Remember when social media was just sharing photos with your friends and family? Now businesses, celebrities, legislators, government officials and more grace the News Feed with their presence. Further, the News Feed is old news. Now it’s all about video, stories and reels (I’m not the only one who gets sucked into Graham Norton’s videos in the Facebook Watch feed, right?).
Social media offers an engaging channel to connect with consumers, but with such a saturated content source, a lot of noise vies for the consumer’s attention. Your content can’t afford to be mediocre.
Here are eight types of social media content to add value and engaging storytelling to your digital channels.
Blogs, publications, user guides, podcasts and frequently asked questions are a few examples of content that demonstrates utility knowledge and know-how. But creating this kind of content can be overwhelming if your team size is limited. To build your content library, you might:
- Have employees write articles from their department’s perspective (a fiber installation, Wi-Fi router tips, seasonal efficiency advice).
- Ask a local business to share a testimonial about how they use your services.
- Invite a guest blogger or other industry leaders to commit to one article per quarter.
If you look outside your utility, you may find someone waiting for the opportunity to brush up their writing skills.
Electronic books are created with a targeted audience in mind. They are informational guides that cover how-tos and step-by-step tips for navigating through a new product launch or ways to handle a communication crisis. Like blogs, they provide direction and advice from the company’s perspective, industry experience and knowledge. They’re just longer reads.
Depending on the services you offer, you might create eBooks for the following:
- Seasonal efficiency steps to manage your bill (Touchstone Energy provides examples)
- Getting the most out of your Wi-Fi home network
- How much energy do common home appliances use?
- When do smart home appliance upgrades make sense?
- Streaming services explained
- Registering and using the company payment portal
Keep it simple with a link! Do the research for your consumer, remembering that it can be fun and engaging to take a non-traditional approach to talking about your utility. For example, does anyone else have children who come home from school and need a science project the next day? Helpful posts may include:
- Easy science projects for kids about electricity or broadband communications.
- A recipe or links to a quick dinner recipe (I try many recipes from Facebook.)
- Energy-saving advice and DIY projects from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Saver website.
- Safety tips for home and work from the Electrical Safety Foundation International.
- Science project ideas (Who hasn’t made a spewing volcano?)
- Energy advice from the Federal Trade Commision consumer division.
- How high-speed broadband helps make travel planning easier
- Your employee’s favorite family holiday movies you can stream right now
The information does not have to be original or created by your company to help consumers.
You’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. The same is true for social media. We recommend that you never publish a social post without a photo or a video (more on videos in a moment). The great news is that consumers do not expect professional-quality photos on social media. You can create unique posts to generate significant engagement using just your smartphone. There are filters, adjustments for lighting and cropping tools that improve your photos.
Some great examples that work are:
- Photos of a utility truck in a neighborhood.
- The face of your neighbor who works for the local utility
- Employee and company milestones.
- Celebrate the 100th, 1,000th or 10,000th fiber broadband customer.
- Storm repair and community outreach
- Highlighting National Pet Day using employee pet photos
- Favorite foods for national holidays, especially if cooked using electricity (air fryer, Instapot, etc.)
All things video do well on social media. Like with images, consumers do not expect perfect, edited video to earn their attention, especially if it’s funny. In fact, overproduced videos may seem too corporate and cold. Here’s a few ideas to get the camera rolling:
- Annual meetings
- Fiber launch or new service launches
- Pole top rescue training
Video stories offer a great way to reach your audience. They only stick around for 24 hours before disappearing permanently. They are often used for quick announcements or to provide a glimpse behind the scenes (of a fiber installation, for example) or at activities happening at a community festival and company booth.
I love a good infographic. It can take something complicated and make it easy to understand. Companies often stay away from infographics because of the time required to create good examples. Thank goodness for Canva! This free tool has simple-to-use infographic templates to take your complicated capital credit announcement to an easy read. Check out this infographic created for Poudre Valley REA in Colorado.
Consumers are more likely to believe and accept another consumer’s opinion than the company selling the product. That’s why it’s so beneficial to ask your consumers to give you a review on Google or Yelp. Case studies are also a great way to highlight specific services and promote local community businesses. Like an eBook compared to a blog, case studies contain more specific information about a particular service or product.
People like to win stuff. Contests are fun and engage the audience. Like the customer journey, keep it easy. If it takes too much effort to enter or play, the consumer may lose interest. Contests work well on most social platforms.
Looking to step up your social media game or need help tackling social content? Learn about how Pioneer Social supports your utility with broadband and electric utility social content and support at www.PUR.coop/social.
It can be overwhelming to plan a calendar of posts and content. Let us give you a helping hand with our free 2022 content planner: