The Social Sector Need to Embrace Social Media

  • We need to help bring social organisations forward into the digital world and to embrace social media, along with the rest of society

    On July 16-17th 2014 in Manchester, the National Federation of Arm's Length Management Organisation held their Annual Conference, AGM and Awards 2014: Building on firm foundations.

    The conference is designed to support ALMOs to embrace innovation and drive the delivery of excellent services to tenants and communities.

    Chief Executive of Halton Housing Trust, Nick Atkin (pictured left), delivered a workshop entitled ‘Social Media - Creating a successful campaign & managing reputational risk'.

    Nick Atkin discussed the use of social media and how you can use new technologies to communicate with customers and other providers more effectively. Nick discussed how to improve communication with customers and deliver a better service using technologies available and also manage reputational risk.

    Our Sister Company: The Media Bubble, along with Nick, have identified that the housing sector can (and need) to be using social media to communicate, as it is an innovative, effective and very inexpensive way of engaging with people who can be "hard to reach". Not forgetting, social media should be used to engage and empower the staff supporting people with additional needs, allowing them to communicate online. This also ensures your online presence is not just a list of corporate messages with a serious lack of interaction and conversation.

    Nick Atkin said:

    "If you give your social media account to your comms people they will broadcast boring, staid, corporate glossy messages using words that mean absolutely nothing to anybody. So if you do nothing else, wrestle it away from the corporate comms people."

    Support Solutions and The Media Bubble undertook the most comprehensive survey in the UK so far on the nature and use of social media by social organisations in the UK. You can read the full report in our White Paper here.

    The results show that the sector, with some notable exceptions, has not caught on to the benefits of using social media. As Nick commented;

    "For me it's just quite a sad indictment of where some of the UK housing are at the moment in terms of their lack of ability to embrace the fact that the world has changed."

    There is a need to bring social organisations forward into the digital world and to embrace social media, along with the rest of society.

    This is why we formed The Media Bubble; as a means of enabling the sector to understand and use social media for social purposes.

    With over 22 years of experience supporting the housing support and social care sectror, we understand peoples' concerns about confidentiality, safeguarding and organisational reputation and we can allay those concerns. Social media gives the unheard a voice and the under-resourced and overworked a powerful new way of working - and it's virtually free.

    Social media has a platform for many different needs groups: for example, people who don't use words can use visual means to express themselves, communicate and get involved; images on Pinterest and videos on YouTube should be used as an additional means of communication. Social media can also be used to create safe communities and groups. 

    Social organisations can (and should) use social media to engage staff, raise profile, network, fundraise and project their identities, and that is just to name a few!

    So what can we do?

    Well this is where The Media Bubble's expertise and knowledge come in! The Media Bubble have announced a set of briefing events on 'The Use of Social Media by Social Organisations as a Means of Working With & Empowering People With Additional needs.'

    These events will be held throughout September in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London and Manchester for £35 (inc VAT). You can find out more on our Training Page or call 0121 441 2955 for more information or to secure your place.

    I would like to point out, it is important to have an online and offline community, enabling the opportunity for people to be involved in whichever suits themselves and their need, if not both!

    Follow Nick on Twitter: @NickAtkin_hht

    Picture source:

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Support Solutions 5th National Housing Support & Social Care Conference 2014 Good organisation from beginning to end. Excellent keynote speaker. Relevant and important topics for discussion which were to everyone's advantage within the supported housing sector. B.H - Stevenage Haven


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