Meet the co-founder of Social Chain
Hi Steven, thank you so much for joining me. Tell me about the co-founder of Social Chain.
Hi, I’m Steven, the CEO and co-founder of global social media marketing agency, Social Chain, with offices in Manchester, London, New York and Berlin.
We have a team of over 100 like-minded individuals who are quickly disrupting the ever-changing social sphere. We work with some of the world’s biggest brands and run some of the most famous pages on social media, such as Student Problems, which have a total reach of more than 386 million.
Being a CEO has bought me some fantastic opportunities at age 25. I have been fortunate enough to speak on some of the biggest stages in the world for the largest brands and partner with some amazing companies. I’m currently sitting on a panel of business experts for the Plusnet Pioneers campaign, which helps small business owners as they build and grow their businesses.
Inspiration is always a great indication of why people launch businesses. Who or what inspired you to get started?
I have always been inspired by business and showed my entrepreneurial spark early, organising coffee machine deals for my local school and money-making social nights in my area while growing up.
I began a business management course at Manchester Metropolitan University, but dropped out at 18 after realising that I would benefit more from experience in the real world over a lecture theatre. One thing I took away from my stint in higher education was that university communication was outdated and students required a new, modern platform to chat with each other. This is about the time I became captivated by the intriguing world of social media and so I decided to launch Wallpark: a social media network created specifically for students.
How do you set yourself apart from other businesses in your industry?
Social Chain is unique because we follow a social-first approach to marketing, using the latest technology to drive strategy, creativity and distribution for some of the biggest brands in the world.
We’re an agency with a difference, running some of the most famous pages on social media that give us the platform to quickly distribute content. In this way, we quickly convert reactions into trends, and trends into global movements.
What would be your number one tip for young entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their own business?
My top piece of advice is to not raise investment unless you’re sure that it is necessary for your business. You must be confident to seize an opportunity that won’t be there in the future because there’s increased competition.
What’s the most important question entrepreneurs should be asking themselves?
For me, the most important question for entrepreneurs to ask themselves is, ‘what does my brand stand for?’
When it comes to social media marketing specifically, it’s essential to define your brand’s personality, tone of voice and values, and showcase them on your channels. Take time to truly understand what your business stands for and aims to achieve, and use this to build your social media strategy. Demonstrate your business’ personality on your social channels and ensure it’s consistent throughout.
What habits do you think helped you to become successful?
I’ve always believed in the basic premise that humans buy from humans, and they prefer to buy from humans who appear to be more knowledgeable or intelligent. I think this has truly contributed to my success, as many budding entrepreneurs and clients look to me for my expertise. Most importantly, the best way to be heard and trusted is by being completely honest, and that’s something I live by day-by-day.
What are your thoughts on networking to build your business?
Human interaction and networking events have been and always will be hugely important for any entrepreneur. However, I’ve discovered the best way to network is to use your own social media channels to create dialogue.
On my personal social platform, I’m able to share my ideas and opinions – whenever and however I want. I believe this is a significant part of becoming a credible and trusted entrepreneur. The goal here was never to gain a mass following, but to demonstrate my beliefs and take people on my journey as Social Chain expands globally. Being young means there is a responsibility attached to the way you communicate online, so this is something to always keep in mind.
What would be your top marketing tip, to grow a business that is so niche, yet incredibly timeless?
When it comes to marketing your new business, don’t underestimate the power of social media. According to research conducted by Plusnet, 20% of start-ups admit to not using social to market their business because they don’t know which channels would work best. Meanwhile, one in 10 (9%) small businesses admitted that they don’t know how to use advertise on social media.
When starting out, it’s important to understand the different social platforms available to you and the purposes they serve. For example, longer form video content works best on YouTube, while shorter videos belong on Facebook or Instagram. Twitter can be used as a stage to tell a story for social commentary or discussion and generally isn’t as visually-led as Facebook and Instagram.
What’s more, make sure the story you’re telling is gripping and engaging – attaching it to a social or cultural trend or news story will make it travel even further. Avoid overly branding your content, instead offering content that will add value to people’s lives. Use your social channels to leverage emotion amongst your followers, as content that makes people feel something is more likely to get shared.
For more information on the Plusnet Pioneers programme, please visit www.plus.net/pioneers.