While the new communication channels available through social media can benefit utilities, their use presents challenges. A key challenge for utilities is building consumer trust when public perception of utilities is at an all-time low. Audiences historically do not engage with utility brands in the same way as other brands; they are often motivated to engage for a complaint or query. How can utilities use social media to overcome these perception challenges, and truly engage customers?

Of the top five utility users for Facebook in 2012, the number of “likes” has grown on average 377% between 2012 and 2014. For Twitter, the number of followers has grown 167% on average between 2014 and 2015.


Image Issues: Utilities and Social Media is a report that explores the role of social media at utility companies and the opportunities for growth. Leveraging its first-hand knowledge of utility social media efforts, along with its global utility industry work, Zpryme delivers information about:

  • Social media opportunities, including crisis management, customer education and branding
  • Factors impacting social media adoption in regions like North America, Asia and Europe
  • Social media adoption challenges, from low consumer trust to protecting consumer data
  • Utility social media use, including mini-case studies from Dominion to RWE npower

The report explores utility social media efforts on a global level.


  • Develop corporate policies, guidelines, and plans | A dedicated social media team is critical to help monitor and quickly respond to the spikes of questions, complaints, and compliments that surface. Social media development plans and processes should be on utilities’ to-do lists.
  • Aligning social media and call centers | Utilities must strategically align social media with their call center practices to deliver uniform customer service across all channels.
  • Educating and informing regulators | Regulated industries should educate regulators about their social media efforts and demonstrate the importance and impact. This is a tremendous opportunity for communicators to prove how social engagement activities help build trust beyond traditional methods.
  • Create brand awareness and manage reputation | Customers are increasingly using social media to build or destroy the reputation of their service providers. Social media presents utility providers with an opportunity to manage brand perception and map customer sentiments towards the brand.

Utilities Mentioned

  • Dominion
  • Duke Energy
  • Pacific Gas and Electric
  • Alabama Power
  • Ausgrid


  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East and Africa

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