NES Social Media Evolution


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Nashville Electric Service incorporates social media into communications strategy and planning.

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  • Our birth into social media started about a year ago. Our public relations firm (McNeely Pigott & Fox) approached us formally about using social media as a way to connect with customers. Their first suggestion was to use the outlet of Facebook to share information about NES and build conservation awareness in the community”. We were on board. That idea evolved to Twitter, where MP&F showed us our customers were already talking about us. We just needed to engage them (and in some cases, clarify things for them). Then we branched out to YouTube with our own channel. The idea of creating how-to instructional videos was already on our radar. We were planning to post those to our website. It seemed like a logical choice to put them on YouTube. Spend a majority of my time day talking about our YouTube efforts and strategic planning and measurement.
  • Nashville Electric Service (NES), one of the12 largest public electric utilities in the nation NES does not generate any electricity. It buys all of its power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. 87 cents of every dollar goes to TVA for purchased power. We serve over 357,000 customers over a 700 square mile service area (all of Davidson County (metro Nashville) and portions of 6 surrounding counties. Have revenues of $1 billion each year.
  • Starting out we had no real expectations because we didn’t know any better. We quietly created an account and people found us quickly. Our # of followers grew with little to no promotion. And it became clear to us that Twitter was an important communications tool that we needed to cultivate. Our most powerful tool – best fit
  • 1 month mark - 170 followers (no promotion at this point) Current Stats: 1,513 followers (jump after recent promotions, outages)
  • Crisis situation – breaking news/updates (phone scam, emergency outages) Promoting NES programs (E-bill, In-Home Evaluations, PowerWise) Directing people to for more information and providing direct links (an effort to increase visits)
  • Normally 1 or 2 tweets a day (4 due to downtown power outage)
  • Original Facebook page was branded with our educational “spokesbulb” Edison. People couldn’t find us and didn’t realize who we were when they did. Re-designed and re-launched the NES Facebook page one month later. Current Stats: 398 fans
  • Different beast (slower growth, but steady organic growth) Facebook Insights – admin function # of fans have picked up recently due to new promotions (news release)
  • Fairly even (more females than males) Largest age group 25-34 14% over 55
  • Links to website and news stories of interest Post videos Starting discussions Really like photos
  • Current Stats: 1,336 views and 12 videos A few in both Spanish & English (online billing, read your meter, Sounds players) Promote on Facebook & Twitter when new video uploaded Plan to buy our own flip cam and produce more in-house at little to no cost
  • 1 hour per day to manage all 3 accounts and monitor sites. We post information to Twitter before sending it out to media. (reference call about phone scam) We want Twitter to be the first place customers & media come for information. May not be as important now, but when a crisis hits, we will already have an established relationship & trust with customers who will come to us rather than relying on 3 rd party information that is most often incorrect.
  • .
  • Twitter – have blocked several from following us (spammers) Facebook – Comments can be deleted after the fact Fans have asked if we post both negative and positive comments. They appreciate the open style of communication
  • Ask for guesses from audience
  • Examples of actual tweets - Power Outage/Winter Storm
  • On Twitter
  • Call center problems (used Twitter to notify customers and answer their questions) Problem: The NES Customer Relations call center was experiencing network problems, which affected our customer’s ability to report an outage or conduct other business with NES customer relations representatives by telephone.
  • Promoting how-to instructional video on Facebook (video embedded and link to YouTube)
  • On Facebook – two thank you posts and one discussion Tree trimming complaint resulted in thank you
  • What started as an experiment (dipping our toes in the pool) has evolved to leveraging social media to improve customer relations Not just about the call center or email anymore. Social media makes us more accessible and vulnerable at the same time.
  • Strategic Planning: incorporating into overall communications plan Adds an additional element to our jobs, but it is another tool at our disposal. Promotions Crisis Communications When a crisis occurs we need to know what do to with regards to Twitter, etc. We can’t abandon those outlets, especially not during a crisis. We have added a social media section to our Crisis Communications Plan. Will assign Twitter duty along with the rotating media pager. Trained staff members. Policy Making – recently opened up access for employees to NES pages Currently, NES has no such policy. Microsoft – easy policy Measurement/ROI BIG QUESTION - How do we measure success? Are we being successful or wasting our time? All about engagement, etc. Are beginning to collect monthly social media reports to track our progress.
  • Bill stuffers Articles in our customer newsletter Links on website – Contact Us, My Environment, Ways to Save (links to YouTube Videos) Recognizable Twitter, Facebook & YouTube icons on the homepage (saw big jump in visits to YouTube page when we added the icon) Cross referencing – on Twitter we push people to YouTube videos, etc. Lunch & Learn session with employees Started adding URL addresses to marketing materials and conservation advertising. Word of mouth – re-tweets, etc
  • Moving forward – promotion specifically through social media channels / viral marketing
  • Added links on other materials (cross promotion)
  • Show jump in views on YouTube (resulted in pick up on local Fox affiliate) Video featured in 3 segments. Also, after tweet about phone scam, reporter picked up story and referred to our Twitter page.
  • CEO opinion piece in The Tennessean (local paper) about the discussions taking place on our social media (energy conservation)
  • Thinking about ways to keep the content fresh and interesting. A number of companies have had success in growing their fan base by posting trivia questions or hosting competitions via Facebook and offering giveaways. We are looking at conservation items (CFLs, conservation kits, home energy audits) and possibly gift cards or event tickets (if it is something that NES sponsors). When NES has an event (i.e. Kilowatt Ours workshop or Go Green District 18 seminar) we can create an event listing on our Facebook page and send out invitations to all of our fans. We want to add more photos to our page. Whether it be pictures of employees doing karaoke at the Heart Association Cookout, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, or dressing up for Customer Service Week. We think it would be a great way to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at NES. We also, like to post photos from community events that NES is involved with.
  • Include text on upcoming conservation ads that encourage people to follow us and tweet using a certain hash tag. “Tweet using the hashtag #I Love NES and you will be entered to win a free in-home energy audit” Easy to search by hash tag to track This tactic has the potential to increase the number of @NESpower Twitter followers and would also give us an idea of how much attention people are paying to NES ads.
  • Example of an ad with a hashtag
  • Post the how-to videos that are on YouTube to as well. Capture video of everyday people answering timely questions such as “What are you doing to conserve?” Considering hosting a video contest where NES customers can post videos to YouTube that show why their house needs a professional in-home energy evaluation. The person with the most persuasive and creative video would win a free in-home energy evaluation valued at $150. Recommended work could possibly be donated up to $3,500.
  • Monthly Reports – haven’t tied a dollar amount to social media, upcoming promotions should help us better track our advertising reach, etc. Who – demographics, habits, friends/followers What – volume of buzz, clicks, view-throughs Where – buzz by social channel Why – sentiment or shift in sentiment before, during and after social marketing program, customer satisfaction How – savings per customer (call center vs. online)
  • Focus Groups – next month What are other utilities doing/saying? In a crisis – listen and learn Use free tools
  • Leave you today with comments from some of our customers. Customer Satisfaction - Received some great feedback and social media efforts have been very well received.
  • NES Social Media Evolution

    1. 1. Nashville Electric Service Our Social Media Evolution
    2. 2. About NES <ul><li>One of the 12 largest public electric utilities in the nation </li></ul><ul><li>Buy power from the Tennessee Valley Authority </li></ul><ul><li>Serve more than 357,000 customers within a 700 square mile area </li></ul><ul><li>Revenues of $1 billion each year </li></ul>
    3. 3. NES on Twitter <ul><li>“The messaging system we didn't know we needed until we had it.” </li></ul>
    4. 4. NES on Twitter <ul><li>Launched on March 2, 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One month later NES had 170 followers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Stats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NES has 1,513 followers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NES is following 1,158 profiles </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. NES on Twitter <ul><li>Who is following us? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Residents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Businesses and non-profit organizations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other electric utilities across the country </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media outlets/news reporters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Energy consultants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green/environmental organizations </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. NES on Twitter <ul><li>What are we posting about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation tips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting NES programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directing people to the NES website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power outage information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linking to new “how to” videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General NES news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Answering questions on the NES Twitter feed </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. NES on Twitter <ul><li>Number of Tweets </li></ul>
    8. 8. NES on Facebook <ul><li>Launched “Edison’s Conservation Corner” on March 23, 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Went live with one month later on April 23, 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NES currently has 398 fans </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. NES on Facebook <ul><li>Facebook Growth Chart </li></ul>
    10. 10. NES on Facebook <ul><li>Who are our fans? </li></ul>
    11. 11. NES on Facebook <ul><li>What do we use it for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Posting news </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing conservation tips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing links to NES website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posting photos and videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Posing questions to spark discussion </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. NES on YouTube <ul><li>Launched YouTube page on June 30, 2009 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Channel Views: 1,336 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videos Posted: 12 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscribers: 7 </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. NES on YouTube 3.9 Free Energy Conservation Kit 3.5 Pay Your NES Bill At Local Kiosks 4.4 Tips For Saving Money On Your Electric Bill 9.3 Nashville Sounds Baseball Players Share Tips 22 Learn How To Insulate Your Attic 34 Learn How To Read Your Electric Meter % of Total Views Top Videos
    14. 14. NES Online <ul><li>Behind-the-Scenes Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff time to manage all 3 accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>About an hour per day </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All news releases go to Social Media account manager prior to releasing them to the media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Major stories announced on Twitter first </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. NES Online <ul><li>Monitoring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily searches to see what people are saying about NES in their posts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Search by keywords (NESpower, NES, Nashville Electric Service, Nashville power out, NES bill) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not a lot of negative information out there </li></ul></ul></ul>
    16. 16. NES Online <ul><li>Security Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Anyone can follow us, but we do patrol for spammers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cannot control who becomes a fan or what comments are posted </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No problems with negative/inappropriate posts </li></ul></ul></ul>
    17. 17. NES Online <ul><li>Social Media is… </li></ul>Customer Service
    18. 18. NES on Twitter <ul><li>Power Outage Updates </li></ul>
    19. 19. NES on Twitter <ul><li>High Bill Complaints </li></ul>
    20. 20. NES on Twitter <ul><li>NES Call Center Problems </li></ul>
    21. 21. NES Online <ul><li>Energy Efficiency </li></ul>
    22. 22. NES on Facebook <ul><li>Customer Interactions </li></ul>
    23. 23. So easy a caveman can do it. Taking the next step...
    24. 24. Strategic Planning <ul><li>People are following us…now what? </li></ul><ul><li>How will we manage social media during a crisis? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we create a social media policy for employees that works? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we measure our efforts? </li></ul>
    25. 25. NES Online <ul><li>Promoting Social Media Channels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bill stuffers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer newsletter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Icons on NES homepage and links on website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross referencing among three sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lunch & learn session for employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word of mouth </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Promoting Channels <ul><li>URL addresses on marketing materials/ads </li></ul>
    27. 28. Promoting Channels <ul><li>YouTube videos news release </li></ul>
    28. 29. Promoting Channels
    29. 30. Forward Progress <ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post trivia questions or hosting competitions with interesting giveaways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize the Event function on Facebook to create listings for NES sponsored events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase photo albums on NES page (both public and internal events) </li></ul></ul>
    30. 31. Forward Progress <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include text on upcoming conservation ads that encourage people to follow us and tweet using a certain hashtag </li></ul></ul>
    31. 33. Forward Progress <ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post YouTube videos on NES website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customer testimonials on energy conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video Contest – Worst Energy Hog on the Block </li></ul></ul>
    32. 34. Measuring Results <ul><li>What’s our Return on Investment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly Status Reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Six Questions to Ask </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who interacted? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What was discussed/shared? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where were the conversations happening? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When did the results happen? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why were customers engaging? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How much of an impact did the social marketing have? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    33. 35. Measuring Results <ul><li>What’s our Return on Investment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus Groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benchmarking against our peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage social media in crisis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use free tools to track activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>TwitterAnalyzer, TwitterGrader, Facebook Insights and BlogPulse </li></ul></ul></ul>
    34. 36. Measuring Results <ul><li>Posts from some of our followers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AuntB Shut up! Not only can I pay my power bill online in a pleasant and easy manner, @ NESpower has a twitter feed and thanked me. Cool. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>catalystrxn @ auntb Well, that's pretty cool! I think @ nespower 's customer svc on twitter is surprising in a good way! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mmasseur8 @ nespower it's cool to see a utility using Twitter. Are there others like you that get it? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>energythoughts NES is certainly ahead of the curve. </li></ul></ul>
    35. 37. Laurie Parker Nashville Electric Service Email: [email_address] Web site: Twitter: Facebook: YouTube: