tekst: Nicolette Hulsebos file social first 2021 nº 322 51 Five years of GoSpooky Social Reimagined In September '21 the Amsterdam based social agency GoSpooky celebrated its first lustrum. A special moment, because even after five years in their twenties, the two founders Tim van der Wiel and Liam Tjoa are still among the youngest entrepreneurs in the marcom world. Meanwhile, their agency grew from 2 to over 90 employees and 19 different nationalities. In record time they traded Prins Hendrikkade for Vossiusstraat and a year later moved into a stately building in the capital, Nieuwe Herengracht. This is the story of a boy's dream that, thanks to a lot of talent and hard work, came true. Liam Tjoa had earned his first money at thirteen with his own online game and had subsequently started an internet company. At sixteen, he was an intern at Juramy of (ex-) professional footballers Demi de Zeeuw, Gregory van der Wiel and Eljero Elia, known for the Instagram campaigns for the clothing brand BALR. After graduation, he set up a Snapchat account for the NOS and in this period (2015) he met Tim van der Wiel who was doing the same for record label Spinnin' Records. Together they started GoSpooky in 2016, which at that time had its focus entirely on Snapchat. new kid on the block Lowlands was one of the young agency's first clients and after that things went really fast. The government and clients like KLM, JBL, Amazon Prime Video, HEMA, Pathé, Malibu, Coca-Cola, Rituals and Unilever all knew how to find their way to GoSpooky. Meanwhile, the agency smoothly switched from a one trick pony strategy (Snapchat) to a full service social agency. In an interview with Nederlands Medianieuws Tim van der Wiel said about this transition: 'The ambition to expand was there from the beginning, the choice to start with Snapchat was twofold. Firstly, the platform was the new kid on the block at the time. Many advertisers who wanted to use the platform did not have the right knowledge, which gave us the opportunity to stand out in the agency landscape. Secondly, we really saw the platform as a forerunner in the field of new social media usage. In our eyes, it was the first platform that really understood that people want to communicate in a visual way. This was confirmed when other major platforms started to adopt features from Snapchat, such as Instagram Stories. When this happened, it was a logical step for us to expand to other platforms. Now we're at the point where we're fully focused on getting the mobile user's attention across platforms, from Instagram to TikTok.' In 2017, the Dutch Advertising Jury Foundation was the first awards institute to notice and reward the agency's exceptional capabilities with the SAN Accent New Kids on the Block, after which the awards cabinet quickly filled up with a provisional high in 2021 of 11 nominations at the Best Social Awards and, to top things off, the title Best Social Agency of the Year. paying attention to attention The greatest talent of both the founders and the team of GoSpooky lies in the fact that they are able to continually appropriate new platforms at lightning speed and get the best out of them for their clients. Paying attention to attention, they call it. It may sound simple, but this is precisely what agencies often fail to do. Staying stuck in what you do well seems tempting, but only players who actively move in the fast lane that social media is above all things, can keep their place at the top. At GoSpooky, they're a perfect master of this game, as they've proven over the past five years. Tim van der Wiel said about this in 2020: "We see that the various social media channels are expanding more and more. For example, the first interaction up to the purchase of a product can all take place on the same platform. Our focus is therefore to become a partner that can help advertisers across the entire spectrum; from the initial concept to the final distribution. For us this means staying on top of developments within the platforms, such as short-form content, but also the application of social commerce.' Also listen to the interview Tim van der Wiel gave to Kaj Gorgels in April '21 about social strategy and the power of big tech. Another recent example of the eagerness with which the agency embraces new opportunities time and time again: since May 2021, GoSpooky has been working as an official partner of Snapchat's AR Managed Partner Program to help forward-thinking brands effectively leverage Snap technology to reach their target audience. A great example of Snap's partnership is Sneaker 0, the world's very first sneaker designed entirely by a computer and launched in Augmented Reality on the Snapchat platform. a GoSpooky ride At the beginning of a new GoSpooky-lustrum the question is: what's next? During the anniversary party in September, the founders didn't explicitly say anything about this, leaving the statement they shared on Instagram: 'The best is yet to come and we can't wait to share more cool stuff with you, so hold on tight, we're going on a GoSpooky ride!'