It goes without saying that online communities don't build themselves. They need curating and there needs to be a specific need and direction for them - unless it's about kittens.
Housing associations have a great opportunity to build trust and a deeper relationship with their audiences, but if it's not done with the right approach and input then it can backfire and create a negative brand impact. We've worked alongside Stonewater Housing Association for several years now as their Creative Digital Partner and a key success has been the Customer Hubb
Part of the reason for its success is that it has clear goals and objectives. Rather than being a general sounding board, where the same voices state the same problems, its aim is to pro-actively listen. This means being open to comments and help guide them and introduce other members of the community to the areas of discussion.
The other reason for its success is that it has a talented and highly involved community manager who curates conversations where needed, picks up on issues and points people to the right places in the organisation to get their voices heard and actively encourages new users.
Whilst social media tools can be very useful, they tend to be quite generic in their content and difficult to focus on specific issues. Where a platform like the Hubb comes into its own is that you can effectively manage multiple conversions simultaneously and encourage new people to get involved.