Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson, Digital Marketing Analyst at K. Hovnanian Homes

“Everyone was doing their own thing.”

Melissa Thompson says when she started at K. Hovnanian Homes, she was brought on to understand their social media ecosystem and organize it under corporate.

“What I found was that there were more accounts than we had accounted for. Some of the people who started them were still with the company, some weren't, and some of the accounts hadn't been touched in years,” she says.

Melissa brought the count down from over 60 Facebook pages to 23.

With our social pages, we're very conscious of ownership and responsibility.

She started by consolidating K. Hovnanian Homes' presences to one Facebook page and one Twitter account per state where they operated and assigning two people per division to run them.

“I also put a lot of work into setting up training because there were varying levels of social savviness across the divisions. Some employees knew how to use social media for themselves but not necessarily on behalf of a brand or company.”

Accountability is important for K Hovnanian Homes in social media.

In her corporate role, Melissa monitors each division's activities across social media to make sure they're staying within the brand's guidelines as well as industry regulations. Apparently, within the building industry, there are a number of trademarked terms that are off limits, like “green” for energy efficiency.

Plus, they must also comply with OSHA standards when using photos. For example, if K. Hovnanian shares a construction photo, everyone in it must be wearing the proper safety equipment and have signed a waiver.

“With our social pages, we're very conscious of ownership and responsibility,” says Melissa.

In fact, only Melissa and another member of her team are authorized to speak on behalf of corporate on their blog launching this summer.

Launching K. Hovnanian Homes' blog is a big focus for Melissa right now.

I believe that what grows and is successful in social media is design driven.

She says they'll be interviewing different members of their divisions to talk about new buildings, community spotlights, and mortgages. Another big topic of interest: What it means to own a home.

Melissa explains that some challenges that come with her job are misconceptions about new home ownership. “It seems to be lost in translation that when someone buys a home, they seem to believe that they don't have to do anything and it will be fine.”

According to Melissa, they're seeing the trend in their audiences both on social and on their customer service lines. That's what inspired her to begin work on a series to address basic home care and preventative maintenance.

“We're still early in some processes,” says Melissa.

“The builder industry tends to move a bit slower. Like the pace of building a home, we think of initiatives in terms of months and years, and that can be hard considering social media moves by the minute.”

She says she looks forward to the culture adjustment at her company where social media is given a little more freedom and creativity. After all, Melissa's background is in animation, video graphics, and interactive tech.

“I really do still love design, and I believe that what grows and is successful in social media is design driven. I'm excited about launching our blog and looking forward to any opportunity to use my creative side along with social media.”

Follow Melissa on Twitter and ask about her favorite animation style. Melissa's been a member of since 2015.