a manager. Of course I had questions, but what made the transition easy was the Gossip Genie team. Everyone is incredibly friendly and always willing to help. Every question I had was answered and when I didn’t know how to do something, they did not hesitate to show me. It was also nice that our holiday party was that week, making it easy to get to know people outside of work.

The next two weeks were a whirlwind due to the holidays and I was still getting myself adjusted. I was still learning the in’s and out’s, who to reach out to and how to engage with the right audience. Running social media isn’t as easy as running your own Facebook and Twitter. This is when I realized being a Social Media Manager requires focus, a lot of time (even outside of work) and patience. Finally it all made sense.

Now that I’ve been with Gossip Genie for a month, I feel 100% more confident in myself than I did when I started. I understand my clients, I’m not afraid to bounce ideas off coworkers and I’ve found a routine that works for me. I genuinely enjoy waking up to go to work and not many people can say that. Did I think this is where I was going to end up seven months ago? Not a chance, but as they say, life never turns our the way you think it will and for that I am grateful.Gossip-Genie-Logo

SOCIAL MEDIA TREND PREDICTIONS FOR 2015

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

Now that we’ve rung in the New Year, everyone wants to know what 2015 has in store. Since even more brands have been jumping on the social media bandwagon this past year, the business presence is bound to create a whole new set of changes to accommodate for the growth this year. With all of the social media trend predictions being shared, I’ve compiled my top four most prominent predictions.

NICHE OUTLETS: Out with the old and in with the new. Many people are forecasting alternative social media outlets to emerge more aggressively on the scene and rapidly gain an audience. Although there were many mentioned, Ello was the one that kept popping up. Currently, Ello is invite-only but is slated to be the next big thing in social media. This seems somewhat similar to the elite feel of how social media powerhouses, Facebook and Pinterest, started. What sets it apart from Facebook and many other social media platforms is that it’s completely ad-free with a promise to keep all user information private. So in essence, it’s ironically promoted as more of an “anti-Facebook” but with many of the features that Facebook provides. It will be interesting to see how the “anti-Facebook” boom pans out for 2015.

BRAND AND JOB GROWTH: Social media marketing will continue to get more of the praise and recognition it deserves in the marketing field. As more and more target audiences are connecting to social networks, it is essential to content marketing. With a way to directly connect with consumers, social media improves brand loyalty, recognition and allows more opportunities to gain new customers. The social media job scene is going to blow up, as well. Numerous new jobs will surface or gain credibility such as SEO specialist, social media strategist and social media copywriter. I bet five years ago, no one expected social media to stimulate job growth and positions!

DIRECT BUYING: Like the temptation isn’t already difficult enough, now shopping is going to be made easier through social media with direct buying. It’s so simple to use that it only takes one or two clicks to finalize the purchase and you don’t even have to leave the page you are on. While this may suck my pockets dry, this is gold for businesses. It not only takes away the issue of guiding consumers to its page but also allows more efficient analytical tracking. Facebook and Twitter are among two platforms that have tested the “buy” button out and with positive results, is now going forward. I, for one, am excited to see how this feature will roll out.

EVENT TWEETING: The football teams won’t be the only one’s revving up for competition on Super Bowl Sunday. With the wildly successful Oreo tweets after the lights went out during the New Orleans Super Bowl, the stakes keep rising. No longer are the televised commercials the only outlet with anticipated buzz surrounding it. We won’t see this trend end after the 4th quarter, however, because social media will play a vast role in all major events moving forward. So, ante up, because this year brands are going all in!

Super Bowl Oreo Tweet

Source: Huffington Post

 

 

 

 

#Sharethehonestlove & Why We Must Stop Pretending Everything Is Perfect

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, What Not to Post, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

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I think I just found my new favorite hashtag. #sharethehonestlove is a social media campaign launched by Laura Caudery who wished she had spent her wedding day focusing on the emotional significance of the day, rather than the practical arrangements. Her campaign encourages newly weds-to-be to enjoy every moment of their important day and not to get too caught up on superficial elements, like guest lists, color schemes and parking arrangements.

Laura realized none of this really mattered when her husband passed away just over a year after their wedding and she became a 32-year-old widow (read her heartbreaking story towards the end of this article here). She looked back at her wedding photos and noticed that only a small selection showed the true emotions of the day. Laura shared these photos (example above) with the hashtag #sharethehonestlove, encouraging other couples to share their most honest wedding photos. The response has been overwhelming (see examples below).

Laura, who organizes weddings for her day job, says: “I wish brides and grooms to-be could see more honest and real photos like this on blogs and in magazines; it would remind them of what’s most important. Whilst I think our Instagram and Facebook pages are filled with the prettiest of weddings, I’m going to make sure I share a lot more photos like this too. I love the wedding industry but I think sometimes the message gets a little lost. Let’s all remember and celebrate what a wedding day is really about: let’s #sharethehonestlove.”

I think this story is a reminder of the superficial nature of social media and the media. That we often strive to present not just weddings, but many elements of our lives, as perfect. I’m just as guilty of this as any other person – I have my own personal blog about Chicago life and tend to write only about upbeat, happy stuff. It’s human nature to want to appear in a positive light, but I am increasingly recognizing the importance of being honest, whilst increasingly lacking tolerance for things I see on social media that project an overtly perfect existence.

I’m realizing it is possible to be honest and not lose any self respect. In fact, honesty can bring people a lot of credit. Some of my favorite blogs and press articles are those that are truthful or brave. I follow the travel blog Waegook Tom because of this very reason. If he doesn’t like a destination/hotel/attraction, he’ll say it (check out his list of ‘Six satisfactory cities’), and I appreciate his balanced reviews.

Honesty can really resonate and build trust with an audience and we must keep this in mind at all times – not just as marketing managers for businesses and brands, but on a personal front too.

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The S#*T People Say on Social Media

By | Funny Photos, Social Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

Facebook has been around for over 10 years, and though many are pros, some users still don’t know what they’re doing.

Like this lady:

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And this lady, confusing us and her friends:

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And this guy, who sends selfies of himself to brands (notice, also his profile pic):

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 And these, well these are just hilarious:

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And sometimes, we like to create the fun ourselves. This method only works with the more socially savvy users!

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Nerds

 

 

How Online Rumors Can Spiral Out Of Control

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

The New York Times just published an interesting article about the influence of online rumors and how, all to often, these stories can overwhelm efforts to set the record straight.

Researchers at the University of Columbia have tracked the scary rate at which false stories are shared online and created a unique online tool called Emergent which aims to develop best practices for debunking misinformation. You can view a list of rumors being tracked on its homepage, stating whether the story is true, false or unverified.

As I briefly scanned the false stories, I recalled seeing some of them shared on Twitter or other social channels. For example, the news that ESPN had planned a special domestic violence panel that didn’t include any women. Like many others, I remember reading those headlines and feeling annoyed (see examples of angry instant reactions on Twitter below):

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Yet, Emergent’s analysis found the story to be false. The rumor started when the opening sentence of an Esquire article entitled ‘ESPN has a problem with women’ was widely interpreted as saying that ESPN was set to run a special panel, hosted only by men, which would address the specific subject of domestic violence in the NFL. In fact, the pre-game show was actually running as normal, with a segment on domestic violence.

This false story received 8,245 social shares, yet the news that set the record straight (a Deadspin article entitled ‘That ESPN Domestic Violence Panel You Keep Hearing About Isn’t Real’) received only 525 shares.

This is hardly surprising. Humans love gossip and drama – and are probably far more likely to share a sensational headline on social channels because it’s simply more entertaining. However, many of those users shared that story genuinely thinking it was true and Emergent’s findings are a vital reminder to not believe everything you read online – especially if you’re going to share it with others.

Emergent could be a useful tool for Social Media Managers looking to verify a story that relates to a client’s industry before they reference it online. I’m excited to see how it develops.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways Social Media Is Changing Our Brains

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

The popular YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE recently created a video on the crazy ways social media is changing our brains.

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Here are a few interesting takeaways:

  • 1/3 of the entire world use social media sites
  • 5-10% of Internet users are unable to control how much time they spend online (a majority of these must be social media managers!).
  • Heavy social media users perform worse during multi-tasking tasks. I may have to disagree with this one!
  • Phantom Vibration Syndrome, the psychological phenomenon where you think your phone went off but it didn’t, is a recent symptom that 89% of people say they experience once every 2 weeks. Social media is actually rewiring our nervous system!
  • Social medie trigggers a release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical, since it provides immediate rewards from things like a “like” or “retweet.” The reward center in your brain is then activated.
  • People like talking about themselves, which releases dopamine. While 30-40% of face-to-face communications revolve around talking about yourself, an astounding 80% of social media communication is self-involved, thus releasing more dopamine during social media use.
  • Partners tend to like each other more if they meet online. There is a statisitcal increase in successful partnerships that start online.

Watch the full video here:
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You Don’t Have to ‘Like’ Me to Read This Blog Post

By | Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

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If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably wondering why the weird title. And no, I’m not going to go all clickbait (pulling a bait and switch) on you and talk about something unrelated. But if you use Facebook for your business, you’ll shortly understand the blog post title’s significance other than to grab your attention.

Effective November 5th, Facebook is banning like gates and the ability to force visitors to “Like” a page in order to get access from a tab’s content.

Per Facebook’s developer blog page:
You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.

If you ran contests or promotions in exchange for Facebook ‘Likes’ in the past, maybe it’s time to re-think how your approaching the use of social media. One way to push forward? Why not continue to run contests but – and this is important – not ask for likes. It stands to reason that brands can still create strong calls to action to their audience and give them reasons to organically become a fan.

Still reading this blog post? Thanks. And no, I don’t need you to ‘Like’ me to read any of my future blog posts.

These Twitter Bios Will Inspire Your Own

By | Funny Photos, Social Media | No Comments

Twitter might seem like a platform centered around limitation. Not only are you bound to 140 characters per tweet, but your personal bio only gets 160 characters. But that’s where Twitter’s seemingly limited approach to sharing becomes something of an art form. Below, you’ll find some of the most creative, witty and humorous Twitter bios out there, and we hope they inspire you when drafting your very own:

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.03.19 PMI suppose it still counts… Dream on, Marc.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.04.14 PMAs long as it’s not built in Chicago!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.04.51 PMWouldn’t you agree that his best are the one’s where he’s out of shape?

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.06.01 PMPat took a page right out of Fight Club.

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.08.12 PMClever!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.12.25 PMJust as funny in person as he was a Dwight Schrute!

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.19.33 PMWouldn’t we all?

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 12.05.22 PM  Who would have thought that people half-way across the world would have the same sense of humor?

For my next blog post, we’ll be delving into some of the greatest tweets ever conceived. Here’s but a taste of what’s to come:

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And yes, that’s the CIA’s official Twitter account. Incredible.

Social Media Managers: Don’t Forget the Importance of Social Selling!

By | Helpful Information, Social Media, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | No Comments

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I recently had disappointing customer service experiences when communicating with two hotels via social media. My parents were visiting Chicago and I wanted to plan some fun things to do.

I sent Facebook messages to the hotels basically asking if I can give them my money. I wanted to reserve a table at one hotel’s rooftop restaurant and to find out about spa days at another hotel. The former told me to contact another email address and the latter asked me what date I was looking at and then failed to respond when I gave them the date. It meant we booked with other places instead.

I was surprised by this experience. Both hotels have a fantastic social media presence in other ways; sharing eye-catching, engaging content on a daily basis. Yet, they didn’t seem to understand the importance of customer service too by failing to respond to users’ comments and private messages in a timely manner.

At Gossip Genie, we’re very focused on using social media to generate sales for clients. If I was managing the social media accounts for those hotels, I’d make sure prospect customers were made to feel important and were given all of the information that they needed to hopefully secure a booking.

Current and prospect customers are increasingly using social media to communicate with brands and it’s now at the point where if a company doesn’t respond, they will have a black mark against them – make sure that’s not your company!