1. Educate Your Audience: In the energy industry, there is always an endless amount of information available at your fingertips, make use of this in order to learn and educate others. Understand what your audience wants to hear. For example, provide them with energy-saving tricks and ways to save money on your energy bill. Make sure that your online content is easy to read and has a clear message that you’re trying to get across.
Example: In 2016, E.ON is planning to roll out it’s first campaign since consolidating the UK marketing communications. E.ON will be launching a new smart energy pay as you go initiative with a multi-channel campaign on TV, radio, social media and internal communications activity. According to Anthony Ainsworth, the Marketing director of E.ON, this new service was a result of feedback from customers who “have been telling us that they want more control over how they pay for and use their energy”. A commercial has already been set in place to help promote.
2. Add Humor: The energy industry is often perceived as serious and complex, so it is important to lighten the mood and keep your audience interested. The best way to do so is by adding humor in appropriate ways. Some ideas can be to include relatable memes, funny jokes or even personal stories. Make it fun, engaging and interesting!
Example: In order to advertise Cisco’s $80,000 ASR 9000 router, they released ‘The Perfect Gift for Valentine’s Day‘ video and advertised it in a non-traditional way. Instead of positioning this product as serious and informative, they used humor to get their point across.
3. Branded Content: Explain to your following what your company is, what their goals are and what the point is that you are trying to get across. Your company’s messaging should be obvious in all online content. Create a sense of trust with your social following through your messaging and branding.
Example: First Utility is one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent energy providers. In alignment with First Utility’s growth plans, they will be branding all of their products, marketing activities and customer support as Shell branded. Why are they doing this? Shell Energy Europe is already a strongly positioned and branded company that is trusted by their customers. Shell and UK’s First Ultility will now work together to target the German retail power market.
4. Crisis Management: Have a set plan when dealing with spikes in numbers or content. Test out your social listening real-time alerts and ensure that you will be the first to be notified when any crisis occurs. Then, properly handle all crises online as they arise. If someone has a question about your brand, answer it in a timely manner. If a customer has a concern about something going wrong with your brand, confront it professionally. Prove to everyone that their concerns are being heard and dealt with.
Example: A great example of an energy company succeeding in crisis management is PSE&G. During Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey, PSE&G allocated 22 of their staff members to responding to all inquiries, posting safety information and giving service updates on their Twitter account. By the time everything was back up and running properly, these 22 staff members were able to send out 9,000 tweets and increased their Twitter following from 14,000 to 58,000.
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