Tech Pitch: Social Chain

This Manchester social media business can make anything the number one trending topic on Twitter in less than 30 minutes. Startups learns more...

Company name: Social Chain
Founders: Steve Bartlett (23) and Dominic McGregor (22)
Background: Bartlett is the founder of social network Wallpark and has previously worked for Bebo. McGregor’s background is in social marketing.
Based in: Headquartered in Manchester, with offices in London and Berlin

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

Social Chain owns over 300 of the largest social media communities in Europe (equivalent to 200 million followers). Our newest community ‘Love Food’ on Instagram has over six million followers and is the largest and most engaged food community on Instagram.

We’ve also hired the geniuses that have built these large social media communities, and brands come to us for bold ideas when they want to reach huge 16-30 audiences in a creative, engaging and disruptive way.

We’re known for being able to make anything the number one trending topic on Twitter in less than half an hour – something Buzzfeed and Channel 5’s The Gadget Show have challenged us to do previously (we did it).

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

Social Chain arrived in the marketing world at a time when millennial engagement with traditional media was at an all time low and social media had begun to dominate. Marketing mangers who want to reach 16-25 year-olds in the UK know that 16-25 year-olds live on social media.

We own 200 million followers in this demographic and we’ve built some pretty innovative tech to help you reach the right people at the right moment with the right content. This disruptive approach won us the title of ‘Social Media Agency of the Year’ by The Drum in our first year.

Are you funded?

 Yes, we have raised $2m in funding. Interestingly the funding came from traditional media.

What were you doing before starting?

Bartlett: I founded Wallpark – a social network for students – at 18 and exited that company at 21. McGregor was hired at Wallpark to help with social marketing. At 22, before we started Social Chain in 2014 we were working all over the world in tech start-ups as out-of-office consultants.

One of the companies I was an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ at was Bebo; the old social network which Michael Birch bought back in 2013 for $1m after selling it for nearly $1bn in 2007. My job in all these companies was to help CEO’s with product and marketing decisions.

What’s the best thing about where you’re based?

The football team obviously… Manchester United! Manchester has a community feel that I didn’t feel in London and a huge student population with two of the biggest universities across the road from our office.

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