Social Media

More Companies Should be Taking Advantage of Pop-up Hashtags like #Chiberia #PolarVortex

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

Trending topics have been around on Twitter for awhile, but right now, there is no such thing as a trending hashtag on Instagram, only a collage of popular posts. It’s up to the brand to know what the trends are and it’s up to them to take advantage of them. That being so, I was shocked more companies didn’t take advantage of the pop-up #Chiberia and #PolarVortex hashtags. Total missed opportunity.

Personally, I found myself scrolling through these hashtags every day of the recent frigid weather spell to see what the crazies (aka the people taking pictures outside in places you have to walk far to get to) were up to. I know tons of  people were on the same boat as me because most of us were “holed up” in our houses with not much else to do but go from Instagram to Facebook to Candy Crush to TV and back to Instagram.

I noticed a ton of regular folk posting their #Chiberia pics (20,000+), including these goodies:

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Chiberia Loop

I did notice a few posts from companies, but not from any major brands. We  posted several on behalf of our clients and saw an uptick from our normal posts because people could directly connect with the situation. If you saw any big brands with a #Chiberia or #PolarVortex post, let me know in the comments.

The few I did see:

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Polar Vortex

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Can “Photosations” Become The Next Big Social Trend?

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Last week my co-worker, Darryl Villacorta, came up with the idea of “photosations” after an interaction he had with a friend. As the term implies, it is a conversation with photos. You can read his full post here. As we were discussing how such a platform would work, I immediately thought of looking at something similar to a comic strip.

As I continued to think about photosations I realized how cool this trend could be. As Darryl and I discussed his idea I got a better feel for what he imagined it would be. The general principle is to start a conversation by posting a photo and as people respond with photos of their own, they can be added to your storyboard. I’ll use Michigan State for example.

Before the new year I wrote a blog post on Michigan State University’s football team capturing a famous Atlanta rapper’s attention on Twitter. Basically the Spartans used his hit song as an anthem for motivation all season, he felt honored and then started to feel like a part of MSU. After expressing his want to be with Michigan State on January 1st in Pasadena, MSU reached out to rapper, Rich Homie Quan, and got him tickets to the 100th Rose Bowl game. This is where his photosation would begin. I put together and example of how it could have looked throughout the day.


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While no conversation actually took place between Quan and the Spartans, this gives you an idea of what a photosation could look like if he would have taken place and sent photos back. Photosations are a cool idea and a different way to interact. Let me know your thoughts! Oh and I couldn’t leave you without the celebration video of Rich Homie signing “Type of Way” for the Spartans in the locker room, which now has reached over 1 million views in a few days. Spartan Dawgs all over the world are still feeling #SomeTypeOfWay.:

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The Rise of ‘Photosations’: 2014 and Beyond’s Biggest Social Media Trend

By | Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | No Comments

161745860“A picture is worth a thousand words” is one of the most commonly used phrases in the world of social media marketing, right up there with everyone’s favorite, “content is king,” but what amazes me is how brands are not expanding on this phrase.

One major hurdle many brands fail to clear is the ability to provide ‘quality’ content on a consistent basis. It’s no secret that images work well in regards to social engagement, but for many, the unforeseen Achilles heel is this: push marketing.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that is “sell, sell, sell,” but in a world where brands are trying to find ways to boost engagement and become social storytellers, I started to realize that brands aren’t harnessing the true power photos encapsulate.

It all started when I stumbled upon a tweet from my Twitter friend, @ChelseaRhane:

Ninety nine percent of the time, Chelsea would have received a text-only response from me, but because I believe photos are the embodiment of storytelling, I included a photo to help add to her ‘short story’:

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Chelsea chimes in:

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 6.55.50 PM(Note: There was no coffee challenge, and no, I did not win anything…)

It wasn’t until I read Chelsea’s reply above that it hit me – why aren’t we using photos AS REPLIES as often as we should?!

And so the story continues:


And we both agreed, something cool was taking place:


Chelsea’s story became my story… and this is how our story ended:


So what does this all mean?

In social media, we often talk about how responding to user comments and questions is a necessity for brands. Imagine what photosations can do for user sentiment if a brand responds with relevant (and real) photo replies!

Now some of you might be saying, “But wait, Darryl, this isn’t new!” To you it may not be, but for brands, this can be the next wave of “interaction” they can have with their followers. Chelsea and I didn’t invent photo responses; we’re just taking it for a walk through the park of evolutionary stages for it to grow.

2014 can be the year photosations reignites the way we interact with each other, both personally and professionally. Beyond it, as photosations evolve, it wouldn’t surprise me if a new social platform were created to accommodate this sole form of interaction to expand storytelling. Oh, and in case you were wondering: “photos” + “conversations” = “photosations”

So let your photos literally do the talking, because you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Right, Chelsea?


Michigan State Grabs ATL Rapper’s Attention on Twitter

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First off, I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Hopefully Santa brought you that new smart phone or iPad you wanted and now are using it to read this! While those gifts are cool the best Christmas present for me is yet to come.

I am a Michigan State Spartan. On New Year’s Day my beloved Spartans will take on Stanford in their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1988. All I really wanted for Christmas was a win. MSU has had a crazy year. We were two games into our season and still trying to decide who our starting QB was going to be. No one had any idea that such an amazing “Cinderalla-like” season would come together as it did. Throughout the whole year MSU has been dancing themselves to victory across social media networks. Because of this, Michigan State now has Rich Homie Quan.

For those of you that don’t know, Mr. Quan is a 24-year old Atlanta based rapper who’s hit song, “Type of Way,” has become some type of anthem for the Michigan State Spartans. After the huge win against in-state rival Michigan, tons of videos were posted from inside of the locker room showing the players and head coach, Mark Dantonio, dancing to Rich Homie Quan’s single. This video went viral throughout social networks and for a good reason. I mean when else have you seen a 57-year-old head coach “drop the top of his whip.” If you haven’t make sure to click that link.

Rich Homie Quan first saw that the Spartans had adapted his song via Twitter. After MSU secured their spot in the Big Ten Championship game, Quan released a video giving the Spartan Dawgs a huge shoutout:

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After claiming the Big Ten Title the Spartans claimed their spot in the 100th Rose Bowl. In the post game interview Dantonio gave Quan a shoutout this time when asked what he was going to do to celebrate:

[embedplusvideo height=”400″ width=”650″ editlink=”” standard=”″ vars=”ytid=tOx9UQPauYA&width=480&height=400&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep9301″ /]

After hearing this interview it was clear Quan was feeling some color of green. “I want to be out there in a green jersey and feel a part of Michigan State,” Quan said. “I want to be at the game, I want to be out there with them. I feel a part of Michigan State now, and you don’t even know what it means to me.”

Can we expect the next video to be of a live locker room performance by Mr. Quan pumping up the Spartans? I’d like to hope it will happen, but it has yet to be confirmed if the plan to have him in Pasadena has worked out.

Looking toward the future – what will this mean for Michigan State Football? Will their presence on social media affect the decisions of future recruits? I feel high school football players prefer to go to a college where the coaching staff connects with the younger generation so well. I mean, it helps that the team is good, but why go else where when the defensive coordinator for the #1 defense in the nation is this cool:


I’ve talked about the dancing. Now check it our for yourself in this mashup courtesy of the Big Ten Network. It’ll have you feelin’ some type of way:

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 Go Green!

2013: A Year in Review

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As Tara looked ahead to the future of social media in 2014 and Jacqui reflected on Gossip Genie’s past year, I thought I would take a look at the trends and themes on social media in 2013.

Facebook in 2013

Facebook recently revealed the biggest trends of 2013, according to users of the social network.

The most talked about subject of 2013 was Pope Francis. In a world where Miley Cyrus seemed to be everywhere, it’s comforting to know more people were talking about the Pope, the election, Margaret Thatcher, and even the royal baby than a scantily clad pop star.

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The most checked-in place of 2013 in the US was Disneyland in California.

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The Top Life Event of 2013 was adding a relationship, getting engaged, or getting married. Ending a relationship ranked #4 on the list.

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The most talked-about topic in the US was the Super Bowl.

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 Twitter in 2013

Since last December 2012, Twitter added more than 30 million users. Here’s a look at the top retweeted tweets of 2013:

The most trending conversation on Twitter was Glee star Lea Michele’s public acknowledgment of her costar Corey Monteith’s death. Awarded the Golden Tweet of 2013, Twitter claims Michele’s tweet was retweeted more than 408,000 times.


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A recent tweet by Paul Walker’s staff announcing the actor’s tragic death was the second most retweeted tweet of the year, with more than 400,000 retweets.

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It wasn’t all sad news on Twitter. Niall Horan from boy band One Direction had the third most retweeted tweet of 2013 when he announced it was his 20th birthday.

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Instagram in 2013

On Instagram, New York City was the most Instagrammed city of 2013, followed by Bangkok, Thailand and Los Angeles.

Three of the top ten most photographed locations of 2013 were all located in New York City with Times Square, Central Park and The High Line each making the list.

The Most-Instagrammed Locations of 2013:

  1. Siam Paragon shopping mall, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. Times Square, New York
  3. Disneyland, California
  4. Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas
  5. Disney World Florida
  6. Staples Center, Los Angeles
  7. Central park, New York
  8. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
  9. Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), Bangkok, Thailand
  10. The High Line, New York

Gossip Genie in 2013

2013 was a great year for Gossip Genie! We welcomed some great new clients, presented at Social Media Week in Chicago on the “ROI of Social Media,” and we welcomed great new additions to the team. Thanks to all who made 2013 a great year! We’re excited for what 2014 will bring!

A look at Gossip Genie’s 2013:


Six social media predictions for 2014

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“If 2013 showed us one thing, it’s that there’s a growing global business in accumulating friends and followers.” Katy Finneran from Bloomberg put it perfectly in her recent write-up, Five Biggest Social Media Lessons of 2013. Social media is proving itself to be a powerful advantage for large and small businesses alike. Let’s be honest, social media isn’t just for kids anymore.


The 2013 year saw the launch of the now famous app, Vine, the new-and-improved formatting for photos posted on Twitter, the constant growth of Snapchat, and the introduction to Instagram Direct, a whole new way to send photo or video messages to friends.

Pretty soon, we’ll be ringing in the New Year, welcoming more surprises, technological advancements for the long year ahead.

The Gossip Genie team shares their predictions for social media in 2014:

“It’s all about visuals, and storytelling that’s compelling, but to the point. Twitter has been around long enough for users to master the infamous, 140 characters or less ordeal, but what about creating an intriguing video in only a few seconds? The Vine concept is new, but growing in popularity. Concise videos may just become the new social media, storytelling tool, for individuals and businesses.”

– Tara Golenberke


“More businesses will spend money advertising on social networks, especially since Facebook’s algorithm is continuously changing. Boosting posts and running Facebook ads will need to become part of every brands’ social strategy if they want to effectively reach their audience.”

– Elizabeth Ryder


“Gamification will be a heavy component in brands’ social media strategies.”

– Darryl Villacorta


“Revenue sharing daily deal sites like Groupon will become obsolete because businesses will turn to Facebook Advertising offers as a cheaper, more effective method to promote discounts.”

– Jacqui Liberman


“Instagram was the fastest growing network in 2013 with 150 million users and 40 million photos being uploaded each day and in 2014, Instagram will only become bigger, with busisnesses placing a higher priority on it as a way to reach out to their audience in a unique way.”

– Anthony Less


“Companies will move more toward platforms such as Instagram and Vine for marketing. In 2013 we saw the rise and popularity of these image-centric social sites. I expect to see a lot of 6 to 15 second advertisements in 2014.”

– Mathew Patria


So, what do you predict for 2014? 

Why Every Brand Should Be Using “Tagboard” For Hashtags

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Social Media, Social Media Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's Trending, Words of Advice | No Comments

hashtagAh, yes, the hashtag. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the hashtag symbol embodies all that is gloriously social media speak. In just a short few years, it has grown into a social behemoth that is now utilized in many (if not all) of the social networks out on the web — and it’s safe to say that brands have taken notice. But are brands really capitalizing on the hashtag’s fullest potential?

Social media has given everyone a voice, and brands that effectively use social media know that they need to amplify their audience’s voice to show that they’re listening. So if you’re a brand and are looking for a new way to engage with your fans, this is where Tagboard becomes your new best friend.

is capitalizing on the usage of hashtags in social media and has built a platform for specific topics that are alive on the web and gives them an aesthetically pleasing home where users can find more info about a certain hashtag. On the other side of the coin, companies have the ability to customize the design and imagery of their Tagboard pages to help frame the conversation and brand, all in real-time.

Layman’s terms: Tagboard takes hashtag-associated content from the big name social networks, including videos from Instagram and Vine, and lumps them all into one place, saving you the hassle of logging into multiple social networks and having to switch back and forth.

If you’re looking to help your brand inch closer to brand champion status, I suggest hopping on the Tagboard train! The company even shares helpful tips and creative ways brands can integrate Tagboard into their social media marketing:





Wondering what it looks like on the user-end? Gossip Genie’s Social Media Week Chicago event is a great example of how Tagboard can make live-tweeting from events more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes:



Tagboard definitely has something special here and brands should take notice. Being a power user myself, I happily endorsed the platform during the Q&A portion of our Social Media Week event, and so far the reviews have been positive from the audience!



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Will you be giving Tagboard a try? Let me know what you think of it!

Tricks of the Trade: Tips To Make Managing Social Media Accounts Easier

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Managing multiple social media accounts on a daily basis requires a lot of toggling between different browsers, platforms, applications, and sometimes even desktops.  Establishing systems and using the right tools can save your (and your laptop’s) sanity.

Here are some tips and tricks to make managing your social media accounts easier:

To search for a document easily: Download FoundApp.

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Sick of never being able to find anything on your crowded desktop or in your downloads folder? FoundApp simultaneously searches all basic file types on your computer, in your folders, Google Drive, and Gmail attachments- even ones you haven’t download yet. It also lets your preview the document in full so that you can make sure you found the right one. Then you can drag and drop it anywhere, right from the app.

To separate business and personal accounts: Create Google Chrome profiles 

You can create as many Google Chrome profiles as you need — one for work, personal use, or even one for each of your clients — and you’re free to toggle among multiple accounts at once. Each is fully customizable with account-specific bookmarks, Chrome apps, saved passwords and more.

To easily send documents between your phone and computer: Download DeskConnect

Hate sending pictures you want to post on Instagram to your email, then having to open the email and download and save the picture to your phone? DeskConnect will be your lifesaver. With DeskConnect, you can stop sending yourself endless emails with links and attachments. It makes it easier to send anything and everything between your devices.

To manage from your phone: Download Facebook Pages

This app will alert you to Facebook page activity that needs a timely response, and the functionality is more robust for page management than the regular Facebook app. You can have both apps on your mobile device- the regular Facebook app for personal use and the Facebook Pages Manager for business use.

To easily access your top sites: Download Google Chrome’s” X New Tab Page” App

“X New Tab Page” provides speed dials for your top sites and makes it easier to open installed Chrome apps. You can add all of the sites that you use on a daily basis to manage your accounts. That way, you don’t have to search through bookmarks or even type a URL address in. All of your top sites are just a click away. Here’s a look at my “X New Tab Page” that I also use as my homepage:

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To impress clients with a presentation: Use Prezi.

Prezi is much like PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote. While PowerPoint is most people’s go-to program for putting together slides for a presentation, Prezi differentiates itself by providing a totally new way of designing a presentation. Instead of a presentation being arranged as a sequence of slides, with Prezi it’s arranged hierarchically so that the presenter can show an overview and then zoom in on areas to provide more detail. At Gossip Genie, we started using Prezi when we were invited to present at Social Media Week in Chicago. Although we were frustrated with it at times, it ended up being a great platform and now we use it when making any presentation to a client.

Instagramming your brand

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For over three years, Instagram has been a home for snapshots of passing memories, up and coming brands, millions of get-to-know faces and more. With the ever-changing digital world birthing new ways for businesses to expand, market and sell, brands desperately need to keep up. And let’s just say, if your brand doesn’t have a presence on Instagram, you aren’t keeping up with the latest trends as fast as you should be.

instaPerusing the “Instagram for Business” blog on Tumblr would be a great first step. The blog allows you to explore how successful, existing businesses on Instagram use the social sphere by providing various tips, brand spotlights and news from the Instagram headquarters. So, if you’re an Insta-newbie, wanting to put your brand on the Instagram map, check out the blog and see how others are successfully utilizing this social outlet to their advantage.

To help you grasp the amount of people your brand could reach on this social sphere, who are actively engaging, sharing, here are a few stats provided by Instagram:

150 million amount of monthly active users

60%+ people outside the U.S.

16 billion photos shared

1.2 billion likes per day

55 million average photos posted per day

Using Instagram for business allows you to humanize your brand, expand your audience and reach, get followers involved, and show-off your products/services in a digital “window-shopping” experience.

Plus, now that Instagram is playing with advertising, hopefully in the near future more and more businesses can take advantage of marketing ventures on this social realm.


How do you use Instagram for your business?

Twitter: From Hatchling to Heavyweight

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

Twitter IPOThis week marks a huge moment in the history of Twitter as the social platform listed publicly for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TWTR. What once started off as an egg (like every new user who joins), Twitter has evolved into a soaring tech animal that has dramatically changed the way we interact with not only the web, but with each other. With billions of messages tweeted each week, and public figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber and Barack Obama who regularly use the platform, these are just a few factors that have had a major role in Twitter’s meteoric rise leading up to its big initial public offering. In honor of Twitter’s IPO, Mashable created an infographic that vividly captures Twitter’s life from infancy to adulthood.

(Click to enlarge)