Social Media

Does Social Media Belong in PR?

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


I’m originally from a PR agency background and there was often debate about whether or not PR agencies should look after clients’ social media activity, too.

In many ways it makes sense: PR teams should understand a client’s key branding messages and its most newsworthy products; they can share the press and blog coverage that they’ve secured and they should understand what they can and can’t say on behalf of a client.

However, do PR agencies possess the technical knowledge required to deliver social media strategies? Are they on top of trends and do they understand how to use social media monitoring tools? Are they too focused on getting ‘free’ exposure and fail to recognize the importance of, for example, paid-for Facebook advertising or compensating bloggers? From my time at Gossip Genie, I understand these points are all vital if you want to deliver a successful social media campaign.

That’s not to say social media marketers don’t need PR skills – they certainly do, and I think all of the Genie team do a great job of combining both skill sets.

There are times when I read about social media gaffs in the news and I’m speechless. Gaffs that seriously lack PR skills and the ability to understand what is and isn’t appropriate to say on behalf of a brand. Some airline social media teams, for example, appear to need PR training.

Finnair was heavily criticized recently when it sent the following tweet on the day of the MH17 tragedy:




Of course it’s important to reassure customers, but by saying ‘Your safety is our top priority,’ it suggests Malaysian Airlines don’t take the safety of their passengers seriously by flying over Ukraine. Perhaps a carefully-worded statement on its website might have been more appropriate. What’s worse, is that Finnair was lying – the airline had been flying over Ukraine, with a Twitter user quick to share a flight path image from Flightradar as proof.

Finnair continued to deny it then suddenly backtracked to say it now wouldn’t fly through Ukraine airspace. Meanwhile the Twitter sphere went to work criticizing Finnair for its mistake.

This incident is yet another important reminder that communications and social media teams must be carefully controlled, especially during a crisis.



Ten Signs You’re Addicted to Social Media

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1)  You announce your engagement/pregnancy/sexual orientation/exciting new job/other special milestone event on Facebook instead of telling your close friends and family face-to-face first.

2) The first thing you do when you wake-up and go to sleep, is look at social media channels on your phone.

3) You always have your camera phone ready at every social occasion, vacation, activity, etc, to take photos to share online. And if you get carried away in the moment and forget to take a photo (horrifying thought!), you feel regret because it would have looked so good on Instagram.


4) You feel genuinely lost if social media channels are temporarily not working, sharing your outrage on another channel.

5) You use hashtags in spoken conversations, as demonstrated by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon here.

6)  You start to believe all of your social media connections really have perfect lives and think your life is boring in comparison.

7)  You think this Facebook shower curtain is cool:


8) Or own a pair of Twitter shoes:


9)  You find it difficult to read anything lengthier than a 140 character tweet or two sentence Facebook update. Remember magazines? Books? Even online articles can be a struggle.

10) You ‘like’ your own content (however, this is easy to accidentally do on Instagram).




Prenups with a ‘No Social Media’ Clause

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


A term that centuries ago meant an act of new, strategic alliances, has transformed and has been redefined over the years. The offerings, defining features of a prenuptial marriage agreement are also evolving. Take the new social media prenup clause for example, which is an agreement that protects married couples or exes from a potential Internet catastrophe.

Here’s the unfortunate truth, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce.

A high divorce rate mixed with an already endless, over use of the Internet and you get a customized yet broad contract that, according to New York-based attorney Ann-Margaret Carrozza, states “not to post, tweet, or otherwise share via social media, positive, negative, insulting, embarrassing, or flattering images or content of the other.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 7.24.17 PM

We’ve all heard at least one of the following situations either on the news or from word-of-mouth: online bullying, sex tapes or photos leaked online, “sexts” gone viral over the Internet or inappropriate material revealed and ruining a professional image. These are the types of public humiliation that this new clause will protect against.

Unfortunately, vengeful exes exist, and the last thing you would want is something sensitive revealed to unrequested eyes. If an ex does decide to go rogue, the penalty in this case is monetary.

In a Fox News article, New York-based attorney David Centeno made an interesting point about this new clause. Here it is, to be blunt: There’s probably a major problem with a relationship to begin with if an individual feels that it is necessary to add a “don’t post naked photos of me” clause in a prenup. An obvious point to consider, if I may add.


What do you think of the new addition to the prenuptial agreement?



Six months in Chicago

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Gossip Genie volleyball team

Six months today I moved from London to Chicago and a week or so later, I started work at Gossip Genie. I used to work in social media and PR in England and it’s been such an interesting experience working for a U.S. company. I’m learning a lot.

In general, I think the U.S. is miles ahead in terms of understanding how to use social media in the business world. This isn’t surprising – it is, after all, home to some of the world’s most popular social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, and it’s where blogs were first published.

Reflecting on my personal experience working with small to medium businesses in England,  some business owners were cynical and didn’t think it could impact on ROI. In my opinion, this thought process came from a lack of understanding about how social media works – and some of these business owners didn’t appear to want to know how it worked. There was almost a fear of social media.

I found this frustrating because social media should not be feared by businesses – it’s an amazing marketing opportunity, if used properly. Gossip Genie has taught me how social media can impact a company’s bottom line, especially through finding customers for clients on Twitter by monitoring and partaking in conversations with their target communities.

It’s great to have a way to demonstrate ROI to clients who need to see a direct correlation between our activity and sales generated.

For example, say you’re a travel company that sells cycling holidays – I can guarantee that prospect and current customers are on Twitter now talking about their next cycling holiday. Are you taking advantage of this sales opportunity by involving your company in the conversation?

I have learned many more things at Gossip Genie. A lot of it work related, but I’ve also been introduced to the wonders of working in a dog-friendly office and beach volley, and to the deliciousness of red velvet doughnuts, Cheetos and Sour Patch Kids Candy.

Community Managers, THIS Guide Was Made For You!

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

“Sharing is caring” is a popular phrase in the social media industry; some use it from an outbound marketing perspective, but I on the other hand like to think of it as an endearing catchphrase that provides a great sense of solidarity amongst Community Managers alike as we share tips with one another. Managing a community is one thing, but trying to stay afloat with the latest and greatest of social trends is a full-time job in itself, which is why Sprout Social has created a guide community managers will be happy to read (and share)!


Sprout Social recently introduced their Community Manager Field Guide (#CMFieldGuide) on Twitter for community managers to share their tips ranging from social media to ways to unwind and avoid social media burnout. I was honored when Sprout Social asked me to help kick off their field guide, and the tips and insight from other community managers that followed made being a part of this series much more sweeter.

One of my favorite tips comes from Humara Kausar, the Community Manager for health and nutrition company GNC:

humara kausar, community manager, gnc

Photo: Sprout Social

Whether you’re first starting out in community management or a seasoned veteran, the Community Manager Field Guide is a great resource to hang on to as it continues to evolve! And be sure to check out the other great tips from the other featured community managers!

Want to be in on the action? Share your own tips by tweeting @SproutSocial with the hashtag #CMFieldGuide!

Top 10 TV Series on Twitter and the Year’s Most Tweeted-about Episode

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Nielsen has released its list of this year’s most talked-about series on Twitter, which was calculated from September 1, 2013 to May 25, 2014. Breaking Bad not only topped the list — with an average reach of 6 million people per each new episode — but also took home the award for the greatest reach for a single airing, thanks to its buzzy series finale. Viewers’ final hour with Walter White reached 9.1 million people on Twitter. However, The Voice set the record for total tweets sent about a single episode with 1.92 million tweets about its episode on May 13.


Here are the year’s top ten series on Twitter (in order):

1. Breaking Bad
2. The Walking Dead
3. Pretty Little Liars
The Bachelor
5. Game of Thrones
6. Teen Wolf
7. American Horror Story: Coven
8. Scandal
9. The Voice
10. Dancing With the Stars

In terms of television specials, The Oscars and the Super Bowl led the charge. The Oscars reached 13.9 million people with one billion impressions (mostly thanks to Ellen Degeneres’s selfie), while the Super Bowl reached 15.3 million people.

Are you surprised by these results? Which shows do you tweet about the most?

Perch: An Easier Way To Spy On The Competition

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized | No Comments

When diving into social media marketing, thorough self-evaluations are a necessity when assessing how a brand is perceived online – part of that assessment includes the vitality of competitors and how/where they’re headed. It’s not uncommon to see many of your favorite brands NOT using social media – the same can be said about small businesses. Whether the hesitation is due to a lack of resources or simply because the brand does not see tangible results, there IS one way brands can make the most out of social media with just a few minutes per day and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Perch is a new app that gives smart brands the ability to conduct surface-level competitive research with a fluidly housed platform and easy-to-use interface. How does it work?

perchGet a bird’s eye view of reviews, social posts and promotions – for you AND your competition – all in one place. Listen to your local marketplace and discover how to improve your own social media and marketing.

Instead of jumping between Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, and various other social sites to track what your competitors are up to, Perch curates competitor data all in one place.

Whether you’re a first-time business owner using social media for your brand, or a seasoned pro working for an agency, Perch provides a nice platform for competitive research giving you a better glimpse at not only how your target market is being influenced by the competition, but also how audiences are responding.

Get Perch for free at:
Apple App Store or in Google Play.


A Guide to Covering Events Live on Social Media

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Social Media | No Comments


Elizabeth and I attended the National ProStart Invitational in Minneapolis last month to cover the 3-day event live on social media for our client, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

The top-chef style competition for ProStart Program students had culinary and management teams vying for championship titles and $3.75 million in scholarships. With 50 culinary teams and 50 management teams from each US state competing, there was a lot of ground to cover on social media!

Social media is a great way to provide live updates to your fans, interact with attendees, and provide coverage for people unable to attend the event.

But where do you start? Here are some first-hand tips on how to successfully live cover an event on social media:

1.    Create a hashtag for the event and follow it continuously

Make sure it’s relatively short, unique to the event, and easy to remember. Make sure to promote the hashtag beforehand so that attendees know to use it during the event and keep the hashtag consistent across all social media platforms. Creating an official hashtag for an event not only allows your fans to easily follow along with your updates but it allows you to track the chatter at the event so that you can easily interject in conversations on Facebook and Twitter and like and comment on photos on Instagram


 2.    Compile a list of important attendees and their social handles

At the National ProStart Invitational, there were 50 high schools competing and countless scholarship donors and event sponsors that needed to be acknowledged on social media. Beforehand, we researched every school, donor, and sponsor attending to see if they had a social presence. By researching them and creating a document with their social handles, we had them readily available to tag at a moment’s notice during the fast-paced event. Preparation is key when live covering an event!

3.    Schedule and drafts messages

While you are going to be sharing content live from the event, anything you can do ahead of time helps. There are certain aspects of the event you can anticipate. For example, at the Invitational, we knew exactly what time each team was competing so we pre-scheduled tweets to announce which team was competing when. That gave us time to take pictures and share everything else surrounding the competition.

 4.    Take as many pictures as you can!

There is no better way to share the experience of being at an event than to show it via images. Don’t be afraid to get close and get the perfect shot to give your fans a look at what is happening, live from the event!

An up-close shot of one of the culinary competitors!

An up-close shot of one of the culinary competitors!

5.    Take notes of what you hear

Quotes are a huge hit on social. During the Invitational, there were countless speeches and commentary about the students competing and the restaurant industry as a whole. Documenting key quotes and snippets of dialogue to share on social will help your fans relive the event. The more knowledge you share from the event, the more your audience will feel they were a part of the experience as well.

6.    Vary your content across social platforms

While you want to keep your message and tone consistent throughout the event, change up the content you are sharing across each social media platform. What is appropriate for Twitter may not be right for Instagram. Make sure you share your information with the uniqueness of the platform.

 7.    Keep an extra charger on hand!

There is nothing worse than covering an event and your phone dies. Constantly snapping pictures and sending out posts from your phone will cause the battery life to diminish quickly. By carrying an extra charger or with you, you’ll be able to upload photos, post updates and consistently execute multiple tasks throughout the entire event and not cut yourself short due to a dead phone.

8.    Have a team member(s) to help you out

Covering an event live on social media definitely helps when you have an amazing partner like Elizabeth to share efforts with. Definitely couldn’t have done it without her!



What other questions do you have about covering an event live on social media? Ask away!

Why It’s Important To Constantly Update Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

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

Social Media StrategyIt’s been proven that social media marketers and community managers can often get burned out on coming up with new and innovative content and ideas day after day, especially if they’re only responsible for working on one brand.

Every so often, it helps to get an expert’s perspective on your current social tactics and strategies, a task we were recently commissioned to do for a major university. Collectively, we spent about 20 hours reviewing all of their social networks, providing feedback and recommendations, concluding with a detailed and informational presentation to their marketing department.

When was the last time you questioned how effective your social media marketing strategy was for your business? If it’s been more than a year, here are a few major reasons why you need to take a step back and take a look into the effectiveness of your social media marketing plan.

1. Facebook changes on the regular. You may not be aware that Facebook takes hundreds of thousands of factors into consideration when determining what shows up in people’s Timelines. If you’re not completely up to date on the newest Facebook algorithm (or if you don’t even know what that is) you should seek outside consultation.

2. You may be on the wrong networks. If you’re a fashion brand that doesn’t have a presence on Pinterest, someone should be shaking you. Likewise, a photographer that doesn’t exist on image-centric sites like Instagram and Pinterest is missing out on dozens of potential clients.

3. You (or your social media manager) may be burned out. It takes a lot of work to come up with something witty, funny, informational, etc. every single day. A few brainstorm sessions with a creative team may be all that a social media manager needs to ignite their imagination and put together a rock solid social media outline/plan for the year. We hold team brainstorming sessions regularly to assure this isn’t the case with our clients.

4. Constructive criticism will only improve your current strategy and get you closer to reaching your overall goals and objectives.


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Recently, someone very wise told me that gratitude is the foundation of happiness. If we apply it to everything we do, we will live a richer life. Tragedy will always inspire this mentality but what about just an average day, week, month, year? Make it a point to wake up each day and be appreciative of the fact that you are waking up to live another day.

I am not the preachy fake happy type of person but I have a lot to be grateful about and I have made a point of just trying to start each day with being grateful for waking up to live another day. Okay, okay, I am sure I lost some of you at my mushy-ness but seriously, here are few digital tips to be happier.

Pharrell was on to something!


1. It has been proven that Facebook can cause depression but it doesn’t have to. Ask yourself before you log on to Facebook if you are going to compare yourself to the perfect lives your friends portray on Facebook. If so, maybe you should avoid the network until you are in a better place yourself. Remember, the happiest people are the ones that are genuinely happy for other people when good things happen to them. This is easier said than done because jealousy is not something most of us can control but to offset any jealousy, try the gratitude approach.

2. Remove the negative influences from your social surroundings. Bullies on Twitter, Debbie Downers on Facebook, Kim Kardashian on Instagram. Embrace the friends that are experiencing happy milestones, achieving their goals and putting positive energy out their by supporting them. I am certainly not really friends with all of my friends on Facebook. To be honest, there are a few on there that I have never been fond of for one reason or another. Recently, one of those people ran a marathon and lost a good amount of weight. She was very happy about achieving her goal and therefore, I was happy for her. She may have heavily hazed me during my sorority days and I would easily classify her as a mean girl but I am over it. I am happy that she is healthy and I wish her the best. She posts a lot of positive and motivational quotes and I enjoy reading them.

3. Start putting your positive energy out into the Universe and it will come back to you…write a blog post about the things you are grateful for!