Status Social Celebrates a Decade in Social Media

Posted by on Jan 19, 2021 in Blog | 0 comments

Status Social Celebrates a Decade in Social Media

Rubber eggs, a caramel Frappuccino and a Hollywood movie… all of them have played their part in what’s been an extraordinary ten years for Status Social.

With the vast majority of businesses never making it to a decade, we have a lot to celebrate. Here are a few of the (sometimes unusual) things we’ve experienced and what we’ve learned along the way. Thank you all for playing your part!


Founders Mark Saxby and Martin Broadhurst had only met four times before deciding to set up what was to become one of the UK’s first specialist social media agencies. Appropriately, they’d developed their friendship over scores of tweets.

It was a remarkable first year. On day one they nearly called the company Eggy Bread Media and got an enquiry from someone who was to be their first client – a clothes designer in West Yorkshire. On day two, Mark walked into a Cambridgeshire pub and bumped into his former Grimsby Telegraph news editor, Nigel Lowther. It led to a two-year contract to market the resort of Cleethorpes over Facebook and Twitter.

Then came the rubber eggs.

Mark announced “marketing without social media is like boiled eggs without soldiers” at a networking meeting and threw rubber eggs towards the other attendees. Someone there loved the trick so much they introduced us to global publishing company, Elsevier, leading to another contract.

What we learned

Prepare well for every networking meeting (including online ones!).



Like a band’s “difficult second album”, our follow up year was a whole lot more difficult.

By the autumn, work had dried up and Martin decided to leave the company. We came within days of running out of money.

And despite everyone saying they could never work with their spouse, Mark and his wife, Kerry, took the divorce-threatening decision to run the company together.

The year ended well with QUAD asking the new Status Social to act as consultants and content creators for the FORMAT International Photography Festival – a journey that included lying on the floor of Derby Cathedral using the much-missed Vine App…

What we learned

Mark and Kerry love working together.


Have you watched Dragons’ Den? An intrepid entrepreneur pitches to five business people to win investment. Well, Derby doesn’t do its version by half. Kerry and Mark had to face SEVEN dragons when the Derby Telegraph staged a similar event! A fabulous presentation from Mark and confident question-answering from Kerry led to us being named one of Derbyshire’s most exciting businesses.

2013 was the year we employed our first team members and, crammed into the spare room of Mark and Kerry’s Littleover house, realised it was time to move. The former Tregoning Fine Art Gallery at Friar Gate Studios became our first home and was aptly decorated.

What we learned

You have to take your business seriously when you have rent to pay.


Mark at the Eurovision Song Contest disguised as a Moldovan

Mark had been to the Eurovision Song Contest for his 40th birthday so it was no surprise when Eurovision raised its flamboyant head in 2014.

Having realised the BBC had ‘blundered’ by not making a ‘good-enough’ scorecard, Mark created his own the night before the contest and put it on the Status Social website. Within 24 hours, more than 600 people had accessed the scorecard which had reached page 1 of Google – mostly thanks to the now-gone Google+ network.

We had been increasingly experimenting how Twitter could be used to reach out on a personal level and in early 2014 we individually tweeted hundreds of real ale lovers inviting them to CAMRA’s national beer festival being held in Derby. We helped fill the city’s hotel rooms and had our account temporarily suspended by Twitter after tweeting up to 160 times a day!

We also reached a milestone – training our 1000th person, celebrated with our clients, Derby Theatre.

What we learned

You don’t have to just talk about your business to get noticed.


Sometimes in business you have a year where all your hard work pays off. 2015 was the year of the household names. We worked with Vision Express, Motorpoint and Saniflo and began what has become a long relationship with international car parking company, Saba. It was to lead to our first opportunity to run a company’s social media customer service.

We also began testing out a new thought we’d had – to go into schools to show young people how to use social media in the right way.

And we survived an attack from a killer yucca in the first Status Social short film, later shown at QUAD cinema!

What we learned

Having a purpose makes business much more fun.


There’s nothing like becoming award-winning to get you feeling all fuzzy. We’d been runners up in the Derby Telegraph’s Creative Business of the Year in 2015 – this year we went one better. It was to open up the way to scores of new opportunities.

One Saturday in June we also carried out the world’s first professional Social Media Weddings service, generating publicity across the world, including the BBC, national tabloids and international fashion magazines. We’ve not sold a Social Media Wedding since…

And to end a very glamourous year, social media consultant and wannabe-writer Chris Anastasi announced he was leaving after learning his script was being turned into a Hollywood movie.

What we learned

Don’t get caught up in bright shiny things that detract from your core business.



How much better do you feel when you do exercise before work? We told our employees to come to work an hour late if they were getting fit instead. Our new policy caused quite a stir.

Mark also realised that it was important not to go into auto-pilot when using the train. On a business trip to Manchester, he found himself on the London line instead, leading to the Status Social team creating the above image for his next journey.

What we learned

Take marmalade on every journey, just in case.


Award Winning Social Media AgencyWhen should you listen in on someone’s conversation in a public place? When they mention ‘social media’, that’s when. Mark and Kerry landed one of our biggest clients so far when they introduced themselves in Starbucks to a couple having a conversation.

We were back at the awards too, picking one up for our Contribution to the Community at the Derby Telegraph Business Awards. Our work in schools was the main reason why, according to sponsors, Intu.

What we learned

Drink more Caramel Frappuccinos.


We were on the move again to our new offices in Friary Works on Friar Gate. We signed the contract on the day we were due to leave Friar Gate Studios. One frantic day of moving furniture, including wheeling large plants down the street, and lugging a sofa up two flights of stairs, ensued…

Representatives from some of the UK’s biggest companies, including Experian, Boots and Centrica visited us to find out how we ran a truly values-led business. And we were named the second-best small business to work at in the UK, in the Perkbox workplace culture awards.

What we learned

How rewarding it is to run a values-led business.


We celebrated us and our clients generating more than £3 million in sales through social media as we tackled the pandemic in 2020. After nine years of annual growth, the challenges of running a business in a recession were back – almost a decade after we’d initially faced them in our launch year.

We also finally registered our schools work as a charity. Positive Social was approved in the summer, with a launch date planned for 2021…

What we learned

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.

If you’d like to be part of the Status Social story then get in touch for a chat!



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