Tuesday, September 10, 2024
3:15 PM - 3:45 PM
Location Name
Using Social Media to Communicate with your Customers: The Good, The Bad, and The Hashtags
Customer Relations

Social media is a place to communicate and share the latest news, viral videos, hilarious memes, hacks and recipes. But where does your water utility fit in this space? If your water utility doesn’t already have a social media presence, should you? The answer is absolutely yes. Across the five generations represented in today’s workplace (Traditionalists/Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z) each demographic is using at least one social media platform. Facebook (now considered the old standard) is the most widely used platform followed by Instagram, X (formally known as Twitter), and the new kid on the block TikTok. The first step for water utilities is to know your customer base. As digital trends become more common, your customers may be looking for you on these social media platforms alongside their other favorite brands and businesses. Louisville Water Vice President Kelley Dearing-Smith often says that customers need to hear from water utilities not only when their bill is due, but also when there are opportunities for education and well-being. At Louisville Water, we keep our customers in the know about healthy hydration, community partnerships, areas where our crews are working and other infrastructure projects. Keeping a constant flow of information via social media makes communicating good news and not so good news a little easier. If our crews are working a main break and customers are out of service, many of them will head straight to social media looking for information, even before looking on our website. Having a “social first” mentality to communicate with them is proactive and transparent, two practices our customers have responded positively to based on focus groups and feedback. We keep track of this feedback and customer sentiment via monthly analytics reports from all of our social media platforms. This also helps us to plan content to post and best engage with our customers. It is also important to keep up to date with social media trends. There’s always a connection, even if it doesn’t seem apparent. What does #NationalPastaDay have to do with your water utility? Everything. No water, no pasta. Participating in these national trending hashtags helps to remind our customers the value that water has in our lives, something that we often but shouldn’t take for granted.