Success Story: Social Media Insights

4 Aug 2016
Alan Martin

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For any business, large or small, being able to attract and retain the right calibre of staff is crucial to the future success of the organisation, so I was fascinated to hear about how Insights, a very successful training and personal development company, are using social media to successfully motivate their staff and increase awareness amongst their target audience.

To find out more about their innovative techniques with social media I interviewed Fiona Lackenby and Jo Elsmont. Jo and Fiona are responsible for social media throughout the whole company.

Q. Hi Fiona and Jo, I was really excited to hear about how Insights use social media to enhance staff morale and actively engage with a world-wide community of fans and practitioners, but first can you tell me a little bit about the company, so readers get an understanding of what the company does?

A. Yes, no problem Alan! Inspired by the work of Swiss psychologist Dr Carl G Jung, father-and-son team Andi and Andy Lothian founded Insights in the early 1990s in Dundee, and from there they set out on a mission to make personal development and self-knowledge accessible to all. Today we operate in over 20 countries world-wide.

We help our clients improve the effectiveness of their staff and the performance of their organisations by enabling them to gain a deep understanding of the individual personal behavioural styles of their people and providing strategies based on these styles to help them become more effective team members.

Q. Great. Now that we have some background, can you tell us what social media channels you are active on?

A. We maintain an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and also write blogs. We are also planning to introduce Tumblr soon and Pinterest next year.

Q. Wow, that’s quite a list! Is social media a full-time job for you both then?

A. Not quite Alan, but managing it all properly does probably take around two-thirds of our time, so it is a substantial investment for us, and we take the time to do it properly and really learn how to use each channel effectively, as well as the tools and apps that allow us to keep on top of everything. We are absolutely committed to becoming a social business, so we take this commitment very seriously.

Q. What are your main objectives with social media?

A. Our overall aim is to leverage our social media channels to tell our story! Specifically though we need to establish a consistent tone of voice and style of writing, so there is a cohesive feel to our social media communications, regardless of the platform. Like any business, we also want to raise awareness of what we do and communicate the company ethos so our social media communities know what we stand for. We want to get across that we are 100% passionate about what we do!

We do this though our content marketing programme and we also aim to respond quickly to any enquiries through social media channels, as there is a public perception that organisations will respond much more rapidly through these mediums, so we need to be responsive.

Q. Content marketing is a hot topic right now. How do you plan what you are going to be  talking about on the various social media channels?

A. We have editorial meetings every Monday where we plan ahead and look at the events that we have got coming up later in the month. Then on a Wednesday we have a meeting with the rest of the marketing team where we discuss other marketing activities. The action points then get filtered into an annual content plan.

Q. You mentioned that you use social media to attract staff to the company and keep them motivated. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

A. Yes, I can tell you about a few of our initiatives! We run a ‘Fan of the Month’ feature where we surprise one of our fans in a variety of novel ways. One lady was so delighted to win our Fan of the Month that she started raving about us online and was a fantastic ambassador for the company. She went on to actually join the company as an employee and has recently left to pursue her life-time dream of getting a degree, which is just a fantastic story for us!

Also when Mark Beaumont, the well-known Scottish writer and adventurer, was undertaking his Highland Line Challenge for the STV appeal in 2013, Insights were proud to be a sponsor and support him throughout his journey.

When Mark was doing the leg of the journey that took him through Dundee, we allowed our employees to take the day off to run with him. The good-will that this created, plus all the related social media activity from employees talking about what they were doing and tagging the company, was just phenomenal.

Q. I love these stories and they certainly show what an innovative company Insights is and  give an insight (no pun intended) into why your staff are so passionate about what they do. Can you tell us about #cakefacefriday?

A. [laughs] Yes, that has been another success story for us! Every few months here in our Dundee office we raise money for charity by holding a Cakefacefriday event. Basically one person is responsible each month for bringing in home-baking, which is left in a communal area for other team members to buy, with a donation to the charity of choice as nominated by the person who did the baking.

If you are wondering what this all has to do with social media, we started using the #cakefacefriday hashtag to spread the word about what we were doing to raise funds for charity, but other people on the internet have just picked up on the idea and are implementing similar schemes within their own organisations and posting pics of lovely cake using the same hashtag.This has been a real-conversation topic amongst our community and has been great for engagement.

Another fun thing we do is #twittertickles. Basically if someone makes us laugh or gives us a great compliment on Twitter, we send them out a little branded Thank You gift. We love when people engage with us, so we want to thank them for having fun with us or saying nice things about what we do.

Q. Can you tell us how you measure success with your social media activities?

A. Well as a rough-and-ready metric we keep track of the number of followers, fans, etc. that we have so that we can see that things are heading in the right direction, but what’s more important is the engagement that we are getting, so we will record the number of re-tweets and comments that we are getting.

We track all of our stats both weekly and monthly – that includes number of followers on each channel, but also engagement, so we can tell at a glance how popular different types of post are on the separate channels. We also produce a monthly dashboard for our Executive Team so they can see how our channels are growing and just how much our customers are engaging with us online. This information is used to help inform our strategy as we plan for the year ahead.

We also take note of any influencers that are following our social channels, so we get very excited when people like Seth Godin, Dave Karpen and Mari Smith start following us.

Q. Well, thanks very much for your time this afternoon and the behind the scenes glimpse into how Insights manage their social media marketing activities and I very much look forward to hearing your success stories in the future.

Key Takeaways

  • Take the time to really learn about each social media channel you are active on.
  • Use social media to tell your company story and showcase your personality.
  • Respond quickly to customer comments
  • Develop a content plan for the year and review regularly
  • Look for novel ways to surprise and delight your social media community
  • Run a ‘Fan of the Month’ competition to build online buzz and excitement
  • Encourage staff to tag your business in appropriate social media updates
  • Start having fun with hashtags, particularly on Twitter, to encourage engagement
  • Develop a system to track your most important social media metrics
  • Measuring engagement as well as community growth is crucial

Originally Published on the Chat Marketing website – 11/04/14

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