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Sun, sea and social media

In the ever-changing world of social media 77Agency is one of the world’s fastest growing and most exciting names. Its Partner and General Manager, Amedeo Guffanti, talks to UniQ

Have you checked out the Forte Village website lately? And the Facebook page? If the answer is “yes,” then you’re one of a growing number – and you’ll have noticed some changes.

Visitors to the site have said it’s now easier to find out more about what’s happening at Forte Village and share news and information through Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s what Amedeo Guffanti, boss of Forte Village’s social media partner 77Agency, calls “syndication of content.”

To put it another way, if you want to talk to others about what to do before you arrive at Forte Village, you’ll find the new site makes it easier than ever for guests to share news and ideas on Facebook or Twitter.

Similarly, if you’re having an amazing dinner at one of the restaurants, have just enjoyed a bike ride through the stunning Sardinian scenery or your child has done brilliantly at one of the Sports Academies, you’ll find it easier than ever to tell your family and friends about it using WhatsApp, Pinterest or Instagram among others.

“It’s about sharing with a special community, a very exclusive group of people,” says Mr Guffanti, 77Agency’s Partner and General Manager. “We’ve made the site more interactive and it’s now much easier to share anything from almost any page. There’s a ‘share’ button which immediately connects you with nearly 300 social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, StumbleUpon and LinkedIn.”

“Around 50-60 per cent of us will now do online research before we buy,” says Mr Guffanti. Studies also reveal that affluent customers are more likely than any other group to search for peer comments.

As well as making the Forte Village presence online more social media-friendly 77Agency has also been working to make it easier to access from a mobile device. In Italy, of 28 million internet users 16 million use mobile devices. It’s therefore hardly surprising that more people are visiting the Forte Village site from mobile phones and tablets compared to last year.

77Agency, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is growing rapidly with offices in Milan, Riga, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York and Sydney. “We’ve sent people to work in these cities and we’ve developed partnerships with companies that are already based there,” says Mr Guffanti.

As such a young, fast growing industry, staff turnover is high in most digital and social companies, but this is not the case at 77Agency, where around 85 per cent of the staff have been with the company for five years or more. Mr Guffanti ascribes this to a management system where partners have the autonomy needed to service clients and develop the business.

Of 77Agency’s growing list of global locations, it’s Riga in Latvia Mr Guffanti is most excited about: “It’s a great place to service the Russian market,” he says. “We now have 40 people in the office including many Russian speakers and graduates.” Guffanti himself visits Russia two or three times a year, focusing on Moscow, St Petersburg and Novosibirsk, to work with native partners and companies.
“Many Russian businesses are still learning the benefits of digital marketing,” he explains. “This is because they are still producing raw materials or generating energy. With our decade of experience working with companies around the world, we’re in a great position to help them.”