Meet the speakers - Marcus O'Sullivan from Circulate

To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a co-founder and director of Dublin based creative agency Circulate which is situated on Camden Row. We work with a wide variety of clients predominantly in the music space (artists, festivals, live events) but also a number of interesting brands. I also run online Art & Music magazine When We Dip alongside my brother Dermot.

How did you get into your career?

I’ve been working in music since I was in school, firstly as a DJ and then later organising music events around the country as part of a nightlife brand called Residence and then later JACK. That’s where I met my current business partner David Beatty. We saw the power social media had to make or break and artist and we started advising artists we knew on how to harness it, that led to our first client in Felix Da Housecat.

What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?

In November 2016 Circulate won a ‘Shorty Award’ in New York for our campaign Turning Tables On Cancer with DJ EZ and Cancer Research which was an incredible moment for both myself and my business partner David as well as our team who put together a huge campaign that reached over 38 million people as well as garnering over 70 million impressions. The campaign raised over sixty thousand pounds for Cancer Research so it’s one we’re particularly proud of.

Honourable mention to our first large scale campaign for British band Faithless which culminated in their third UK number 1 album.

How does Social Media support your work?

The various social media channels are very important tools for us. Many of our campaigns rely heavily on social media and for a lot of our clients it’s the primary connection to their audience. In the music world, social media has revolutionised the industry in just a few years time. The way that new projects are marketed to the public (whether it’s a new album or a huge festival) has been altered drastically, it’s allowed many independent artists and organisers to enter markets they would previously have found very difficult, case in point is Chance The Rapper who won a Grammy for his album Colouring Book while remaining completely independent (without a record label), utilizing social media to garner millions of streams for his music.

What is the one app you can’t live without? Personally and for your business!

Personally Whatsapp, that’s the primary form of communication I use with my friends and undoubtedly the one I engage with most. Also a big fan of bitmoji which is a great little app (and well integrated with Snapchat).

For Circulate I would say Instagram. It brings the strongest engagement of all the platforms and is something we gravitate to regularly when devising campaigns for our client. They have managed to introduce several new features in recent months whilst retaining the essence of what makes it special.

What is the one piece of Social Media advice you would give to businesses?

If your resources are limited, focusing on one particular social media platform and creating a vibrant presence there will pay dividends in the long run.

What do you think is the next big thing in Social Media?

Mixed reality is approaching faster than people think; if the iPhone 8 comes equipped for MR then it’s going to create a very interesting set of possibilities for the big social media platforms. Connected environments will also become more commonplace this year and bring with them new boundaries to be broken for social media.

What will your business be focusing on in the Social Media landscape this year?

Continuing to find innovative ways to utilize social to connect our clients with their audiences. Whether that’s streaming or VR or possibly even MR, we want to find ways to deliver compelling messages to fans by harnessing the growing capabilities of social media.

What can the attendees of this year’s Social Media Summit look forward to hearing from you?

Our panel has a very exciting topic in ‘Agencies of change’ so I’m looking forward to discussing some of the developing trends in the industry and how that is going to impact on the world       of social media. Change is the hot topic for agencies at the moment, new types of exciting agencies are emerging daily (for example Outset – led by my fellow panellist David Anderson) and those who don’t find a suitable model to move forward with will be left for dead.

What are you most looking forward to at the Social Media Summit this year?

Picking up little bits of information from all the exciting panellists and speakers who will be there. It’s always refreshing to see new approaches and find out what the future holds!

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