As part of its On The Spot Light campaign, National Grid used LinkedIn and other social media platforms to promote in-store, distributor’s counter lighting incentives to commercial and industry customers. Ads directed key accounts to the utility’s On The Spot Light Incentive Program web page for a list of products and a store locator tool (figure 1).

Figure 1: National Grid’s On The Spot Light campaign

National Grid used LinkedIn static ads (A) and InMail ads (B) to promote its campaign. The utility shared that InMail ads allowed for more-detailed messaging.

A. Static LinkedIn ad

National Grid's static ad said we're making 2021 brighter by offering instant discounts on energy-efficient lighting. Find a participating distributer at N Grid dot com backslash on the spot.

B. LinkedIn InMail ad

The subject of National Grid's InMail ad said we've got a bright idea to save energy. The rest of the message let business customers know they can participate in the utility's program by buying energy-efficient lighting options at local stores. National Grid then directed customers to the store locator list.

In its Energy AdVision entry, National Grid explained how effective the campaign was:

We continue to hear from participating distributors about the effectiveness of the campaign to aid in the adoption of energy-efficient lighting. Their customers are being driven to the store by the online ads, they are interacting with in-store elements and taking advantage of this opportunity to help cut energy use.

Campaign results from InMail ads included:

  • 1,500 impressions
  • 10 clicks
  • 4% open rate
  • 621 opens
  • 543 website sessions to the campaign page, seeing 527 new users
  • 37 PDF downloads

Targeting business customers with LinkedIn

Utilities with strong social media strategies use a multichannel approach to reach specific audiences with relevant content. LinkedIn is an important part of a well-rounded utility social media presence.

In the E Source 2021 Social Media Survey, we asked 27 US and Canadian utilities which channels they use to communicate with specific audiences (figure 2). These utilities use LinkedIn to communicate mostly with:

  • Potential employees
  • Small and midsize business (SMB) customers
  • Key account customers

Figure 2: Utilities’ target audience on LinkedIn

Most utility respondents use LinkedIn to recruit new employees and communicate with business customers. Some respondents use LinkedIn to reach residential customers, news outlets, or trade allies, but those audiences were less common.
Bar chart showing data from the E Source 2021 Social Media Survey. Out of 27 utility respondents, 81% use LinkedIn to reach potential employees, 74% to reach SMBs, 56% to reach key accounts, 48% to reach residential customers, 44% to reach news media, and 33% to reach trade allies.

According to the LinkedIn ads web page, four out of five LinkedIn members make business decisions. And content marketing agency Questline states that LinkedIn “is an ideal way to reach business customers,” in its article Best Practices: Social Media Strategy for Energy Utilities.

Utilities can connect with business customers on LinkedIn by:

  • Posting original content or reposting relevant content
  • Running targeted ad campaigns for relevant utility offerings
  • Messaging business owners directly about relevant utility offerings

LinkedIn explains how to track the performance of your content using Analytics for Your Posts, Articles, and Videos.

Amplify your utility’s voice with social media

While initially slow to adopt social media, utilities are now taking advantage of the power of the platform. Social media as a whole is an additional line of communication to employees and customers.

Channels such as LinkedIn will amplify messaging and help reach a broader audience. Some of the most popular ways utilities are using their social media voices include:

  • Communicating about outages or emergencies
  • Delivering public safety announcements
  • Ensuring customer satisfaction
  • Promoting programs and special offers

Certain E Source members can find more examples in our report Create a winning LinkedIn strategy.

Contributing Authors

Staff Writer, Editorial

Anna Nixon works with E Source’s industry experts to write their research into reports. In her previous role, she worked as a...

Senior Analyst, Customer Engagement Solutions

Angelica Pereira helps utilities and cities improve their customer experience, marketing, and account management strategies. Prior to working at E...