Today I interviewed Imogen Woodford who runs Social-i. Imogen started Social-i with her business partner Catherine back in 2010 and now runs it with her husband Jason. Social-i provides social media training for business and educational institutes.

So Imogen when did you start using social media?

Probably about 2005 and it all started with Friends Reunited. In 2007 it got more serious when I joined Facebook, I've just used a new calculator app that tells you about your Facebook usage apparently I’ve posted 1960 things! If you want to calculate your time this is the link: http://allfacebook.com/time-calculator_b128684


Tell me about starting your business

I was working at the City of Bath College as part of the ILT team (Information Learning Technology). We were a small team that supported the lecturers with digital tools and software, as part of my job I was supporting lecturers with social media. We (Imogen and Catherine) soon realised that lots of people needed support using social media in business as well as in education.


How is it working with your husband?

Before we started working together I spoke to a lot of other husband and wife teams to see what advice they could offer.Clear division and areas of work was the thing that came up again and again. We communicate really well and have very clear roles but know when to cut off from work. I love training whilst Jason really enjoys the organisational and project based side of the business.  


What common mistakes do businesses make with social media?

I think the biggest mistake that most businesses make is that they just broadcast. Constantly telling their followers about their business and products. They don’t look to build relationships which is what successful social media is all about.


Do you have a favourite social media network?

Twitter hands down! I just love the open and randomness to it. The fact that there are no barriers means you can tweet to whoever you like. Some people say Twitter is all noise but I don’t agree. I recently read a really interesting article comparing Twitter to a buffet, you choose what you want, you don’t have to eat everything you can make good choices or bad choices, you can try new things or stick with something you know you’ll like. http://socialmediatoday.com/courtney-hunt/2120306/twitter-misconceptions-4-factors-hindering-adoption


What the most interesting thing that's happened to you on Twitter?

Well I love the Caro Emerald track “That man”, towards the end of the track there is a man doing a talky bit and he has the smoothest voice. I tweeted out about my admiration for his voice one day, someone read it and retweeted it. Out of the blue the man behind the voice tweeted me!


What are your favourite things about working at The Guild?

The community aspect. The conversation you have in the kitchen, the businesses you get to work alongside and of course the walks at lunch time. At Christmas we all went out for a meal it was great! I would never have been able to go out with a group of people from work if I was based in my own secluded office. It's phenomenal for me as a person who likes to be around others but works on her own. I'm really proud to bring people here and it's great for our clients.


When you were a child what did you dream of doing when you grew up?

I was on my way to drama school. My ambition was to be on the stage! Now I have my own stage which is my training room.  


What is your claim to fame?

I grew up in the same London Borough at the same time as David Beckham...


Favourite song to work to?

I listen to a lot of Bellowhead and also Mumford & Sons.

How do you have your coffee?

Strong!


What big thing are you working on in 2014?

I've recently launched the Social Media School. Traditionally we've run social media training sessions one at a time. I really wanted to join everything up while creating a community around learning about social media. This is where the idea for the Social Media School came from. It's a 10 week program,  we start with strategy and then cover all the major networks and we finish with another strategy session. We have a Facebook group so everyone that comes along can support and encourage one another online outside of the sessions, whilst also sharing challenges and joys as they put it all into practice. It's a real learning community and by providing our training in this way our clients get a more enriching learning experience.  For more information: http://social-i.net/social-media-school/


Twee Imogen at @SocialImogen

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