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Social Media for Utilities is Becoming Indispensable

Utilities adopting social media as a public relations or customer service tool over the past few years may have intended to start out slowly but, in a number of cases, major storms that caused widespread service outages have thrust the companies into a rapid initiation even as they were still ramping up their tweeting and posting skills. 

The use of social media for utilities is ingrained in how a utility thinks, said a representative of Edison Electric Institute. Aside from its proven worth in crisis management, utilities say that social media supports goals, including informing the public of infrastructure projects, energy conservation, safety issues and green energy investments. For utilities, social media is apparently blurring the line between communications and customer service.

Utility customers have come to rely on social media, too. “It has become a primary source of contact for many utility companies, and it’s increasingly important for improving customer satisfaction,” said Anna Lewis, Digital Content Specialist, Global Marketing & Communications for Black & Veatch. “More people are using Twitter or Facebook now to share their views or inquire about their utility service or to report an outage.”