Last week the energy team in London hosted many international colleagues, contacts and clients to our Demystifying Digital or D2 Energy event. We are happy to report that the event was a resounding success, with more than 80 delegates from across the energy spectrum and some great speakers. Some of the presentations will shortly be available online, but here I thought it worth sharing some of the key learnings that the day yielded.
1) Twitter is news
In a great anecdote from our keynote speaker, Carla Buzasi, we heard that at launch the editorial must have at the Huffington Post UK offices was two screens, one with a Twitter feed. This is not wholly surprising to anyone that has used Twitter, but rather neatly shows how important this platform has become in shaping the news both in terms of gathering content and in terms of quickly determining what stories have impact and interest.
2) Use your “crazy geniuses”
During our panel one of our panellists explained that his company use their crazy geniuses to demonstrate their thought-leadership and engage expert audiences. This was something that Nikki Whiteman from Which? Had also eluded to earlier by saying “we thought it easier to teach our experts how to use digital tools than to teach our digital team to become experts”. Of course balancing this with the other calls on their time is not easy, but when that balance is right and the training, policies and strategy are in place, organisations often discover a wealth of compelling content exists within their own organisation to populate digital channels. Also when the person behind that content is more visible then the message is more compelling for an audience. As we were reminded throughout the day social media is just individuals interacting with one another. The more human that interaction can be the better.
3) Listen first
This is something that we would always advocate to clients, but it was reinforced by a number of the presentations that we saw last week. Firms need to listen to the conversations about them and the markets that they operate in before deciding whether to or how to contribute to those conversations. Too often a presence is built on a platform before an organisation has listened and problems have arisen as a result. Audits, like H+K’s Pathfinder® are the best starting point, followed by monitoring that covers both a keyword analysis, but also a human review of conversations so as not to miss some of the nuances that automated monitoring can’t always capture.
4) Be your own media
Our panel discussion with representatives from GE and Statoil was fascinating and this video from GE really captured the audience’s imagination and showed how rich and engaging content can convey complex ideas and messages directly rather than via traditional media. I think more generally it shows that organisations shouldn’t be afraid to think a little differently and try new things.
5) Good digital service can be a source of competitive advantage
Nikki Whiteman from Which? also talked about their approach to helping companies to serve their customers better and to bring to their attention customer dissatisfaction that is aired on social media platforms. There were several examples of organisations who simply by being responsive and ‘human’ in their digital interactions had clearly turned customer interactions into positive engagement and though that’s where the case study ended we can assume that a more positive and perhaps loyal relationship may have been the ultimate result if those customer interactions continued to be handled well through other channels.
Thank you to everyone that joined us at the event and for contributing to the breakout discussions. We hope you can join us again at our next event. If you have any questions or would like any H+K speakers to come and review some of the presentations with your team then do get in touch.