The move is a concerted effort by the agency to address growing awareness among advertisers – especially in the travel sector – that consumers are using social networking sites alongside existing online media formats such as search.
The agency, which counts BMI, Alamo, Best Western and SN Brussels Airlines among its clients, likened the recent attention heaped on social networking sites to where search was in 1998.
Chief executive and founder Arjo Ghosh said: “There was a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm for new electronic communications media, especially email and search engines.
“The first thing that needed to happen was education and the second was building a whole new marketing toolset – that’s where we are with social media right now.”
The creation of the new division comes just months after Spannerworks hired Antony Mayfield to become its first head of content and media.
He said: “For a lot of brand and media owners, the most important thing is to get a clear handle on what social media means to them now, and how it will evolve in the coming years.
“When you see more traffic delivered to HMV’s website by MySpace than one of the major search engines, one thing is clear: brands need a strategy for social media.”