Community Ambassador Keith McGuinness attended ‘Business as usual: social media in a laggard B2B sector’, part of Social Media Week London’s programme of events. 

What: Business as usual: social media in a laggard B2B sector

When: Thursday 27th September

Where: Offices of Aviva Investors

Organised by: Social Media Week London

For someone who fancies himself as a budding Gordon Gecko, a social media event hosted by an investment firm was too good to turn down.

And while I didn’t leave with any insights into the next big thing in the stock market, I did learn about some really interesting ways B2B social media is being employed in the financial services sector.

The first two case studies explored how social media platforms are being used to engage other players in their respective sectors.

Dawid Konotey- Ahulu introduced us to Mallow Street, a standalone platform dedicated to the pensions sector. Mallow Street’s main objective is to help Dawid’s company Redington establish strong relationships with their clients and it aims to achieve this by offering relevant content and a lively discussion forum. However Dawid emphasised that they also organise regular face to face networking events as they still find this the best way to establish relationships.

The second case study was presented by Andrew Scott of M&G Investments who spoke about Bond Vigilantes, one of the most popular blogs in the financial sector.  ‘Bond Vigilantes’ focuses on the fixed price bond sector and has built up a significant following over the last five years mainly thanks to senior executives at M&G embracing social media. Andrew referred to the blog as a ‘broadcast’ tool that can be used to reinforce their position in the industry rather than an attempt to initiate conversation.

The third presenter was Louisa Hunter of FreshMinds Research. FreshMinds specialise in using social media to monitor brand reputation and conduct consumer and competitor research. Louisa discussed three different types of projects that the company undertake: social media audits, trend spotting and brand benchmarking and how important it is to fully understand your audience before engaging them.

The last presenter was Tony Stewart of our hosts, Aviva Investors. Tony discussed how Aviva have resorted to using a social media platform called Yammer for the company’s internal communications. Yammer allows employees to share all sorts of information such as project updates, news and opinion and HR policies across its global chain of offices. The platform was only launched eighteen months ago but already enjoys 85% engagement amongst its 1,500 employees.

The seminar ended with a lively Q&A session before the attendees adjourned for the customary networking session.

So, summing up, what did you miss? A fascinating insight into some of the innovative ways social media is being used from a B2B perspective in the financial services sector.

About our Ambassador: Keith McGuinness runs digital agency 1Four Media. Connect with him on Twitter @1FourMedia.