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Social is Edge

For small businesses, the latent power of social cannot be understated.

Social isn’t new news.

And over the last decade, its ubiquity in media planning often obscures its brilliance. Particularly in the non-consumer space. At Hyphen we believe social deserves strategic reappraisal.

Tipping Point

Historically, the tipping point came when Social moved from networking to media. Becoming media, the death of organic, the commodification of content, and the rise of the algorithmic model have placed (paid) social squarely in media planner’s Excel spreadsheets.

The last thing LinkedIn – or any of the leading platforms – needs is another ad sales pitch. But the process of media commodification has meant social gets relegated to hitting ad metrics, rather than understanding how social can create brand effects.

Social Edge – a return-to-source

“The early days of social really were the Wild West”, James Dunne, Hyphen’s strategy partner, explains. “Web 2.0 was about UGC, the conversation, inspiring ‘the community’. As social became more commodified, as it became just another channel, some of the brand-building power, the magic, and the influence was overtaken by the numbers. But as we move into Web3, as the economics of the web shift again, social can reclaim its first principles – and some of that strategic firepower – especially for smaller players in the B2B world.”

Social Edge is a strategic playbook that Hyphen has developed for small and medium-sized businesses and brands. Its goal is to enable our clients to reharness the latent power of social distribution on existing and new platforms through agile campaigning. It’s an effective guide to outflanking the competition by being more socially meaningful. It’s grounded in three principles:

1. Social is everything.
Social allows you to influence – not just advertise. It’s visual. It’s verbal. It’s cultural. For small businesses with limited budgets, social is not simply a channel, it’s all the channels.

2. Social is scale.

Agile content is a great leveling strategy. The bigger the brand the more complex the content creation and approval process can become. Small brands have a disproportionate advantage here; to appear bigger than they are and braver than the competition. And everyone loves an underdog.

3. Social is social.
What do we believe has been lost through the process of media commodification?

The fun.

The tension.

The story.

Social has always been about escape and entertainment – it’s the stuff that’s worth spending time with and worth sharing. Social is inherently about being social.

Launching Hyphen Social

Hyphen’s work with niche B2B, non-consumer, and issue-driven brands has seen the consultancy launch a stand-alone social strategy offering. “The natural progression from our current projects is often: ‘How do I bring this brand thinking to life?’ said Sharon Mooney, Hyphen’s Managing Partner. “Social is a great space to drive strategic edge for niche brands. To do much more with less. Therein lies the opportunity for our smaller-scale clients”.

60/40 rule

The wider strategic debate around marketing effectiveness underpins Hyphen’s Social offering for small businesses.

“Binet and Field’s 60/40 rule has a massive implication for social-only strategies,” Dunne says, “we’re not saying other channels don’t exist, but maximising social space means challenging the conventional investment approach of paid reach. Moving to a fame and activation model is more agile and, in our experience, more impactful for smaller players in more nuanced categories.”

Social has always been different. And in the process of carving up the feed and screen has ghettoised it. The platforms may have themselves to blame for this reality, nevertheless, social – and social content and campaigning – holds untapped potential, not simply for presence but to propel a business – and build a brand.

For further information on Hyphen’s Social Edge thinking please contact Ciara Smith , at

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