Social: What’s new?

Social media | Housing communications

As always, social media is changing. For many housing providers, finding a balance between making sense of your social analytics and finding new ways to engage with your target audiences – be those stakeholders or customers – whilst also working within a modest budget, can often seem impossible. However, I’m here to assure you that it’s not.

While we’re still in the early months of 2020, there’s perhaps no better time than now to refocus and reflect on how your organisation approaches social media moving forward. So, grab yourself a brew and let me talk you through three core trends to keep in mind at the moment.

Metrics that matter

With Facebook and Instagram both testing the removal of public likes, organisations are now having to look beyond surface-level data and rethink what success looks like to them, online.

While winning public support in the form of a like, retweet or reshare online is never a bad thing, a short-term spike in likes is not as effective as building long-term engagement with your audience. To achieve this, organisations need to understand what’s driving conversations with their audience through social listening.

A number of housing associations we work with at See Media, have already incorporated social listening into their metrics by conducting a sentiment analysis every month, of all online mentions about the organisation.

Not only does this allow communication and marketing managers to get a clearer picture of what people are actually saying about their organisation online but it has also proved useful in improving customer service responses and initiating campaigns to positively change the narrative around a particular subject.

Meaningful engagement

Interlinking with our first trend is engagement. While building a strong following online is often seen to be pivotal to helping an organisation meet its business objectives, how important is this metric if your content is not generating any engagement as a result?

To reach as many customers or members of your audience as possible housing providers need to focus on communicating directly with individuals. In fact, Hyde Housing Group is an example of an organisation that adopted this approach some time ago and has actually empowered its colleagues to respond directly to customers and likewise speak their language with a distinct tone of voice that feels authentic and honest.

Most-shared content

Our final food for thought on trends to tap into at the moment relates to what content works well online. Reports show that both long-form and short-form video are among the most-shared content on social media but yet (and unless we’re missing it while scrolling through our own social channels) there doesn’t appear to be a great uptake by many housing providers at the moment.

Creating visual content like this doesn’t need to be over-complicated and there are a range of platforms like FlexClip that provide you with stock footage and images to get you started.

Given that most reports forecast that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 — it’s definitely a medium you shouldn’t ignore.

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Sara-Anne Mills-Bricknell is an Account Manager at See Media