Sunday, 13 March 2011

Which organisations are good at social media?

I spoke at the NHF Marcomms Conference on Thursday about using social media to engage with tenants (I'll upload my presentation and handout in the next few days). One of the questions I was asked afterwards, was which organisations are good at social media?

If you're looking to develop your companies' use of social media, it would be a good idea to follow in the footsteps of these organisations so you can see how they encourage interaction and engage with their audiences.


Solihull Community Housing - I love their facebook page. They have a great mix of corporate stories and more 'friendly', chatty stories that give you an insight into the organisation's personality. They come across as caring, customer-focused and (I think this is the most important) human.

Testway Housing - I've flagged up Testway before on this blog but they are so brilliant, they deserve another mention. They were the first housing association on Twitter and use it in a very natural and engaging way. Speaking to their Comms Team, I know that they have found their Twitter account engages more stakeholders and fellow organisations in the sector rather than customers, but I would still say it has been a success for them. A lot of companies find that facebook tends to be where the customers are and twitter is where the stakeholders are - but stakeholders are still an important group and engaging with them effectively and being seen to be open to engaging with customers is a powerful way to raise your company's profile.

Freebridge Community Housing - Freebridge use Twitter effectively and have also experimented with Freebridge24, which I blogged about here.

Flagship Housing - one that I've only just had a look at but seems to be doing a great job is Flagship Housing. Their facebook page has an enviable number of likes (622 - jealous!) and has also built great connections with other local organisations such as the police and local media, which makes it even more engaging for customers. Great stuff.

Accord's Social Breakfast is brilliant. And I see they're also advertising for a Web and Comms Officer in Birmingham, which would be a great opportunity for somebody.

Of course, I have to give a plug to Wolverhampton Homes, where I work. We're on Twitter and Facebook and we're still not using it as much as I'd like, but we are getting there. If you follow say, hello and we'll follow back.


Walsall Council - setting the standard that the rest of us can only dream of reaching, Walsall Council regularly impresses me with its authentic, innovative and un-scared (if that's a word) use of Twitter. Dan Slee, a press officer at the Council, blogs about his use of social media here and a great post he wrote recently is about how Walsall posted all it's contacts over a 24 hour period on Twitter. I love points three and four - it's not about network access and it's all about network access. Network access is one of my personal bugbears - if we want staff to engage with customers through social media, we need to make it easy for them.

Hopefully that'll give you an idea of some organisations to keep your eye on. If anyone knows any other great examples, post them below because it's always useful to check out best practice.

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