Hannah Anderson is the co-founder of Social Chain, one of the biggest social media marketing agencies and media publishers in the world. Founded in 2014 by ‘three kids’, the company now has five offices globally, with headquarters in Manchester. Using their network of more than 80 million followers, Social Chain work for big brands such as Nike, Puma, Amazon, Apple and more.
“We want to grow Social Chain to become one of the happiest and most sustainable companies in the world and the only way we can do that is through supporting our people”.
A quick summary of your career and education:
I lived a dual life during my student years. Whilst studying to be a primary school teacher in Northumbria University, I was secretly growing Twitter accounts in my spare time. Social media fascinated me, there was no financial incentive or long term plan. I could connect with anyone, anywhere through a thought or feeling we both shared.
By third year, I’d grown a social media community with over 500,000 followers. After a direct message hit my Twitter inbox from Steve Bartlett and Dom McGregor, we decided to start Social Chain. With our combined social media communities, we shared a vision of how social media could change the way we communicate forever.
Started by three kids in 2014, Social Chain is now one of the world’s biggest social media marketing agency and media publisher with 5 offices around the world and over 280 staff. Social Chain’s power over social conversations has led media outlets like Huffington Post to call us the “social media illuminati”. We’ve worked with some of the biggest brands in the world including Nike, Puma, Amazon, Apple, Disneyland, Netflix, Dreamworks, Sky, Superdry and Thomas Cook. Today, I oversee a team of fifty who are focused on growing new media platforms across major consumer passion points including sport, fitness, food and lifestyle.
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What’s your most significant accomplishment to date?
On 23rd March, I gave my first TED Talk. I was terrified of presentations at school and university, so to present in front of almost 1000 people was a huge personal achievement. My talk covered the positives and negatives of social media and how society needs to start educating the next generation as soon as possible. This is critical to every child’s life in 2019 and an issue we need to address if we are to retain the positives and combat the negative effects of this new technology.
Who inspires you?
Everyone I come to work with every day. They push me to be a better version of myself. Coming into a room full of clever, interesting people every day is the most inspiring thing in the world. The energy in our company is incredible and the Social Chain culture is the most important thing we share.
How has living and working in Manchester helped you achieve your goals?
The creative talent in Manchester has made Social Chain what it is today. I am so glad we moved the business here in the early days, every person who has joined Social Chain has added something unique.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Don’t worry about having everything set in stone now. Nothing is ever set in stone and life can take you in so many different directions so just take yourself along for the ride… also avoid trampolines at all costs (I broke my back on one last year).
What are your goals of 2019?
I love our team and we’ve created a very tight knit family at Social Chain. The most satisfying part of my job is seeing each of them grow as people and go further than before. This year, I have poured most of my energy into helping them achieve their goals. I’m constantly trying to find ways to make this more than a job for them. We want to grow Social Chain to become one of the happiest and most sustainable companies in the world and the only way we can do that is through supporting our people.
Where do you see yourself in twenty years’ time?
I don’t like visualising in too much detail because I know how much things can change. I would like to see myself with a family, living in the North East and going on big family holidays with my children and nieces & nephews. I will always follow work I love and I’ll rely on my intuition to steer my career in the right direction.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career so far?
2018 was a really difficult year for me. I broke my back and had to deal with a gruelling rehabilitation. I was out of action for 8 weeks and then phased back into work. The pressures of building a company whilst I was in recovery changed my character forever and made me a stronger person.
One word that sums you up best?
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