Words of Advice

LinkedIn company pages, why you need one

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The benefits of an impactful, strong LinkedIn business page are endless. A LinkedIn company page gives you a sphere to engage, attract other professionals in the field and share company updates, news, job openings, all while establishing you and your company’s credibility.

Can it get any better?

Here are some encouraging stats from LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 238 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
  • There are over 30 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic.
  • LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups.

Linkedin-iconThe LinkedIn sphere opens up a whole new way to hire, market and sell. With recent college graduates and job-searching professionals on the prowl, you have the opportunity to potentially find a slew of adept candidates on LinkedIn to help expand your business. Not only that, your company page can attract not only current employees, but other professionals that work in appropriate fields or are interested in your products/services.

The key is to give LinkedIn members a compelling reason to follow your company page, which can be done by creating a constant, reliable feed of high-quality news, product updates, influential articles, etc.

After creating a business page, another option is to form a LinkedIn group to continue to promote discussion, and further engagement and exposure.

The bottom line: LinkedIn is a popular, professional social media outlet that businesses should take advantage of. Creating a company page will open up new opportunities; you’ll be able to meet fresh talent, connect with potential product/service buyers, communicate with prospects in the industry, strengthen credibility and further marketing efforts.

How has a LinkedIn company page helped your business?



5 Reasons You Should Outsource Your Social Media Marketing Needs

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Many companies understand the importance of social media, but can’t seem to find the necessary time to devote to it. So when it comes down to allocating resources to social media marketing needs, many businesses turn to outsourcing. Rather than using in-house staff, they hire outside firms to manage their social profiles. Is this a good idea? Absolutely! And here’s why:

1. It gives you more time

Let’s face it, there’s just not enough time to do everything, and that’s OK. Do you really want to add one more thing to your to-do-list and run the risk of spreading yourself too thin? Without social media, you’re actually missing out on the opportunity to really push your business forward. Social media requires consistency and prompt attention on a daily basis; if you don’t have time for that, then it’s best to find someone who does. That leaves you free to focus on what you do best — your own work.

2. Puts it in the hands of the experts

Social media is constantly changing. At Gossip Genie, we are always keeping up with the best social media practices and latest tools and resources. As with anything else, hiring specialists means hiring people who know more about an area than you do. Gossip Genie is equipped to give you a leg up over the competition. After all, social media is what we do all day.

3. Can help you go beyond just brand exposure

Many businesses working knowledge of social media extends to brand exposure. But social media can generate a real ROI for your business. If you want to use social media for lead generation, it’s going to take more than just posting pictures. It takes time, expertise, and strategy. At Gossip Genie, we know where to find a business’ target market on social media and how to best interact with them. We know there are endless possibilities to generate leads through utilizing social media in the right way and that’s our ultimate goal for our clients.

4. You won’t lose control

Delegating anything means relinquishing a level of control. When you’re not the one updating your social networks, you aren’t the one with total control over what gets said. At Gossip Genie, we work with the client to take over the exact tone and message of the brand. If that means drafting posts for approval every time, we do it! We know that this is your brand and at the end of the day, our goal is to protect your brand’s identity.

5. You won’t lose the personal touch

At Gossip Genie, we take the time to research and understand our clients business inside and out so that we truly are an extension of the company or brand we are posting on behalf of. When you outsource your social media, it’s best to have a liaison or point of contact within the company and we encourage communication with them often. Outsourcing also allows the time and effort needed to respond to messages and comments in a timely and effective manner, further developing that personal touch a social media campaign should employ.


White Screen of Death

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

Flashback to 2003, 10 years ago. I was finishing a 10 page paper for one of my core classes in my Communications major, The Power of Persuasion. The class was extremely difficult but I absolutely loved it. It is the class that laid the foundation for my career and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to take such an amazing class. I have to brag a little – I was 1 of 3 out of 500 that received an A in the class. Despite the challenging material, I could really identify with the content and for that reason, I excelled in the class.

Anyway, as I was proofing my paper, pleased with my work, out of nowhere, my Dell flashed a blue screen. Long story short, my computer crashed and I was at ground zero in the midst of finals with nothing backed up. Luckily, this was a time before we took notes on our laptops and I still had my handwritten lecture notes to study from and my memory to rewrite the paper I lost. That Dell was my first laptop, it was bulky, heavy, slow and buggy – it didn’t even have wi-fi. The computer was just over a year old when it crashed. I upgraded and never looked back.

9 years later, after years of hearing people rave about Macs, I felt like I need to make the switch from a PC to a Mac. I live and breathe digital media and I was always the only PC in all of my meetings. I felt like I was being judged and I needed a Mac to further establish my company’s credibility. I am kidding but after much convincing I was ready to make the switch.

September of 2012, I migrated all of my PC documents to my trendy, light-weight, speedy, new MacBook Air. For the most part, I never looked back until last Wednesday.

I got to the office and I opened my laptop (that I had just been using 9 hours earlier) and I was greeted with a WHITE SCREEN. I turned the computer off and on a few times but the screen remained and I could not get past this blank horror. I asked my co-workers if they had ever encountered something like this. I heard Anthony whisper, “That’s not good.” Everyone rallied, playing YouTube videos and trying reset my computer but nothing worked. I kept ignoring the references to “WHITE SCREEN OF DEATH” on the Internet. You can Google a headache and after a few minutes convince yourself you have a malignant brain tumor because of what you read online.


I rushed my Mac baby to the hospital (Genius Bar at the Apple Store). Surely, this advanced, over-priced laptop could be fixed by the Apple team. After brief diagnostics, my computer needed to be checked in to the repair center. Until the computer was checked out by the repair team, I wouldn’t know if any of my data could be saved. Well after 2 days of waiting to hear the prognosis, I was told that they could not extract the data. They did however, offer me the option of visiting a website for a company in California that could possibly extract my data within 60-90 days for a mere $5,000. They had no explanation for why this happened to my computer.

Everyone’s first question is always, did you have everything backed up? NO – I wouldn’t be telling you this story if my data was backed up. I was cocky about my supposedly indestructible computer and never backed anything up. LUCKILY, I have a team of Genies that had my back and the majority of my important business documents. I was able to pull a lot from my email account. Many of my pictures were in dropbox and luckily I have years of photos saved on my previous computers.

However, I obviously, was not able to recover everything and I learned a valuable lesson that I should have learned 10 years ago. Back up your computer daily, you never know when the White Screen of Death is going to come knocking at your door.

4 Ways Brands Can Maximize Hashtags

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No matter where you look these days, hashtags can be found everywhere from billboards, to books, to television – you name it. And if you’re running a business, turning a blind eye to one of the most widely used symbols on the Internet could have you miss out on valuable opportunities. Hashtags are fantastic at sharing your content to relevant individuals, and if you want to maximize your hashtag’s exposure to reach your core audience, consider these four ways to get the most out of your hashtag use applicable to many of social media’s biggest platforms.


1. Be Unique
Whether you’re holding an event, running a social media campaign, selling a product, etc., using a hashtag that is unique to your business is a great way to reach your audience on any platform. Are you chocolate company XYZ and want to host a fun event with the quirky name “Choco Fest” and invite all chocolate lovers across the nation to your party? “#XYZChocoFest” is a great example of being specific and unique at the same time. Incorporating the company name along with the event not only helps give your brand ownership to stand out, but also helps to create conversation among those who may be following along. Sprinkle in a generic (but relevant) hashtag or two in your message, send and repeat – get creative with it!

2. Be Relevant
Using relevant hashtags will help you attract new followers who will take a genuine interest in your content and continue liking and commenting on it over time. If you’re selling hot dogs, using the hashtag #Burgers creates placement confusion. Make it easy for other like-minded users to find you by making sure you properly use keywords relevant to your brand.

3. Be Consistent
Branding should be done properly. The idea is to offer the right information and products to your target audience consistently through time. Whenever you come up with new promos and information, these should still relate well with your brand. Avoid confusing your clients by changing the theme or direction of your business every now and then.

4. Do the Research
Nothing is worse than to use a hashtag only to see it be paired with an unrelated topic that you knew nothing about. Occurrences like these could potentially hurt your brand’s image through negative attachments and commentary that took place beforehand. Unknowingly, these things happen. But by researching a hashtag’s history and travel log, you put your brand in a better situation by potentially saving your business from harm and aligning yourself with a hashtag that carries no baggage.

Public Mistakes

By | Gossip Genie Blog, What Not to Post, Words of Advice | No Comments

We all live busy lives but regardless of how busy you are, you should always take the time to double check something you’re putting out there for the world to see. Here are a few of my favorite, latest examples of irresponsible errors.

Equinox’s latest email newsletter:

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Taylor Swift’s main photo for her hit song, Mean.  “Your on the phone” – You’re wrong about that one, Taylor! Taylor+Swift+Our+Song+3

CNN’s latest news via their mobile app…

Attention to detail is a the first thing that I look for when interviewing a potential candidate to work at Gossip Genie. I received this resume recently…pubic relations, that’s a first!

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 10.59.31 AMI was reading a blog post by a well-known, reputable Chicago agency and was shocked by what I found. The blog was about grammar and in the title, there was an error…apostrophe errors bother me to no end. If you are writing about grammar, you should know that – no-nos does not have an apostrophe.Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 11.05.05 AMThis one belongs in a “What Not to Post” post but I had to include it here because it’s quite crazy. No, her account was not hacked, she fully admitted to posting this (sober) in the comments and the post (posted on January 25th) is still up on her timeline. photo (1)


Share your favorite mistakes with us by emailing them to

Google Reader: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

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Do these phrases best describe your companion: simple; beautiful; easy to get along with; always has something to share? Sounds like quite the catch! But in life, all good things come to an end. And for many Google Reader fans, the love of their life will be back off to sea.

Google Reader, Google’s web-based program that lets people subscribe to news feeds from their favorite sites, is saying goodbye effective July, 1, 2013. Heralded for its simplicity, it became a place not just to read new stories, but also to share and discuss them with friends – it was a discovery tool and a salon all in one.

With Google Reader saying farewell, many are looking for alternatives. It’s never easy to replace a one true love, but with time, new “options” always find a way to land at your doorstep. If you’re looking for an alternative to Google Reader, here are some popular options:

“Flipboard is your personal magazine. It is the most popular way to catch up on the news you care about, discover amazing things from around the world, or stay connected to the people closest to you. Now with Flipboard 2.0, you can save and collect the things you love into your own magazines like “Trips I want to take” or “Dream Homes.””
Download Flipboard

“News360 is a smart and elegant app that learns what you like and brings you stories from across the web – sifting through the noise to find the most important and interesting content, just for you!”
Download News360

“A new way to keep up with your favorite websites. Sign up and import your subscriptions from Google Reader.”
Download SubReader

“A productive way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite feeds, blogs and news sites. Feedly offers a seamless transition from Google Reader.”
Download Feedly

While new alternatives are being introduced daily, this list is some of the more popular ones with those making the transition from Google Reader. Do you have a favorite reader? Share it with us in the comments below!

Client Gratitude

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I have probably referenced this comparison way too many times but once again, it’s going to be the theme of my latest blog post. When I started Gossip Genie nearly 3.5 years ago, I never realized how much of my heart and soul would be attached to the company. Gossip Genie is my baby and watching it grow has been incredible. I want all of my clients to work with us forever and when that is not the case, due to budget constraints or other circumstances out of our control, I find myself dealing with emotions similar to a heartbreak. Obviously, the longer we have had a client, the harder it is to say goodbye but we won’t grow if we offer our services for free.

We are so tied to the clients we service that losing one feels like losing a family member. We have been extremely lucky to have kept so many wonderful clients for so long. As we continue to expand, we are really excited about the bright future ahead. Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 10.19.21 AM

Best iPhone Photo Editing Apps

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As an avid iPhone picture taker (my poor digital camera is collecting dust) and social media addict, I LOVE finding a great photography app that allows me to easily edit photos. Obviously, the most popular is Instagram, but what about when I want to edit a photo and not post on my Insta account? For that I use a two different apps:

1. PhotoStudio (FREE) – I love this app because of the color aspect. You can drag your finger over the parts of the photo you want to remain in color. There are a ton of other great features, too. Best of all it’s free.

photo 1

DePaul University











2. Afterlight ($0.99) – There’s not much this app can’t do. Tons of filters and effects make the dollar you spend totally worth it. I love the way this photo looks after it’s been edited. I guess it also helps that I had such a historical model, the Lincoln Memorial. 🙂

photo 3

Lincoln Memorial







Promoting a Kickstarter Campaign Using Social Media

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kickstarter-com-logo-e1327873222322We recently had our first experience promoting a Kickstarter campaign using Facebook and Twitter – and we’re happy to say that after 29 days, the BikeSpike received funding! The day that Kickstarter ended, we had another client, Clevermind, begin their Kickstarter. Hosting a Kickstarter campaign without a social media plan is like startup suicide. Here are a few things we’d like to share with you about the process:

1. Create a social presence BEFORE launching your campaign. If you don’t want competitors to catch on to your idea, create a page that isn’t all about your product but about the industry you are trying to enter. It’s better to build an audience beforehand, so you can announce your launch with a captive audience.

2. Facebook ads are absolutely necessary. We were able to grow a page from zero (on start date) to over 1,200 by the time the 29 day campaign ended. Facebook ads allow you to reach out to your exact market, targeting those who like certain brand pages, live in certain areas, are a specific age or gender and so much more.

3. Utilize Twitter to monitor keywords. Twitter is one of the greatest tools of a Kickstarter campaign, if used correctly. After someone backs your project, they have the option of sharing their contribution on Twitter. Make sure you have streams saved to thank these people, and anyone else talking about your product. Twitter is the best and easiest way to spark conversations, take advantage.

4. Use Linkedin to join groups. For some campaigns, it makes sense to join Linkedin groups to reach a more business-related and educated audience. Starting conversations and gently working in a link to your campaign is a great way to increase funding.

5. Make the most of any and all media coverage. The media is your friend. Thank them, mention them, and keep sharing the link to the media coverage on all of your networks.

6. Get the creators of the company/project talking about the campaign. Friends, family and colleagues of the actual project creators are the most likely to initially back a project and share news and updates about the campaign. Make sure the project has a voice and the creators are visible online. This is important to many backers, they like to see the founders are real and active in their industry.

7. Share Kickstarter milestones. People like to “like” these types of updates. You reached $100,000K? Great, post about it! Our favorite image we shared was when BikeSpike reached their funding goal. It was their most viral post ever.

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Is Teaching Media Literacy in Schools Important?

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To be a functioning member of today’s digital society, not only must one be able to use online publishing tools and social networking, but also be able to critically think about all forms of social media as a whole. Without a strong foundation in  media literacy, it can be tricky to decipher fact from fiction.

For society as a whole, access to all of the free information on the internet is a great thing.  More people can stay informed and more voices can reach an audience.  Writers aren’t held back by page counts, column inches, and the cost of ink.  Stories can be reported with additional multimedia, greater depth and previously unthinkable interactivity and accessibility

All of the online information you have access to will be worthless unless you know how to properly determine the truth about content on the Facebook and Twitter feed as well as filtering through which sources are trustworthy in a set of Google search results.  As technology itself evolves, so does the concept of media literacy.

The results of a recent Pew Study have shown that 83% of teachers feel that the amount of information available to students is overwhelming, while 60% think that finding credible sources amongst that information is very difficult.  It comes as no surprise that 90% of teachers surveyed agreed that some form of social media literacy should be mandatory in each school’s curriculum.

So, what do you think? Is someone illiterate if they don’t know how to interpret a tweet or tell the difference between fact and fiction on social media? And should media literacy be made mandatory in schools? Or is it just something that’s an amenity instead of a necessity?