Utility companies are always on the lookout for new and improved way to connect with their customers. Now that social media has risen in prominence the world of utilities is making its move to stay on the cutting edge of communication.
Social media allows utility companies to implement next generation customer service as well as create an image for themselves which is much more personal than they have in the past.
Among some examples:
Dominion Virginia Power has taken bold steps to use social media to address their customers.
They were voted top utility for social media use in a poll of companies across the nation. Dominion Virginia has created communities for its customers by using Facebook, where they have 31,000 fans, and Twitter, with 24,000 followers. Not only does this create a dialogue between the company and its customers, it allows for excellent customer service.
In the case of power outages or other events which require urgent notification, social media allows utility companies to communicate with their customers quickly and directly.
Not only are companies using Twitter as an emergency broadcast service, there are apps for mobile phones which have been specifically designed to give status updates on the utilities that people need to know about most.
In the case of an emergency power outage a customer can simply pull up their mobile phone app and receive all the information that they need in order to feel safe and comfortable.
Utility companies can also use video in order to connect with their customers through social media.
Videos created in order to communicate the desired company image can be very effective marketing tools when it comes to re-branding the utility industry.
The general image that the utility industry evokes with the younger generation is a stodgy industrial giant. However the increasing use of social media is beginning to change that picture.
Con Edison has been using social media in order to provide additional value to their customers.
They share tips with their customers about how to live greener lives as well as links to energy efficiency programs. This campaign is designed to help customers reduce their monthly bills as well as promote an ecologically friendly lifestyle.
They also dove right into the Twitter and Instagram scene by participating in Throwback Thursdays (#TBT) where they post a picture of a historic company figure or moment. Campaigns such as these can help companies create a positive image within communities.
By reaching out to customers via social media utility companies can not only provide better customer service, but also offer additional value to their customers through informational campaigns and entertaining video marketing.
As new trends emerge at a faster and faster pace utility companies can put themselves in a position to be on the leading edge by staying active in the social media communities that they are creating for their customers.