Utility organisations are the backbone of the UK, keeping the lights on and the water flowing in our homes. With such a focus on connecting with their local communities and customers, social media is a perfect communication channel for Utilities.
We’ve rounded up our top 5 Utilities that are maximising the benefits of social media, and breaking down what makes them so successful.
Communicate Updates & Disruptions
With such complex infrastructures, things will inevitably go wrong at some point. How you communicate this to your customers makes all the difference to your relationship and overall reputation. By using social media to broadcast essential updates, you can reach a large portion of your audience in a place where they regularly spend time online.
Northern Ireland Water does precisely this when they experience problems with disruptions to the water supply. This shows their audience that they are aware of an issue, are proactively working to resolve it and are transparent with information. This is important for setting audience expectations and maintaining a reliable reputation for swiftly dealing with problems.
Hi Folks, we are currently conducting a repair in the #BT82 #Ballycolman area of #Strabane
We are working hard to have the supply restored ASAP
for more info ‚û°Ô∏è https://t.co/OFzg475DSd pic.twitter.com/oSdocplZpK
‚Äî Northern Ireland Water (@niwnews) August 4, 2020
Be a Driving Force for Change
For decades, there have been critical conversations around moving to sustainable sources of fuel, electricity and water; with utility organisations firmly in the spotlight. Use social media to promote your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plans, to show your audience the actions you’re taking and be an example to other organisations in your sector.
Tonik Energy has recently announced a partnership with the organisation, Better Century. They promote and educate on how we can all live a more sustainable life by sharing resources and increasing awareness. By publishing this partnership on their social channels, Tonik helps to inform eco-conscious customers of their actions, and set an example for utility companies to think about sustainability.
‚Äî Tonik Energy (@tonikenergy) January 21, 2020
Use Interactive Content to Engage With Your Audience
The key to building a buzzing community on social media is to give your audience a reason to engage. A great way to do this is to use native features of each platform to create interactive content that encourages users to answer questions, share their insight or get involved in conversations.
South Staffs Water ran an interactive Twitter poll, asking their audience how many glasses of water they drink in an average day. Not only is this engaging content about the service that South Staff Water provides, but it also gets people thinking about a healthy lifestyle and whether they’re drinking enough water.
From improved memory to increased exercise performance, there are many benefits to drinking tap water. Six to eight glasses of water a day is the recommended amount for a healthy lifestyle – how many do you manage? üíß
‚Äî South Staffs Water üö∞ (@SthStaffsWater) August 4, 2020
Use #Hashtag & Awareness Days
With the enormous amount of hashtag and awareness days throughout the year, making use of relevant events are a great source of engaging social media content. Writing content around trending topics also helps you to expand the reach of your content, breaking into new audiences and growing your channels.
Bulb created a light-hearted post around #FriendshipDay, celebrating friendships while simultaneously maximising their use of the trending topic to promote their referral scheme, designed for customers to refer their friends to the organisation.
üéâ Happy International Day of Friendship üç™ When half a biscuit won‚Äôt cut it, remember you can split up to ¬£100 with a friend when they sign up for Bulb‚Äôs green energy using your referral link üí°#FriendshipDay https://t.co/QTcNicPjVn pic.twitter.com/UHRFViPCdz
‚Äî Bulb (@BulbUK) July 30, 2020
Actively Participate in Research
Just like promoting CSR plans, utility companies can use social media to share significant research breakthroughs and developments that encourage sustainability. They’re also great for establishing your organisation as credible and socially responsible to your customers.
Affinity Water shared an exciting update on a farming trial they were part of, working to capture more nitrates from agriculture to reduce the impact on climate change. This keeps their audience up to date with industry-leading research that Affinity is involved in, resonating with climate-conscious customers.
Following last year’s successful trial, we are working with @Cambswater, @EnTradeUK and farmers to grow cover cropsüåæto capture 36 tonnes of nitrate, that’s 50% more than last year! Find out more https://t.co/EPGKLGbRV1 #ClimateChange #environment #farminguk pic.twitter.com/KYAOPkbAnw
‚Äî Affinity Water üíß (@AffinityWater) July 27, 2020
Social media is an excellent opportunity to share the fantastic work you do for people every day, and help to make conscious choices to be more sustainable with our usage. With so many utility companies doing awesome things on social media, do you have any favourites? Let us know on Twitter @CrowdControlHQ!