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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Armstrong Watson gets sceptical staff to drive social media

An accountancy firm is reaping the benefits of getting even its most sceptical members of staff on board with social media.

Anna Melia photo
Anna Melia

Carlisle-based Armstrong Watson, which has several offices across the county, has gained new clients and built relationships using its digital strategy.

This includes helping accountants and various other members of staff engage with social media channels such as Twitter.

Marketing manager Anna Melia has masterminded the strategy, and plans to build on it in the next 12 months.

She said: “When I first started down the digital journey I didn’t think we’d be able to say that we’d won clients through social media, but we definitely have.

“It’s a small but growing number. We also know that an increasing number of clients find us online which is a really important channel for us and something I’m always looking to develop.

“More than anything the benefit to Armstrong Watson has been in building and strengthening relationships online, which is where I think the real return of investment is.”

The firm also recently launched a mobile website, responding to the growing number of people surfing the internet on smart phones.

Ms Melia added: “I wanted to link our digital activity together, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, our website, and incorporate it into the wider marketing strategy for the firm, and this was a really good opportunity to do that.

“Having a clear strategy also helps when trying to ‘sell’ social media to people around the firm too as you’re prepared in advance for some of the questions you’re likely to face in terms of the value of it and how it links to the bigger picture.”

Managing partner Paul Dickson is keen to embrace innovation and take the company forward. He said: “We know that our clients, business partners and potential clients are having conversations on social media, and I want Armstrong Watson to be there when those conversations are taking place.

“A lot of similar firms are on social media now, so if we weren’t, we’d be missing out on those important conversations and building those relationships at various stages.”

Even the most sceptical Armstrong Watson employee is now reaping the benefits of Twitter, as Ms Melia explained.

“I spent several hours in both formal training sessions and general conversation about social media with one member of staff who focuses on the agricultural industry.

“As the son of a farmer, and a key figure in the local agricultural scene, he didn’t think that farmers would be on Twitter so repeatedly told me it wasn’t for him.

“I took a different approach the next time I saw him and started the conversation with relevant examples from his industry to show him that farmers were on Twitter, and he’s now a complete convert, regularly getting involved in conversations on Twitter and using it to build new relationships and strengthen existing offline relationships.”

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