Tips to Tackle the 2018 Instagram Algorithm

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | One Comment

If you’re starting to detect Facebook vibes coming from Instagram lately, you’re not the only one. Algorithm changes to both platforms that have taken effect, and have left some users scratching their heads, powerless as engagement and reach decline rapidly. You may be wondering, “can we ever win?!” As frustrating as it seems, there are a few ways to beat these new algorithm changes. The genies are here to show you how.

Engagement – where? 👀

Problem: Like + comment levels are plummeting


Did you spend ages crafting your latest post? Caption on point, paired with a perfectly picturesque photo? Great! Unfortunately, Instagram now releases your content to just 10% of your followers to start. If those 10 % double-tap your donut pic to death, then congratulations, the other 90% will magically find your picture in their feed. If engagement is poor from the beginning, chances are it’ll stay that way unless you intervene.

First of all, if you can add a location tag to your photos 📍, do so. This increases the chance that your post will emerge in the explore tab and be pushed to followers outside your current audience. Another tip is to explicitly fish for engagement in your copy. “Double-tap if you think pufferfish are the coolest animal, land or sea” is just one example that popped into my head. Ask your audience to engage, and they often will.

Get Talking 💬

Problem: Emojis and short comments no longer count


Gone are the days that users could hack their way to the top using comment pods – groups of followers that leave short comments in bulk like “nice pic” and “cute post” in order to boost reach. Now, Instagram has apparently implemented a strict 4-word comment policy. Simply put, only comments that are longer than 4 words will count as post engagement. While this seems a little unfair (I often leave a 😍 emoji on my friends’ posts to show genuine love), you can get around with some carefully crafted copy. Next post, try this: “In four words or more, tell us why you love ____ below. We can’t wait to read your answers!”

One more tip: try responding to comments within an hour of recieving them. Word on the street says that this is an easy way to generate higher engagment rates, and that Instagram rewards accounts that reply to their fans quickly.

#HashtagHeadache 🤕

Problem: Hashtags in comments no longer show up in the explore tab


Rumor has it, what used to be a hack to keep posts cleaner and the feed shorter for followers now results in low reach and hidden posts. Instead of concealing hashtags in the first comment of your photos, select strong ones that are highly relevant to your brand and the content you are producing. Add them directly to your caption like we’ve done below👇. Switch them up for each post depending on the subject, and never use the fully allotted 30 hashtags. You may get shadowbanned. And now that users can follow hashtags, you’ll get a lot of fresh eyes on your content if you keep them short, sweet, and relevant.

Story Time 📚

Problem: Followers aren’t interacting with me like they used to


The new algorithm LOVES stories. Brands that are the most active in this space stay on the top of their follower’s minds (and feed – literally). You might notice as you scroll Instagram, stories pop up every so often between posts, with previews that tempt you to tap tap tap!

If you’re stressed about this increase in work, don’t fret! Think of them as enhancements to your regularly posted content. Take that day’s subject and expand on it in your story. Ask a simple question via poll, add some GIFS (new to Instagram), or host a Live story and give fans a behind-the-scenes look at your products. Stories are just one more level of fan interaction that your brand cannot afford to overlook.


Notice Me 🔔

Problem: Followers that WANT to see your updates don’t see them


We certainly can’t expect that our followers want to see every single piece of content we post without fail, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, if you understand your audience and produce quality content, many loyal fans will want to see it all. Case and point, I love #foodporn so much, I check @BuzzfeedFood daily just to watch their short clips and imagine I’m eating them.

The simplest way to help these loyalists see your posts is to remind them of post notifications. It’s the option you get when you tap the … in the corner of any Instagram profile. Once those are switched on, that follower will be notified whenever you post! Can you realistically expect 50, 40, 30% of your followers to do this? Heck no. But getting even a handful of fans to select this option can help when you’re experiencing engagement drought. Dedicate one IG Story this week to reminding your followers to turn on post notifications for your account. We dare ya!


Did we miss any Instagram algorithm tips, tricks or hacks? Let us know in the comments below!

Why You Should Outsource Your Social Media Management

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

Deciding to market your brand on social media is an easy decision, however, deciding who should handle social for your company is not. In the end, it boils down to two choices: hiring an in-house social media manager or outsourcing to a social media marketing agency. How do you know which one is the right move?

Below are three reasons why outsourcing your social media might be the best choice for you and your business.

1. Skillset

Unless your business has the finances to hire a whole team, when you go the in-house route, you typically have one person running all of your social media endeavors. That means there is only one person to handle production, measuring and feedback. Additionally, one person might not have the skillset it takes to be successful on all platforms. Sure, they may be good on Facebook, but are they also skilled in creating video, writing blogs, graphic design, photography and more?

When you hire on an agency like Gossip Genie you’re getting a videographer, a photographer, an entire team of social media marketers and so much more. Not only is the years of experience magnified when you outsource, but you also gain a wider range of talent.

Furthermore, when you have an entire team working on your various accounts, it helps prevent a social media “burnout”. This burnout usually happens when there is only one person working on a company’s accounts. Soon, the content grows stale and engagement drops.

To put it simply, more people = more fresh ideas, more talent, more experience and more time to spend on your accounts engaging with customers. 

2. Cost

Money is a universal language, so let’s break down some numbers here. The average social media manager makes around $51,000 a year. This doesn’t include the cost of things like benefits, the time to train, any paid-time off and more. When you take these things into consideration, the cost skyrockets.

While every agency is different, outsourcing your social media management can be far less expensive! And, when you hire on a social media agency, you are hiring on a whole team of people to manage your social. More bang for your buck! To find out our costs for social media management, email us at

3. Social Media Expertise

The only consistent thing about social media is that it is constantly changing and evolving! Social media agencies make sure to always stay on top of new trends and changes. From learning everything about Facebook’s new algorithm to learning the best time of day to post, these strategies allow us to help you get the best results on your social. Keeping up with all the changes across every platform can be difficult for one employee to do. It is a major time investment for one person! Often times, it is nearly impossible for an in-house marketer to do so because of this.

Ready to enhance your business’ social? Contact us to get started!


Why You Should Work with Social Media Influencers

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

Want to hear a statistic that I wasn’t at all surprised by? A recent study found that “70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.” These results came from over 14,000 respondents in the US.

The same survey later reveals that “30% consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.” Consumers actually trust these social media influencers more than celebrities because they find them more relatable.

Why am I not surprised by this? Because we see this firsthand in our line of work every single day. We’ll be the first to tell you that social media users influence other social media users and, in turn, influence their shopping habits. 

We often notice that consumers are discovering our brands because their friends tag them in our posts. We always see an influx of new fans when influencers post on our behalf. We watch our pages grow and garner a stronger reputation and following because influencers and eager brand evangelists post on our behalf and tag us.

It’s for this reason that I absolutely always recommend that clients use our blogger outreach service. Not only do influencers typically share beautiful, curated photos of products, but they sing the brands praises to their army of loyal followers. I have no doubt that this kind of brand awareness eventually leads to an increase in sales.

In the month of November, the Gossip Genie team reached out to 35 online influencers and arranged 10 blogger collaborations.

As a result, their Instagram page gained in 100 new followers throughout the course of the month and received a total of 1,766 Likes and 82 comments. Additionally, the influencers reached a total 300,000 users on Instagram alone. Above all, Naot will now be able to use these photos in other marketing efforts, such as in their seasonal catalog and as collateral for their retail partners.

Still not convinced it was a great move for their brand? Take a look at some of the comments people left on these influencers photos:

In this instance, we reached out and thanked every person that commented and followed them on Instagram. Follow through is equally as important as the initial post, and we want consumers to see that we are responsive and appreciative.

If you aren’t yet allocating resources to an influencer marketing program, we highly encourage it. Click here to get in touch with us and learn more about our influencer outreach services.

How to make your small business stand out on social media

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If you operate a small business, competing with big brand names can seem a bit daunting. After all, they’ve got a large presence and a large budget to match. Thankfully, social media makes it easy for small businesses to gain some leverage!

Below I’ve compiled some ways your small business can gain the upper hand on social media.

1. Engage

Consumers are pretty good at pinpointing genuine brands versus brands that just care about sales. Small businesses that truly care about their customers can use social media to build lasting relationships and lifelong clients.

In order to stand out from the big guys, small businesses should utilize social media to build one-on-one relationships with customers. If you are actively engaging with your consumers on social media, they notice that! According to a survey conducted by Google, when people engage with a brand on a daily basis, they are more likely to make twice as many purchases from that company! All it takes is a few tweets and comments to build a committed fanbase.

2. Get Personal

Many large companies have entire teams of social media managers running their accounts. By virtue of this, a lot of the personal touches of the company are lost. If you’re a small businesses, chances are there’s only one person running your social media accounts. This makes it a lot easier to show the personality behind your brand! After all, people are more likely to purchase from a company that they feel connected to and trust!

Some great ways to get personal on social include sharing personal anecdotes, showing the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your business and more!

3. Customer Service

According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It is critical to score great online reviews if you are trying to stand out from the big guys!

Even if you have a handful of reviews that aren’t positive, how you rectify the situation can speak volumes! People will notice if your company reaches out to disgruntled customers or not. After all, consumers just want to be heard and acknowledged, something a lot of big brands don’t do on social.


Still not sure how to make your small business stand out on social? Let Gossip Genie help! Find a full list of our services here.

Perks of a Standing Desk

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Helpful Information, Uncategorized, What's Trending | No Comments

Standing desks are all the rage and I happen to love that we have sit-to-stand desks at Gossip Genie. Why? It gives you the option to stand (and be health-conscious) and still get work done. Standing, even leisure standing, has major risk-reducing health benefits.

Hello, Burning Calories
I don’t mean to state the obvious, but yes, standing burns more calories than sitting. In a calorie-burning competition of standing vs. sitting, standing will come out as the winner, every time. To remain upright, rather than sit, requires more effort. Hence, calories lost.

Although it won’t help burn A LOT of calories, it still does more for you than sitting for 8+ hours a day, 5 days of the week. Plus, it makes you feel better about yourself, doesn’t it?

Bye-Bye, Paresthesia
Although the correct term is, “paresthesia” — we often refer to it as our body part “falling asleep”, “pins and needles”, “tingly feeling”, etc. By standing rather than sitting at your desk, your body parts that are prone to falling asleep are less likely to do just that.

See Ya Later, Bad Posture
Slouching — The sitting curse. We all do it, accidentally. You’re working away on your computer for a couple hours and suddenly you feel yourself leaning over your desk. You shock yourself back into the right sitting position… and then you repeat this several times a day. With a standing desk, you don’t have to worry about this issue and you can keep your posture at its best, all day long.

Adios, Health Problems
Standing can increase your energy and set off a series of triggers in your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. When you sit, these processes stall — and your health risks increase.” When you are standing and moving, your health is in better hands. To add to this, numerous studies show that prolonged sitting increases the likelihood of obesity, cancer, back pain, heart disease, and mortality. That’s enough to make me say goodbye to my sit-down desk.

Why don’t you give standing desks a shot? Ease into standing for longer periods of time each day. Cue Fergie: “I be up in the gym at my desk just working on my fitness.”

Marketing Your Brand on Instagram

By | Social Media, Uncategorized, Words of Advice | One Comment

With over 800 million users on Instagram, it should come as no surprise that your business needs to be active on this social media platform. Throughout the years, Instagram has grown into an incredible platform to interact with potential customers and increase brand awareness.

Recently, I listened to a Social Pros podcast that has completely revolutionized the way I view Instagram. Within the first 15-minutes of the podcast I already had a page full of notes. It was life-changing. Below I’ve compiled a list of three things I learned from that podcast as well as tips and tricks I’ve picked up throughout the years.

1. Hashtags are everything!

If you’re going to use Instagram to market your product or service, you need to know where your target audience is hanging out. Researching hashtags that are relevant to your brand or your brand’s mission, is integral to Instagram success. This is how Instagram users will find your post and your page.

At the same time, it’s important to not just use the popular hashtags that all of your competitors are using. According to the Social Pros podcast, this is just going to attract your competitors. Additionally, it’s just going to get you engagement from a bunch of spam accounts – not potential customers. Unique hashtags are what will give you the most meaningful engagement.

2. Aesthetic, aesthetic, aesthetic!

I cannot stress this one enough. Visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text so it is imperative that your images are both creative and inviting. The most successful Instagram accounts are ones that have consistent imagery throughout. Make sure all of your photos are promoting the same feel and message! This takes a bit of a creative eye, but with time, you’ll start to get a feel of what imagery does and does not work for your account. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, check out some of the images our Director of Social Media, Taryn, has taken recently for our clients!

3. Utilize Instagram Stories!

Instagram Stories are all over now and there are so many benefits of using this feature! First, you can stay on your followers’ minds. With Instagram stories, you can get away with posting more “average” looking content on a frequent basis, as your followers will be continuously checking back for more posts and tips.

Additionally, you can appear on your followers’ feeds more often! Knowing the algorithm is the key to social media success, and Instagram’s newest algorithm reduces the number of times you show up in a follower’s newsfeed. Instagram Stories allows you to appear at the top of the page once more increasing your Instagram exposure.


Which of these Instagram tips will you be incorporating into your social media strategy?

Gossip Genie

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


When you work in social media, your clients rely on you implicitly to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing trends. They look to you as the expert in the field, so it’s crucial to be well-read and informed, especially since the industry evolves so quickly.

In the time I’ve worked in social media, there has been one question that I’ve been unable to properly answer.

“What tool do you use to send us content for approval?”

Embarrassingly, for nearly five years straight, I’ve had to say Google Docs. Rudimentary, ugly, inefficient Google Docs. Year after year, I’ve promised clients that something better was coming down the pipeline.

Despite my constant ‘Googling’ and inquiries in Facebook groups, I could NOT find a well-designed, affordable content tool. There have been a few in my travels, but none were suited for a small business; they were all outrageously priced.

All of this FINALLY came to a halt when Andy from Content Calendar reached out to me, out of the blue. He shared his screen with me to give me a demonstration and I didn’t even let him finish. This was the tool I had been looking for all this time. I only hoped the price would be right. Fortunately, it was.

Since working with ContentCal, we’ve saved so much time and energy on scheduling content. We write the content in the ContentCal and send it off to the client from there. Best of all, once they approve it, it gets automatically scheduled to each social media channel. It’s so much more streamlined and aesthetically pleasing than our old system.  

Here is what some of the Genies are saying about ContentCal!

ContentCal has turned the unexciting routine of creating content calendars into something enjoyable for clients and co-workers alike. With an easy to view layout, and all-in-one content creation and scheduling tools, ContentCal is a no-brainer for any efficient workplace.” – Keenan

“One of the benefits of ContentCal is how multi-faceted it is. Thanks to ContentCal, content can be created, scheduled and approved all on one platform.” – Violet

“ContentCal allows our team to easily organize, schedule, and publish our content without the hassle of using multiple platforms. It’s great for collaboration and makes it much easier for clients to view and approve content.” Anthony

“One of the highlights of ContentCal is simply how easy it is to both plan and schedule posts in one step. It cuts out a huge amount of extra work and allows us to be more efficient with our time.” – Lizz

“ContactCal makes it easier for everything to be done from one platform. Plus, the ContentCal team is really responsive and easily accessible to help you with any questions you might have.” – Janelle

Click here to get started!

Incorporating Photography at Gossip Genie

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I feel thankful that I often get to incorporate my photography skills into my role at Gossip Genie. 

Our team feels strongly that a brand cannot succeed on social media without compelling, high-resolution visual content. Many of our clients look to us to create that imagery, and I love taking an active role in that process. It allows our team to be incredibly creative, but it also gives us peace of mind that their digital assets will be as strong as possible.

Here are some of my favorite shots that I’ve taken over the last few weeks!


5 Scary-Good Halloween Posts from Brands

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

“Creep it real.” “I’m just here for the boos.” “Trick or treat yo’ self.” “#SquadGhouls”.

We’re sure you’ve seen a form of this from browsing the web during the month of Halloween. Here at Gossip Genie, we love when companies use their creativity to take full advantage of the holidays. There are so many tactics and strategies that a company can implement to make their digital marketing stand out during the holidays (and make a profit, simultaneously).

We’ve not only seen but have implemented many Halloween-related strategies throughout the Spook-tacular month of October. Some examples of easy-to-use strategies that companies can use:

  • Host a Halloween related contest/competition
  • “Treat” your customers with free giveaways
  • Encouraging your customers to “treat” others through a donation giveaway exchange
  • Simple, but witty Halloween inspired copy and designs
  • Create holiday loyalty and referral programs
  • Tailor/create products for Halloween (if applicable to your company)


There are so many different options and paths you can choose from for your own brand. So, with Halloween creeping up tomorrow, we wanted to point out some companies who have really taken advantage of the holiday with a touch of creativity.

  1. Starbucks

Starbucks is getting into the Halloween spirit with its recent release of a specialty Zombified frappuccino. Smart and appealing tactic for companies, such as Starbucks, who can easily modify its products.

  1. Ulta

Halloween = costumes. Costumes call for makeup. Enter Ulta. For Halloween, Ulta teamed up with makeup artists to do various Halloween looks with makeup products from the store. Ulta is essentially encouraging its fans to add its products to their Halloween glam plans.

  1. Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic jumps on the Halloween train and uses this holiday as an opportunity to educate consumers on common injuries that happen around Halloween and how to avoid them. They point out the importance of safety when making Halloween costumes and engaging in fun festivities.

  1. Matt’s Cookies

Props to Matt’s Cookies for developing a cute costume giveaway series with its cookies being the center of attention throughout the month of October.

  1. Old Navy

Does every Halloween post have to be scary? Of course not! Old Navy does an excellent job showing off its holiday-spirited kids clothing.

We love holidays and think they are an excellent opportunity to create enjoyable content and products that your fans and customers will love and eagerly purchase.

13 Last-Minute Costume Ideas to Inspire You this Halloween

By | Gossip Genie Blog, Uncategorized | No Comments

“I will never be bored as long as there’s Halloween”
– Shoshanna, Girls

The witching hour is almost upon us! Besides being my personal favorite holiday, Halloween is prime-time grind-time for anyone in the social media space. This month, creepy costumes, spoopy memes, and chilling recipes have been overflowing from every corner of the internet. Creativity is at its peak during October, and we can’t help but get a little excited.

Because the genies are still panicking over what we’ll rock on the trick-or-treat block this year, here’s a look at some of the costumes that made us stop scrolling and take a second look.

1. Pennywise

Prepare yourself: every man, woman, and child will be dressed as Pennywise from IT. That shouldn’t bother you too much – unless you have coulrophobia. Get the look here.

2. Coraline

Easy to recreate, but creepy nonetheless. Steal her s̶o̶u̶l̶ look here

3. Anyone from Stranger Things

Just in time for season 2 and perfect for a group costume. Just stay out of the upside-down!

4. Alice and the Mad Hatter

This is the coolest couple (or BFF) costume, and fairly easy to pull off with clothes you already own. Just add a stuffed bunny and a tea-cup, and it’s down the rabbit hole you go!

5. A Unicorn Frappe

One of the biggest food trends this year has become a costume, and we shouldn’t be surprised. Get the look here.

6. Milk and Cookies

We go together like milk + cookies! The milk mustache is a perfect touch for this cute DIY.

7. The Brawny Man

Probably one of the easier costumes to recreate, Brawny Man calls for your comfiest flannel and some paper towel. Get the look here.

8. Wednesday Addams

If you’re just not feeling bright colors, this one is simple to pull off but VERY recognizable.

9. Arthur

It’s a wonderful kinda day when you can pull off a nostalgic Arthur costume with little more than a yellow sweater and glasses. Get the look here.

10. A Banksy Painting

If you own black clothes and don’t mind getting a little messy, this costume might be the one for you.

11. Ice-Cream Face

Gives a whole new meaning to brain-freeze.

12. Bandits

Steal hearts and minds at this year’s costume contest. Get the look here.

13. Stylish Skeleton

Some face paint and a black-on-black outfit is all you need for this minimalist costume.

So what do you think – which costume should the genies attempt? Let us know below!