Sunday 17 December 2017

What is the Thunderclap? And who's the 24-year-old CEO that used it to break the internet?

Steve Bartlett
Steve Bartlett
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Catching audience attention in the noise that is social media is something that many a seasoned influencer will consistently tackle.

Those who are successful in this battle manage to spread a certain message to a wide group of followers - and that's a marketing tactic that many companies will capitalise on.

SC offices
SC offices

So when a new influencer marketing firm with a CEO uses a tried a tested tool - 'The Thunderclap' - to target consumers on a number of different platforms on a simultaneous basis,  global brands sat up and took notice.

The now 24-year-old Steven Bartlett co-founded the Social Chain Marketing Agency, a firm which was non-existent a mere three years ago.

Ahead of his visit to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the DMX event, the young entrepreneur shared the story of the company's overnight success.

Social Chain hasn't worked with any firms in Ireland as yet but, according to Mr Bartlett "there is so much opportunity there though, so I'm sure it is just a matter of time".

Steve Bartlett
Steve Bartlett

What is unique about the way your company tailors 'The Thunderclap' that had led to such dramatic wins?

"With the Thunderclap, this was one of those times where we looked at the conventional way of how things were done. In this case, advertising, and we thought there was a better way for it to be done, so we went with our instinct," Mr Bartlett told independent.ie.

"This is something that we’ve always done throughout the history of the company, and it’s no surprise that this way of thinking has led to great results for us, when we first executed a Thunderclap, nobody had ever advertised on Twitter, on communities like that, in that way before, so how could a book tell us the correct way for that to be done?

"It couldn’t, so we had to trust that we, as young people, with a great understanding of how that platform and those communities worked, would understand the best way to talk to other young people and have the most impact.

SC offices
SC offices
SC offices

So how exactly does it work?

"We have hundreds of large social communities, of varying interests from movies to sports to fashion to fitness, and a large network of influencers, and we take a product or service or event and talk about it across all of these communities and influencers at the same time, in one blast. It’s effective because each piece of content is tailored to the voice of the community it is being posted onto, therefore for the audience, it’s seamless," he said.

"Influencer marketing has opened up new channels allowing brands to connect with their audiences more directly. Social Chain are experts in bringing brands directly to consumers, so of course this has been an integral part of campaigns we have executed.

"Influencer marketing is no new trend though, for a long time business and brands used celebrities and iconic figures to market their products to a larger audience. Increasingly we are seeing individuals growing serious social followings, shifting this model onto more 'everyday' public figures on social media. It has already monopolised marketing in 2016, so it is exciting to see how this will evolve in 2017."

What draws clients to Social Chain - why is it so unique?

"At Social Chain, we own such a diverse and large range of communities online that we are lucky to be able to tailor each campaign to the client, offering them communities which fits their target audience," said Mr Bartlett.

"We have access to deep data that pins down the demographics of our audience, utilising industry leading social software such as Crimson Hexagon and Tubular.

"When Dom and myself started Social Chain, we knew we were onto something special. For a while we never actively targeted the media, we started out working with some of the biggest clients and as this expanded, the media cottoned on that something pretty unique was happening.

"The media has definitely steered our trajectory, we never felt the need to shout about what we were achieving, so the media focused more on our culture, people and the environment in which we worked. Social Chain follows an unconventional model in terms of how we employ, our office space and our ethic here, so that in itself attracted a large degree of attention."

And your rapidly increasing workforce?

"We're expanding so quickly here. We attract a lot of media around the culture here, with a lot of people picking up on the slide, the puppies, the bar etc.

"But what isn't apparently obvious is that the team here are a big family, and in families there is a large degree of trust placed in the individuals, to create a work routine that works for them and helps them to operate at their best at all times."

Any mistakes?

"My mistakes have always been such great learning that I never view them as mistakes," said Mr Bartlett.

"They've taught me more than our successes ever will. My advice for startups would be to make so much noise about what you're doing, produce great work, don't be afraid of taking risks and failing."

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