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How a housing association's social media campaign went viral

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How a housing association's social media campaign went viral

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

How a housing association's social media campaign went viral How a housing association's social media campaign went viral

Richard Mair, policy, PR and investment manager at Yorkshire Coast Homes, explains how a simple idea from a young member of the customer service team proved a huge digital hit.

In early 2014 a new video craze called a ‘Nek Nomination’ began to take over everybody’s Facebook feeds. Those of you that have heard of it will know that it involves an individual filming his or herself ‘necking’ a pint of alcohol (often mixed with other substances) and then nominating their friends to do the same within 24 hours. Nek Nominations were spreading virally all over the world when one Yorkshire Coast Homes staff member decided to turn the game on its head completely.

This young member of the YCH Customer Service team was invited to do a Nek Nomination by his friends on Facebook but instead of aimlessly downing a pint of alcohol, he decided that something better could come of ‘nominating’ others publically on social media. His idea was simple; he went into Scarborough town centre, bought a sandwich and then gave it to a homeless person. He filmed his good deed and then nominated two of his friends to carry it on and do something similar. He told his colleagues about his good deed at work and the news soon spread to YCH’s chief executive Shaun Tymon.

In less than 24 hours the YCH Care N Share initiative was up and running!

In order for as many people as possible to get on board some simple guidelines were created for people to follow. All people had to do was film their good deed, make sure they explained who they were and what they were doing, who nominated them and who they were nominating.

There was also the hashtag #YCHCareNShare to use when uploading the video to social media so that the YCH Communications Team could keep track of all the activity taking place.

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23YCHCareNShare&src=typd

The YCH Care N Share initiative spread very quickly, with local community groups, businesses and other individuals all quickly getting involved. To name a few there were; The BEACH, Groundworks North Yorkshire, Liquid Voice, Scarborough JobMatch, Local Business Expert Tina Boden and even members of Yorkshire Coast Radio that took part.

Some YCH Care N Share’s were simple yet effective, such as walking a neighbour’s dog, giving some clothes to a charity shop or handing some spare food to the local food bank.

Others were entirely selfless. A Housing Officer from Yorkshire Coast Homes left some money behind the counter at Thrumbles, a local Scarborough café, and asked the owner to treat as many people as possible to a free lunch before the money ran out.

And some were amazing! A staff member from local community group North Yorkshire Groundworks ran the Osmotherley Hardmoors Marathon (a 6 hour race of 27km over very hilly and incredibly muddy terrain). His aim was to raise £500 in just 24 hours and he smashed this target by raising an outstanding £1137.50!

His video on Facebook alone received over 71 shares reaching thousands of people within the Borough and beyond.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=749536858389985&set=vb.291068570903485&type=2&theater

As well as showcasing the kindness and compassion of local people and their businesses in our community, the YCH Care N Share challenge has also demonstrated just how powerful social media can be when spreading a positive message. More than 60 messages had been posted on twitter using the #YCHCareNShare hashtag and these posts reached a total of 26,155 unique individuals.

This led to 97,534 impressions (the total number of times the hashtag has appeared within Twitter feeds, including duplicates) and this figure is higher than the population of Scarborough, Whitby and Filey Town put together! This type of analytical data helps when understanding the value and momentum that can be gained from having a sustained and concerted campaign such as the YCH Care N Share.

This whole initiative stemmed from one young person who saw a chance to make a difference and decided to embrace it in a way that could sustainably benefit others. People want to help each other, they sometimes just need an opportunity to do so and YCH is proud that the Care N Share initiative has helped people to do just that.

Picture: YCH's Adam Hymas - the inspiration for the project

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