Connecting with Customers: FirstEnergy’s Social Media History
November 18, 2021
When you think of social media, you probably don’t think of it as a customer service tool, do you? Think again. FirstEnergy and its operating companies have been using social media to engage with customers since 2011. From providing important information about managing electric service to assisting with customer service issues, social media gives FirstEnergy companies real-time access to customers.
FirstEnergy’s social media accounts are managed by a small team of experts in the Communications & Branding Department. Here’s a look at how our social media journey began, and how the team developed messaging over time to better serve the needs of our customers.
Where it all began
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011, we quickly learned the company needed to explore opportunities for direct, real-time customer engagement through online channels. Based on feedback from customers, regulators and government officials, greater and quicker access to information was necessary to keep customers informed.
The company’s Twitter accounts were launched in October 2011 following Hurricane Irene, and Facebook pages for each operating company were established using a phased approach over the next several years. The company also has a FirstEnergy Careers Facebook page and LinkedIn company page to engage with current and potential employees, as well as Flickr and a YouTube channel to easily store and share photos and videos.
As FirstEnergy began to adopt social media, many studies were published to support this move, indicating that residential customers are significantly more satisfied* when they recalled information found on a utility’s social media site. This holds true today – while social media use is lower compared to some other methods of communication, social media users are among the most engaged customer groups*, providing opportunities to directly impact the customer experience.
The social media team is always working to develop content that educates customers on important topics, as well as look for opportunities to humanize the company. Common themes include:
- Seasonal energy efficiency tips
- Indoor and outdoor electrical safety information, such as downed power line education
- Info on how to manage a FirstEnergy electric account, including scam awareness
- Power outage education, such as how to report outages and how to prepare for an outage
- Company updates, such as service reliability projects underway
- FirstEnergy Foundation and employee volunteerism stories
- Info about major customer programs, such as Smart Meter and Energy Efficiency
As our customers evolve, digital channels like social media will continue to play a key role in how we communicate.
Stay tuned + connect
This is the first of many stories to come highlighting FirstEnergy’s social media efforts. Stay tuned for upcoming features on how we provide customer service through social media.
If you’re not already following FirstEnergy and/or your operating company on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to connect with us via company mobile phone, personal phone or computer. You can also check out more employee stories and corporate updates on LinkedIn and on our FirstEnergy Careers Facebook page.
*By clicking the links in this article, you are entering websites maintained by outside parties, which are entirely responsible for the sites’ content.