Social Media Week Bristol

FIVE QUESTIONS WITH CHRISTIAN ANNESLEY, BUSINESS JOURNALIST AND SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK AMBASSADOR

Next week, AMBITIOUS will be joined by respected business journalist Christian Annesley to co-host an event for Social Media Week BristolSocial Media and Professional Services Firms. Why are They the Last to Join the Party?

The event will question why accountancy, legal and other professional consultancy firms are still so cautious when it comes to using social media. We’ll be welcoming senior professionals and encouraging them to share experiences with industry peers, discuss any barriers and concerns they have and explore the possibilities.

We caught up with Christian ahead of the event on February 26th to find out more …

What can people expect from the event Social media & professional services firms: why are they last to join the party?

The event will pack a lot into its 90 minutes. We’ve conducted research into the social media activities of professionals in the West of England and it’s revealing and useful what we’ve found.

We’ll be sharing those insights in a presentation, talking to firms that have grasped the nettle with social media about their strategies, and hosting a panel session on the theme to give the audience a chance to put their questions as they plot a way ahead.

Who should come along to the event and why would they find it useful?

Any professional services firm that’s thinking about its marketing, its social media tactics and its customer engagement strategies. We are looking at companies with some scale and reach in local terms, who want to go further faster with social media and engagement, rather than the tiny operators – though there is plenty for them to learn too.

The event questions why accountancy, legal and other professional consultancy firms are still so cautious when it comes to using social media. What do you think are the reasons behind this?

My sense from the research is that the social element of social media is so far foxing many professionals. Some have got quite good at the broadcast side via social — which is important and worthwhile and should bring benefits — but there’s probably a wider question about when and how to use social media as a platform to start genuine conversations with would-be clients that will enhance reputation and lead to direct and secondary business.

What opportunities are these types of firms are missing out on by not embracing social media?

I think the disciplines of working out your messaging are amplified by trying to use social media, as you cannot go at it half-heartedly. You need a certain volume of activity to be taken seriously, and the content itself needs to also put you in the best light. That’s just if you are trying to use it for broadcast mainly, but it’s still crucial. Many firms and doing a lot more now, so being invisible if you do nothing is a real danger.

What do you hope to gain personally from leading the discussions on the day?

The session itself well help everyone there, including me, to learn more about the direction of travel with social media and what’s working (or not) among professionals. It will add to what we’ve been finding out in our research.

We can share the best of the session with everyone afterwards by delivering actions that are worth taking, gleaned from the event and from the research.

Social Media and Professional Services Firms. Why are They the Last to Join the Party? takes place on February 26th at Engine Shed, Bristol.

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