• Your First Tweet

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Everybody remembers their first time. Actually, I don’t recall my first tweet. I am sure it was something that attempted to be funny though. 

    Recently, I have had the privilege to help three different people send out their first tweets for their organizations. It’s always kind of cool for me personally when that happens. For some reason beginners have a little fear about tweeting but once they hit that send button for the first time and you see that smile cross their face…you know they are hooked.

    As I type this, people are teasing the Governor of Maine for his first tweet. And they should be as it has several missteps in it. If you have been to one of our Social Media classes you know there is no right way to do Social Media, but there are plenty of wrong ways:

    • Don’t use your first tweet to tell people to find you on Facebook.
    • If you ask them to find you on Facebook, at least put a link to your page.
    • You won’t need to introduce yourself…that’s what your bio is for.
    • Don’t start the promotion machine right way. Save the chest beating to sprinkle into your message schedule as you gain an audience.

    A couple of things to think about before your second tweet:

    • How will I join the conversation?
    • What can I do to remain genuine in my messages?
    • Who will I follow that will provide me quality and enjoyment in my own twitter stream?
    • Where will my future followers find my twitter info outside of twitter so I can engage them?

    I could give you all the answers to those questions but I’d ask that you look within yourself and your communications plan before you listen to me. Still need answers after that? Let’s talk.

    See also: How To Succeed At Twitter

    Happy tweeting!

  • Claim Your Place

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Our recent post, What’s Your Google Problem?, has been getting a fair amount of traffic and attention. I wanted to follow up with one more way you can alleviate the problem you might not have known you had.

    1. Go to and click the Get Started Arrow
    2. Enter your Google log in data
    3. On the next page, enter your phone number as requested to pull up your business information. If your information is not found, you will have to enter it manually on the next page.
    4. You will then be asked to confirm your business information in order to claim your Place.
    5. Google will mail you (I know right?) a post card within the next week with a pin for you to claim your Place profile as your own. When this is received just enter the number and your Place will soon be yours on Google as well.

    Why go to all of this trouble? Because when visitors start leaving comments about the good or bad product and service dealings they have had with your company you will now be notified of them. Before, they were just sitting out there creating first impressions with online visitors.

    Still need help? Let’s talk.

  • What’s Your Google Problem?

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    You may have heard of a persistent Presidential candidate who has what is called a “Google Problem”. 

    I won’t go into the sordid details – and with a little bit of googling you can find out for yourself – but the background of the story is this: the candidate, in a previously held elected position, ticked off a very vocal and tech savvy segment of the American population. Their response was to hijack his name by using it as an adjective for a very graphic act between consenting adults behind closed doors.

    If you have googled this already, trust me, you do not want to click the links.

    Why do I bring this up? Because you may not know it but you probably have a Google problem, or at least an internet problem, too.

    Google search your company, your name, your community and see what comes up in customer reviews, Places, or in links to sites like Yelp. Hopefully you have a bunch of stars next to your company but research says you probably don’t. You’ll want to read the comments people have left as that is what is impacting buyer decisions and long-term impressions more than anything.

    What can you do about this? The organic answer is to take real world action to respond to the complaints left online by your customers and guests. When that is done, encourage new and additional customers and guests to leave comments on Google Places, Yelp, Facebook that show you have improved and are doing a better job. You can also attempt to buy your way out of the problem with various internet tools and functions but I recommend the organic path of hard work.

    How do you do that? Placards at your point of purchase or requests in your email newsletter will work. You can even ask them face to face during your discussions…that method still works as well!

    Want to see what they are saying about you?

  • Good, Fast, and/or Cheap

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    One of the few things I remember from business school is the theory of The Golden Triangle: “You can have two of the three – Good, Fast, or Cheap – but you can’t have all three.”

    When it comes to our graphic design work, we have been recognized by clients and peers for producing work that stands out and gets noticed. In fact, one of our political associates (whom we have never actually worked with professionally) once told me: “I always know when I see one of your logos because it looks so much better than everything else out there on yard signs.”

    After I was done blushing, I explained how our creative approach allows us to produce the GOOD work we do.

    We aren’t FAST though. Sure we have cranked out very nice websites in less than 24 hours. Heck, the first stage of one of our most notable and awarded projects, the 2007 Tour of Missouri website, was produced in less than 48 hours.


    Those are special cases, but our normal production time for a website is around 15 working days…give or take a few. That’s because we don’t pawn off templates to our clients. All of our work is original, so you never have to worry that your website, print materials or logo look like anyone else’s – especially your competitors. Our logo development has a shorter lead time, but we work to get inside the client’s head to know exactly what they want and expect as we develop the identity tool that will define them for years to come.

    When it comes to CHEAP, we work to make things affordable.

    Overall, we’re competitive. But we have run into a few bid situations recently where, honestly, the prospect had sticker shock. One project for a one-page website – with custom photography, a year’s worth of hosting, a secure content management system, Social Media integration, personal training, and original design – was deemed “incredibly over-priced” at $1100.00. The prospect said he was going to go out and get one built by a friend of his son for $200.00.

    But that’s okay. When his son’s friend moves away for college or fails to make his website a priority, we’ll still be here and up-to-date on the latest tools to help his business succeed.

    Just as we have since 2001.

    The marketing and communications work we do is performed by a dynamic, educated and experienced team. The products we create for you will be original, function above your expectations and be completed in a timely manner to fit your schedule – all within the budget you approved. That’s what our professionals deliver to you – GREAT, Reasonably FAST, and AFFORDABLE.

  • Evolution of a Logo

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    One recent, and interesting, project we completed was the new logo for the Jefferson City Area Young Professionals.

    We have been members of the group almost from their beginning, and Farrah serves on their board of directors, so it was a very good fit for both of us to be working together.

    Somewhere in the middle of the project, the board decided to change the group’s name to hYPe as a move to differentiate itself from other more service-oriented groups in our community and create a little buzz. We then shifted focus on the direction of the logo.

    As you can see below, we went through several different iterations for their branding. I was partial to a few, others were partial to others. I think we all ended up in the same place with some that is recognizable, stands out in our area, and is drawing the attention they wanted.

    Feel free to offer your thoughts on any or all of the looks below. Of course, if you are looking for a new graphic style for your business, group, or campaign…we are here to help.

    Thanks for the time.


  • Friends Don’t Let Friends Throw Signs Away

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Today, April 5th, is another election day in Missouri. Tomorrow, hopefully, will be another cycle of trying to remember where all of your campaign signs are so you can remove them from the public eye.

    For various reasons, not all of them will get recaptured. These feral signs become an eyesore to passers-by and cause voters to become reluctant to place signs in their yards when they are asked. I personally know of several signs from the loyal opposition from the 2010 election that are still up almost six months later.

    Of those that do get picked up, most will be tossed in the trash. Which compounds the problems as many candidates have chosen to go with coroplast signs. Archeologists 1000 years from now will find Obama/McCain signs in landfills in perfect condition. These things do not break down.

    We are proud to say no client of The Rocket Group will be choking up the environment with signs we designed and contracted printing on. Our signs are cardboard and coated with a degradable coating that will break down in a landfill.  Better yet, our candidates have a very good winning percentage and usually use their signs for re-election campaigns.

    Regardless of your outcome tonight, please find a better use for your leftover signs than landfill fodder.

     Thanks for reading!

  • An Interview with NASCAR’s Ryan Newman

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Before the Price Chopper 500 at the Kansas Speedway in October 2010, I was able to interview NASCAR’s Ryan Newman, then of the #39 Go Army Chevrolet team, about how he and his staff use social media to connect and market to his fans. You can view the video below. – Gus

  • Missouri Chamber Executives

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Hello Chamber of Commerce executives from across Missouri!

    I had a great time meeting, hanging out, and talking social media with you all last week. As promised here are the slides and videos from my two presentations. Remember, the 30 Days of free help, troubleshooting, and consultation that are open to you until the end of October (I just extended it!). We’re #HereToHelp and want to see you launch greater success stories with your social media!

    First session: Social Media for Individuals

    (Due to a technical issue with the camera, the entire speech was not recorded)

    Second Session: Social Media for Chambers of Commerce



    Educate, Inform, Entertain 

    #TRGrules  (Introduced for the first time anywhere! More info here)

    Social Media Platforms 

    Facebook 500m Posts Review 

    Answers to Questions 

    Outside a Box 


    Success Stories & Tools 

    30 Days 

    Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the items we discussed at CCEM15! 

    Thanks for the time!
    After you have followed us on Twitter and Liked the page on Facebook, be sure to hit the News page at the top of this webpage to see all of the content we are sharing every day, in real time. Heck, you can even sign up for a daily email recap of everything we shared then Liked on the internet the day before! 
  • Mo Hospital Association Center for Education: Social Media

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)

    Thank you for having me present at the MHA Center for Education conference on April 21, 2016. I had a great time and have had some very nice follow-up conversations with several attendees. If you have any questions about the presentation, the topics discussed, or social media marketing for recruiting in general, feel free to reach out at any time!

  • Ozarks Member Services #OzarkComms Follow Up

    Gus Wagner - Comment (0)
    Thanks for having me down to talk Twitter and social media with you on December 10th in Branson. Andy, Nip, and I are looking forward to the next steps with everyone. Below are the videos and slides from the presentation and some helpful links. Please let me know if you have any questions at any time about the management program or social media in general!
    ARC media