Capitalizing on Social Media: Tips For Utility Communication on Social Platforms

Sarah Brown

Social media channels are increasingly becoming a mainstay for utilities across the nation. Utilities are using these platforms primarily to communicate with customers about outages or other high-priority news in real-time.

For many customers, this is a very convenient approach to getting the information they need in a very timely manner, including location-based marketing, which gives customers real-time information at the point of purchase via smart phones using social media channels. According to the latest Pew Research Center findings, 56 percent of Americans own smart phones and this accessibility to social channels at the point of purchase is increasing. Utility efficiency programs can benefit from this access anywhere, anytime through sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Is your organization wondering how to leverage this medium to create more impactful messages for your energy efficiency programs? Here are a few tips to get started.

  1. Consider your audience: How should the audience feel after reading your post? Does this feeling align with your brand? What is the level of understanding on your particular topic? Avoid too many acronyms if the audience doesn’t live and breathe a particular topic.
  2. Inspire meaningful conversations: Are you asking a question, seeking input, or posting images associated with your topic? These are key factors in sharing content with a goal to engage the audience and motivate them to take action.
  3. Provide access to exclusive information: Do you have a special promotion, event or contest that would be valuable to this audience? Post it through social media channels and evaluate cross-promotional opportunities with partners like retailers, event hosts, utility employees or other participants to broaden your message’s reach.
  4. Provide meaningful calls-to-action: Is your call-to-action one that will generate results? Does this statement inspire your audience to act or make a purchase? Be sure calls-to-action are direct and clear. If there is a need for further explanation, be sure to link to other areas online for further details.

Don’t forget, social media allows for personal and two-way communication that other marketing efforts do not allow. This powerful tool can be a double-edged sword if your company doesn’t have a plan in place for managing feedback and comments. Be sure to know your company’s social media policies well and be prepared to manage conversations that conflict with these policies. Strive for transparency and honesty and consult your marketing team for guidance when necessary.

Ecova’s marketing creative services group supports dozens of utilities across the nation to help them to achieve desired program results with the right marketing mix. In both strategy and execution, our creative team will help make your program a success. Contact us to learn more!

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