In ‘normal’ times, traditional methods of consultation, such as public exhibitions and community workshops are of great value. They are a very effective means of capturing local community interest in new developments, building relationships, and providing a platform to communicate with the project team.
However, not just in these changing times but also going forward, a more blended approach to include a digital strategy will widen the impact.
Adopting a digital strategy is not something to be feared or avoided and can enhance a scheme through appropriate use of a well-branded, informative project website and supporting social media tools for community outreach and engagement.
Social media can quickly and effectively hit a wide demographic and can also build target audiences specific to your project. This allows you to build an audience that will engage and advocate your scheme as it progresses through planning. It enables you to gain valuable feedback from a cross section of the community without significant additional costs.
Location targeting, through paid social media advertising, can ensure you reach an audience within a 20-mile radius from the development. Interest targeting can find people who are currently interested in buying a new home, ensuring that you are reaching out to the right community, instantly.
Using social media tools such as polls and questionnaires can encourage your target audience to directly engage, take insight from, and interact with your content.
Gaining feedback through polls or creating content to raise awareness of a scheme, allows you to not only collate valuable feedback but establish an early relationship with the local community and collect potential customer data with consent.
Having successfully tailored online community engagement plans for housebuilders such as Bloor Homes, Barratt David Wilson and Taylor Wimpey, we know that the positive results from employing an effective social media plan to support a project’s website are vast and immediately apparent.
Our online community engagement plan for a Bloor Homes project resulted in a 93% web traffic increase. Using a blended approach, 50% of respondents expressedan interest in the purchasing of the new homes, allowing the opportunity for sales cultivation at this early stage in the process.
There has been a 70% increase in social media usage since the start of the year, making it an effective way to target and engage communities. Adopting a blended outreach strategy of online and offline methods, using tools such as social media and project websites alongside direct mail, will help you reach a wider demographic, maximising community reach and engagement.
Now is the perfect time to review your engagement strategy. Take a look at our services page to find out more about the consultation programmes we have or contact us for more information.