1. In your own words – what do you do?
We’re predominantly a social media strategy agency, focussed on helping brands of all sizes tell their stories online. But within our ranks, we have expertise in a range of other digital disciplines too. Over the years, we’ve worked with a huge range of Swindon-based businesses, and presently, 80% of our client base are within the travel or FMCG sectors.
2. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?
The work we do is fundamentally quite simple – we’re translating existing business or marketing plans into the world of social media, with the sole purpose of helping to deliver on overall objectives. Being able to hand-hold a marketing team or business through this realisation process and education them further is the rewarding part of what we do.
3. What are you most proud of so far?
The business has won some significant client campaign since formally launching back in 2016 – we’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the world’s largest brands, as well as some of the most innovate local start-ups. And on the side of doing what we do, we were involved in a local charitable campaign for men’s mental health, which I’ve subsequently gone on to develop into a community interest company.
4. What have you found most difficult about being a startup?
I was very conscious from the start that I wanted to utilise and invest my own money into the business and not source external financial support – I feel too many founders have a strange sense of pride in raising capital, and burning through it at a rate of knots, without achieving a great deal. So from that perspective: building sustainable revenues streams and maintaining a consistent cash flow (whilst juggling everything else) is probably the main difficulty.
5. What would you do differently if you started now?
I’d probably take some of that externally offered cash! In all seriousness, I’d spend less time worrying about developing a “business plan”, and just get on with developing the business.
6. Where do you think you’ll be in 12 months?
The landscape of our industry is forever changing, and we are already slowly moving more towards being a paid media agency for the main social networks, as opposed to a social strategy agency. Big brands are harnessing the power of building in-house talent, and I 100% support that.
7. What tools/people/services/organisations helped you most?
We utilise a whole host of tools to manage our business and clients – from communications, to project management, to strategic planning. If someone else or an online tool can do it quicker and more effectively than I can, then I’m quite happy to invest. It’s important to understand what you’re not good at from an early point in your business, so you can get someone else to do it for you.
8. What’s the best thing about being based in Swindon?
There’s a huge amount of competition within Swindon for most things you require for your business or start-up, therefore you can always find a supplier to suit your budget and your requirements. Whether it’s serviced office space or external signage, you can really shop around. And I like to support our local businesses, and try to invest in the Swindon economy whenever possible.
9. What support does the tech scene need in Swindon?
I’d love to see the tech scene in Swindon have more of an individual identity, and continue the promotional journey its started on – we’re constantly comparing ourselves to what Bristol or Shoreditch has to offer, but by taking a step back and considering our own merits, I think we could gain some real exposure.
I’d also like to see and hear more from more of the tech leaders within some of the larger institutions of the town. We’ve got some pretty huge companies here, but hear very little from them.
Swindon is the UK’s 3rd most productive tech sector, and I truly hope 2020 is the year that we really start to tell our story to the rest of the country and beyond.
10. Where can we find out more about you?
We’re currently going through a state of evolution – our 2nd rebrand and 3rd website is currently in the works, and you’ll be able to see it via SocMedSup.com in the coming months. Alternatively, you can say “Hello!” directly to me via Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram.