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AUCKLAND, Monday: Australasian Social Media Agency of the Year, the Socialites Group, has expanded its offering by acquiring prominent New Zealand influencer marketing agency The Social Club.

Socialites’ co-ceos Wendy Thompson and Mel Spencer with co-founder/ceo Georgia McGillivray have confirmed the acquisition, with the deal taking effect last week. The Social Club retains its name as part of the new arrangement.

With negotiations taking place over Zoom during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown, Thompson and Spencer say the decision was a “no brainer”, with the acquisition strengthening their suite of services to New Zealand and APAC marketing teams and C-Suiters and enabling them to deliver best-in-class content and campaigns and build online communities.

The Social Club will also deliver its database of 11,000 registered influencers and content creators across New Zealand and Australia – which it claims is the largest influencer marketing database in the region. The acquisition brings global connections too, as Socialites adds to their collection of international clients.

And with experts predicting the global influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to US$15 billion by 2022, the dynamic trio say they are in in an even better position to capitalise on that growth (+Source US Business Insider). 

Wendy Thompson established Socialites in 2010, with her co-ceo Mel Spencer joining the business last year. Thompson says this acquisition is the next step to expand their services for their clients. 

Socialites is a specialist social media agency that offers strategy, campaign creation, content production, community management, social listening and Chinese social media for clients that include Microsoft, Fisher & Paykel, New World, The Warehouse and Mitre 10. 

“We’ve seen influencer marketing become more and more important to marketing strategies over the years so when the opportunity arose to add The Social Club’s skills and expertise to the Socialites stable, it was an easy decision.” Thompson said.

“Socialites’ portfolio includes Mitre 10, New World, Warehouse, AMI & State Insurance, Invivo, F&P, Microsoft and Azure. New clients added from The Social Club include Mars, DB, Elizabeth Arden and Powershop.”

“Six years ago we were mailing out packs of products to a list of influencers with a ‘spray and pray’ mentality, that hopefully they’d post something nice on their Facebook feed. Four years ago we started structuring campaigns, matching influencers to personas and arranging contracts and deliverables set in advance. In 2020 it is stepping up another level again with a move to long-term brand ambassadorship where brand values are carefully aligned and both parties share in the results.

“Not only is the Social Club talent agnostic it brings with it huge efficiencies and depth of expertise which ultimately creates huge ROI for clients.

“I’ve known Georgia since she first started The Social Club and have always deeply respected the business she has built. Given they are the number one influencer agency in Australasia, this acquisition brings us technologies, processes and reporting functionalities that can’t be matched.

“We are passionate about keeping our clients at the head of their game and this only strengthens our mission to remain Australasia’s best social media agency.”

The Social Club is the brainchild of 28-year-old McGillivray who co-founded the business in 2015. By April 2016 the business was touted as New Zealand’s largest marketing influencer company – “and remains so today”.

McGillivray says the acquisition is a “match made in heaven”, given the two companies’ core values, culture, and vision for the future of social media are aligned.

“The Social Club team and I are thrilled to hand the mantle over to Socialites to continue to deliver the best-in-class social media and influencer solutions for our clients,” she says.

“From our very first conversation with Wendy and Mel, it was clear that we have the same view on the future of social and influencer marketing and our digital first focus.

“Now more than ever, brands are turning to social to engage with their customers. Therefore, combining the two market-leading social and influencer agencies in the country will create one powerful team who will continue to lead the industry and keep their clients one step ahead of the rest.

“Having watched and admired Wendy and Mel throughout their Socialites journey, I have no doubt that I leave The Social Club in very good hands.”

With the acquisition taking effect from this week, McGillivray will remain at the business for three months to ensure its smooth transition into the Socialites Group.

Socialites’ current portfolio includes Mitre 10, New World, The Warehouse, AMI & State Insurance, Invivo Wines, Fisher & Paykel, Microsoft IoT and Azure. New clients added from The Social Club portfolio include Mars, DB, Snowberry, Elizabeth Arden and Powershop.

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