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James Griffin, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So, we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.

James Griffin, NSW (b. 1984)

Name: James Griffin
Age: 27 (Born: July 1984)
Gender: Male
State: NSW

Your business has a social media presence. You know, after all, about your followers, your +1’s and your Likes. But what happens if your online media campaign backfires? How can any business be so sure that what people are saying about their brand isn’t about to turn negative?

James Griffin, 27, sensed that risk management in social media would grow in importance. So sure was he that he quit his job in 2008, amidst less than favourable (read: risky) economic conditions, and founded SR7 Social Media Intelligence.

“I knew my idea had legs,” says Griffin — an idea that has since become an essential service.

SR7’s bread and butter is its analysis of social media outlets to determine how they’re being used (or abused) to promote or attack a brand. The goal is to prevent online campaigns from giving companies bad reputations — and to instruct the company on its market opportunities, so that its brand doesn’t get caught between a hashtag and an insult.

According to Griffin, “challenging group think” is a priority. “How many ‘social media’ companies talk about ‘followers’ over ‘business objectives’? Too many.”

SR7 sells itself as the difference between social media “monitoring” and “intelligence”. Anyone can follow a brand’s presence on Twitter and Facebook. What SR7 does, beyond monitoring, is to analyse what it monitors and pick out the marketing trends. “SR7 provides instant feedback and recommendations,” says Griffin. “Not just ‘data’.”

Cementing the company’s own rep is its partnership with Aon Corporation, the global risk management firm, with whom it has a three-year exclusive supplier agreement.

In more traditional media outlets, SR7 has been providing potent doses of its analysis of newer media. In February, the team presented their findings on NAB’s “break-up” campaign and the effectiveness of its guerrilla marketing tactics.

Griffin also talks about giving back to the community: “I’d love to get SR7 to a point where I could consider jumping into the public service and applying my skills.”

For now, that depends on how fast the company grows and when he can find a break.

“Early on, no one wanted to acknowledge the inherent risks of social media,” he says. “Today we are busier than ever.”

Anthill asks: James Griffin, what motivates you?

“I’m motivated on a personal level by the team I work with and with each success or step forward as a way to thank mum and dad for giving me the opportunities they have. Without them, I’d never have had the confidence to start.”

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

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