More awards: agency2 is a finalist at the CIM Excellence Awards 2017!

January 20, 2017

cim best use of social media 2017 awards finalist

What a brilliant start to the year. We were thrilled to receive the news earlier this week that our Thomas & Friends ‘The Great Race Cinema Launch’ Facebook marketing campaign was selected as a finalist for the ‘Best Use of Social Media’ CIM Excellence Awards.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is the world’s biggest professional marketing body, with over 50,000 individual members across the globe. The prestigious CIM Excellence Awards identify and celebrate outstanding marketing by organisations, individuals and teams. Now in its eighth year, these awards continue to recognise that high standards of quality and integrity are vital to the success of marketing. The awards recognise and celebrate the innovation delivered by marketers across the UK who are at the cutting edge of their profession.

With our Social Insight Engine technology, we deliver game-changing social media campaigns for the world’s leading brands. We love to showcase our innovative campaigns and were excited to submit our awards entry back in December. This year’s judging panel consists of senior marketing professionals from brands such as Avon, 3M, Google, LinkedIn, Universal, IBM, Prudential, JLL and Mondelez International to name but a few, so we were honoured to be considered for this award in this highly relevant category.

The awards ceremony will take place on 27 April 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane London. We will be joining 700 of the UK’s best marketers to mark the occasion. Watch this space and wish us luck!

We had a fantastic year of growth in 2016 including being ranked the 3rd fasted growing tech company in the UK out of 45,000 media companies at the 2016 Deloitte UK Technology 50 Awards. With such a great start to 2017, it looks like we are well placed to push boundaries in our ever-changing industry throughout the year.

Give your audience some great content in January

January 13, 2017


social creative 2017

It’s January, which means all we are hearing about is #JanuaryBlues, #NewYearsResolutions and #WinterBlahs. Let’s not be so down! January can be a fun period despite being broke, having tight trousers that won’t do up and wishing you were still on holiday.

At agency:2, we feel that January is a great time to introduce content that is fun, fab and light-hearted. Let’s have some #JanuaryFun!

Great content to make your brands more interesting

To increase engagement from your social media offering, you must humanise your brand. Everyone feels the January Blues, which means it’s likely that your target market will too. So why not mention some motivational and fun days in January? Humour makes you more memorable. Why not trial a few posts and then let your statistics guide your forward planning.

Use audience insights to connect with your target audience and increase reach

It’s important to create user personas to really understand what your audience is like. We use research on interests and motivations to better understand what makes them tick. Using insights from 2016 to supercharge 2017 is a research based method that takes the chance out of your marketing. Our audience insight technology, the Social Insight Engine, allows us to unlock consumer decision making by identifying relevant content and increasing audience size.

Whatever you do, don’t mention the weather

Well ok, not too much then!

At agency:2, our dedicated creative team writes content that is relevant, interesting and fun! Using our creativity combined with data from the Social Insight Engine, we are able to reach larger audiences at lower CPAs. Contact us at +44 (0) 20 3567 1381.

We are a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA Winner!

December 9, 2016



agency:2 is thrilled to be ranked the 144th fastest growing tech companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). We would like to thank our amazing clients and hard-working team for helping us to achieve this fantastic recognition by Deloitte.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ EMEA award is a prestigious acknowledgement of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies across EMEA.

“Innovation is more than technological advancement; it’s also a state of mind,” said Paul Sallomi, vice chairman at Deloitte LLP and global technology, media and telecommunications industry leader. “The winners of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 program in EMEA recognize that this new type of thinking is essential for business success. We look forward to your continued leadership in introducing new tools that can enhance the personal lives of consumers, and drive growth for companies worldwide.”

Joel Davis co-founder of agency:2 commented on another great achievement. “We’re excited to be placed alongside the most innovative and fastest growing companies in EMEA as it’s a real compliment to our team. To also be recognised as the 3rd fastest growing company in the UK media sector is an incredible testament to our ability to deliver game-changing results for our clients and a recognition of our drive for achieving innovation in social media marketing. I’m immensely proud of everyone at agency:2.”

About agency:2

agency:2 is an award-winning social media agency powered by audience insight technology. Our leading social media advertising technologies and expertise enable us to deliver results that far exceed expectations. As innovators for the social ad industry, we work with world leading brands such as Barbie, Worldpay and Sony to deliver the best social media results.



Additional resources

Learn more about agency:2 here:

Learn more about our Social Insight Engine technology:

Contact Joel Davis: 00 44 (0)203 567 1381

agency:2 ranked in the prestigious Deloitte Technology Fast 50

November 21, 2016

Out of 45,000 tech start-ups, we have been ranked 22nd at the 2016 Deloitte UK technology 50 Award 

deloitte fast50 winner-sec-rgb-72ppi

agency:2 is thrilled to be ranked 22nd  of fast growing tech companies in the UK. We would like to thank our clients and team for helping us to achieve this amazing result.

The Deloitte UK Fast 50 is one of the UK’s foremost technology awards programmes. Now in its nineteenth successful year, it is a prestigious acknowledgement of the fastest-growing technology companies in the UK. The ranking is based on revenue growth over the last four years.

Upon being recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies, Joel Davis co-founder of agency:2  commented “It’s an amazing accomplishment for the whole team, to not only to create one of the best social ad products in our space, but grow the company so rapidly. I’m proud of everyone at agency:2.”


About agency:2

agency:2 is an award-winning social media agency powered by audience insight technology. Our leading social media advertising technologies and expertise enables us to deliver results that far exceed expectations.

As innovators for the social ad industry, we work with world leading brands such as Barbie, Worldpay and Sony to deliver the best social media results using our technologies and expertise.


Additional resources

Learn more about agency:2 here:

Learn more about our Social Insight Engine technology:

Contact Joel Davis: 00 44 (0)203 567 1381


Christmas comes early on Facebook: How will you maximise your #smm?

November 16, 2016

Christmas comes early on Facebook: How will you maximise social media during this busy period?


The countdown to Christmas is now officially on…only 39 more days. Can you believe it? Each year consumers say the same thing: the build up to Christmas gets earlier and earlier. Audiences are surely switching off from the Christmas messaging….or are they?


During the run-up to Christmas, new research released by Facebook actually shows that consumers are more interested in consumer products and messaging in this busy pre-Christmas period. (Source: Facebook)


As a social media marketer, you may be asking yourself:

  • Did our Christmas campaigns hit the mark last year?
  • How can I beat my competitors during this Christmas period?
  • Is my agency doing the best possible job with my Christmas budget?


So, before we look into how to improve social media marketing in the busy pre-Christmas period, let’s have a look at what Facebook had to say:

  1. Christmas conversation begins on Facebook on October 24 (yes, October!).
  1. Black Friday, November 25, is the biggest shopping day of the year for women on Facebook.
  1. Last year Cyber Monday, November 28, online spend totalled £968m in the UK.
  1. The build up to Christmas and last minute shopping takes place within the period from 8-31 December.
  1. Boxing Day is topical on Facebook throughout all of December with an amazing 21.6m interactions related to it.
  1. The first two weeks in January can offer some of the best value CPMs seen all year on Facebook.


How can we use this information and insight in our social marketing to enhance our Christmas campaigns and capitalise on the increased spend?

agency:2’s Christmas marketing advice:

a) It’s always important to stand out from the crowd as this is a very busy period on social – 32m pieces of content are posted to Facebook every day over Christmas! Your brand will need to be the best e.g. use video to boost audience reach.

b) You can widen your audience by adding grandparents, uncles and aunties, as they are the true Christmas buying audience for anything over £50.

c) Increase reach further through audience insight tools such as the Social Insight Engine. For example, by using our unique ad serving software we can select parents with siblings in a similar age range, and therefore sell more to the same user. Overall, this will improve return on investment.

d) As it’s such a busy period, clever targeting is important to get your message in front of the right people at the right time. Linking targeting to consumer behaviour and interests is a great way of making an emotional connection, which can lead to strengthening purchasing intent.

e) It is also important to connect social media activity with offline behaviours, PR and other marketing activities.

f) Use Facebook’s unique abilities – for example, friends can tag each other in comments e.g. ‘this is the one I wanted you to get for my daughter’. You can’t do this as easily with other marketing channels so make the most of these features.

g) Make sure your posts are mobile friendly as 86% of Christmas posts are shared on mobile and 88% of all videos are shared on mobile.

Here at agency:2 we have already applied these strategies to our social media marketing for some of the world’s leading brands, achieving fantastic ROI for our clients. Find out how you can take your social offering to the next level. Call us on 0203 567 1380.

Be a Leader in Social Media : A masterclass for #SMW

September 19, 2016

Leading in Social Media at Social Media Week London 2016

We were thrilled to host the ‘Be a Leader in Social Media’ masterclass as part of Social Media Week’s global event series on 16 September, at our offices in London.

This is the 3rd year we worked with Social Media Week London. Our event sold out quickly (!) and we welcomed senior marketers from a wide range of sectors and companies, including Virgin, Young’s Pub, Ella’s Kitchen & University of West London to our event.


This year we explored key themes important to social media marketers:

  1. Major trends in consumer engagement and their impact on social media marketing
  2. Tips for increasing ROI of social media campaigns such as tapping into the emotions and interests of your target market to improve targeting effectiveness
  3. Proving social media ROI to senior decision makers with our recommended attribution model

We were delighted to welcome Josh McBain (Head of Innovation, Future Foundation) who shared some key insights from DMA research report ‘The Future of Customer Engagement’.

Joel Davis, agency:2’s co-director, spoke next about applying the trends to make key decisions by:

  1. Connecting with consumers’ emotional side
  2. Hyper targeting though matrix segmentation
  3. Understanding audience motivations and drivers to purchase
  4. Engaging with the audience’s wider interests to spark a connection
  5. Reporting KPIs that matter most to the board

Our audience was very perceptive and asked many questions, which allowed for the sharing of many practical learning points.

We are already looking forward to next year. If you want to lean more about the discussion on the day, follow the conversation on Twitter using #SMWLeadSocial



The Power of Dark Social

September 1, 2016

What is Dark Social?

Dark social is any web traffic that results from unidentified sources (as first coined by Madrigal here) e.g. if you emailed an interesting link to your friend and he posted it to his social media profile vs. sharing it directly from the source you found the link on (former is dark social and latter is traditional social media sharing). You end up at a site but there is no referrer information as to how you got there; eventually, your visit is lumped into the category titled ‘direct traffic’ on analytics software.

Why is dark social on the rise?

“Younger audiences are increasingly using these more ‘private’ channels because of the amount of advertising on regular social media channels – and to avoid their parents’ prying eyes” (Catalyst Magazine 2016). It would seem that it is a way of sharing, without actually looking as though you are sharing. With the rise of offline conversations such as on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, it is ever more vital for brands to track these links to accurately report on ROI.

Why should digital marketers be aware of it?

The job of an analytics tool is to find out where visitors are coming from; however, there are obvious limitations if the sources are unidentifiable. This leads to difficulties in proving efficacy of social reach as showing high ROI is essential in securing budget for social advertising and social marketing plans; however, if 70% of social sharing is dark as research estimates, than efficacy becomes much more challenging to prove.

How should we deal with it?

It is a big challenge for brands and many promises to understand the complete user journey and channel mix that users go through but in practice there isn’t a specific answer. At agency:2 we believe marketers should continue asking the challenging questions around dark social and source out the best channels to gain high value conversions.

These are some examples of how brands have utilised dark social to their advantage:

Marketing Week highlights that O2 have run dark social campaigns which have enabled them to identify key insights into their customers. Moreover, they have been able to profile “audiences to see how the behaviour of people who share content is different to those who click on the shared content”. As a result, this strategy has helped improve their marketing campaigns and furthermore, fed into their content strategy too.

Adidas are also running a dark social campaign on WhatsApp, providing exclusive content to users in order to track personal conversations in their chats. As a result, Adidas have been able to optimise their strategy and consumer engagement. In setting up this campaign, it allows them to be perceived as a more personal brand communicating both offline and on WhatsApp. They will also be able to further develop the metrics to understand the full impact of dark social.

4 best practice tips towards gaining a foothold on dark social:  

  1. Create a small test budget to explore if dark social works for your brand and audience.
  2. Be disciplined in use of trackable URLs e.g. links.
  3. Dig deeper into Google Analytics and don’t accept face value statistics.
  4. Be mindful that you are moving the conversation into a very personal space and adjust the message and frequency of posting accordingly.


EU Debate – How Social Media Might Impact the Outcome of the EU Referendum

June 22, 2016

#Brexit   #EUref   #VoteLeave   #VoteIN

The traditional types of campaigning such as TV broadcasts, pamphlets and print ads are not dead. However, it is apparent from this EU referendum that campaigners are increasingly using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in order to reach new and prospective voters.

These online platforms allow for a faster and more direct form of communication between the politicians and their voters, particularly when it comes to the younger generations. According to a recent poll, 33% of 18-24 year olds surveyed sited that social media was their main source of information about the referendum (

With around 15 million people using Twitter in the UK, and over 30 million using Facebook, social media will undoubtedly play an important role in shaping public opinion about the upcoming referendum. Moreover, considering that Facebook has the key demographics, information about the topic is easily accessible proving efficient for the campaign groups (


From newspapers to online forums

The EU referendum in 1975, national newspapers almost unanimously pushed for the ‘yes’ vote. This time, conventional media seem indecisive about which side to take, allowing online debates and social media marketing campaigns to take centre stage.

So far the ‘Brexit’ campaign has featured heavily online, with the topic periodically trending on Twitter and Facebook. Other platforms, such as Debating Europe, allow the public to directly debate EU issues in real-time with experts and politicians.

Here is a snapshot of some typical EU tweets outlining public opinion:



So how much engagement are the social platforms gaining?

These online campaigns reach a lot of people, with the @DebatingEurope Twitter account having more than 23,000 followers, and the @LeaveEUOfficial account with more than 94,000 Twitter followers and 757,437 likes on its Facebook page.

Here are just a few from hundreds of Twitter hashtags created for the purpose of the debate:

#StrongerIn, #EURef, #GetTheFacts, #UKtostay, #Brexit, #No2EU, #Yes2EU, #LeaveEU, #BetteroffIn, #Betteroffout, #EUReferendum, #stayinEU, #MyEU #OperationCroissant #CatsAgainstBrexit #BritsDontQuit #RemainEU

 These online campaigns are also more direct than newspaper articles or TV reports. They lend themselves to public engagement; a key factor in inspiring people to turn out and vote.

While TV and print are still the most important sources of political news they don’t hold the same unrivalled power they had 40 years ago. With its ever-growing presence in today’s society, social media definitely has the power and potential to sway the vote. It may all come down to which hashtag is trending or which politician’s social media presence is most engaging.

How has social media influenced your views on Europe?




Stand out from the crowd: Reactive marketing for brands

June 9, 2016

With the advent of Netflix and Amazon binge-watching, gone are the days of water cooler conversations discussing the latest finales or releases. Instead, daily chatter is focused on social media conversation: who’s tweeted what, broken up with whom and what’s featured on the trending stories on Facebook.

It even goes one step further. Brands are now expected to keep up to date with reactive marketing, the practice of tailoring your content to the topics of the day, hour or even minute. Keeping up is essential to remain current and relevant. If done well, reactive marketing can vastly improve your target reach and audience engagement.

Reactive posts are a great way to make some noise and show that a brand is listening to the social conversation by providing relevant content to its communities. Reactive posts show brands getting involved in the dialogue around particular issues / stories in an interesting way.

However, brands must be careful not to overstep or mis-step. Reacting can often be a knee-jerk reaction, and runs the risk of not being aligned with brand philosophy, creating a social media firestorm or creating bad publicity for a brand.

Reactive posts should be:

  • Timely e.g. same day as trending
  • Relevant to the brand e.g. consistent with brand values
  • Engaging e.g. interesting to the community
  • Avoid being too political or controversial in any way (unless this is part of a brand’s strategy, tone of voice or guidelines)
  • Have a clear objective for posting e.g. should not be random or look like the brand is jumping on a bandwagon

If you follow these guidelines and keep on top of your reactive marketing, your brand is sure to shine on social.

How will you be part of the #moment?



Twitter on the Decline – Fact or Myth?

April 4, 2016

As a leading social media agency, we have been actively following Twitter performance announcements as they unfold, and are constantly attempting to determine what the future holds for the platform.

According to Business Insider, the Twitter Active User Base figures are at an all-time low.




Not only has there been no growth, but active users have been steadily declining. This is worrying for investors, as the falling rates prove that Twitter cannot reach anywhere near Facebook’s user figures.

According to The Verge (see here), Twitter’s 320 million monthly active users are way behind Facebook’s 1.59 billion monthly active users.


Will Twitter  be a serious social media contender in 2016/2017?

There has been speculation on the ‘Twittersphere’ that the 140 character limit could in fact be lifted. A recent interview with Jack Dorsey, has reversed the thinking surrounding this change, with his comments hinting otherwise e.g. Twitter’s 140-character limit is “a beautiful constraint” and Twitter “will never lose that feeling.” (Source: Tech Crunch)

Even if this character limit change did come into play, it would seem that it just wouldn’t be enough to transform the platform. With Facebook’s innovations being introduced at lighting speed, Twitter will need to do a lot more to be thought of as more than a glorified news channel.


What do we think here at agency:2?

Judging by recent trends, we predict that by the end of the year Twitter stands to lose up to 100 million active users if it doesn’t act fast; this will result in a huge loss in advertising revenues and equally devastating, a great loss in investor confidence.


Will our agency be pulling the plug on Twitter?

The writing’s on the wall, but it’s not signed, sealed and delivered just yet. For the moment, Twitter remains a viable newsworthy platform, thus allowing agency:2 to be in control and up to speed on the latest social media insights and news stories. We continue to proudly support our clients brands on Twitter, constantly making valuable connections with their customers worldwide.

Twitter may need an overhaul of its basic features to inspire user growth; however, focusing on its speed and dominance in the live conversation sphere seems like a much smarter approach.

If there is one thing Twitter still has over Facebook, it’s the service’s uniquely instantaneous reactions to live world news and events as they happen in real-time.


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