So, you've done the Twitter event. But how do you measure what kind of impact it had? Here's what he people behind one event to look at what changed because of it. The answers are varied.
Last year #Housingday tweetathon reached a 1,000 tweets an hour. This survey looked to find out about the impact of the day. We wanted to hear from those involved, what they thought about it and what the sector could do next?
The survey results show there is overwhelming support to carry out another housingday style tweetathon. It helped connect people and breakdown barriers. Yet there remains a challenge on how the event can support wider issues. A real big opportunity to build on this.
The Visceral Business 2013 Connected Housing study highlighted that: “#HousingDay showed so well, the Housing sector has ignited around digital and social media…sector has yet to incorporate the voice of its main stakeholders and those who use its services, the residents.”
Halton Housing Chief Executive Nick Atkin’s blog calls for ‘#UKHousing needs selling’ ahead of the Communications and Marketing in Housing Conference hosted by the National Federation of Housing (NatFed). Nick said:
“With an election looming we just can’t sit back and be a victim. Now more than at any point before we need to get our message clearly understood. That is where comms people come into their own. But with a few exceptions we have failed to break housing into the mainstream consciousness. We still pump out dreary press releases about things that don’t matter to people in the wider world. We’re good at talking to each other in our own language but no one else.”
The NatFed leads a growing appetite for the sector to harness ‘An Ambition to Deliver’ for housing associations to play a much bigger role in local communities and the housing market. However, ‘But the drive for real change must come from our own sector.’
Looking to the future and the next housingday how can we collaborate to meet this challenge? Should this be led by an umbrella group or organisation? Would a housingcamp or commscamp event help shape this? Should we create a ‘#housingcommshour’ like #placechat to discuss this call for action?
We would love to hear your thoughts from those of you working in and around housing. Because the future success of our sector depends on events like #HousingDay meeting this challenge.
Launched via Survey Monkey on 18 December the survey was closed on 31 January 2014. A total of 107 responses. From this 101 had taken part in housingday and six did not. Housing associations accounted for 84 responses. Of the responses 47 were personal twitter accounts and 49 organisations. Much of the impact will be personal and specific to organisations, depending on where they are on their social journey.
Thank you to all those who took the time to respond. If you would like a copy of all the responses then please get in touch @adecapon.
What difference has #HousingDay made to you or your organisation?
Demonstrated good work - 52%
Created buzz and excitement - 52%
Proud about your work - 49%
Share stories - 49%
Connected with like minded people - 47%
Galvanised the housing sector - 33%
Encouraged twitter take up (new accounts and blogs) - 28%
Inspired to do more - 28%
Broken down barriers on social media use - 24%
Learning about the sector- 23%
What impact did #HousingDay have on you and your organisation?
“It helped us see that as a small association we are able to compete with the big boys and do work that is just as good ;-)!! It also meant that staff who were a bit sceptical of its use and also lacked confidence gained a huge amount of confidence and were incredibly creative with their tweets, it was a great day.”
“#HousingDay enabled me to share with our Executive Management Team the power of twitter. I was able to make it a comms exercise by speaking with staff around the Trust to find out what they were up to and in turn create this into tweets for the tweetathon.”
“We made contact with some housing associations who are doing great projects particularly in the community - it was good for getting inspiration.”
“Interesting learning from other organisations. Great to share best practice across the sector. Create sense of connectedness across own organisation as different teams shared details of their daily tasks.”
“Staff were proud to share "a day in the life of .....". It made everything we do seem worthwhile.”
“#HousingDay really inspired a lot of our staff to share their daily business with the wider world. It made us realise that what may be mundane to us is perhaps of significant interest to others and became a timely reminder to share more.”
“It has helped staff think about how the things they do every day are 'stories' that can be shared. You don't need a 300 word article and photo to be a story. Snippets, facts and anecdotes are stories. It helped the comms team meet new staff (and vice versa) and talk about our role in a positive way.”
“We thought that #HousingDay was a brilliant idea. We posted a few tweets throughout the day reflecting the work that we’re proud of and fortunately, a few other people felt the same and told us via retweets and messages. Our Tweets managed to get noticed, which we sometimes struggle to do, especially when #HousingDay trended! It was fascinating to read what other Housing Associations do, as well. A roaring success!”
“Made us feel part of something bigger. Created social media engagement with partners and reminded us to feel proud of our sector. Also provided a platform for telling our stories, gave us a unified housing sector voice for the day.”
“It made colleagues across our organisation think about how they make a difference to tenants lives each day. It allowed us to highlight the incredibly positive effects of tenants and landlords working together in partnership.”
With work still to do…
“Dissapointed how few in the organisation participated.”
“I was pleased to see so many people in the sector tweeting, however I didn't notice an impact on my organisation.”
“...made me sad our staff can't access twitter and join in...made me see how far ahead others are in the sector.”
What do you think we should do next?
“Not convinced this sort of activity helps - risk of simply preaching to the converted, Maybe focus on specific issues rather than a general message about housing being wonderful.”
“#Housingday should be repeated annually. Some of the trends within the tweets should be analysed to look for the stories housing staff want to tell about their work.”
“Make it more than an annual thing!” “More of the same to bring on newbies & pursue innovative ideas put forward on the day. “Develop a further event.” “Repeat in 2014 with a longer lead in period.”
“More of the same, May fed are talking about a community impact week in June. We're doing a rural housing week in July. How does the sector contribute to health agenda? It straddles all government portfolios, how many mps tweeted retweet, aim for more interaction with them too.”
“A repeat of the day would be great, not sure whether we would have enough tweets to be able to perhaps theme them? Maybe we could use the day to lobby government over certain issues?!”
“Perhaps have days dedicated to specific aspects of housing.”
“Think Nat Fed Yes to Homes campaign was good because it looked at lobbying local government and used strong data. So building some momentum with #HousingDay would be good with more facts and clear purpose.”
“Repeat it. Perhaps link it in with Nat Fed to carry forward. I suggest this as they have resources to carry it forward but only if interested.”
“I'd be tempted to make this a regular thing, perhaps monthly, but I'd be more excited if we could somehow bring more customers into the fold. After all - without them #HousingDay simply would not exist!”
“Something geared towards the 2015 general election - a joint campaign to make sure #ukhousing is front and centre of the political debate in the run-up to the election and a major feature in all the main parties' manifestos.”
Adrian Capon works in the Yorkshire Housing Communications Team.