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Bolster Your Utility’s Social Media Presence with Photo Contests

image credit: Photo 100550125 © Yuryz |
Andy Gotlieb's picture
Editor of a specialty publication, former public relations practitioner Freelancer

I hold 34 years of experience in communications, mostly in journalism, with a decade in public relations, too.  The first 17 years were spent in print journalism, where I covered, at various...

  • Member since 2016
  • 1,005 items added with 508,837 views
  • Jul 27, 2021

Consistently posting relevant and interesting social media content is more difficult than you might think.

Yes, the posting part isn’t hard to do, but too many posts fall flat because they’re boring, repetitive, too promotional or irrelevant. Having a good social media presence is both an art and a science, but plenty of utilities (and businesses and organizations of all stripes) are failing at it.

If you’re looking to periodically spruce up your social media feed, consider some kind of photo contest. These contests can help build community, incentivize customers to follow your channels, build awareness and increase awareness.

Given that everyone’s a photographer these days thanks to increasingly good cellphone cameras – and that people seem to love to document every aspect of their lives – a photo contest is a natural. The prizes offered don’t have to be much; the main idea is to showcase as many photos as you can.

It is important to note that social media platforms have different guidelines for giveaways, so be sure to be in compliance before you launch a contest. In the same vein, have defined terms and conditions regarding your contest.

If all of that proves too daunting, you can even junk the contest and just ask for customers to show you their best pictures of X.

So, what works well visually?

Around the winter holidays, a contest for the best lighting display is a winner, plus it shows off the utility’s “product.”

Another idea for a contest is to have those with solar panels on their homes or businesses showcase their array.

While it’s always good to directly promote the utility, contests don’t necessarily have to focus on electricity. Scenes from the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving will draw interest, too; avoid promoting religious holidays, which may alienate some customers.

Whatever you decide to do, remember that picking the winners really isn’t all that important. So long as your customers’ voices are heard and people pay attention to your social media feed, you’re coming out ahead.

Andy Gotlieb's picture
Thank Andy for the Post!
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