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Words of Advice

Gossip Genie

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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!

5 Scary-Good Halloween Posts from Brands

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“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.

5 Outstanding Examples of User-Generated Content on Instagram

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We have searched the ‘gram and have found 6 spectacular examples of companies dominating Instagram with User-Generated Content (UGC). These companies have been able to grow their network and digital presence by their crafty and knowledgeable use of UGC.

So, what is User-Generated Content?
To put it simply: It’s the content that the people you are marketing to create for your brand. In other words, the community that surrounds your brand is creating and sharing content for you. How much better does it get than that? Your fans are creating the content for your brand.

Why is User-Generated Content Important?
UGC is the holiest of grails. Fans are not only creating content for you, but they are also promoting your brand. They are essentially saying, “I like your brand, product, service, message, etc. so much, that I am going to post it to my OWN platforms and share it with MY friends.” It’s free word of mouth for social media.

That is why UGC is so powerful. It’s influential. It sends a message. It shows that people like your product and are willing to tell others about it. The stories and messages your community tells about your brand are the most persuasive and instrumental in developing your online presence.

Here are a few different businesses who really kill it when it comes to UGC on Instagram. Take a look at these companies Instagram platforms and learn from how they successfully grew their business via UGC … oh, and I dare you not to do a double take when scrolling.

1. Starbucks
When you think of UGC, I bet Starbuck’s is one of the first to come to mind. Why? Because who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee? Starbuck’s has completely conquered UGC by enticing its fans with awesome products and innovative ideas. Although they do create content of their own, Starbucks has the option to sift through millions of posts about its company and products. With an arsenal of UGC to choose from, there’s really no going wrong:

And their Red Cup Contest? Pure brilliance. Encouraging fans to purchase holiday-themed beverages and post about the product in exchange for a reward is the quickest (and easiest) way to develop UGC.

Whether you love Starbucks or not, you can’t deny how clever (and cute?) they make their Instagram content.

Hashtags
#Starbucks – 29,285,247 posts
#StarbucksCoffee – 1,486,910 posts

2. Airbnb
Almost every single post that Airbnb has is from UGC. Guests capture pictures of the remarkable homes and experiences they have when staying at an Airbnb location and post it to social media. Airbnb capitalizes on this. Guests do the content creation for them, they simply repost. It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Guests can see exactly what they are getting with an Airbnb location when content is posted by a fellow guest. The level of authenticity from customers posting online is unparalleled. Guests are able to peer into the location through a photo and see what their trip would actually be like.

From Atlanta, Georgia –

To Amsterdam, Netherlands –

To Flagstaff, Arizona –

All the way to Bali, Indonesia –

Airbnb does an amazing job of sharing the stories of thousands of guests and hosts across the world.

Hashtags
#Airbnb – 1,500,510 posts

3. GoPro
This company has made their brand synonymous for having a particular lifestyle. Passionate, adventure-seekers looking to capture moments. The ultimate camera: it’s durable, water-proof, and easy to carry. The ideal camera for people to take with them on their journeys. And as a result? Amazing images of people doing rad things. This brand has a hub of UGC to choose from and there’s no wondering why.

Hashtags
#GoPro – 31,812,200 posts
#GoProPhotography – 1,363,080 posts

4. Frank Body
The UGC for Frank Body is simple, but commanding. It’s playful, fun, and cheeky. Scrolling through Frank Body’s feed makes anybody want to jump on the Frank Body band wagon, cleanse their skin with a coffee scrub, and take a selfie of it. Their feed is full of compelling UGC.

Playful.

Fun.

Cheeky.

Hashtags
#TheFrankEffect – 49,785 posts
#LetsBeFrank – 45,159 posts

5. Pure New Zealand
The ultimate Instagramable content. Tourism. If your Instagram account is focused on tourism and you don’t take advantage of UGC, then there is a problem. People love to travel and see visuals of it. The New Zealand Instagram account displays beautiful moments taken by individuals visiting the country and that’s essentially it. By doing this, they are promoting tourism in their country and giving people a view into what it would be like to visit the home of the kiwis.

Hashtags
#RealMiddleEarth – 120,753 posts
#NZMustDo – 656,177 posts

Are You Using UGC?
You should be. These brands are doing an amazing job using clever and intriguing UGC to develop a loyal band of followers and fans. They are using this type of content to showcase the brand and build a community simultaneously. If you can get people excited about your brand, product, service, message, etc. and post about it, you are doing something right.

Enjoy the world of UGC and reap all the benefits.

5 Reasons It’s Good To Be A Genie

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As August begins, I am celebrating five years at Gossip Genie. Five years, twenty-five thousand emails, and countless conference calls later, I’m taking the time to reflect on what I love about my job and why I’ve invested half a decade of my life with Gossip Genie.

In the US, the average time spent at a single company is 4.6 years. But what makes a person stay with a company and invest in their career there? As I look back on the last five years, here are a few of my reasons why:

The Challenge

At the end of the day, I couldn’t be in a job or position that didn’t challenge me. I thrive on learning new things, challenging myself and others, and getting out of my comfort zone every once in awhile. Being at Gossip Genie and working in social media, I am never bored. There’s always a new challenge on the horizon, which makes my job exciting and, ultimately, worthwhile. Without a challenge, there is no reward.

The Clients

I have been very lucky to have worked with some amazing clients over the last five years. Working with entrepreneurs, marketing professionals, and CEOs from all different kinds of industries, I’ve gained insight into worlds I’ve never imagined and had the privilege of being a part of their story, even if just for a little bit. Our clients are what drive our business and I relish the opportunity to create lasting relationships with them.

The Culture

Flexibility, work/life balance, and an energized culture are paramount to a person’s decision to stay with a company and at Gossip Genie, I ‘m lucky to have all three with a work from home policy, fun company outings, and flexibility to balance my workload and my life.

Work That Matters 

I’m not a doctor saving lives on a daily basis but I like the fact that the work I’m doing matters to my clients and their business. There’s a great deal of satisfaction knowing that you’re proud of the work you’re putting out there and that it is resonating with an audience.

The People

I am nothing without my Gossip Genie team. It’s great to work in a collaborative environment where everyone is marching towards the same goal. To my team: you motivate, inspire, and challenge me and I am lucky to not only call you colleagues but friends. And to Jacqui, our fearless leader, thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Gossip Genie journey.

A look through my past 5 years at Gossip Genie:

[tribulant_slideshow gallery_id=”1″]

 

Facebook Advertising 101: Ad Formats & Placements

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When it comes to running Facebook ads, it’s important to choose the best type of ad for your campaign’s specific goals. In Part 2 of my series on Facebook Advertising, I’ll go into the different types of ad formats and placements available for your advertising campaign. Check out Part 1 for a recap on the different types of Facebook ad objectives.

Ad Formats

A Facebook ad format is the way your ad is presented creatively. Each ad objective has different ad formats you can choose from, and not all ad formats are available for all ad objectives.

Different Types of Ad Formats

  • Video Ads– Best used for awareness and consideration ads; videos uploaded natively to Facebook receive 30% more views!
  • Photo Ads- Ads used with photos of your product or company; always use high-res images
  • Slideshow Ads– Upload your own or use photos to create one- you can also add music and text overlay- make sure the first photo in the slideshow is the best to capture your audience’s attention
  • Carousel Ads– Format that shows a number of “cards,” each with a different image and the ability to link to a different destination
  • Canvas AdsFacebook calls canvas ads a “full-screen ad experiences built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile.” They are interactive, fully-immersive ads that eliminate the need to go off the app for information by combining photos, videos, GIFs, text, and CTA buttons, it delivers what some call a “microsite-like experience” that allows people to click, scroll, swipe, and tap to engage with brands right on the Facebook platform.
  • Dynamic Product Ads- Connected to a site’s product catalog, they automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet. You upload your product catalog and set up your campaign once, and it continues finding the right people for the right product for as long as you want. (only available in Product Catalog Sales objective)

Ad Placements

Types: Mobile and Desktop News Feed, Right Column, Instagram, and Audience Network (third party mobile app and mobile websites

Recommendations: When running an ad, use all ad placements (unless image or copy isn’t optimized for Instagram) and monitor the performance of each ad placement

 

3 lessons I learned during my first year at Gossip Genie

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Holy cow! I’ve been working as a social media manager at Gossip Genie for an entire year. Fifty-two weeks filled to the brim with client photo shoots, content calendars, brainstorms, happy hours, dog pets, and lots of and lots of learning. It’s hard to narrow down all the career lessons I’ve learned throughout my first here at Gossip Genie. But the following three are a pretty good start.

1. Confidence

Fake it til you make it? Yes. It sounds SO cheesy, but in a creative role, you have to believe in yourself. It’s imperative that you have the confidence to strategize, create, and pitch your thoughts to the client. If you don’t believe in your ideas, why should your boss or client? You have to learn how to sell yourself, and the only way to do that is to be confident in what you do, what you think, and what you create.

Over this past year, I’ve learned to recognize that I am an industry expert. I understand the nuances that surround the social landscape. I’ve learned what types of creative content will succeed, and what will fail. It’s because of this knowledge and experience that I can be confident in my recommendations, creative ideas, and ability to execute.

2. Adaptability

Always stay on your toes. When you work in an industry as fast-paced as social media you have to be nimble. Change is inevitable. Algorithms, advertising options, the type of media (i.e. gifs, static, text, video, live), they’re always evolving. I’ve learned you have to not only accept these changes but also fully embrace them in order to be a successful social media manager.

3. Teamwork

Teamwork makes the dream work. You don’t need a team just to help out with the workload. You need a solid team of social media gurus to feed off of. I’ve leaned on my teammates to help miscellaneous tasks, but the most beneficial teamwork is when you’re working towards learning something new or creating an epic campaign idea together.

My major takeaway? Your ideas, knowledge, and expertise can only reach the next level when you reach out to your coworkers for help and inspiration.

 

Here are a few of my favorite GG moments from the past year.

#PutYourPhoneDownAnd ________.

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Did you notice that the hashtag #PutYourPhoneDownAnd is trending on Twitter today? As a person who often advocates for unplugging and putting your phone away whenever possible, I absolutely love the sentiment! I even participated in the conversation on one of our client’s Twitter channels.

At Gossip Genie, we recommend participating in trending conversations on Twitter when they are relevant for your brand. When done correctly, you can bring new eyes to your page and increase engagement and buzz. The key is knowing how and when to chime in.

Here are a few of my favorite #PutDownYourPhoneAnd Tweets from brands and individuals alike.

3 Mistakes Your Brand Makes on Social

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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again a great social media presence takes a lot of work, strategy, planning, and creativity. It’s a mixture of an art and a science. Of all the media available to your brand, social is one of the most difficult verticals. It’s easy for you, as a brand, to see social as an afterthought. We can understand why you think of social media as a medium that isn’t as legitimate as display, TV, or OOH. After all, social media is readily available to the masses. That means anyone can do it for your business, right? Wrong.

When researching brands, we see a lot of easy-to-fix mistakes on their social media. While we can’t reveal all of our trade secrets, here are 3 mistakes we want you to fix. And if you don’t feel like you can complete them, we’re always available to help.

1. Posting infrequently

We all know about Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms. Well, everyone knows what they are, but a lot of you don’t know how they work. Of course, we don’t have access to the algorithm. But we do know pages that post frequently are rewarded, and often show up higher in the feed than those that only post a few times a month. The ideal number of posts? Everyday. But if that’s not possible, you should be posting a minimum of 3x per week.

2. Going off brand

It’s National Hot Dog Day and you’re a hat company. If you don’t have any photos with your product and a hot dog or a hot dog on the hat, then you shouldn’t be participating in the discussion. It doesn’t make sense for your brand, and will only confuse your audience. Don’t feel pressured to engage with every trending hashtag on Twitter. Only interact with ones that are authentic and relate to your brand or service.

3. No outreach

You haven’t seen substantial growth in months. Your posting regularly, but nothing. That’s because you need to actively reach out to new fans and start a meaningful conversation. While I can’t reveal our community outreach secrets, I will say you have to be engaged, and stay engaged. You need to search for users like your current fan base and talk to them. While numbers aren’t everything. Quality > quantity. You do want to see your channels grow every month.

Fellow social media managers, what types of mistakes do you see over and over again?

Social Media News You NEED to Know vol. 2

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It’s been just over a month since our last social media news update. And, lo and behold, the landscape has changed once again. We all know the beauty of social media is the fact that it’s never the same for long. That’s what makes the job of a social media manager interesting, but it can also make it totally frustrating.

In order to combat the frustrations that come along with the changes we see on an almost daily basis, we have to stay up to date on what’s happening in the social world and adapt ASAP.

In case you don’t have time to do your own research today, we’ve rounded up some of the best articles that highlight trending news in the social space as of late. Enjoy! We’d love for you to add any additional articles you’ve found helpful in the comments.

Instagram stories continues to roll out new features for their biggest players. Now any account with over 10K followers can include a link for users to “swipe up” and read more. This function is used primarily for e-commerce, but bloggers are also using it to showcase their latest blog.

Another Instagram story update, users can increase their stories’ reach through hashtags and location tagging. This would be perfect for conferences, BTS shots, and brand-sponsored events.

Social media marketing is a necessity these days. But it’s not enough to simply set-up an account and post every once in a while. Your company should be active on social media, here’s why. P.S. We want to help!

Snapchat isn’t having a good day, month, or even year.

Wait, “Shadowban” isn’t even a thing. Say hello to Artificial Intelligence as Facebook and Instagram continue to merge their systems.

Social Media Examiner released their industry report and it’s full of golden nuggets of social media wisdom.

Want to start growing, engaging, and using social media to optimize your brand’s ROI? Let us know!

3 Reasons Why Your Company Should be Active on Social

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Missed Connections: You, an inactive brand on all social media platforms.

Me, a social media guru trying to help out.

Your brand has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram. But you haven’t posted new content in 6 weeks. Your Twitter feed consists solely of retweets, and your Instagram following to follower ratio is 2:1. All of these are red flags for a millennial consumer.

We’ve come to a point in marketing where social media needs to be a part of your overarching strategy. It just does. And it needs to be done by a professional.

Just because the 19-year-old college sophomore has been active on the above platforms for years, does not mean they should be managing your brand’s social media presence in exchange for college credit. You will be disappointed. That, I can guarantee.

If you realize you should be on social media (i.e. you made the accounts), but you’re not convinced you should be active (when I say active, I mean posting at least 3x/week, interacting with your current fan base, and actively reaching out to new fans), then please read the following. I think you’ll change your mind.

1. Customer Service

I think customer service is one of the strongest arguments I can make for your brand to be active on social. It’s natural for users to reach out via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook when they have a question about your brand/service/product. They’ll ask questions like:

  • “Are you going to be at X event?”
  • “My package is damaged, what do I do now?”
  • “Is this paleo?”
  • “Where can I buy your product?”

And if you have a page, but aren’t active, they’ll never receive a response from you! That’s a missed sale and a missed connection. This will only tarnish your brand in their mind. Trust me. Active social media means responsive social media, and for that, you need a team to help out because we all know you already have enough on your plate.

2. Staying Top of Mind

There are so many brands. There are so many services. There are so many products. It’s a cluttered world out there, and as a company, you need to stay top of mind for the consumer. It’s hard to prove an ROI for social. But think about your own behavior, and how social media might influence your purchasing behavior.

Just last week I was skimming through my personal Instagram feed and I saw Peet’s Coffee had posted about a happy hour special they’re hosting every Friday throughout the summer. I usually go to Dunkin for my afternoon fix, but a BOGO deal means I’ll walk the extra five minutes to Peet’s and save some money. Now Peet’s has me hooked for the entire summer! If that’s not a social media marketing win, I don’t know what is.

3. Telling Your Brand Story

It’s human nature to build emotional connections. Even with a brand. Does your brand sponsor a charity event? Are you passionate about promoting a healthy living? Or are you simply a conduit for good times? The story of your brand and what your company stands for should be told on social.

Social media provides a space for brands to create authentic, human connections in a simple way. There’s no easier, more cost-effective way to spread your story and your beliefs than social media.

 

You’ve set up the pages. Now it’s time to nurture them. Grow your audience, make connections, and engage. You probably don’t have time to do that, but we do.

If you’re interested in social media management services please reach out to shannon@gossipgenie.com and we can start a conversation!