Pets: the secret weapon of housing associations on Facebook

Jun 10, 2021

Housing associations on Facebook often have a tough time engaging residents.

Star Trek character says:

We work with comms pros who manage Facebook pages that are either:

• A negative space where people moan about the organisation’s shortcomings

• An absolute ghost town, where you struggle to get a single like or comment off anyone, not even a colleague

As we teach on the Social Media Expert Course: there are strategies you can use to get things rocking again.

Housing associations on Facebook need to cut down on the information sharing

You want people to know information that will help them.  Your colleagues think your job is to inform people or news, events and advice.

But nobody joins Facebook for that.

It’s social media. Not ‘information’ media, not ‘corporate news story’ media.

People go there to be distracted, amused, and connected with others.

It’s counterintuitive, but you need to reduce the amount of stories that your colleagues think people should know.

And then you increase the amount of Facebook posts on topics people want to talk about.

Stop behaving like a broadcaster, start behaving like a community builder

If you want to build relationships and have a thriving community of people who interact positively with your brand – please let your audience chat about ordinary things in our lives.

We don’t want to fill in surveys about your organisation. We don’t want to hear your news, or about whatever schemes you’ve got going on.

Not yet anyway.

Let us have a bit of small talk to loosen us up, get us comfortable chatting, to grow trust in each other.

Housing associations on Facebook need to embrace the ‘fluffy’ subjects

Far from being trivial, and not aligned with your organisation’s goals, small talk about the weather, local places and people is essential in your content planning.

Your social media strategy needs these lighter topics in the mix to grow your audience and increase engagement.

For an organisation that provides homes, the topic of pets is highly relevant.

Our friends at Housing Association, Clwyd Alyn, shared this post after their first masterclass with us in April – it’s such a lovely example of an engaging post that gets people talking to your organisation is a positive, friendly way.

Clwyd Alyn Housing associations on Facebook: Picture of a gorgeous dog with mouth open

This ‘fluffy’ subject is actually very serious when it comes to social media engagement.

For those of us with pets, these animals are big part of our lives. They prevent loneliness.

Reducing isolation and loneliness may well be part of your organisational aims.

Pets get us out and about walking, even if it’s just to go to the shops to but them food. They make us feel needed.
Physical and mental wellbeing is almost certainly on your agenda.

And we want to talk about our pets, and share pics of how cute they are.

Build trust with your audience by chatting about things they care about, not just telling them what to do and sharing information about how great your services are all the time.

Posting getting people talking about their pets is a great way to try this.

Learn more about how you can create incredible, sector-leading social media

Our Social Media Comms Academy is designed to give you all the strategy, tactics and advice to grow thriving communities on social media.

As a member, you get a hole year to access our vast library of video lessons and masterclasses to find how your organisation can nail it every time: on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and TikTok.

And take our Social Media Expert Course, in your own time, to become the skilled and confident expert your colleagues turn to.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hel Reynolds

Hel Reynolds

Author of this post

Hel is social media trainer and boss of Comms Creatives. She has been working in comms since 2005, and has been brushing up her expertise in social media for brands since the good old days of MySpace. She also draws the Comms Cartoons, and is usually attached to a mug of coffee.

Comms Creatives Academy membership

Annual membership gets you unlimited access to all our classes, courses and events.

New classes added every month.

All the training, time-saving resources and inspiration you need for a whole year.

A whole year to become a confident, expert social media communicator.