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Resources



Market News

 February 27, 2012
624 Million Utility Customers Worldwide Will Use Social Media to Engage with their Utilities by 2017

 Social media has penetrated many utility companies in the past few years, bringing a new level of customer engagement through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and company blogs. However, since not all utilities have embraced social media in the same fashion, the landscape is somewhat chaotic. Some utility managers remain fearful of the potential risk involved as the business connects with customers in open dialogues where control of the message is in doubt. Despite these concerns, empowered customers are not about to give up on social media, and utilities will need to incorporate these tools as part of their broader customer engagement programs.

Pike Research believes that smart utilities will seize the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction when these social engagements arise by properly staffing listening channels and preparing valuable content to be shared. Utilities who have successfully embraced social media are finding that best practices also include knowing their customers' social media preferences or profiles, defining clear objectives for social media engagement programs, selecting and deploying the appropriate technologies for their individual strategies, and integrating social media with existing communication channels. Pike Research estimates that approximately 57 million customers worldwide will use social media to engage utilities in 2011, and the firm expects that number to rise to 624 million customers by the end of 2017.

This Pike Research report highlights the key drivers and barriers that are defining the development of social media in the utility industry and offers case studies from utility companies that have found success in social channels. The report also offers strategies and best practices for utilities seeking to avoid mistakes and minimize their risks. Company profiles are provided for key industry players and market forecasts are included through 2017 for utility spending on social media tools as well as the number of customers using social media to engage with utilities.