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Social Media Starts the Conversation

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Nevelyn Black's picture
Writer, Independent

Nevelyn Black is an independent writer with a background in broadcast and a keen interest in renewable energy.  In the last few years, she transitioned from celebrity interviews and film shoots...

  • Member since 2017
  • 910 items added with 523,604 views
  • Feb 8, 2023

Constituents were surprised by Obama’s successful use of social media during his 2008 presidential campaign.  Dubbed the ‘first social-media president,’ Obama used 15 different social networking sites to raise awareness and support.  For years, companies have been taking advantage of social media to connect with their customers. 

Content marketing agencies like, Elevation B2B and Questline, encourage utility companies to adopt a social media strategy to reach customers.  Direct access to customers allows your utility to share real-time updates, helpful tips, and information.  Top recommended sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.  Facebook has 2 billion users and is believed to be the ideal platform to reach residential customers.  40 percent of LinkedIn users access the site daily and more than 80 percent of Instagram’s 1 billion users follow a business account.  Questline points out the importance of considering the voice, timing, aesthetic, and content of your posts.  “The right social media content can help you build a strong digital relationship with your audience.”

Dominion Virginia Power was voted top utility for social media use in a poll of companies across the nation.  The utility uses Facebook and Twitter to create a dialogue between the company and customers.  Con Edison is also among the utility companies that use social media to raise awareness about products and services like weatherization and energy efficiency.

Typically, we think of information we can share with customers, but social media creates an opportunity to hear from your customers.  In fact, a popular prediction in CX trends for 2023 is an increase in consumers contacting businesses through social media.  Studies by ValueWalk have reported that 63 percent of customers expect businesses to offer support via social media.  A recent study by Consumer Reports, revealed that customers 25 years old and below say that these platforms are their first choice when contacting a brand.  These factors and more, show why integrating social media into your customer service approach is necessary to keep the lines of communication open between you and your customers.

Mark Wilkinson's picture
Mark Wilkinson on Feb 13, 2023

Great post. We advocate for utilities to embrace social media communication, as it has quickly become a channel of choice for a substantial number of customers, especially the upcoming generation of late Millennials and GenZ consumers.  Those cohorts especially appreciate social media channels for customer service, and utilities can actually increase CSAT and engagement while they reduce cost to serve if implemented properly.  

Congrats to Dominion Virginia Power for their award.  They are very forward thinking in their approach, and Con Ed learned a LOT about social media following Hurricane Sandy, as customers shared information on Facebook as the crews started to restore power. Con Ed quickly capitalized on this viral channel for engagement purposes.

I'm not a huge fan of Twitter just because the level of toxicity often quickly overwhelms customer service oriented discourse if utilities aren't savvy social managers.  I usually recommend utilities new to social wade in to the channel by using one property, like Facebook or Instagram, and then monitoring it closely for a while before getting too engaged.  Social has its own tone and tempo very different from traditional customer communication, so it pays to listen and learn before getting too chatty.

Great post and a very important topic.  Love to hear more from utilities in the forum.

Nevelyn Black's picture
Thank Nevelyn for the Post!
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