Engaging With Our Customers via Social Media
Customers decide how and where we interact with them. Increasingly, they are using social media, text, chat and other online tools to connect with us. Because they are always plugged in, they expect immediate response from us 24/7, similar to their other online retail experiences. This is especially true during outages, when customers want real-time, accurate information about restoration efforts.
Social media has become an increasingly important channel of choice for our customers to interact with us. Over the past few years, we have seen a rapid increase in social media engagement. Since 2013, our Facebook followers have almost tripled and our Twitter followers have more than doubled. In response, we are developing a long-term plan to give us a stronger online presence that would allow for expanded monitoring, reporting and analysis of the communication channels.
Our social media strategy will help us build and maintain stronger, more positive relationships with our customers who expect to be able to interact and conduct business with us when it is convenient for them. It will allow for us to focus on:
- Customer engagement – customer support and live chat;
- social listening – online monitoring and brand protection; and
- proactive messaging – crisis management, storm and outage updates and marketing campaigns.
In 2016, AEP managed 15 Facebook pages, 14 Twitter handles, eight YouTube channels, three Instagram accounts and one corporate LinkedIn page. Through our social media efforts, we had a total of 82.7 million Facebook impressions and 5.9 million Twitter impressions. Investor-related information and power outages were the two most-talked-about categories via social media, followed by company news and environmental-related posts.