The challenges of social media in housing comms

How to overcome your social media challenges in the housing industry

Last week, I attended the Comms Creatives Strategise Your Social Media – the online conference for housing comms pros. I’ve been enjoying my Social Media Expert course with Comms Creatives, however it was great to listen to a range of speakers specifically from the social housing industry. As many people reading this will know, social media can be difficult to navigate when working in housing, so I pulled together my takeaways from the course that I think will help overcome the challenges of social media in Housing Comms.

Strategise your social media

In the last few years, social media has been a difficult space to be in – often low or no positive engagement in social posts, negative comments and, due to the nature of the role, a lot of time can be spent firefighting, with no time to be creative or strategic.

New platforms, such as TikTok, also bring new challenges. To give social posts the best possible chance of receiving engagement, it’s important to set clear objectives – who is your audience? What do you want to achieve? What is the purpose of your social accounts? Once determined, you can then link your objectives to your business and comms strategies to streamline your approach.

Social media as customer contact

While it’s great that residents feel they can speak to us, often social media channels are used as a space for customers to voice their concerns or complaints. This can be difficult to navigate, as comms teams may start to undertake customer service duties because of this.

While negative comments are unavoidable due to the nature of the industry, it’s important to make sure that customer queries are handled by customer service teams. Be sure to find an efficient way to get any customer enquiries to the customer service team so that any questions residents have can be answered by them.

Proactive content

It can be hard to nail down exactly what we should be posting about on social accounts. Many corporate organisations have been successful on social media by producing relatable or humorous content, which can feel inappropriate for our sector. Organisations also feel they can only post when they have news, however social media is not a news service.

Audiences vary from company to company, but by assuming most of your social media audience are residents, you’ll learn they want to hear about things like local events, job vacancies, money saving tips and tricks and people-led stories.

Rather than posting on Instagram about the success of a new development, try amending the post to show a new family moving into their new home. People love people!

Metrics

Be sure to use metrics to your advantage. You don’t need fancy software for this! The metrics that you’re able to access via your accounts work just fine. Look at these to identify and analyse what went well, not so well, where your engagement rates and click rates received the highest percentages. Use this to plan your content for the upcoming months.

If you’d like help with your social strategy, contact me at harriett.bolton@see-media.co.uk.

Harriett Bolton is a Senior Account Executive at See Media