Do you have a Facebook page? Are you on Instagram? Use hashtags? What’s your Twitter handle? Sounds like a foreign language. But, you still want to be social. You add a profile photo and quick “about” section to each platform, simply to exist for your customers, to have a presence, a seat at the social media table. It’s better than nothing, right?
The world of social media is where almost every customer hangs out these days, yet each platform is a completely different podium. What you say and how you say it varies from Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram to Twitter. And I’m not just talking about the character count curbing the conversation – it’s content both visual and text. Here’s an example: LinkedIn is valuable for sharing news, recruiting and showcasing culture. As a utility, you would want to post a story about your efficiency program saving a manufacturer significant costs or an employee in the field restoring power quickly.
Before you get social, consider these tips for your energy efficiency programs. You’ll gain a better grasp of the right messaging for the best channel.
Purposeful Presence: It’s not always beneficial to be everywhere. Depending on what info you want to share and with whom, certain social media sites make more sense. For instance, an electric company promoting energy efficient lighting could use Pinterest boards about the best lighting for customers’ indoor and outdoor spaces. A natural gas provider could promote attic insulation rebates on Twitter or Facebook. Think about what topics are relevant, not to just your business, but also the platform, so you don’t get tuned out.
Something to Say: Bring value to your customers. Good content is shareable – if you offer rebates or free tips, customers will want to read or even pass it along. Invest in content that is relevant to your utility or ultra-engaging. Good content makes your followers look good too. For instance, a customer shares a video from your company’s post about an energy-saving expo (psst, here’s how to make your event a success). Your customer looks like a star for passing along the local event to his/her friends. This can also bring in a new audience for you!
Keep Rhythm: Before launching any social media account, prepare content ahead of time so you can be seen in customers’ newsfeed. It’s important to stay current and consistent on your account, while not posting all day long. You should be top of mind without being too in your face.
Facebook is an Anchor: Whether you’re a Facebook fan or not, it’s undoubtedly the largest platform. If nothing else, you should use the site to:
- Promote your other social media accounts
- Share photos and informational links
- Advertise and bring people to your website
Targeted ads can also help businesses and utilities reach audiences these days. They’re precise too. They can be ‘geo-targeted’ so you’re only reaching specific customers. Click through rates are higher with a strong, straightforward call to action, like ‘start now’ versus ‘want to learn more.’
Open the Conversation: One of the most organic benefits of social media is the conversation. A customer writes a nice review about your energy technician who came out to assist them at their home, you can comment back thanking them and maybe plug another program. Someone shares or comments on a picture of a new product you’re offering, you can and should respond back. This creates a positive customer experience and brand loyalty. Even if feedback is negative, respond back. Be professional, let them know their feedback is important and find a way to smooth it over.
Social media is an upward trajectory. Businesses are talking. Customers are inquiring and listening. For utility companies, you can bring added value to your customers, especially through your energy efficiency programs. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you try.
Want to join the conversation or grow your online presence, but don’t know where to start? Franklin Energy's expert marketing team can help.
Although “creative” isn’t in Brady Loomis’ job title, it doesn’t stop her from providing out-of-the-box digital solutions to produce results. She supports all of Franklin Energy’s program marketing clients with social media and digital advertising support and ensures continuous improvement by setting up tests and analyzing results. She also provides support for our clients’ residential programs in the way of marketing campaigns, material and program applications. Brady holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and journalism with an emphasis in strategic communications, plus a certificate in entrepreneurship, from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds various digital marketing certifications and is an active member of the Social Media Examiner Society.