‘A Millennial’s Dream’, Social Chain in The Times

“The dropouts who control social media.”

“With an average age of 21, they may look like interns, but Social Chain is one of Britain’s most influential companies.”

We’ve been called a lot of nice things over the years, but it’s The Times who have won our hearts on this particular occasion.

The long-standing British newspaper has featured Social Chain on both the front cover of today’s edition (Thursday 5th January) and the Times2 arts and culture supplement.

The in-depth feature gives a colourful and entertaining insight into all things Social Chain, from our work with Apple Music , Puma and Warner Bros. to the secrets behind some of our most successful viral campaigns.

There’s also plenty of myth busting and a few juicy tidbits about our unique office culture, including a mention of our two pet French Bulldogs – Louie and Pablo – and a special mention of our very own Head of Happiness (actual job role), Kiera Lawlor.

15935083_172903093189923_403928420_o But that’s enough of my voice for now, here’s a snippet of what The Times’ Carol Midgley had to say following her visit to our Manchester HQ…

From The Times:

They are described as the “kids who decide what all the other kids talk about” and the “social media illuminati”, and have cornered a market. Put simply, the company has bought up social media accounts with huge numbers of followers and then used them as a means to advertise…

…The day before I meet Steve Bartlett, Social Chain’s co-founder and chief executive, he has been to Disneyland Paris for a meeting. One of the Disney executives challenged him to make something Disney-related become a top-trending subject there and then. He phoned his colleague Hannah Anderson in Manchester (she incidentally was training to be a primary school teacher before she joined Social Chain, where she is creative director) and asked her to think up a suitable hashtag. She did: #DisneyScenesIWillNeverGetOver.

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“Within 25 minutes we had a Disney hashtag which was the most talked about thing in Britain,” says Bartlett, who was able to walk on stage and show what they had just done. “It trended for nine hours. I left Paris and it was still trending.” (FYI, the scene when Dumbo’s mother is caged and rocks him in her trunk seems to have moved the most number of people.) Some might describe it as a subtle form of mind control, but that in a sense is what marketing has always been.

It may look easy, but it is a specific skill and instinct that you probably only have if you’re a millennial or a Generation Z. The trick is to communicate something in a way that instantly resonates, is completely understood and invites participation.

“I’m pretty sure we have more influence [over the younger audience] than any other media owner in this part of the world,” says Bartlett, who at 24 is one of the oldest at Social Chain. “We have a huge amount of influence over a generation of people and it is hugely helped by the fact that we are of that generation.”

What next for the social media illuminati?

The future is shaping up to be just as exciting as the present, with plans to grow every aspect of the business while continuing to do what we do best – being disruptive!

2016 was a landmark year for us – we launched in Berlin and New York and Jason Fisher, our Head of Video, turned 18 – but we envisage 2017 to be even bigger.

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The next step is to expand our studio and create a new space for our growing team of content creators, designers, videographers and animators – sledgehammers at the ready.

In turn, this will help us to continue meeting the demands of our portfolio of wonderful clients including leading fashion brands Boohoo and ASOS to tech giants Apple and Huawei.

And what would this bright, bold and beautiful adventure be without our internationally-renowned media brands, among them Sporf, Student Problems and Love Food.

Of course, you can never have too much of a good thing, which is why we’re planning to increase our collection of owned social media brands.

At present, we’re in the process of finalising a major round of investment to help us realise these ambitions and break even more social media records in the future.

In the meantime…

You can read Carol Midgley’s full feature on Social Chain, The Millennial Dropouts Who Control Social Media, on The Times website or grab a copy on your journey home!

Alternatively, why not pop in for a coffee and a chit-chat? We’ll introduce you to Louie and Pablo and you can even have a go on our slide. 

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