Can social make utilities sexy again?


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The demands on Utility companies today are increasing substantially. Ageing workforces, recruitment and retention issues are at the forefront of these demands and compounding that, Utilities are increasingly looked on as being boring. On the other hand, start-ups in the social technology space are seen as innovative, customer focussed and fun organisations.

Can the lessons and technologies from these companies be used by Utilities? Smart social strategies can radically change an organisation’s image - do you want to make your Utility sexy once more?

How social can help Utilities overcome image related issues
How social mediums can alleviate some of the aging workforce, recruitment and retention difficulties
Engaging customers to reduce their energy requirements and building increased awareness of their usage
Your organisation can use social software to communicate better with customers
Social technologies can help utilities get their mojo back

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Can social make utilities sexy again?

  1. 1. Can Social make utilities sexy again? Tom  Raery,  Principal  Analyst  RedMonk 1Big ask, I knowChris ChenI think they can be
  2. 2. Tom Raftery • Principal analyst, RedMonk • • • • +34 677 695 468 • 2Bullet points - sorry!More Bullet points on this slide than on the rest of the entire deck!Prob won’t have time for q’s at end - will hang around but here are my contact details in case you can’t stay
  3. 3. SlideShare 3This is SlideShare - where you can view or d/l this deck
  4. 4. Show of hands Photo 4How many of you:Read blogs?Watch online video?Have a FaceBook a/c?Have a LinkedIn a/c?Have a Twitter a/c?Consider FaceBook/YouTube/Twitter a waste of time?
  5. 5. Social Media 5Some of the social media sites
  6. 6. Social Media Photo 6Social media fundamentally changed the web - now a two-way medium
  7. 7. What I had for breakfast? Photo - 7People often belittle Social Media saying - it is full of ppl saying what they had for breakfastHow many ppl empathise?
  8. 8. What I had for breakfast? Video 8This video is 1.5 yrs old - the numbers in it are well out of date - most significantly higher now
  9. 9. Utilities, Social Media, & APJ 9Had a look around this region & found some great examples of SM use by utilitiesquick selection...
  10. 10. APJ Utilities Social Media 10Australian utility - provides electricity, water and sewerage services to the Northern Territory of AustraliaFaced issues with perception - were butt of many jokes - even in parliamentRolled out social media, now 180 turnaround in reputation
  11. 11. APJ Utilities Social Media 11Pull tweets onto home pageAlso have Flickr & Youtube accounts
  12. 12. APJ Utilities Social Media 12Water utility3412 likesZero interaction though
  13. 13. APJ Utilities Social Media 13> 262k followers 1 of 3 accountsNo interaction - all broadcastBut tells ppl of availability of electricity so big followership
  14. 14. APJ Utilities Social Media 14Kepco - Korean utilityTwitter & Facebook pagesseems to have interaction but hard to tell given my lack of Korean (and GTranslate is no help!)
  15. 15. APJ Utilities Social Media 15They do converse though, unlike many others
  16. 16. APJ Utilities Social Media 16One of their two Twitter accounts1305 followers - electrical promotions for customers
  17. 17. APJ Utilities Social Media 172550 followers - but better yet is their video... !
  18. 18. APJ Utilities Social Media Video 18
  19. 19. APJ Utilities Social Media Video 19Has had nearly 20,000 views!
  20. 20. Challenges utilities are facing... 20
  21. 21. Brand and image Photo 21Brand and reputation issues - utilities not trusted
  22. 22. Brand and image Photo 22Utilities perceived as boring - doesn’t help recruitment/retention
  23. 23. Recruitment Photo 23Brand and aging workforce issues have follow-on consequences for recruitment/retention
  24. 24. Exacerbated by Photo 24Recruitment issues all the more urgent becauseIn the U.S. energy sector, more than a third of the workforce already is over 50 years old - Bureau of Labor Statistics: In the US approx 30-40% of the work force in the electric utility sector will retire in the next 10 yearsAnd aging infrastructure
  25. 25. Increasing demands Images 25Increasing demand for energy at a time of dwindling supply
  26. 26. Increasing demands Photo 26Also other demands -- Customer service- Reduced environmental impact- More granular energy consumption information
  27. 27. So how can social media help? 27
  28. 28. Brand Management Photo 28Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20, 2010 - 11 men killed, 17 injured.Over next 3 months - spilled about 4.9 million barrel & still leaking today 2.5 yrs later
  29. 29. Brand Management 292191 RTs!
  30. 30. Brand Management 30
  31. 31. Brand Management 31Current BP account - still not learned lesson - all broadcast
  32. 32. OTOH 32
  33. 33. Brand Management 33Old Spice
  34. 34. Brand Management 34This ad alone has had 43m views
  35. 35. Brand Management 35185 videos in 24 hoursResponded in realtime to questions posed to #OldSpiceOld spice sales up 100% in month that followedStill up 50% a year later (with help from coupons)
  36. 36. Customer Service 36
  37. 37. Customer Service 37
  38. 38. Customer Service 38
  39. 39. Customer Service 39
  40. 40. Customer Service 40Seems to be genuinely Murdoch tweeting
  41. 41. Customer Service 41
  42. 42. Customer Service 42Obviously this doesn’t scale but...
  43. 43. Customer Service 43
  44. 44. Customer Service 44
  45. 45. Customer Service 45Gives ppl ETR’s via TwitterNot new, was doing this last yr in response to Irene as well
  46. 46. Customer Service 46>10,600 likes - also v interactive
  47. 47. Customer Service 47Over 300 photos tagged “Hurricane Sandy”
  48. 48. Customer Service 48
  49. 49. Customer Service 49Pull their SM resources together nicely here
  50. 50. Customer Service 50Call centres swamped120 people in shifts for 7 days on FB & TwitterNow has 23 strong social media dept“customer service agents in the social media dept are 75% more productive than those in call centres”
  51. 51. Customer ServiceFor the 27 airlines in the Star Alliance, nearly one-third ofcustomer feedback now comes from social media. Jaan Albrecht, CEO of Star Alliance Services 51
  52. 52. Customer Service 52
  53. 53. Customer Service 53Early 2000’s SAP had 170,000 customers - support needs, esp for new products were becoming unmanageable
  54. 54. Customer ServiceTo make it work... would be 90% us and 10% them atfirst. But we knew if we did that, it would eventually be10% us and 90% them. Mark Finnern, Chief Community Evangelist, SAP SCN 54
  55. 55. Customer Service 55More than 100,000 joined in first 2 yrsNow over 2.5m usersSAP: SCN improves customer retention, creates efficiency and drives top line growth and revenue
  56. 56. Inside the firewall 56
  57. 57. Retention Photo 57David Legge - Fortis BC - guy walking out of interview
  58. 58. Retention 58Twitter as news/info gathering medium
  59. 59. Retention 59For millennial’s - blocking SM is like putting a rotary dial phone on their desk with a lock on the dial
  60. 60. Retention Twitter is a primary source to gather information about changes in my industry. It helps the organization stay current with the latest trends and thinking. Casey Coleman, CIO of the U.S. General Services Administration 60Don’t take my word for it
  61. 61. Collaboration 61
  62. 62. Collaboration Photo 62Social media can be powerful way to share info within orgsAnd stop co losing info when ppl leave
  63. 63. Collaboration 63IBM internal blogsTag clouds - recommendations, similar blogsIBM has 20k internal blogs - running blog program 9 yrs
  64. 64. Collaboration 64IBM internal blogs - going strong for years now - internal social network - knowledge sharing - self-promotion tool
  65. 65. Collaboration 65
  66. 66. Collaboration 66Cloud-based SharePoint alternative
  67. 67. Collaboration 67SAP’s new Jam offering
  68. 68. Collaboration 68Onboardingability to join groups
  69. 69. Collaboration 69
  70. 70. Collaboration 70
  71. 71. Collaboration 712 ppl working on a spreadsheet remotelyIn a browserAnd chatting
  72. 72. Big Data & Analytics 72No enterprise talk is complete without discussing big data & analytics!
  73. 73. Big data! 73Twitter - half a billion tweets per day
  74. 74. Big Data! 742.5 billion content items per day!More interesting stats on the page - was getting too bulletpointy,
  75. 75. AnalyticsTheres no such thing as information overload - only filterfailure. Clay Shirky, Prof NYU, Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society 75
  76. 76. Analytics 76Gatorade’s Social Media command centre - Mission Control
  77. 77. Analytics 7770 employees monitoring and dealing with social media11 languages25,000 social media events for the company each day
  78. 78. Analytics 78Dell contributed funding and tech for this
  79. 79. Analytics 79Twitter is faster than, and as accurate as, the official records at detecting the start and early progress of the epidemicAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine
  80. 80. Analytics 80researchers at Virginia Tech developed system that provides auto manufacturers an efficient way to discover andclassify vehicle defectscan be used to discover vehicle defects from social media posts across multiple car brands
  81. 81. Analytics 81GE - Grid IQ Insight
  82. 82. Analytics 82GE - Grid IQ InsightIf someone posts a pic - then utility knows exactly what equipment to send in truck roll
  83. 83. Analytics 83GE - Grid IQ InsightIf someone posts a pic - then utility knows exactly what equipment to send in truck roll
  84. 84. Energy Management 84
  85. 85. Energy Management 85
  86. 86. Energy Management 86Minimum Emission Region - MeRegio - Baden-WürttembergResearch project involving SAP Research & 5 partners
  87. 87. Energy Management 87MTKD metric - mean time to kitchen drawer
  88. 88. Energy Management SAP Smart Meter Analytics 88SAP Smart Meter AnalyticsCentrica demo at Sapphire - largest SAP customer! - 18m residential customers! - 1m businessGoing from 75 million meter reads per annum to 120 billion meter reads a year
  89. 89. Energy Management SAP Smart Meter Analytics 89Posts to your Facebook wall
  90. 90. Energy Management 90Gamification - behaviour change
  91. 91. Energy Management 91
  92. 92. Energy Management What-if Energy apps had: •Ability to share to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc •Leaderboards? •Achievement badges? •Targets and scores? 92With increased information and ‘fun factor’ - people become more engaged -> the MTKD is prolonged
  93. 93. Conclusion 93
  94. 94. Conclusion Social 94Overlay social on issues like these...
  95. 95. Conclusion 95and your org can be the sexy utility on the block.
  96. 96. ConclusionAs well as business advantages, social can make utilities sexy once more! 96
  97. 97. Thanks! Contact information: Tom RafteryPrincipal Analyst, Energy & Sustainability, RedMonk,, +34 677 695 468 97
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