Social Media in 2019: How can it Help Your Utility?
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- January 14, 2019
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With Facebook turning 15 this year, YouTube blowing out 14 candles, Twitter becoming a teenager and Instagram celebrating nine years, it’s fair to say social media is engrained in our personal and professional lives.
Yeah, there are holdouts — I’m an old grouch when it comes to posting on social media — but anyone (and any business) that ignores social media does so at its own peril.
With social media well established, what role is it playing in your utility?
Ideally, you should have multiple employees — depending upon your utility’s size — whose primary job is to oversee your social media channels. And those channels should definitely include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and maybe Flickr, LinkedIn and Pinterest, too.
Social media can be incredibly valuable because it’s a form of communication you can control. Your public relations team can spend hours trying to get media coverage, but there’s no guarantee that coverage will be to your liking — if you even get that coverage.
With social media, you control the dialogue and promote what you want. So do it – often.
Every working day there should be new content on your social media channels, primary Facebook and Twitter (obviously, it’s unrealistic to be able to post daily or even weekly on YouTube). That content can include consumer information, congratulations to notable employee achievements, safety warnings and local boosterism, to name a few. You can also link to any positive media coverage you receive.
Even on weekends, it’s a good idea to maintain an active, albeit reduced, social media presence. That’s particularly important when it comes to monitoring social media.
If someone out there is unhappy with the utility, a prompt response is in order. No need to let a disgruntled customer stew. If you can solve a problem — or point someone in the right direction to solving it – you’re ahead of the game.
Of course, some unhappy customers can’t be satisfied, so your best bet is to take the conversation offline and try to appease them somehow or, if need be, get them off your social media altogether.
Social media’s usage is likely to change in the years ahead, so keep an eye on the latest trends to make sure your utility uses it to the fullest.