Part III – Residential Customers: The Energy Efficiency Conversation in Social Media
We’re focusing on how your residential customers engage with energy efficiency across their own social channels. In order to increase their participation in your energy efficiency programs, we want to first understand how/if they’re talking about energy efficiency with their friends. Is energy efficiency relevant to their conversations? If so, how are they talking about it? On a personal and homeowner level, energy efficiency content tends to be focused around two primary conversation types: exploratory and experience sharing. Users look to social media to ask their peers about processes, costs, and benefits, relying on their extended personal networks to supply information about offers, opportunities, struggles and worth to these types of changes.
If the user has already gone through an energy efficiency program, the natural next-step is to share their experience on social networks, especially popular when regarding home upgrades. This content is often posted in hopes of gaining positive feedback from their networks and peers (“Your house looks great, Sarah!”), but also to help others make similar improvements to their homes and lives. With these types of posts, energy and cost savings tend to take a backseat at the beginning, with the topic instead focusing on the ease or difficulty of the switch itself. Later on however, the savings will play a headline in sparking further conversation.
More than ever, customers are also using social media as an outlet for customer service frustrations and praise. They want their friends to know if their ENERGY STAR appliance changed the entire look of their kitchen, or adds convenience to their day, etc. They also want friends to know if it doesn’t work properly or if they never received their promised rebate. When it comes to service or audits, the expectation is that poor reviews will receive faster resolution.
Our Thinking: Social engagement with personal and homeowner energy efficiency content tends to be quite high, with users answering the questions and supporting the interests, efforts and experiences of their peers. Whether or not this positive engagement leads to further outreach or action however, is still up to the efficiencies (or potentially, deficiencies) of their personal networks to decide.