624 million customers worldwide will use social media to engage with utilities by 2017 | Social Media in the Utilities Sector

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Social media can serve as a beneficial tool in recruitment, customer relations, brand reputation and can also contribute to commercial success. Against this backdrop, SMi’s third annual Social Media in the Utilities Sector conference will focus on how these developments can be further refined with utility case studies from recent implementations demonstrating what lessons have been learnt and how you can benefit.

Social Media in the Utilities Sector

Communicating with utility customers has moved far beyond bill inserts, with social media is being embraced by millions of customers to interact with utility companies. A recent survey conducted by Navigant Research estimates that 57 million people used social media in 2011 to engage with utilities, and by 2017, they estimate the number will rise to 624 million. The adoption of social media presents a valuable opportunity for utilities to raise the awareness of energy efficiency programmes and to build better customer relationships and higher satisfaction.

Although, only 11 percent of consumers surveyed said they currently use social media to interact with their utility company, this number is expected to grow as utilities develop their presence in this channel. The finding that nearly 60 percent of respondents who do interact with utilities via social media said that they do so regularly or very often should be recognized as a valid and viable option for utilities to grow engagement that has been traditionally difficult to develop.

(Source: Navigant Research, Feb 20, 'Social Media in the Utility Industry,' http://www.navigantresearch.com/research/social-media-in-the-utility-industry)

Against this backdrop, SMi’s third annual Social Media in the Utilities Sector conference will focus on how an array of major utilities have sought to enhance brand reputation and improve their customer engagement and recruitment strategies. The two-day conference programme contains presentations from leading senior industry figures from an array of utilities including Affinity Water, Northern Powergrid, Jamaica Public Service Company Limited, Vitens, Electricity North West and RWE Npower.

Key speakers include:

  • Timothy Compton, Digital Community Coach Digital Engagement Team, Affinity Water
  • Emma Cottle, Internet Services Manager, Northern Powergrid
  • Winsome Callum, Head of Department, Corporate Communications, Jamaica Public Service Company Limited
  • Kim Van Gameren, Senior Communications Adviser, Vitens
  • Jonathan Morgan, External Communications Manager, Electricity North West
  • Joanne Frears, Solicitor - Head of Intellectual Property, Jeffrey Green Russell Limited
  • Murray Cox, Strategic Director, DigitasLBi
  • Beverley Harrington, Brand Reputation and Social Media PR Manager, RWE Npower
  • Emily Ward, Social Media Marketing Lead, RWE Npower
  • James Mossman, Associate Director Digital, Edelman
  • Mark Adams, Director, TCG.SO

To view the full speaker line-up and conference programme, visit http://www.smi-online.co.uk/2014media-utilities19.asp.

Plus, don't miss the pre-conference workshop taking place on 1st April 2014:
Growing your sphere of influence online | Led by Heleana Quartey, Head of Digital UK, Lewis PR

The online sphere provides us with unprecedented opportunities to identify and engage with a growing ecosystem of stakeholders. From customers, independent experts consumer champions, specialist interest groups to media and analysts, there are always new people that we wish to connect with and be wary of. In a sector that is increasingly affected by controversy, businesses will discover potential friends within these groups that can help carry their message forward, or protect against detractors that could damage their reputation.

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Sonal Patel

Sonal Patel
SMi Group Ltd
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