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AEP ‘likes’ major growth it sees in social media channels

by on January 21, 2015
AEP added 15,537 fans of its Facebook pages (AEP and each of its operating companies have Facebook pages) during 2014, increasing its total fans to 61,530.

AEP added 15,537 fans of its Facebook pages (AEP and each of its operating companies have Facebook pages) during 2014, increasing its total fans to 61,530.

As a company, AEP “likes” the major growth it continues to see in its social media channels.

AEP’s main social media channels are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the year-over-year statistics show that customers, fans and other individuals are increasingly finding those channels valuable.

For example, AEP added 15,537 fans of its Facebook pages (AEP and each of its operating companies have Facebook pages) during 2014, increasing its total fans to 61,530. Of the seven operating companies, AEP Ohio gained the most fans (2,841), followed by Appalachian Power (2,305), Southwestern Electric Power Company (1,098), Indiana Michigan Power Company (895), Public Service Company of Oklahoma (784), Kentucky Power (438) and AEP Texas (309).

On Twitter, AEP gained over 7,000 new followers on its Twitter handles during the past year, and the company now has 29,196 total followers. AEP Ohio again led the way among the operating companies with 1,433 new followers, while Appalachian Power followed close behind with 1,100.

In addition, AEP’s corporate page on LinkedIn grew by 6,111 followers and now has over 21,000 followers.

A list of all of AEP’s social media channels can be found on AEP’s website.

“In the past, when our customers needed information, they had to rely on newspapers and local television stations to inform them,” said Josh Polk, AEP social media manager. “Now they can get the message directly from us on Facebook, Twitter and  LinkedIn. They can ask questions and even share the information with their circle of online friends.

“When your power is out, the easiest thing to do is check Facebook or Twitter on your phone for information,” Polk added. “Social media allows better communication with customers and the ability to be proactive in addressing customer service issues.”

In 2014, AEP started posting safety tips on Facebook and Twitter every Saturday with the hashtag #SafetySaturday. Polk said AEP also offers weekly energy efficiency tips, company news, community involvment (Habitat for Humanity, local 5k race listings, holiday parade information, reading to students, etc.), historical photos, job openings and much more.

“We also try to answer anyone who posts a question on our Facebook pages or to our Twitter accounts,” said Polk. “We see it as an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive. When we have extended outages or a significant number of customers out of power due to a storm, we have our most traffic and gain the most followers/fans.

“We try to be very proactive in communicating outage information, estimated restoration times and providing safety tips.”

Polk said AEP’s social media efforts mainly focus on the following opportunities:

  • Communicating about outages;
  • Educating about energy efficiency;
  • Improving employee understanding;
  • Assisting customers online;
  • Sharing AEP’s community involvement;
  • Communicating about innovation and the environment;
  • Engaging policymakers;
  • Communicating during a crisis;
  • Attracting new employees; and
  • Educating the public about rate cases.

 

For its efforts, AEP once again was ranked among the top 10 utilities nationwide in its innovative use of social media by E Source, an energy-focused marketing and research consulting firm.

E Source surveyed 57 utilities to discover the latest trends and best practices in utility social media use. Utilities that participated in the Social Media Survey 2014 were asked to identify which utilities they consider to be industry leaders in social media. AEP was ranked eighth overall.

From → News From AEP

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