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Tag : the go agency

Looking Forward: What Will Online Marketing Be Like 10 Years from Now?

Looking Forward_ What Will Online Marketing Be Like 10 Years from Now_
23Sep

With the year 2020 right around the corner, you’re probably wondering “How much more can online marketing really evolve?” While of course there’s no definitive answer to this, you know from my latest blog, “Blast from The Past: A Look at the Digital World 10 Years Ago“, that online marketing is only going to continue to grow in value as the years go on. But where exactly? Here are my thoughts.

A Breakthrough of Content
If you think you’ve seen an increase of content in 2019, just wait until 2020. And no, I’m not talking about a few more YouTube videos here and there. I’m talking about businesses truly using online content to empower their sales.

This includes an influx of user-generated content, live video, and of course more of a presence on popular social media platforms. I’d even say that many businesses will pay closer attention to the non-traditional side of the search engine world, AKA voice search. It’s predicted that 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.

So, why do I say all of this?

One word: engagement. Businesses have now caught onto the fact that online marketing is a must, and in 2020 it will be no different. In order for them to reach their customers and engage with them, they’ll need to prioritize creating relevant and quality content.

Also, let’s not forget about advertising! After all, it’s predicted that mobile ad spending will represent 43% of the total media ad spending within the U.S. While this doesn’t mean the immediate downfall of T.V. ads, it sure does put things into perspective. Brands aren’t going to continue spending money on platforms where their consumers don’t live.

A New Vehicle to Share Content 
So, where are brands going to spend their money in 2020? On influencer marketing! You’ve seen a million influencers online this past year; those people with thousands or millions of followers and subscribers. They’re considered to be knowledgeable in their field and have a large, loyal audience.

With that being said, businesses will use these influencer-audience relationships to their advantage. By working out brand deals and sponsorships with relevant influencers, even the largest of corporations will take the chance to share their products or services with an extremely targeted audience.

But that’s not even the best part. Influencer marketing content is found to deliver 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing. Talk about a great way to promote your brand and actually make an investment! I can’t see businesses saying no to that.

A Bonus for Consumers
With all of these predictions for what online marketing will look like in 2020, I can only see these changes benefiting both businesses and consumers. Not only will businesses get the exposure they need, but consumers will have greater access to what they need. Businesses will no longer have to guess what their target audience needs and how they can promote it to them; through the power of content and influencer marketing, businesses will be able to connect with their audience in a new and convenient way.

So, what are your online marketing predictions for 2020? Share in the comments below!

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A Decade of Go! Agency Gold

A Decade of Go! Agency Gold
16Sep

Ten years ago, when Christopher and I started The Go! Agency in 2009, online marketing was like the wild west – no real rules, a lot of tumbleweeds, and only a few people striking it rich.

Since then, we’ve moved away from the traditional sales and marketing strategy that most of us cut our teeth on. You remember: pagers and pay phones, faxes, and lots of one-on-one meetings. Now instead of having to tell two people, and they tell two people, we are finally able to just tell hundreds of people at once. As a result, this allows us to be in many places at once.

Before these changes, it really was a ghost town. There were pockets of people and groups doing it right and being consistent, but they were few and far between. Restaurants, bars, and big brands took pretty well to social media. But with both Chris and I coming from a professional background, clients we had lots of experience with (those in the healthcare, finance, legal, and other more formal industries) wanted nothing to do with this crazy new medium.

Soon after, the ‘sheriff’ arrived in town and brought along rules, hashtags, and order. Then everyone started asking about best practices: “Should I use images?” “How many characters can I use?” “When is the best time to post?” “What’s an online marketing plan?” “Do I really need to do more than just create a page, hoping that people will want to do business with me?” “Should I ‘buy followers’?” And of course, lots more.

Fast forward to 2019. Now we can now pinpoint our clients’ target audience(s) to a city block, a specific income, their age, interests, job titles – all allowing them to spend smarter and get maximum bang for their buck. We’ve seen major platforms come and go (MySpace, Google+, Vine). We’ve seen platforms that have been #1, but then have dipped in popularity (LinkedIn, Snapchat) and been overshadowed by Instagram and YouTube.

It’s been a wild ride – but I’m so proud to say that The Go! Agency has anticipated the twists and turns, and flourished. Why? I really think it’s for a few good reasons. First, integrity. We truly put our clients first. Second, transparency. We don’t think of ourselves as ‘experts.’ We’re way too humble for that…AND, the rules still change daily. We’re merely specialists – continually learning. Lastly, it comes down to investments. In our team, in their education, treating them like family, giving them a really nice place to work, and always being open to suggestions from them. Plus, our Go! Agents are awesome.

What do the next ten years hold with digital marketing? Although no one really knows, I think it will be pretty amazing. And you can be sure that The Go! Agency will be involved, as we’re constantly  keeping our eyes open for anything that will help our clients’ digital marketing campaigns succeed. “There’s a saying among prospectors: ‘Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.'” – Robert J. Flaherty

If you’ve been a client of ours in the last ten years; thank you. If you are a future client (or know someone to refer) we can’t wait to work with you!

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10 Years Later: From the Desk of the CEO

10 Years Later_ From the Desk of the CEO
3Sep

It is really unbelievable to think that 10 years ago this month The Go! Agency was born with one client, two employees (myself and co-owner Dale Griffen), and a bucketload of dreams for the future.

Flash forward 10 years to today, we have a full roster of clients, talented staff, beautiful offices, and a future pipeline filled to the brim.

Dale and I never thought about what the future would hold when we started The Go! Agency. If you can’t remember what the online world was like back then, let me remind you. While email marketing, blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), and online advertising were fairly proven mediums, social media was the wild west packed with snake oil salespeople. Companies large and small were jumping at the chance to try out this new medium, setting aside large portions of their marketing budgets to give it a whirl. And there were ample “experts”, “gurus”, and the like popping up all over ready to take advantage of that.

At the time, the difference between The Go! Agency and these so-called “gurus” was that we never confessed to be 100% experts. Why? In the constantly changing landscape of social media marketing, we were, and remain merely specialists, as we are continually in learning mode. Other big differences are that we have solid marketing, public relations, and online experience—all keys to being a success. Plus, it was beneficial to have a desire to learn, be agile, and understand that you wouldn’t always get the results you wanted. Some concepts and strategies might have worked amazingly one day, but the next day would be killed and replaced with features that didn’t work and would make you go back to the drawing board. We wanted to approach our prospective and current clients with a holistic approach and offer organic campaigns that would be able to change on a dime and focus on the client’s needs; we were never focused on pushing buttons and cashing checks. Our focus was on client’s success—that was our win. Not making millions of dollars in a matter of months and then fading away.

Fun Fact: One of our biggest direct competitors at the time was highly visible and took on LOTS of business very quickly. That agency lasted only a few years, and two years ago their CEO responded to a job listing I put up for an entry-level Social Media Account Executive. True story.

We wanted our agency to be built differently than others we had observed throughout our professional careers. We wanted ours to be honest, transparent, results driven, and have an intense focus on the client experience. Our desire was to have a roster of clients that were a pleasure to work with, who were invested in success and growth, and that would help us create that almighty win-win-win scenario. Triple wins are my favorite.

When it came to staff, we wanted to hire talented individuals that were interested in creative growth, were engaged with their work, and were focused on their clients. We also wanted to create an environment where there were no office politics, no drama. And if there was, the environment would move these individuals out of the organization organically.

Sitting here today, we’re pleased to say that all of this was achieved. Our current roster of clients is not only diverse, but includes one of the largest international athletic brands (Under Armour) that organically found us based on reputation alone. We will drop everything to help a client on a moment’s notice and the focus is always on them, which is so amazing to see.

Our team is a team. We work together through stressful times and quieter times. Just last month we all went on a company cruise in the Caribbean to blow off steam, bond a little, relax, and zip line! And you know what? Everyone enjoyed one another, no one was avoiding one another—it was relaxing and refreshing.

So is there anything we would change looking back over the last 10 years?

No. Nothing.

Every situation that may have been negative brought forth contemplation and experience that helped us grow stronger as a company. Every employee who didn’t work out, every client that we had to fire, and even those times when the wi-fi didn’t work during an important client meeting…these moments all brought forth a great amount of experience that we are able to now share with our clients.

We’re now in such a sweet position. We’re surrounded by a team of wonderful individuals that we consider not only our team, but also our family. We look out for one another. We work together to get the best results for clients. We are emotionally attached to the work. And to top it all off, we have a roster of clients that respect our team, understand our value, and collaborate with us on taking their success to the next level. See, I really can’t complain.

So where do we go next? Our team and our roster of clients will always evolve, ebb and flow. But our goal is to continue to grow from our vast experience working with clients, one another, and in the marketing industry as a whole to build an even stronger agency that will last for another ten years, and much longer beyond that.

And we will continue to add services as and when we see the need across the board. This year alone we have added a few new services that our clients were eager for that immediately brought them great levels of success and results. So expect much more of that in the future.

Overall, The Go! Agency is about working with companies to provide global solutions that will help them market and sell their businesses with less cost, less time, and more efficiency.

This is why our consulting services are currently one of our fastest-growing services, which I am personally fulfilling. Throughout the last ten years, I was able to really identify where my passion areas were: working strategically within a team, creating marketing and sales scenarios that create proven success, problem solving on a dime, motivating marketing professionals that are overwhelmed, and many more.

Above all, I have identified that one of my true passions is working with individuals and companies collaboratively to solve their problems, work out the kinks in their strategy, and help them reach their true potential. I began offering this here and there to clients as consulting and over the past few years I have been very lucky to worth with hundreds of different companies in this arena…and enjoyed every minute of it. Some call it coaching, others consulting. I call it real talk—and I love being able to help with my direct and honest approach. It brings me lots of joy.

But I digress. The Go! Agency is our heart and soul, and Dale and I couldn’t be prouder of what we as a company have achieved during the last decade. Sitting here and trying to remember all of the many events that we have lived through (recessions, hurricanes, changing political climates) it brings joy to my heart to see that as an agency we have been resilient, stuck to our values, and never altered our ethics for a paycheck. We continue to do work that we believe in, creating amazing results and ROI for clients that believe in us. I think this is a good place to be in, don’t you agree?

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When it Comes to Social Media Marketing – It is All About Making the Right Choice

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23Feb

When choosing social media platforms for your marketing strategy, it is necessary to dig deep to see which ones are going to be the best starting point to complement your cohesive and strategic social media marketing strategy. You need to look at a social media site and ask yourself, “What can you do for me and my business?”  Social media should bring value to you by creating your own unique community and promotional hub.

Look through your current (or competitor’s profiles), compare and contrast, and answer the following questions:

• Which sites do you market on currently?

• Looking at your Buyer Profiles, which site has the most active members of your target market?

• Which site has groups for your company’s niche when you search using your keyword list?

• What sites do your competitors use the most or least?

• Which site’s tone aligns most with your brand voice?

• Which site is easiest to understand and use? Use the “Help” section of each site to learn more about its capabilities and security.

• Which site overall feels like the most natural fit for your business and marketing objectives?

Please take your time on these questions, and go through each one carefully, keeping in mind your needs and the pros and cons of each.  Think about how much time you have, and who will be managing these sites.  Also, based on the content in the past three chapters, which ones did you really identify with?

Now, once you have made your decision, you need to decide your starting point and note it on your pad.

• In Month One, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

• In Month Two, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

• In Month Three, I will market the business on: [Name of site(s)]

By setting a three-month plan, you will have time to get your feet wet and find your footing.  After that, you can look back at your strategy to see what needs to be changed and updated.

Remember, when it comes to social media all plans are organic: they will grow and change over time.  This is a wonderful advantage for your company as you can easily and cost-effectively change a marketing strategy on a dime if necessary.

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Is the Goal of Social Media to Turn Customers into Your Personal Evangelists?

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23Feb

Company evangelists.  I love this topic because I believe it is one of the most underutilized social media secret weapons.

I am not referring to evangelists in the religious way, but rather fervent supporters of your company and products/services.  If they have big mouths, even better!

Open up the mailing list spreadsheet you just completed in the last chapter, and focus in on your past/current client sheets, as these folks are used to your products or services and are familiar with you and your company.

Looking at this list, highlight by bolding anyone who has:

• Frequently expressed their happiness and satisfaction vocally

• Provided valuable feedback that you have used to enhance your processes

• Referred business to you based on their confidence in your service

• Provided a testimonial in writing or online

• Continued to be a loyal client

These are the first batch of potential evangelists, so take your time going through the list and highlight everyone who fits the criteria mentioned above.  Don’t be shy. The more the merrier!

Also, you want to think about those who might not be on your spreadsheet as a prospect, client, or past client.  It is time to wrack your brain, and add any people to the spreadsheet who might fit these criteria:

• People who would spread the word on a new initiative with little to no prodding

• People who have never worked with you, but are familiar with you and confident in supporting your business

• Business partners who would benefit from your business success

• Event organizers where you served as a speaker or advertiser

• Experts or opinion leaders whose endorsement would be beneficial

• Family members who move in circles where your target market exists

• Personal and professional friends who are always happy to help

• Clients with whom you have had a long and successful relationship

This list is just as important as, if not more important than, the ones in your spreadsheet already, as you will not have much trouble getting them to help you spread the word or endorse you and your business.

I’m sure you are asking, “Why am I doing this?”  Well, once you begin to roll out your social media marketing campaign, these company evangelists play an extremely crucial role in ensuring your level of initial and long-term success.

Company evangelists will help you:

• Enhance your credibility

• Generate leads and referrals

• Gain testimonials for your website and social media

• Spread your message virally via social media

• Provide guidance and support when you first venture out into social media

• Provide the crucial first numbers in connections and followers in social media

• Provide protection during your first month or two out of the gate by creating goodwill

Now – get to work!

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Want More Social Media Connections? Then Put Your Email Database to Work!

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23Feb

I am sure you have heard others talk about the importance of building a mailing list.  Businesses just like yours have been amassing potential customer data for decades.  If you have a sales department, it is likely that they have a lead list that includes names, postal addresses, phone numbers and email addresses so that they can engage prospects and translate them into sales.

If you have been gathering this information and saving it in a central place, well done and my hat’s off to you!  If you are organizing all of this information for the first time, well, you will have a challenging time.  Notice I used “challenging” instead of impossible…because it isn’t impossible in the least!

By centralizing your customer information, you will be able to market your business more effectively across the board and roll out a social media marketing campaign that is both effective and painless.  As the members of your list are already engaged with your brand, you can easily add them to your social networks by using some simple functions on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.  You will not only be able to grow your connections, but also engage with your list members in a more enriching way.

To get started, open a blank spreadsheet.  You can use a cloud-based customer resource management tool (CRM), but if you want to keep it easy, spreadsheets work fine.

Make three separate sheets in your spreadsheet and title them in the following order:

1.  Prospects (leads who have not done business with you)

2.  Current Clients (anyone who is currently doing business with you)

3.  Past Clients (anyone who is no longer doing business with you)

I like to break down customers into these three separate sheets to keep a clear delineation amongst the data that I am trying to organize.

Next, set up three column headings on each sheet:

1.  Company

2.  Contact

3.  Email

Now begin the compilation process.  (This is the not-so-fun part.  But think!  This will help grow your business offline AND online!)  Look for email addresses where they will be found most readily.

•  Professional email accounts

•  Personal email accounts (for any customer crossover)

•  Trade magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites

•  Business cards

•  Marketing collateral (pamphlets, brochures, etc.)

•  Conference/event guides

•  Association databases

Last, import the data to their corresponding sheets.

Once you have completed this process, you will have a nice, tidy batch of information that can be utilized for social media by simply following the instructions on each site, and that can be used for newsletter mailings and email marketing.  The other great thing about this list is that you can also use it to locate people that you are looking for on social media.

For example, say that you are looking for a prospective customer whose name is John Smith on LinkedIn.  Well, that could be a tricky name to search for on LinkedIn, as it is so common.  But by having easy access to his email address, you can copy and paste that into the search and be able to find him more readily.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many ways to utilize your lists…and the opportunities will just continue to grow.  Like I mentioned, preparing items for your social media marketing campaign will provide benefits to other aspects of your business marketing.  Social media is the oil that makes the marketing

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Increase Social Media Engagement: 10 Ways to Optimize Your Social Media Content

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22Jun

Attempting to master social media marketing can be both confusing and overwhelming at times.  Keeping track of all of the latest changes and trends, while trying to implement all of the newest tips and tricks can be challenging for a busy company.

When it comes to social media, the nucleus of all engagement is content.  So no matter what different changes may happen to the structure of social media sites, the one thing that will remain the same is the importance of well executed, optimized, engaging content.

Say you already have excellent content in place, but your posts are not generating the results that your campaign needs to deliver.  What’s the problem?

While writing great content is a constant, optimizing it is a constantly evolving medium.  Optimizing your content for social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be as specific as changing an element within your post to work with the infrastructure of each one of these juggernauts.

We all know that writing custom content for your social media marketing campaign can be time consuming, so let’s make sure that all of that time spent is an investment that will go towards accomplishing our goals.

What I want to share with you here are ten of my own personal tips for helping your social media marketing content truly “pop” online so that you will get increased engagement through shares, likes, comments and much more!

The list below is not in order of importance: these are all vital factors that will help enhance your social media campaign’s success over time:

1.  Keywords: When developing strong social media content, keywords are absolutely essential.  The words or phrases that your target audience use to find your company (both online and offline) should always be handy when you are developing your content.  My tip is to create a list of keywords that you can add to your updates, and then use them when suitable.  These keywords will turn into hashtags and will help increase your visibility and engagement (more on this later).

2.  Be Conversational: What does your content look like?  When you read it out loud does it sound like a used car advertisement?  Does the post draw you closer, or push you away?  Imagine your post intermingled with all of the other posts (of direct and indirect competitors) vying for your target audience’s attention.  Does it still stand out? One of my top tips with social media posts is to remember that they need to be “social” i.e. conversational.  You want to start a conversational exchange with your audience – which is what engagement is!  So read your content out loud after you write it and make sure that it reads as if you are saying it – not writing it. Having your content sound “human” and not like “sales and marketing copy” is absolutely essential.

3.  Use Different Content Lengths:  Not every social media site is looking for a 140 character solution.  So writing one update and sending it through to all social media networks is not the best rule.  The ideal way of optimizing your content for size is to begin by writing a short update for Twitter (maximum 120 characters to promote sharing). Then write a slightly longer one that you can post on Facebook and LinkedIn.  This way you are able to move beyond Twitter’s character constraints when writing content, giving you freedom to enhance your posts with more engaging content, as well as giving you the ability to add further optimization through additional hashtags, tags, links, and more.

4.  Call to Action: One of the first things I learned when I launched our online marketing agency 7 years ago was the power of asking for what you wanted.  People move through social media content so fast that they don’t have time to read your mind and or read between the lines.  If you want someone to perform a certain action, make sure to tell them what you would like them to do: read this story, click this link, sign up today, etc.

5.  Shorten Your Links: On some social media sites, namely Twitter, size is everything…when it comes to characters of course.  So when you are sharing a link within your allowed 140 characters, and the link takes up nearly 60% of your available characters allocation – how are you supposed to engage your audience?  Use a link shortening tool to save space to allow your content to breath.  Also, if you are sharing links on other social media sites, a short and concise link will prevent the link breaking when posting to your social media profile.  It’s a little extra insurance that will come in handy.

6.  Hashtags: A hashtag is a type of label used on specific social media sites which makes it easier for users to find social media updates (or messages) with a specific theme or specific content. In basic terms, a hashtag indexes a post to be about a certain topic, rather than just mentioning it in the conversation so that it can easily be found and referenced.  By hash tagging your KEYWORDS within your social media content, you will enhance your “find-ability” on the social web exponentially, thus optimizing it.

7.  Tagging: Tagging on social media is a way of connecting YOUR social media content with another person, company, topic, or event.  So whereas hashtags connect general KEYWORDS together (such as #socialmedia, #onlinemarketing, #contentstrategy), tags connect social media content to specific social media accounts. This is a great way to increase your visibility with not only potential customers, but also referral sources and influencers. These are essential in helping your content gain more visibility and engagement through association.

8.  Photos/Images: While many people are getting wrapped up in the semantics of writing the “perfect social media post”, they are forgetting one of the most straightforward engagement enhancer: visuals.  While you can have a perfectly optimized post, it is not truly optimized unless you add a visual.  By adding a complimentary picture, a custom designed graphic, infographic, or even a candid shot that you took with your phone, you engage your audience in a more instantaneous way.  For example, think about when you scroll through the newsfeed, are your reading the content or looking at the pictures? You’ll find yourself engaged with visuals more quickly than the actual written words.

9.  Videos: Videos have long been heralded as the “be all and end all” of online marketing optimization.  So why aren’t more people doing them?  Time, money and lack of know-how.  Well, you are not alone if this sounds like you!  Videos done professionally or casually with your mobile device, can bring your content to life and create engagement.  You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create an engaging social media video.  As is true in the previous point (visuals are crucial to enhancing engagement), videos really promote enhanced engagement.  For example again, think about how many times you stop at those auto-play videos on Facebook.  You probably remember the video as opposed to the content.  Or the video led you to actually reading the social media posting associated with it, which you would have normally overlooked.

10.  Don’t Always Rely on Third-Party Scheduling Tools: Especially when it comes to Facebook and LinkedIn.  While third-party tools won’t affect your Twitter posts, they really do reduce your optimization opportunities on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn: your hashtags won’t work, your tagging won’t show up, and your previews are tough to edit.  Not to mention the fact that many sites don’t add posts scheduled through third-party tools to the insights that help you understand what posts are successful and which ones aren’t.  By adding your content directly to Facebook and LinkedIn you will escape this risk.  This way you will have full control over how effective your content is.  It will take extra time, but will increase your overall effectiveness!

These are my top 10 ways of optimizing your social media content to promote increased engagement.  While they may take a little extra time, it is a worthwhile investment.  Engaging your audience with your content is one thing, but actually having the tools to make your content more findable is absolutely essential to success.

I’m sure there are also ways that have worked for you.  If you have any others that you think should be added to the list, what would they be?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Tag, You’re It! The Importance of Tagging in Social Media Engagement

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16Jun

If you are executing social media marketing campaigns for your company, the odds are that you are encountering a foreign language.  Not necessarily a foreign language in terms of continent, but in terms of social media lingo.

Social media lingo is one of the biggest barriers to entry for many companies.  Learning a whole new “online language” is not something that many rapidly growing businesses have time to learn, or even the patience to deal with.

But with that said, if you want to start generating leads for your business on social media, you need to learn a few key terms.

In order to gain more engagement with your content, it needs to be optimized for social media so that the largest audience will be exposed to it.  The first optimization tool was hashtags (which I have written about previously) and the second I want to discuss here is Tags.

Tags are generally referred to as a keyword or term assigned to a piece of information. This kind of tag helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. I want to stick with one aspect of that definition and go into more detail.

Tagging on social media is a way of connecting YOUR social media content with another person, company, topic, or event.  So whereas hashtags connect general KEYWORDS together (such as #socialmedia, #onlinemarketing, #contentstrategy), tags connect social media content to specific social media accounts.

Whereas a hashtag uses the “#” symbol, you would tag another account by using the “@“ symbol.

For example, say I wanted to tag The Go! Agency in a Facebook update. This is how it would look as you type it:

“There is nothing worse than not being able to get people to read the social media content that you are writing.  Try these quick tips to increase your Facebook Page’s engagement, courtesy of @The Go! Agency.”

Now, when you put the tag into Facebook (not through a third-party tool like Hootsuite), when you type the @ and then begin typing “The Go”, you will see a drop-down list appear and you choose The Go! Agency from the list.  So when you post the same update above it would look like this:

“There is nothing worse than not being able to get people to read the social media content that you are writing.  Try these quick tips to increase your Facebook Page’s engagement, courtesy of The Go! Agency.”

As you can see The Go! Agency is underlined in the post.  This is now hyperlinked to The Go! Agency’s page.  By doing this, if I am posting this tagged post on my personal Facebook Page or another Facebook Page, The Go! Agency would not only be notified about the post, but if they allow posts from others on their Page, it would show up.

This will not only increase the number of eyes that your post will receive, but this will increase engagement.

Think about it like this: tagging helps you get in front of a whole new audience – one that you normally wouldn’t be able to access.

Let’s go for a multiple tagged post and see what that looks like…

Say I am an Austin, Texas-based pharmacist who owns a range of pharmacies in the area.  Here is an update that I might share with my audience.

“If you are located in the Austin, Texas area – I’m sure you have heard about the wave of sinus infections that have been making the rounds lately.  It is always good to keep up with the latest pharmacist-recommended health products.  Here is a list of all of the pharmacist-recommended health products of 2015: http://ow.ly/OowWp”

Now this is a terrific update.  It targets the appropriate local market, it talks about a current event, and offers a list of engaging helpful information for the target consumer.  But it might only be seen by a small few.  Why don’t we enhance it so that it can get more views.

Take two:

“If you are located in the @Austin, Texas area – I’m sure you have heard about the wave of sinus infections that have been making the rounds lately.  It is always good to keep up with the latest pharmacist-recommended health products.  Here is a list of all of the pharmacist-recommended health products of 2015, brought to you by @Yahoo Health: http://ow.ly/OowWp”

Now, let’s look at that same post with added hashtags:

“If you are located in the @Austin, Texas area – I’m sure you have heard about the wave of #sinusinfections that have been making the rounds lately.  It is always good to keep up with the latest pharmacist-recommended health products.  Here is a list of all of the pharmacist-recommended health products of 2015, brought to you by @Yahoo Health: http://ow.ly/OowWp #SouthCongress #SunsetValley #AndersonMill”

The hashtags increase the optimization of the post by pointing out the keywords that people may use to search for this topic or like topics (sinus infections).  To increase the local focus, the pharmacist tagged the areas of Austin where he has locations (South Congress, Sunset Valley and Anderson Mill).

Now this is very specific Facebook tagging.  Let’s quickly look at how you would tag content on different social media sites:

*Facebook: You tag another account using the “@“ symbol.  If you are using your Facebook Page, you are ONLY able to tag other Facebook Pages. If you are tagging from your PERSONAL Facebook Profile, you are able to tag both Facebook Pages AND Facebook Profiles. These tags ONLY work when you post natively on Facebook.  When I say “natively” I mean directly to Facebook and not using a third-party tool.

*LinkedIn: From your LinkedIn account you are able to tag BOTH people and companies by using the “@“ symbol.  This will only work if you post natively on LinkedIn and not through a third party scheduling tool.

*Twitter: This is where the social media tag originated from.  Here you simply add the @ symbol and then the account’s username you want to tag.  For example if you wanted to tag me in a post on Twitter it would be something like this: “Struggling with understanding tags? Check out this great new post by @ChrisGoAgency.”  The best part?  You CAN use a third-party tool to schedule and get the same effect.  You do not have to post natively to Twitter to gain the benefits of tagging.

There are many other sites that I could mention here, but these tend to be the most popular for new companies just jumping into the “tagging”, “hashtagging”, and social media optimization process.

Remember, by tagging another company you will increase the size of your audience as well as the amount of engagement that you can expect on your posts.  Have any questions – please ask!

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Improving Facebook Engagement: What You Need to Know About Native Scheduling

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1Jun

As a busy executive myself, I am sure that you are pressed for time on a daily basis.  Who isn’t?  With all the questions, requests, appointments, and projects that you need to complete – I am surprised at times that we can keep it all together.

So what is one thing we always look for?  Shortcuts and time-savers!

This couldn’t be more evident when it comes to us administering our social media marketing campaigns.  We are always on the lookout for shortcuts, or shortcut tools, that will help us save time with many aspects of executing our campaigns.

But, little do many of you know, these tools can also come back to bite you in the end – without you even knowing.

A prime example of this – Facebook.

Facebook has recently altered its algorithm (their custom self-contained step-by-step set of operations and how they are performed) to favor content that is posted DIRECTLY to Facebook.

Not through Hootsuite.  Not through Buffer. Not through SocialOomph. Not through SproutSocial. Not through…well, you get the idea.

So, what can you stand to lose by using a third-party tool to schedule your Facebook Page posts?  Here are 4 very important factors:

*Images: Many scheduling tools struggle with images and in many instances are very limited in terms of customization.  This limits your success level as images are powerhouses of engagement.

*No Facebook Insights: When you post using third-party tools many times, if not all, the posts you schedule will not be picked up by Facebook Analytics.  Meaning that you will not be able to see how your posts stack up against each other when it comes to engagement.  This means Facebook Analytics will not track the likes, shares and comments associated with any post that you scheduled using the third-party tool.  So if you are using Hootsuite, and then refer to Facebook Analytics, the data that you see is not representative of actual engagement.

*Drop in Views: Many companies have reported large drops recently in their post viewership recently.  This has been attributed to their posts being scheduled through a third-party application.

*Tagging: It is very tough to tag other businesses through a third-party application, which results in a loss of valuable exposure.

These are the current issues that many companies are facing…but there are surely more to come.

How do you get around this?  When it comes to Facebook, use the Native Facebook Scheduling tool that is available on your page (and appears as an option on every post that you write).

The process is simple.  If you want to work a week at a time, get all of your posts handy and then one-by-one go through the 5 step process:

1.  Go to your Facebook Page and input your update in the “What have you been up to?” box at the top of your timeline.
2.  Make sure that the hyperlink has produced an image preview.  Don’t like the image? Replace it by clicking the “+Upload Image” button at the bottom of the image.
3.  Don’t like the headline or the short description that has been automatically generated by the link?  Click to the right of the title AND body copy and write something more engaging in each spot.
4.  Make sure that you have hashtags in your post and that they are hyperlinked and relevant.
5.  Do you mention another company, product, service, etc that has a Facebook Page.  Make sure to tag them!  Use @ and then the company name to choose them from a drop-down list.  The more tags the merrier.  Just make sure they are relevant.

Now it is time to schedule, which is even easier!

Click the arrow next to the word “Publish” at the bottom of your update box and choose the time in the future that you would like your post to go out.

Click “Schedule” and you are done!

When the set time comes, the post will go out exactly as you have customized it during the process listed above.

What you may have noticed here is that by doing the scheduling directly through Facebook, you have more options to customize your message and how it appears to your target audience.  When using a third-party application you do not get this exact same set of options.

While this may add a bit more time to your weekly schedule, it is time well spent.  Why spend your valued time writing, when no one is going to see it.  Try this and watch your post engagement go up over time.

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The Go! Agency: Celebrating 5 Years of Excellence!

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24Oct

I am so proud to announce that The Go! Agency has reached an important milestone…five years of excellence in online marketing.  Since the firm launched in 2009, we have developed a skilled team of professionals whom have helped hundreds of clients around the globe reach online marketing success.  To celebrate this anniversary, we have news and exciting offers to share with you!

New Headquarters  

We moved to our state-of-the-art offices in Largo, Florida, that include a classroom for our newly developed training and consulting services. We would love to see you, so drop by!  You can find our address at the bottom of this email.

New Website Content

Besides giving a makeover to our website’s design, we’ve added tons of case studies and client comments to give you more insight on what we do! Plus, don’t forget about our blog and iTunes podcasts for online marketing tips and information.

New Staff

We have recently added a staff member, Sheila Julien, our new Head of Content.  We are so happy to add Sheila to our thriving and growing team!

New Books

Did you know that The Go! Agency wrote the book (actually, books) on social media marketing?  I just released my book, “Is Social Media Right for My Business?” and our VP, Dale Griffen, has published his book, “The Secrets to Healthcare Marketing.” Both are available on Amazon Kindle for $4.99 each.

Your Special Gift! Exclusive 5th Anniversary Offer

Interested in learning more about online marketing and social media but not sure where to start?

Now is the perfect time to find out!

Go! Pro Marketing Package

You will get a one-on-one consultation with me that includes:

  • A full audit of your branding
  • A full audit of your marketing plan and budget
  • A full audit of your social media marketing presence
  • A step-by-step plan and checklist of your next steps
  • A support materials packet to help you create and schedule a marketing plan, social media plan and content calendar
  • Lots of other exclusive goodies

We are offering this $1,250 package to our special connections for only $299!  A discount of nearly $1,000!  To learn more about this limited time offer, contact me or Dale at 866-926-2636 or at info@thegoagencyuasa.com.

We are so happy to have you in our network and promise to continue to bring you only the best when it comes to online marketing!

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