Advertising, Marketing & PR

Published: July 9, 2020 | Updated: July 9, 2020

Social media agency comes out of lockdown stronger than ever by signing six new clients

The team at South Coast Social (left to right) Jenna Lloyd, Social Media Manager; Christina King, Head of Social Strategy; Clare Groombridge, Director; Emma Jones, Social Media Manager; Amy Squires, Head of Brand and Harry Beardsley, Social Media Manager.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Whisper it quietly but quite a few businesses have not just survived but flourished during lockdown.

Why whisper?

Well, it doesn’t seem right to trumpet success from the rooftops when so many are suffering – and suffering badly.

But the truth is that some sectors are emerging stronger from the crisis than others.

Think e-learning, home deliveries, independent food suppliers and… social media.

It’s widely accepted social media earned the marketing crown during lockdown.

After all, businesses were unable to interact with clients and prospects in person during much of the last three months.

Bournemouth-based South Coast Social Ltd’s whole business revolves around social media.

Not that the agency, which also has an office in London, was immune to the downturn.

Founder Clare Groombridge, 37, said: “I had to furlough two members of my team when lockdown hit and take immediate action to cut all the outgoings we could.

“But things have since started to turn and we’ve actually gained six new clients in the last few weeks.

“We’re coming out of lockdown stronger than ever.”

Clare, pictured left, founded South Coast Social in 2014 after five years as Marketing Manager with Limited Space in Poole.

Her previous employer was to become South Coast Social’s first client.

“We’ve always stuck firmly to social media as an agency. It’s been our total focus,” said Clare.

“I started at the classic dining room table and grew the agency organically.

“There are now six of us in the team, with more than 40 clients on a retained basis as well as various one-off projects.

“A lot of clients understandably panicked at the start of lockdown but our approach from the very beginning has been to support them in any way possible.

“We had honest conversations and asked some if they wanted to pause – or increase – their content.

“The tone has been very important as well.

“We’ve also helped clients move their businesses online.

“One client received 2,365 takeaway orders as a result of our work.

“Our six new clients are in a number of sectors including law, finance, training and hospitality.

“They’ve seen how social media has been the only way to communicate.

“It means we’re back to where we were at the beginning of lockdown but have also enhanced our reputation with our clients.”

Clare said South Coast Social specialised in three key areas:

  • Hospitality
  • eCommerce
  • Beauty and Health

Services include social media strategy, management, advertising, influencers and training.

South Coast Social became a limited company in 2016 and has seen turnover double every year of trading since.

Clare said: “I’m lucky to have the most amazing team behind me.

“They’re absolutely fantastic and so talented at what they do.

“Despite everything the last few months have thrown at us, we still expect to hit our targets for the financial year August 2019 to this month, July.

“Our strategy during the last few months has been knuckle down, support and retain all the clients we can and then try and attract new ones.

“I feel that we have certainly cemented our position in the marketplace as a leading social media agency and can now look forward to the future with confidence.”