Social Media

Book Review: Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”

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


I recently read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. Vaynerchuk is a New York Times bestselling author and social media expert and his latest book is a blueprint of sorts for social media marketing strategies. It really makes you rethink how you market and sell to your customers. I would definitely say it’s a must-read for anyone working in marketing or social media and anyone who wants to understand the power of social media marketing. I particularly enjoyed the numerous examples of how companies like Dunkin’ Donuts and Lacoste have successfully (or unsuccessfully) used social media to market themselves.

Referring to the title, “jabbing” is creating content for consumers and engaging with customers to build relationships. The “right hook” is developing and implementing that next campaign that will produce profits and convert traffic to sales, easily showing a return on investment. In the book, Vaynerchuk explains how important it is to focus on not only developing high-quality content (jabbing) but truly engaging with customers and adapting your message across the various social media platforms (the right hook).

The main message in the book is that you need to emotionally invest in your customers for them to care about you. If you sell too hard on social media, people will ignore you, but if you support your community, they will want to do business with you. At Gossip Genie, we are continually developing relationships with our audiences and listening to what they have to say.

After reading the book, here are some quotes that stood out most to me as a social media manager:

On the power of social media: “It took thirty-eight years before 50 million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to earn an audience that size. It took Instagram a year and a half.”

On social media marketing: “The incredible brand awareness and bottom-line profits achievable through social media marketing require hustle, heart, sincerity, constant engagement, long-term commitment, and most of all, artful and strategic storytelling.”

On Twitter: “It closes the six degrees of separation to one degree of separation”

On Facebook: “One out of every five page views in the United States is on Facebook!…On Facebook, the definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people most want to share with others.”

On listening to the consumer: “I pride myself in listening. When you have people paying attention to you, your biggest job is to listen what they want. Deliver what your community wants. Social media has much more upside when you’re actually listening and responding and reacting.”

On followers: “It’s not how many followers you have, it’s how many care.”

On tapping into your market: “You’ve got to tell your story to the customer where the customer actually is…head-down, in their mobile device.”

On creating content: “Creating content that allows us to share our experiences, thoughts, and ideas in real time is becoming an intrinsic part of life in the twenty-first century.”

On the importance of context: “Today, getting people to hear your story on social media, and then act on it, requires using a platform’s native language, paying attention to context, understanding the nuances and subtle differences that make each platform unique, and adapting your content to match.”

On creating connections: “Your job is to create a connection. You can talk, talk, talk all day long and never make one honest, real connection with another human soul. But you’ve only got one real job online… and your job is to “create” a connection. Your job is to find the connection between you and that “one” follower at a time, heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul. If you focus on that one connection until it clicks and sticks, then others will watch, listen, and follow you, too. Your only real job is to find, create and nurture that one connection. Once connected, simply do it again… and again…”

On life: “Love your family, work super hard, live your passion.”

Worst social media advice, ever

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

Have you ever been given bad social media advice? You may have been spoon-fed terrible guidance without even really knowing it – Even worse, you may have accepted bad instruction and acted on it.

If you’re a social media newbie seeking some social guidance for your business, here’s a little tip: Don’t ever take the following social media suggestions.

Ignore negative comments

Would you ignore service or product complaints or concerns? Social media acts as a customer service forum; people turn to Facebook, Twitter, etc. to voice concerns or to share with others negative or positive experiences. Acknowledging negative feedback, and allowing people to see that you care and are trying to right the wrong, you will gain the respect and trust your business craves.

Social media doesn’t call for strategizing

Diving into social media for personal use – sure – you don’t need a contingency plan. When using social sites for your business, however, you should not only have a plan in place, you should have goals set. Most importantly, you should know your target audience, and how to engage. Discuss the voice of your business and what type of material, news you want to share. A business is built on strategizing, why should social media be immune to it?

Advertisements are a waste, don’t bother

Social media advertisements can help you further brand awareness and reach the audience you desire, no matter how precise that target market needs to be. These advertisements can help you gain potential clients and interest from a pool of millions already using social networks every single day.

You don’t need social media, your prospects aren’t using it

To get a taste of about how many people are on social media, take a look at this infographic from Search Engine Journal. Bottom line, with these population numbers, you’re destined to hook a few parties. If you’re still having doubts, mock-up a Facebook advertisement, for example, and you’ll see how many people fit your specific target audience. You may be surprised by what number pops up.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.18.27 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 3.17.49 PM

Just choose one outlet

Keep in mind that no single social media outlet is considered the Holy Grail. Truth be told, each social site attracts millions upon millions of people – That’s a lot of folks. So, why only dip your toe into one pool? By testing the water with several social outlets, you have the potential to reach a whole lot more people, and gain so many more opportunities.

Send an auto DM to all new followers

Just say no to auto DMs. They come across as impersonal, and quite spam-like.  You want to connect with your audience; build a trusted relationship with them. Shoving an automated response in their face will irritate them and surly not convince them to follow your business or listen to what you have to say. On Twitter, you only get so many characters, so make em’ count.

Auto publish your posts to go out on all social networks

Each social media platform is different from one another, so why revert to a “one size fits all” publishing strategy? A tweet looks completely different than a Facebook post in terms of character space and tagging, for example. Each post should be uniformed based on which outlet it’s for.


Have you ever been given any of these suggestions?

The New Twitter Looks Awfully Familiar

By | Social Media | No Comments

In case you haven’t heard, Twitter will be pushing out a redesign in the next few weeks and the changes are significant, yet familiar. Some accounts already have access to the new profile interface, presumably for promotional purposes. One such profile is that of Kerry Washington:

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 11.37.03 AM

I don’t know about you, but at first glance I thought this was a Facebook profile. The horizontal cover image and prioritization of images in the feed almost make the new Twitter appear to be a Facebook Doppelgänger. But that might be the point, according to Gartner analyst Brian Blau: “People are intimidated by the open nature of Twitter. The redesign kind of looks like other networks, and that’s what people are already used to and comfortable with. This direction might reduce that level of intimidation.” And that “intimidation” is possibly what led YouTube to introduce profile header images, too:

Screen Shot 2014-04-10 at 12.21.34 PM

Social media redesigns have seldom, if ever impacted my usage. But I use Twitter more than any other platform – both professionally and personally. If they are conforming to what’s familiar to most, what will that mean for the people most familiar with Twitter? What of the longtime, loyal patrons like myself? According to Blau, we don’t matter all that much: “It’s the future users who will drive the business forward. They’re the target for advertisers. They’re different from the digerati and the people who flock to these networks early on. It’s the mass market that has the buying power. That’s what Twitter’s really after.”

But remember Twitter, being a cover artist isn’t like being a real artist if you’re just copying the work of another. After all, doing your own thing was what got you to 200 million users in just eight years.

Source: Wired

When Social Media and Classic Art Collide

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

It’s interesting when two very different eras collide, when old meets modern. Social media has defined the past decade and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by edgy artists looking for a new take on existing classic work.

There’s the Ukraine-based artist, Nastya Ptichek, who has done a fascinating job of integrating the digital era into renowned works of art. She demonstrated how iOS emojis strongly resemble well-known paintings in her emoji-nation project:


And applied Twitter, Facebook and Instagram notifications to Edward Hopper masterpieces to capture how his subjects might express their loneliness in the online world:


And I particularly like how she used digital errors to explain these Renaissance paintings:


Old-school art critics might turn their nose up at this ‘dumbing-down’ of classic art but I think it’s a creative way to get the younger generation interested in history. It could be a great way to educate traditionalists about emojis and the like too.

Other examples of artists highlighting the social media revolution, includes the famous London street artist, Banksy, who recently poked fun at our need for attention online through notifications with this stencil drawing. I hope you ‘like’ this blog article.




Then and Now: How Social Media Aesthetically Changed

By | Social Media, Uncategorized | No Comments

Can you believe ten years have passed since the inception of Facebook? It’s also been nine years since YouTube was established, and Twitter turned eight only a few short days ago. It goes without saying that a lot has changed since those early days – Facebook went public, YouTube was purchased by Google and an average of 400 million tweets are sent daily. But I’ve always been more visually oriented, so actually seeing the growth of popularized social media platforms fascinates me. For example, take a gander at what Facebook (or should I say, The Facebook) used to look like in 2005:

facebook profile 2005 with ads

It’s a night and day difference compared to your existing Facebook profile, isn’t it? Believe it or not, The Facebook in 2005 didn’t have many of the features we hold dear today such as likable “Pages,” which wren’t introduced until 2009:

Facebook page 2009

If you thought The Facebook looked amateur in 2004, then you’ll get a kick out of YouTube’s UI from their humble beginnings in 2005:


And if we were to jump in our DeLorean and gun it back to 2006, Twitter would look something like this:


So if there are any aesthetically unappealing sites you frequent, don’t write them off just yet! If history shows us anything, they may just be the next big thing. Which is great news for my personal blog – it looks horrendous.

Source: digiTash, AbhiSays

30 For 30

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments

This will probably be my last blog post before I turn (gulp) 30!! Therefore, I want to share the top 30 things I love about social media.

30. Birthday reminders – some people strictly join Facebook for the sole purpose of being reminded about the birthdays of family and friends

29. Instagram is a candid sneak peak into the lives of your favorite celebrities. It’s the only network I use to follow celebrities because it’s genuinely the celeb posting the pics, evident in the selfie camera angle. I could have done without this pic but Kim Kardashian is certainly entertaining because we all love to hate her.


28. If you’re selling something, you have an extra outlet to get the word out. After weeks of trying to sell my furniture via Craigslist, I was able to do it within 30 minutes of posting it on Facebook.

27. Hashtags – I have a love hate relationship with hashtags, I hate myself for feeling the need to use them in texting conversations but I love when I can appropriately apply a great hashtag to better index a tweet.

26. Cyber stalking – We all do it! Think about the additional detail you find out about a person by scrubbing their social presence.

25. Filters, we can all admit that a filter takes picture from good to great.

24. Validation – Every like on your Facebook status, every heart on your instagram photo, every retweet of your tweet, you know the more attention your social posts get, the better you feel about yourself.

23. Documentation – with the evolution of social media, we have visual documentation of the various stages in our lives. Every photo you add to Instagram (if your location information is enabled) is a documented memory of your experience.

22. Photosations – learn more from Darryl’s post

21. #HavaneseOfInstagram


20. Being able to transport yourself to the past via social media – check out this fun little tool and travel back in time to revisit your first tweet ever. I have to admit I was really disappointed in myself for my first tweet – I am an open book so I will share but please don’t judge!

#LameScreen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.07.14 AM

19. The fact that social media has been a major help in police investigations. Anthony’s post on the use of social media in police investigations is a must read!

18. Canva – Elizabeth describes the fantastic app in this post.

17. Geotargeting – I love that we can generate geotargeted leads for clients via Twitter by searching for relevant keywords and phrases within a specific radius. If you’re a dentist in Lincoln Park, save a stream on Twitter (“toothache” within 10 miles of 60614). It’s a great way to recruit new patients.

16. Milestone announcements – I know some people hate this but I have to admit I kind of love it. Engagements, pregnancies, new jobs, new homes – it’s fun to follow friends through the exciting times in their lives.

15. Social Capital – Read my blog post about Leveraging Your Social Capital.

14. Foursquare badges

13. Pinterest Recipe Fails 

12. The KISS Principle as explained by Charles

11. Facebook offers

10. Zach King’s videos on Vine

9. Watching a business’ response to a crisis situation via social media. Read Stephanie’s post: Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight: The Social Media Response. 

8. YouTube “How to” videos (ex. how to tie a bow tie, how to perfect the smoky eye, how to train your dog to play dead)

7. The aggregation of news and the accessibility of breaking news. The first thing I do when I wake up is scroll through my Facebook feed and sure enough, I am up to speed on all current events and hollywood gossip, thanks to my share happy Facebook friends.

6. Sense of Community. Our winter has been really bad in Chicago and I feel a sense of community when others complain about it via social media. It’s a misery loves company mentality.

5. Reviews: How did we ever live without the unbiased reviews from our fellow Yelpers?!

4. The unanimous hatred for Google+ amongst social media industry professionals.

3. Social Media Week 

2013-09-25 08.04.21

 2. Support. If there is one thing social media can do faster than anything other mechanism, it’s unite people for the common good, for charity, fundraising or to garner support for those in need. Read Tara’s post about the social fight against bullying.

1. Social Media was the impetus for Gossip Genie which has connected me with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met.

Are Teens Leaving Facebook? Does it matter?

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media | No Comments


When meeting with prospective clients, one of the most common questions I seem to hear is “Are younger people even using Facebook anymore?” They’re mostly referring to the recent study that came out that declared teens are leaving Facebook at an alarming rate for newer social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

First, let’s look at the numbers. 

According to iStrategyLabs, 25% fewer teens in the United States are using Facebook than they did in 2011. Those numbers, drawn from Facebook’s Social Advertising platform, which are presented in a chart comparing users from January 2011 and January 2014, show that the amount of teens on Facebook aged 13-17 has fallen 25.3%. Those in high school over the same period fell 58.9% and college students on Facebook decreased by 59.1% over the same period. iSL tracks users through Facebook’s advertising interface, in which advertisers can slice and dice segments of users and buy whatever audience demographics they want. In 2011, there were 13.1 million teens available for advertisers to target. This year, there are only 9.8 million users aged 13-17 available, iSL says.

(Source: Business Insider)


But, does it matter?

While these numbers look alarming at first, when you compare them to Facebook’s overall dominance in the social media field, they hardly spell doom and gloom for the social networking giant.

Currently, there are 1.23 billion monthly active Facebook users in the world and 128 million daily active users in the United States. For advertisers, the coveted 18-34 demographic is still strongly active on Facebook, with 66% of 15-34 years old engaging daily on the social network.

The 25-34 age range is up 33%, the 35-54 demographic is up 41% and those ages 55+ on Facebook has increased by over 80% from 2011 to 2014. These are the age demographics that are ultimately buying into the businesses or products being advertised on Facebook. As a business and advertiser, to ignore these rising demographics (ultimately, the age of people making the purchasing decisions) would come at a significant loss.

(Source: Facebook User Stats)

Consider who are you advertising to. 

It all depends on who you are targeting on Facebook. Advertisers covet younger audiences because their taste in products are more malleable. But advertising on Facebook isn’t just about its massive reach with younger users. A big part of Facebook’s advertising is that it has so much information about its users to pull from that you can effectively target ads to those who will be responsive to the content.

At Gossip Genie, the conversion rate for most of our ads for our clients is close to or over 100% because of the specific targeting we are able to do through Facebook. If your target audience is solely younger teens, then maybe this decrease in users will matter to you, but it all depends on who you want to target. And while the 55+ plus crowd may not be as sought after by advertisers as the 18-34 age range, neither are the 13-17 year olds.

Also, consider the source.

The decline in teen users isn’t backed up by any actual Facebook numbers. They were pulled from the advertising platform on the site and therefore aren’t accurate predictors of actual Facebook user numbers.

On the company’s Q3 earnings call in October 2013, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said:

I want to say a few words about youth engagement on Facebook. As we’ve said previously, this is a hard issue for us to measure because self-reported age data is unreliable for younger users. So we’ve developed other analytical methods to help us estimate usage by age. Our best analysis on youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable from Q2 to Q3. But we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.

While there is definitely a decrease in younger users, there are no definitive numbers to back it up. And, according to a study done by Singapore and UK-based market research firm GlobalWebIndex, Facebook is still the dominant, most popular social network on the planet among teens with 67% more active teen users than the nearest competitor, YouTube, which is regularly used by 29% of 16 to 19-year-olds. Twitter is third most popular social network with 26% of 16 to 19-year-olds around the world using it on a monthly basis.

A shift in Facebook’s image.

Many suggest that Facebook’s fading cool factor with teens comes from the fact that the young teen demographic is the first group of people who’ve had their lives documented online from birth. They are keenly aware of their “digital footprint” and are looking for apps and sites where they can share content freely and privately (aka Snapchat where the image is gone in a few seconds or Instagram where their parents probably don’t have a presence).

Does that matter for Facebook advertising? A new report from Creative Arts Agency’s The Intelligence Group suggests that while young people might be using Facebook less than they used to, the social media giant might still be the best place for brands to target them.

The Intelligence Group found that a dominant 55% of the 900 millennials it polled said they would most prefer brands to communicate with them on Facebook rather than rivals YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Facebook’s next closest competitor in the poll was YouTube, which earned 20% of the vote.

Sure, younger teens may be heading to newer things like Instagram, the fastest growing social network, but there are only 150 million Instagram users compared to Facebook’s 1.23 billion. And don’t forget, Facebook owns Instagram now.

As long as you provide value, relevancy, great information, and something you can’t get elsewhere to your specific target market, your presence on Facebook is still hugely important to your brand.

How Social Media Is Changing the Way We Travel

By | Social Media, Words of Advice | No Comments


I’m fascinated with all things travel and it’s one of the most perfect industries in terms of what works well online. Travel is especially social, both as a purchase and as an experience. The content often looks particularly beautiful too, illustrated by these 12 gorgeous Vine Postcards that will make you want to travel.

Vacationers typically go through five stages when planning a trip – sharing, dreaming, researching, booking and experiencing – and social media can play an important role throughout. A recent infographic found that 52% of U.S. people use social media for travel inspiration and three out of four people post vacation photos to a social network.

Travel company marketers should embrace social media like a best friend and if they don’t have a strategy in place, they are missing out on a huge opportunity.

australia 1

There are countless examples of travel companies getting it right – and it doesn’t have to be complicated. For example, Tourism Australia does an amazing job of utilizing user-generated content. Its dedicated interaction with fans 24 hours a day, means that fans now create more than 95% of content on the tourism board’s profiles, with more than 1,000 fan photos shared every day across its networks.

I like the Four Seasons’ new Pin.Pack.Go concept too – a Pinterest trip planning service that connects guests with Four Seasons local experts around the world. Users are encouraged to share pinned photos and ideas directly with Four Seasons insiders, who then help them to build and book a perfect travel itinerary.

Or, being a travel and coffee fan, I loved it when The Ritz-Carlton of Naples took to Facebook to ask its guests questions like: “How do you like your coffee?” Staff would then surprise the guest every morning by remembering how they liked their coffee, leading to great reviews for the hotel and, more importantly, more bookings!