MERALCO - Innovation in Social Media Marketing

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Name of Organization / Company: MERALCO, Pasig City, Manila, Philippines
Category: E01 - E12 - Award for Innovation in Marketing > E09. Award for Innovation in Social Media Marketing



A power distribution company isn’t well known for creating positive vibes (mostly it’s about rate increases and outage notifications). Brand love is at best neutral considering they associate the company with the electricity bill every month – a drain on their budget.

Meralco is the Philippines’ biggest power distribution company, and it has been active on social media for the last seven years, achieving citations from Social Bakers as a socially devoted brand. With over 400k fans, Meralco has the biggest base of any power utility in the country.

Moreover, Meralco was the first utility in the country to make itself vulnerable and actually provide customer service on its Facebook fan page. Internally, there were fears that the space would be filled with rants rather than actual concerns.

But the move has proven pivotal for customer care, as this channel has grown geometrically in the last 5 years and is set to overtake traditional phone calls. And customers do thank the utility for being this easily accessible, and responding within 15 minutes*. *Facebook Analytics

Leveraging on its traction on Facebook, Meralco has been posting both service related information such as outages and rate movements, as well tips on energy efficiency and energy related technologies to help customers understand new appliances and gadgets. As expected, our service posts outperform averaging 10% engagement rate while our posts on tips normally achieve an average of 3%.

Despite this, many of the comments in outage reports are factual, contributing to the neutral sentiment that pervades the Meralco page. Unfortunately, we have to be careful with our posts and can’t afford to create just any entertaining material. With the ever tightening Facebook algorithm, we needed to ensure that our posts continue to be relevant and related to electricity otherwise our organic reach will suffer.

Thus, Meralco seized the opportunity to send positive vibes on social media by taking advantage of Christmas, the season of light and of goodwill. Relevant to Meralco – check. Relevant to customers -check. Will generate good vibes – hopefully check.

Our Execution Plan:

1. Part 1: Invitation to the Meralco Liwanag (Bright) Park
Every year, Meralco lights up its office compound and opens it up to the public for free so that they can explore the grounds with their family and friends.

a. Nov 28: FB live stream to broadcast the lighting ceremony at the park and signify its opening to the public
b. Dec 12 Live Photo: If the fan presses and holds, the Meralco logo turns into the lighted Meralco lantern
c. Dec 16: Liwanag park video showcased the lighting of the park and captured the emotions of the families and friends who attended its opening

2. Part 2: Feature light destinations
We posted 3 carousel ads featuring different light destinations within the city, each can be accessed for free, each venue depicting special moments with friends and family.

3. Part 3: Christmas safety and energy efficiency tips in GIF formats in keeping with the current social media playbook
These materials were bicycled through-out December, ensuring we don’t post too often that we annoy our fan base.

Careful content planning and scheduling resulted to positive and relevant comments from our customers, especially with the live video of the Meralco park and the live photo.

Part 1 was the most successful, garnering 78% overall positive sentiments vs 22% in November.

Engagement rate reached 22.8% vs the average 3% from Meralco’s info driven posts.

Part 2 and 3 were still able to maintain acceptable engagement rates averaging of 3%, still above the industry’s average benchmark of 2%.

Through this campaign, Meralco proved it also has the power to create good vibes by spreading the brightness and warmth of the season of light, starting with social media.