The future of social media

Hi, I’m Drew, I am founder and CEO of Battenhall, and this is where you can follow my work and connect. I’m a consultant, commentator and lecturer in applied social media and digital technologies in the fields of marketing, advertising, public relations and communications. 

Contact me email, on Twitter, Mastodon or via my office.

Work & background

Since launching Battenhall in 2013, I have built it up to be the UK’s top rated social media agency. Through my work at Battenhall, I advise brands, organisations and individuals globally.

My work in social media reaches back to the formative times in this space: I wrote the Wikipedia page on Social Media in 2006, and have been an early adopter and media commentator on digital technologies since the 1990s. I was awarded PRCA’s oustanding contribution to the industry award in 2020, New Media Age named me the UK’s most respected consultant in its 2011 Reputation Online report, I have been named one of the top 25 innovators in EMEA by the Holmes Report, and am a current member of the PR Week Powerbook. 

My TED talk on the future of social media, which I delivered at TEDxBristol in 2019, can be seen here on

Projects & research

I am based in London and spend my time building the Battenhall business and working with clients globally. I am involved in a range of social media research projects which look at how social media technologies are shaping society, and trends shaping the future of communications. These research projects can be found here and include regular publications reviewing social media trends, the Battenhall Monthly, the daily Battenhall WhatsApp, the FTSE 100 Social Media Report and The Instagram Brands 100.

My current side projects include researching the impact and potential of the metaverse on social media and entertainment, and safety online.

To get in touch, here are the places I spend most of my time

// My profiles in The FT, Channel 4, The BBCForbes and The Holmes Report // the NMA rankingsPR Power Book and PR Week // TED talk //

My TED Talk: how do we reboot social media?

Every hour of every day, one million social media profiles, deemed so harmful that we should not be influenced by them, are deleted altogether off the face of the internet. This is a sheer tidal wave of what the world’s governments call ‘online harms’, and it is only just beginning. 

In my TED Talk, which I delivered at TEDxBristol, and which has gone live today, I take a look at what’s really happening on social media that we need to know about, from the harms that spread online to the responsibility we all have to better understand what’s real and what’s fake.

I look at political interference from trolls, the impact of Fake News, how to kill a bot, and I explore what I learnt back in July 2006 when I first wrote the page on social media on Wikipedia (yep, that was me!). 

I believe that through awareness, education, and a more mindful approach to what we do online, the power is in our hands to make social media a force for good in society today. Because while we wait for regulation, fines and legislation to catch up, the future is in our hands. 

So this is my TED Talk, do please share, comment and like. I hope you enjoy it.