Do they actually want to talk to you on Twitter?
Getting the message across in the right way can be a difficult business, especially with added pressure on budgets. To celebrate a recent award short listing the social housing communications specialists at Acceleris have put together five top tips for tenant communications:
- Spend extra time profiling your customers to ensure you get the right medium for the message and don’t neglect the value of face to face communications. For dealing with conflict or complicated matters, nothing beats face to face meetings. Also tenants build up an overall picture of your organisation from every interaction, whether over the phone, waiting at reception and every time they meet a member of staff, so police your brand and invest in customer service.
- Keep up to date with social media trends. Do you know your Snapchat from your StumbleUpon and your Foursquare from Facebook? Not every type of social media is relevant to your organisation, but the situation could change and it pays to review things at least every three months. In our experience, Facebook can be a great way to talk to tenants directly whereas Twitter is better for talking to businesses and sector organisations. LinkedIn can be a great way to promote your services to other landlords and Snapchat is probably best left alone for now!
- Find out how many of your tenants have access to the internet. A surprising number of landlords don’t know this and we’d argue it’s become increasingly important with the rise of digital communications. According to research by Ipsos Mori, the national average is 68% for local authority tenants and 64% for housing association tenants. This should be done before you commission an expensive new website!
- If you haven’t done this already, why not consider setting up a community awards programme? These are a great way to reward tenants and community groups and contractors will often be happy to underwrite the costs with sponsorship. A little recognition can make a big difference.
- Learn from the best – both in and outside the sector. One thing that unites most large businesses is their commitment to groundbreaking communications (think about the recent Share a Coke campaign). Try and come up with an original and engaging way to do things a bit differently. In the sector we like Northwards Housing – from balloons to bake-offs, their Annual Reports are always a great read.
We hope you found these useful. If you’d like a free communications review or just an informal chat, please give us a call – we’d be happy to help.