Combining social media with traditional, face-to face communications
Resource Futures has undertaken three periods of door-stepping on behalf of Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) in order to get a better understanding of residents’ perception of the service whilst at the same time helping them to recycle more.
The ‘Recycle for Dorset’ service was launched in 2012, with the aim of increasing recycling, reducing rubbish sent to landfill and driving down costs.
To complement their third period of doorstepping in 2016, Resource Futures ran a targeted social media campaign through Facebook, sharing the same messages through social media as on the doorstep.
The objective for using a combination of social media and more traditional door-stepping activities was to really enhance understanding and impact behaviour. The variety of channels being used provided an opportunity to reach different audiences but also to provide complementary messaging between the door-step conversation, social channels and leaflet provision. To our knowledge, this was the first time social media advertising targeted by postcode was used alongside a waste and recycling door-stepping campaign.
A team of three canvassers were recruited locally to undertake the door-stepping activities, completing a short survey at each property using tablets. They gathered feedback from residents as to how they were getting on with the ‘Recycle for Dorset’ service, what they knew of the ‘right stuff right bin’ campaign, and went on to provide additional information to encourage greater participation in the recycling service. The conversations with residents gave them an opportunity to talk about any service issues and residents were provided with quality information and leaflets about both the use of their kerbside recycling scheme and about reducing their waste.
To complement this, paid Facebook advertising was used to target relevant messages to the same postcodes areas that the door-stepping team were working in. Social media adverts echoed messages from the ‘right stuff, right bin’ campaign literature. Comments and engagement with the posts enabled us to monitor how residents were responding to the advert content and adjust messaging and imagery as necessary during the campaign.
Our team knocked 15,235 households across three Dorset districts and spoke to 5,465 residents during this period. We achieved an average 5.2 conversations per hour and a contact rate of 35.3%. We found that 97.9% of residents claimed they were using the ‘Recycle for Dorset’ service.
The Facebook adverts in turn reached 36,497 people from a total of 210,000 advert impressions. We found a 12% engagement rate with 4,288 people taking action – including 200 advert reactions, 110 comments, 38 shares and 4,518 link clicks. This aspect of the engagement also generated a number of new likes on the ‘Dorset for You’ Facebook Page.
In the period after our door-stepping and social media work the recycling and composting rate increased by 2%. The municipal waste to landfill was down 4% in the same period. The client was pleased with the results from this innovative approach and expressed that they were likely to repeat similar social media engagement in the future.