The Intellectual Property Office (IPO)

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body responsible for intellectual property (IP) rights including patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. They wanted to move away from just “broadcasting” and use social media to drive behavioural change and business intelligence.

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A goal-drive mission

With a team of over 1,000 spread across Newport and London, the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) mission is focused on “Making life better by supporting UK creativity and innovation”. This mission is driven by six key goals;


  • Promoting UK growth through IP policy
  • Delivering high-quality rights
  • Ensuring IP rights are respected and appropriately enforced
  • Educating and enabling business to understand, manage and protect their IP
  • Improving the skills and capability of our people
  • Increasing efficiency and delivering value for mone

Goal 4 and the education of businesses is of particular importance to the IPO and their social media strategy. Integral to this is providing access to tools and resources, as well as collaborating online with partners and influencers such as BEIS, HMRC and Trading Standards. The ministerial target that sits under Goal 4 is to reach 100,000k businesses with messages about how to protect their IP. Of those, at least 35% to have made an informed decision as a result on their engagement with the IPO.


So, simply having social posts read or “liked” is no longer enough for the IPO and many other forward-thinking organisations. Social media activity is now being aligned to tangible business ROI behavioural change as a real measure of success. Social media is enabling agencies like the IPO to achieve a joined-up approach – increasing reach, engagement and initiating real business outcomes.

The platform for success

The IPO knew that if they wanted to use engaging content to drive meaningful social media engagement, collaborate with online partners and leverage deep social data, they would need a complete social media management platform. Kirsty Edwards, Senior External Communications Manager, said:

“SocialSignIn allows us to schedule posts across all social networks simultaneously, we can now obtain a much greater wealth of analytics compared to what we have captured in the past. We have created a shared library of approved, branded images and videos, as well as monitoring individual campaigns, which has become vital in helping departments across the business. We now have enough information to understand when our followers are most engaged, allowing us to drive engagement and real business outcomes.

Data driven action

But before the IPO could start producing compelling content that drove real action, they needed to understand what information business owners wanted and needed – this is where social listening came in. The IPO used SocialSignIn to identify what their target audience was talking about online, they could then create content to fill knowledge gaps, support businesses and instigate change. Social listening also helped identify influencers around specific topics or themes that the IPO could collaborate with online.


As part of the strategy to become the focal point for businesses looking for fast digital access to information surrounding patents, designs and trademarks, the IPO made the curation of relevant third party content an important element of its social media activity.

They also defined specific content strategies for each social channel and innovated using the latest features and best practices on each social channel. Twitter is used to build and engage a large audience of businesses and business leaders, with a high volume of content shared daily. Facebook is the channel where the IPO drives most engagement direct with consumers, it’s also used for recruiting – with a lower volume of content shared each day.

A forward thinking approach

With the suite of analytics within SocialSignIn helping the IPO understand which content is resonating best, on which channel and at which time – the IPO recently hosted its first Facebook Live event. A panel of expert guests pulled in an audience of over 8,000, and they have had similar success with Twitter Chat Q&A’s. Kirsty Edwards, Senior Communications Manager, said:

“SocialSignIn helps us operationally by saving time, but also by better understanding the movements and content needs of our followers. This permits us to manage our activity more strategically and now plays a key role in delivering integrated communication campaigns and in achieving our targets as a department.”

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