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Think Twice about Automating Your Social Media Strategy



If you’ve developed a social media strategy for your business you realized something right away. How the heck can I keep up with all this beast? Twitter, Facebook, etc. posting on a regular basis, getting content created or currated can be a complete nightmare. Hence the automation of social media tools was born. While Hootsuite and Buffer can also be utilized as listening tools, they are very limited in this capacity. However with a limited staff and budget what are you to do?

That said the real conversation comes back to how can a small business owner with limited time keep up on social media. I’m a huge fan of Gary Vaynerchuk, see his recent blog, Five Reasons Why Automating Social Media Sucks.  Several factors to consider when you are automating social media:

  • Quality vs. quantity – if you are looking to be a volume operator and push messaging out consistently, which most companies do. You are going to need to automate. However consider this…Is it better to spend 20 minutes per day truly engaging people on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. or just posting 8 – 15 times a day because Content Marketing World told you to do so?
  • Content – Depends on the content and the campaign…For instance this very company and blog will re-purpose case studies, video and yes blogs. That’s pretty general, but we are always aware of seminal events, i.e. Opening day of baseball, city wide events like the Federal Frenzy and others, you should be to.
  • Events – Real time engagement, trending hashtags, events, not the time to set your HootSuite account to scheduled posts. Someone needs to man the ship and be on point.
  • Resources – If you lack the staff, budget to hire an outside agency, you are one person band…Just be aware of #3 and plan ahead!
  • Objectives – Again it comes back to what you want to get out of your social media strategy, are you looking for engagement, to build followers, convert leads, etc. If it’s all of the above no matter how creative you are with your posting strategy social only works when you are working on it.

Social media works in the hands of the right individuals. Typically I see people giving up after one or two posts on Facebook or Twitter. Saying I posted and the phone didn’t ring. It’s ridiculous to think that just because you created a Facebook account you are going to get business. Like anything you need to work at it, have a plan and when in doubt call an expert. CYO Marketing has helped a number of companies increase their social media engagement with Likes, Shares, Comments, Followers, Favorites, etc. I’m sure we can do the same for you!

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When Being the Greatest Isn’t Good Enough

To say that I was a restless 30 year old was an understatement. While most people are settling into career and family, I was just deciding to make a move to the greatest city in the world, no not Youngstown, that’s the second greatest city in my opinion. I’m talking about New York City, Manhattan, the city so nice they name it twice.

I learned a lot in my 5 years in the Big Apple. I want to stress the following…and as Jay Z says, “I could have been anywhere in the world but I chose to be right here with you…”  – Youngstown, Ohio is my hometown, always is and always will be. It’s where I grew up and 21 years later where I moved back to…I’ve never once shied away from the that no matter where I’ve lived or where I travel on business or pleasure.

I don’t refer to it as a city that sits between Pittsburgh or Cleveland. It’s simply Youngstown. What I realized about New York immediately is that it’s a blue collar city. The fabric woven into the people come from the same cloth as the people I grew up with in Youngstown.

The other thing I recognized is that everything in New York is the best in the world. Some of the best restaurants, museums, parks, musicians…you get the point. And no matter where I traveled or who I spoke with people would always find ways to criticize New York. Whether it’s filth, crime, costs or rude people.

They’d state the obvious, the stereotype, they’d repeat the cover of the book without ever reading it’s contents. What I learned very quickly, as any true New Yorker would do. I wouldn’t defend it. It speaks for itself. It’s not my job to sell you on it. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do. People are still going to take their shots at you.

Understanding the economic impact it can have on a city, especially the size of Youngstown. However if you keep churning out great companies, even better products, talented people the world will take notice. A certain point in time will come where you won’t feel that you’ll need to defend or justify it. Nor will you be concerned with making a list that says something your not. You’ll just have the confidence and satisfaction in knowing that “they” the outsiders are missing out on (well come to think of it) what could just be the greatest city on the planet, Youngstown, Ohio!

CYO Marketing is the premier digital marketing agency in Youngstown, Ohio. While we could be anywhere in the world, we choose to move to Youngstown and start our business, a few years back a rather large publication said this is a great place to start a business. I guess you’ve got to take the good with the bad. In the meanwhile if whether your business is just getting started or starting to consider a digital marketing strategy that includes social media, email marketing, website design, SEO or all of the above. Give us a call, we can help, just don’t look for us to tell you why we think Youngstown is the greatest city on Earth, it is because we know it is and if you don’t know now you know!


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Athletes Lives Are Great Deal with It

Leave it to Charles Barkley to be the face of summing up the world of fans, short for fanatic on social media. On a recent interview on The Dan Patrick Show, he basically said look, the fans are a bunch of idiots, our (fans) opinions don’t matter and lives of athletes and celebrities are great. I love Charles Barkley, he would be awesome on Twitter. Unfortunately he’s not on social media. Which is truly awesome, that Chuck’s ascended to where he is without the having the stress to update his Twitter feed minute-by-minute.

While he might be right about us all being idiots, us fans, the commoners, the working stiffs that spend half a pay check on a ticket to a game, parking and a couple of adult beverages. We have say. And in the light of recent responses we are being heard. Celebrity, the rich and famous, athletes love we the fan adores them.

I can remember circa 1981, I wrote Lynn Swan, Hall of Fame wideout from the than four time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. That letter took hours if not days to write. And weeks if not months to complete the loop. I probably forgot I even wrote the letter however a life time later for a 7 year old boy. My letter returned with an autographed picture of Lynn Swan making a catch in the Super Bowl vs. the Dallas Cowboys, complete insanity.

We are living with unprecedented access to the rich and famous, celebrity, athletes and all those on TV. And you know what? We know they know we are listening. Just the other day Matteen Cleeves, covering the NCAA Tournament followed me on Twitter after I left him a compliment for doing good work. Not only a follow but a thank you.

There’s plenty of examples, but when does it cross the line. In recent incidents with both Curt Shilling, former professional baseball player who pitched in the big leagues for 20 years congratulated his daughter via Twitter. Only to be the recipient of idiotic fan responses and making despicable comments about his daughter. Curt followed up these threats by holding these individuals accountable by running them down. Which helped to get them fired from their jobs.

Ashley Judd, sent out a Tweet in the heat of a Kentucky Wildcats basketball game. Which outraged opposing team fans and people in general to send hate Tweets, of which she’s now pressing charges. Colin Kapernick of the San Francisco 49ers got into a Twitter altercation, much less serious than the just pure hate of the Schilling or Judd incidents. To let a fan know that basically he didn’t appreciate the fact that one said fan said he should spend more time study his playbook and less time in the weight room.

It’s everywhere. Anytime you watch a TV interview, news, sports social media is everywhere and it’s become the fabric of our society. If fans of celebrity are engaging with celebrities via social media, I’m fairly certain that they’d want to engage with your business!

CYO Marketing is the premier digital marketing agency in Youngstown, Ohio. We’ve worked with The Youngstown Business Journal, NYO Property Group and our offices are located in the Y0ungstown Business Incubator. If your business is trying to figure out a digital strategy that would incorporate social media, call us. We provide a consultative services to help businesses looking to launch and fix social media and digital strategy. And just a small piece of advice, try to be nice to the celebs, they are listening!

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Why Killing It Is a Really Bad Idea


Guy Kawasaki, one of the early pioneers of Apple wrote in his book, The Art of the Start. That women make better business owners due to the fact they are willing to nuture a business, while men want to go out conquer and kill everything. If you are going to kill, crush or destroy it, how do you expect to grow your business, create more opportunities, generate more revenue, hit your number, nurture relationships and grow so you increase your income?


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Why Selling Ice To An Eskimo Is A Bad Idea Unless of Course…



Unless you are an igloo contractor, in that case selling ice to an Eskimo would actually make sense!

In the new Disney classic Frozen, Princess Anna makes the statement to Sven, who sells ice. After the world has frozen over, “that’s a tough business to be in.” Ok so I digress for a moment, yes I’m quoting Princess Anna from Frozen it’s not lost on me. What’s a man to do? I’ve got three kids under 6 years old. I can practically try out for a the local repitory theatre if they were to do an adaptation of the movie.

Point is…You’ve heard this over and over again, the cliche’ to describe a great salesman, “he could sell ice to an Eskimo.” Why in the world would any good sales person want to do that? Think about it, if you apply the 80/20 rule to your business. That Eskimo would never buy from you again eventually word would get out in the Eskimo community and your reputation would suffer. You just sold him something he doesn’t need. Maybe if you sold the Eskimo some warm clothes. I don’t know maybe a new spear that is sharper and on an unbreakable stick, hunting guides and plans of where the polar bears and walrus will be. A pair of titanium snowshoes, plane tickets to Florida in the dead of Winter. I could go on but you get my point. Instead of selling somebody something one time. Think about the long term, the big picture. Sell something that is needed, that brings value and when that’s delivered on be prepared to go back and deliver more value. Don’t end up a one hit wonder!

Unless of course if you are an igloo contractor, in that case selling ice to an Eskimo would actually make senses!

While CYO Marketing is known for what’s in our name marketing, we are actually a sales organization as well…A number of businesses have contracted us to act as an inside sales organization or distributor of their products or services. If you are in need of increasing your bandwidth on sales, generating leads via phone, creating an inside sales team or looking to distribute your goods. Call us, we are not good at selling ice to Eskimos, but we could think of a million ways to sell ice or your products to people that need them!!!



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Where Legends Go When They Die

It’s hard to believe that the basketball world just lost two of the biggest coaching legends in the same week. Hall of Fame Coaches Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian both passed away recently and I thought it be appropriate to pay homage to two of the greatest innovators of the game.

Make no doubts about it, we are huge basketball fans. As a former college basketball player and coach, I’ve got a deep love for the game. I remember the first and only time I met the man that was said to be the only person to hold Michael Jordan under 20 points, Coach Dean Smith of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

I was a graduate assistant basketball coach at Walsh University and attended a coaches clinic in Cleveland, Ohio circa 1997. Coach Dean Smith was one of 20 or so coaches that spoke. It’s been a long time, many of careers on my end and a head full of hair since I attended that event.

I can vaguely remember two or three speeches. However I remember Coach Dean Smith’s speech front to back. Funny, I am a huge Duke fan, always have been. Dean Smith went on and on for forty five minutes talking about an offense at UNC that he ran against a zone defense. imgres-6               images-3

He was drawing on an overhead projector, the entire room took notes intently. This is pre-phone camera, no real recording devices, you actually had to pay attention. I actually took no notes, I’ve never been the best student. I was however intrigued by how he worked the room, interacted, presented and conducted himself. That was impressive. But what was most memorable for the man that invented the four corners offense and almost the singular reason for implementing the shoot clock in college athletics, responded. Was during the question and answer session. When there was a detailed question about when the two guard reverses the ball what would he do next? Dean Smith took a long pause and laughed. He very wittingly and endearingly laughed and said “to tell you the truth I cannot remember, we’ve not run this offense in over 10 years!”


Jerry Tarkanian hopefully in death will get the respect he deserves as one of the true greats of coaching basketball. His winning percentage is almost 80% having won 729 games. If you were like me in the early 1990’s his UNLV teams gave you a reason to stay up late on Wednesday nights to watch the Runnin’ Rebels play. Tark could be found nervously sitting on a bench with a towel tucked in his mouth. Coach Tarkanian was often the ire of the NCAA. Finally clearing his name in a multi-million dollar lawsuit that wasn’t highly enough publicized. Noted for taking players that many others would take a pass on, questionable no doubt academically, but working to turn them into you men. Thank goodness for guys like Tark that were always willing to push the status quo, live outside the norms, had moxy and were leaders.


Building a brand is never an easy thing to do. Both of these coaches exemplified that being authentic is often times the best way to build excellence, longevity and brand awareness. You not only know Carolina Blue, it’s one of the best selling brands in all of sports. Most people just start to figure out there’s actually a college and a pretty darn good one. Many also knew what type of team Coach Smith would put on the floor and the talent he became known for recruiting, molding and coaching. A style, something you can relate to the person, an extension of their own self.

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With Coach Tark, seemingly more a risk taker. You knew they were going to play great defense, run up and down the floor all night and play hard.  They simply won games because they played harder and unselfishly as a team, than any of their opponents. In it’s hey day, the Thomas & Mack Arena was the place to be in the city of Las Vegas where it’s very hard to be the center of attention, developing the nickname “Gucci Row.” How’s that for building a brand! The home court advantage often times put the Runnin’ Rebels up 10 points before the other team took the court. That brand took off as well, for a period of time there kids everywhere rocking out UNLV gear!

It’s interesting, we get caught up in the discussions around content marketing and educating people by becoming ambassadors of goodwill. That in turn a thank you economy, where you give, give and give some more in the hopes that people will embrace your brand and want to do business with you. The reality is…This is nothing new. UNC and UNLV, both with legendary coaches developed a brand of basketball they believed in by developing talent, preaching team play, understanding their craft of X’s and O’s, blending people together and being the best self they could be…Thye built themselves not only into legendary hall of fame coaches, but helped their respective schools make 10’s if not 100’s of millions of dollars off the brand of basketball they created!

CYO Marketing is the premier digital marketing agency in Youngstown, Ohio. While we are not legendary coaches, we’ve worked with some legendary companies and have helped to develop brands and persona’s for small to mid-sized businesses. Give us a call, we’d love to talk hoops, marketing, branding or all of the above!

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The Craft Beer Marketing Controversy of the Super Bowl

The fact that you are small and nimble, have the flexibility of agility to make decisions on the product you produce and how you tell the world about it. You no longer need $9 million dollars and a Super Bowl ad, you just need a pretty darn cool social media campaign that integrates video!


What happens when my of love for craft beer and marketing collide over football, PURE JOY! I woke up today to see that my local craft brewer, Rust Belt Brewery, posted a message on Facebook about Budweiser’s attack on beer snobs.

The facts are this…

  • 44% of Americans between 21 – 27 have never tried Budweiser
  • 1988 Budweiser sold 50 million barrels. That number has declined by 16 million!
  • Budweiser has entered the craft beer market by acquiring local brew makers, such as: Goose Island and Oregon based Elysian.

It’s an interesting position, for a titan of an industry that is losing market share to dub itself a “Macro Beer.” When it’s been just the opposite of what the craft brewery industry use to refer to itself as, micro-beer.

While there’s no doubt the oddity behind the message. To all hipsters, beer snobs and aficinados congrats you’ve arrived! I’ve said this for a very long time, even in this blog. I love great beer! IPA’s, stouts, ales, lagers, you name it, if it says beer on it I will drink it. I do prefer craft made beer over mass marketed Coors or Budweiser.

However you will never find me studying the notes, discussing the hoppiness of a beer or what the brew master was thinking. And for the record I do think it’s funny that they called out pumpkin peach beer, what’s even funnier is that craft brewery that Budweiser bought actually makes pumpkin peach beer! If that’s your thing, go for it, study away beer geeks!

What’s the point? The point is that for local brewers in the craft industry you are now on the radar for the largest producers of beer in the world.

Believe it our not, you’ve got an advantadge in marketing your product vs. theirs. Budweiser dropped $9 million dolloars on that 60 second spot. That’s 9 million reasons they feel obligated to protect their brand and take back some market share.

Brewed the Hard Way cost Budweiser $9 million!

If you don’t know here’s how this works. That ad campaign was probably labored over for no less than 6 to 9 months. From internal meetings of what are we going to do? To due dilligence on multiple marketing and creative agencies, to production, etc. I know, someone could spoke up and said I think we are missing the mark!

The fact that you are small and nimble, have the flexibility of agility to make decisions on the product you produce and how you tell the world about it. You no longer need $9 million dollars and a Super Bowl ad, you just need a pretty darn cool social media campaign that integrates video. Pushing messages out on a YouTube channel, Instagram, Vine and cross marketing to Facebook and Twitter will get you found, it will build your following and most importantly it will help the world find all the goodness you bring to it, one pint at a time!

CYO Marketing is the premier digital marketing agency in Youngstown, Ohio. We’ve recently expanded our offerings to in-house video production, geared towards marketing your business in a creative and compelling way through digital mediums. This is a cost effective way to grow awareness and increase market share. Call us today!

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Super Bowl – A Big Day for All Marketing Professionals

This year’s Super Bowl will set an advertising record as a 30 second commercial TV spot cost $4.5 Million! That’s right, a roll of the dice if you will to create awareness for your brand. No doubt all these brands will continue to leverage the commerical for months to come on TV and the internet.

Besides the jaw dropping cost of running an ad, there are no suprises. If you want to see the commercials you can do so…I’m not providing any of the links. I hate to play the spoiler. Someone over lunch provided me the ending to American Sniper, yes, I’m one of the few that have not seen the movie. I digress but I tend to look the opposite way of trends.

While it’s a fact that, the NFL had a miserable year from PR standpoint. I don’t know who’s giving Roger Goodell PR advice, but whatever the name of the firm they should have fired them yesterday, shameless CYO Marketing plug, we provide PR services, just saying! Did you know that advertisers are staying away from using Super Bowl? Ridiculousness. Yes, the league has a cave full of trolls, scrubbing the universe looking for all those that don’t pay the league for the rights to use Super Bowl in their ad campaigns and will sue your shorts off for miss-use!

This blog was suppose to be less about all the fun things to poke at the NFL and give some ideas of how all marekting professionals, small business owners and those looking to gain some visibility on social media during the Super Bowl can benefit.

Here are a couple of tips:

1. Trending Hashtags – Such as #Superbowl, #Superbowlsunday, etc. will be trending wildly. Last year their were several gazillion Tweets, OK more like 250 million, who’s counting. You can gain followers in the local economy by using the hashtag #youngstown and #superbowl.

2. Blog – Incorporate a long exhaustive rant about what’s right and wrong about the Super Bowl, NFL, Roger Goodell, the world, etc. relate it back to somehow if you sell windows, carpeting or provide services. Again you just need to find the relevant content but use the subject matter. Trust me it’ll work.

3. Listening Strategy – Have a plan in place to capture trending topics, hashtags, etc. interact with theses individuals, follow them and follow up with them. These are potentially your tribe of people that you can turn into customers.

The rest, well it’s a little late now, but call us. CYO Marketing is the premier digital marketing agency in Youngstown, Ohio. We are extremely passionate about generating high quality cost effective leads for a customers. CYO Marketing will provide ongoing day-to-day management of your marketing programs or consultation services of how to incorporate Facebook, Twitter and other digital marketing tactics into your marketing plans.


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I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing – #TBT Blog for the Holidays

Everyone remember this 1971 holiday classic from Coke! Sing it with us now and enjoy this classic commercial on our Throw Back Thursday #TBT blog!

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Likes and Follows the Fools Gold of Social Media


If you are chasing Likes on Facebook and Follows on Twitter, just because you think it statistically looks good you might just be measuring the wrong stats. Time is better well spent on engagement and reach. While you can spend your way to the cool kids table in the form of getting people to pay for Likes on your Facebook site, what are you really accomplishing?



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