Aster Group Case Study – Developing a Social Media Strategy

The Business Challenge

The Aster Group provide affordable housing, maintenance and repair services for homes and care services for the vulnerable and elderly and have over 75,0000 customers across central southern and southwest England.

With assets over £1 billion and a turnover of £145 million the Aster Group is one of the UK’s largest housing associations.

The organisation is progressive and forward thinking and wanted to ensure they were utilizing and planning the best use of digital and social technologies for their staff, customers and stakeholders. The organization used a range of social media platforms to communicate but were not in control of their messaging and communications internally or externally and were unsure how to use social media to embrace their company strategy of “digital by default” without alienating staff, customers and the wider social audience

The Solution

Aster Group contracted with Sharpmonkeys to undertake an audit of their social presence, their outputs and operational benefits plus the wider customer facing social tools to ensure customers could communicate in the most convenient way but at the same time not feel excluded or threatened by technology.

Sharpmonkeys undertook several interviews with key staff as well as scanning the housing association environment for good practice and thought leading social media implementation. A workshop with key members of staff was held to understand the operational and communication challenges from each area as well as the requirement to manage and control social media output and use pre defined tools.

A robust 12 month social media strategy was produced for Aster Group that provides a 3 month, 6 month and 12 month digital roadmap with key objectives, performance indicators and recommendations. Quick wins were highlighted and resource issues bought in line with recommendations.

The organization now has a multi divisional working strategy for social media and can move forward with resourcing, training and recruiting staff as well as communicating with customers and stakeholders effectively.

The Benefits

Sharpmonkeys were able to develop a social media strategy that linked to the organizations objectives, provide costs for implementation and resource development as well as expected outcomes. The organization now has a firm strategic view on what part social media plays in the sales, marketing and operational development of the business and which platforms to be using, when and how.

The strategic roadmap gives the organization quick access to an overview and how to move the social media forward, how to engage with the audience and what the potential benefits would be. The social media strategy also puts the organization in a strong position for future investment and up with the best in class in their market sector for social technology and use of the digital channels.

Lyndsay Scanlan, Communications Director: “We’re sure our new and improved social presence will help us move closer to our digital by design ambition.”