Social media engagement trends shift as Facebook adjusts what drives the news feeds. Pioneer Social’s round-the-clock team responds quickly, building a library of customizable ways to connect.

Through the Pioneer Social team’s partnerships with more than 130 utilities, our Utility Pioneers earned 97,426,531 impressions in 2021. Engaging content and responses drove a 7.4% increase in organic impressions when comparing reach in 2021 to 2020.

“Being consistent and monitoring channels on social media is key to getting top engagement numbers for a utility’s page, which is exactly what our team is doing for our Utility Pioneers,” says Manager of Social Media Content & Accounts Amy Blunck, CCC.

Not every impression results in engagement, but Pioneer Social’s content far outpaced the national average of 0.07%, earning 5.4% engagement rate per impression.

Consumers took action, too. Link clicks from a utility social media channel to the utility’s website or other helpful resources rose by 27.6%.

“Utility Pioneers wear multiple hats at their organization. Consistently posting great content on social media while monitoring messages and shares from consumers is hard to accomplish with all the other tasks that need to be handled in a day,” Amy explains. “That’s where our team comes in.”

Social Impact of Utility Pioneers
Partnering with Pioneer Social in 2021

  • 97,426,531 total impressions
  • 61,233,856 organic impressions
  • 5,284,232 engagements
  • 238,390 link clicks
  • 62,204 new fans
  • 5.4% Engagement Rate per impression
  • 53,949 posts published (3,961 were videos)

Coordinated, customized campaigns are a big part of Pioneer Social’s success. We’ve pulled together sample creative and results from 2021 to share the power of working with a communications co-op.

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Pioneer Social Campaigns

Winter Is Coming Energy Assistance Campaign

Wells Rural Electric Company, Nevada

Garrett Hylton, director of member communications at Wells REC, needed creative content to promote the co-op’s energy assistance program for income-qualified members in September 2021. The Nevada-based utility has about 6,100 members.

“The battle we always face is the members don’t worry about it until they get to November or December,” Garrett says. “Then their bills are too high to pay and they have a 60- to 90-day wait period before they receive funding. We needed help to share the importance of submitting applications ahead of time.”

He teamed up with Account Manager Jenn Urban, Social Media Content & Account Manager Sydney Turner and Graphic Designer Duy Mai. The team developed a series of memorable social posts playing off a popular HBO series, “Game of Thrones.”

“The Light’s Watch might be our favorite concept ever,” Jenn says. 

Prepare for Winter
“Winter weather is gathering strength in the north. Don’t Let the storm bring high energy bills to your home. Register for energy assistance today at www.wrec.coop/energy-assistance.”
Engagement Rate (per impression): 6.2%
Impressions: 1,837
Reach: 113    
Light’s Watch
“Our watch stands ready to help assist you with high bills before the storm. Learn more about your energy assistance options at www.wrec.coop/energy-assistance.”
Engagement Rate (per impression): 1%
Impressions: 204
Reach: 202
Throne Room
“Winter is on its way. Apply for energy assistance early to keep your throne room warm. Learn more about your options at www.wrec.coop/energy-assistance.”
Engagement Rate (per impression): 1.9%
Impressions: 428
Reach: 403
‘Thanks, Internet!’ Broadband Campaign

To catch consumer attention, one Pioneer Social campaign went back in time. Social Media Content & Account Lead Katie Norris led development on “Thanks, Internet,” a retro-themed broadband campaign.

“The ‘Thanks, Internet!’ campaign uses colorful midcentury motifs to reference iconic 1950s ad campaigns when new home appliances were making life easier and revolutionizing the way people lived,” Katie says. “High-speed internet is doing the same thing for rural customers today.”

Brandable images pulled from the fifties are paired with text to highlight the power of Buy Nothing groups, online gaming, book-sharing resources, podcasts, apps for children and community groups.

Sample Creative

Share hobbies with friends online! A lot of great podcasts and @youtube channels started when friends came together to share their interests with the world. The opportunities are endless. Thanks, Internet!
Do you miss family game nights? With online game platforms like @boardgamearena, @TabletopiaGames and @JackboxGames, you can still play games with long-distance family members! Thanks, Internet!
Building an Audience for Iowa Rural Power

Electric co-ops in Iowa teamed up with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives to create Iowa Rural Power, a consumer-facing campaign advocating on energy issues to ensure electric cooperative member-owners have the power to support local communities.

Legislative issues rise quickly. In order to advocate effectively, the statewide association wanted a solid foundation of social media reach and engagement. They partnered with Pioneer Social to help grow their audiences on facebook.com/iaruralpower and twitter.com/iaruralpower

Between 2020 and 2021, Iowa Rural Power’s Facebook audience grew by 28.5%. A steady stream of relevant content, political tags and tailored responses drove an engagement increase of 27.8%.

Engagement Rate (per impression): 7.9% Impressions: 655   Reach: 603
‘Here for You’ Holiday Campaign

While we love custom content, Utility Pioneers share a powerful story. It makes sense for us to share solid storytelling resources, too. Pioneer Social offers access to content libraries with seasonal posts and campaigns, with new ideas added throughout the year.

A great example is our “We’re Here for You” holiday campaign. A series of graphics added bucket trucks and lineworkers to timeless Christmas settings. The campaign was used by many Pioneer Social subscribers, earning an overall engagement rate per impression of 2.3% over 84 social posts.

Sample Posts and Metrics:

Even during the holidays, [INSERT COOPERATIVE]’s lineworkers are ready to respond to whatever comes your way! It doesn’t matter if it’s repairing a downed power line, installing a new meter or even giving Santa a helping hand so he can deliver [STATE]’s presents on time. 24/7, 365 days a year …

  • Engagement Rate (per impression): 2.3%
  • Impressions: 151,098
  • Use: Posted 84 times by utilities

Join Pioneer Social

Pioneer Social logoEach month, Utility Pioneers get fresh campaigns and branded social content through Pioneer Social. Subscribers gain access to industry content libraries and self-publishing tools, or use our platinum-level service for channel management, custom graphics, publishing, targeted advertising and monthly reports.

“One of the reasons why Pioneer Social is able to craft high-quality content is because of the power of many minds coming together,” notes Katie. “People from the whole Pioneer team participate in brainstorming sessions. Out of those sessions emerge ideas like the ‘Thanks, Internet!’ campaign. Our team’s cooperation means we can create fresh and valuable content for our clients.”

Learn how the Pioneer Social team can support your utility at pioneer.coop/social.

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