Special places in the digital world

Published : Thu 24th Apr Author : Howard Scott

We look after some pretty amazing places and spaces – and we look after them forever, for everyone. We want people to share our love for these wonderful places and to recognise, and enjoy, the benefits they bring to our lives. That’s why we’re constantly exploring new ways to connect people to our cause, and to strengthen the relationships they have with us and with the places we care for. In today’s world of tablets and smart phones, social networks and big data, digital has an essential part to play in helping us do this. 

Digital is central to our interactions with our supporters and members – whether that’s changing your address when you move house, making a good property visit a great one, or even being able to pay for a tea or coffee with your mobile. We’re using digital platforms to create special moments, to help build meaningful connections between people and places. That’s really important to us. For example, our national 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign is encouraging children and their parents to get off the sofa and come outdoors.

The way we interact with technology is constantly developing. Right now, we’re focusing on three key areas: devices, personalisation, and storytelling. Take devices, mobile specifically. Before Christmas last year, around August, mobile traffic to our website was 40%. It then spiked after Christmas and reached 58% on 2nd January. That really got us thinking. We saw that people were coming to us from different devices. We also noticed patterns from different parts of the country. So we’re working to capitalise on mobile and address the needs of the mobile consumer and the life they have with us.

We’re also looking at how we can use social data to drive engagement. For example, we know that on Monday mornings there’s lot of social media talk about the National Trust, as people share what they did at the weekend on Facebook and Twitter. How do we make the most of these conversations? And how do we turn a conversation into a meaningful, long-term connection? These are the sort of questions we’re asking ourselves here in Digital.

In many ways, we’re just at the start of our digital journey. We’ve taken the first few steps. The real work, the big, exciting stuff, is just starting to happen...