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Guest Column: Social media powers energy sector

13-December-2012
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Guest Column: Social media powers energy sector

Recent developments in the power and energy industry are creating a revolution, wherein a need has arisen for this thriving sector to go social. What we hope to see now is a social breakthrough in this segment, which has started reflecting faintly in India and a little more across borders.

Through this social step, organisations can augment their reach by communicating with their users on matters pertaining to new developments or launches, pricing, billing and other such customer concerns. Developing an innovative application that utilises social media platform can be a potential attempt towards sustainable development.

Being a part of the Power and Energy sector, an organisation can leverage the prospects by pushing this utility sector to utilise social media. This will not only foster brand awareness and brand relationships, but also enhance customer service. There are a few companies – namely Chevron, Shell, Maersk and General Electric, who are using this platform to penetrate the consumer minds and initiate engagement.

Now, a question may arise that maybe this would work for B2C, so what about B2B?

The rules would still be the same because in the end people want to do business with people and social channels allow that path for you to communicate with your stakeholders, including your shareholders or any other groups or businesses you deal with. What matters is the culture shift in the way you work with digital presence that you showcase. Integrating social layers into your existing online presence will help you extend your reach and get closer to your audience.

There are a few major electric utilities nationwide, which are active on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and talking about their business, goals and needs to heighten the rising needs for energy conservation, etc.

Let us take you through what some organisations in the energy industry are already doing and shining through social media:

Chevron

Chevron, an American multinational energy corporation, tried engaging people through Twitter. They used a great number of photos on Twitter and drew people’s attention to it.
 



Engagement and involvement into the Chevron Twitter page increased as the followers appreciated the collection of pictures used by them.


Shell

Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies, is active on Facebook and Linkedin. In the recent past, they used Facebook timeline to tell about those who researched or showed interest towards the brand Shell.
 



To get people to visit your page, understand the content, ideas and objectives of your brand it is very essential to incorporate audience specific content on your Facebook page.

Linkedin has also branched out proficiently. Shell’s presence on Linkedin, gives a professional insight of their brand. Hence, it also helps them to connect to the various experts of the industry.
 



Maersk

Maersk used the Facebook custom apps to increase the interactions. People/followers could check which app meets their interest. Accordingly, one can click on either explore Maersk, jobs, photos or page guidelines and explore the apps.
 



General Electric

General Electric, India has its social media presence through Twitter. It’s a fairly balanced page where interactions are consistent, carried out with the followers on the page.
 



Gone are the days when Energy sectors were stung by a newspaper, trying to show the full page ad where its route was controlled by the organisation itself. Hence, targeting the target audience through social media platforms will not only mean spreading their business/ goals/ objectives virally, but also tracking the conversations building up around the same. People view, engage and at the same time interact once they are aware of the turn of events related to their environment, especially when you are talking about reforms in the energy sector or current issues.

With solar plants, wind plants and turbines operating continuously and the demand for energy being on a steady rise in the forthcoming years, there’s a need for this sector to spread the word online, reach out to specific people and build a long term connect.

India is yet to see a great deal of organisations from the Power and Energy sector integrating social media into their marketing goals.

Although certain organisations in the Power and Energy sector do have a fair presence on platforms like Facebook and Linkedin, what do you think of their future social presence? Do you think social media will play a significant role when the escalating demand and competition among utilities and consumers regarding this industry and the real time interaction between them rises?

The article is a contribution by Windchimes Communications, an integrated social media agency

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