This article forms part of a study on social media usage amongst FTSE 100 companies.
Each company in the FTSE 100 index was reviewed on its usage of such social media tools as RSS feeds*, blogs, online video, podcasts and social media platforms like Flickr and Facebook on its main website and on occasion, on websites of well-known subsidiary companies.
*RSS feeds are a simple way of delivering fresh versions of a website’s content to online readers automatically.
According to the Guardian.co.uk Business Glossary:
“The FTSE 100 index comprises the 100 most highly capitalised blue chip companies on the London Stock Exchange, representing approximately 81% of the UK market.
Here’s how international electricity and gas company National grid (NG.L) stacked up
|FTSE 100 Company||RSS||Webcast||Blog||Online Video||Audio||Facebook, Twitter, etc|
|National Grid||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes Yes||Yes||Yes|
Online Video/Webcasts: Yes
Usage of social media platforms: Yes
(Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg)
According to Google Finance:
National Grid plc (National Grid) is an international electricity and gas company. The Company owns electricity transmission network in the United Kingdom and Wales, and operates the system across Great Britain. It also owns and operates the high pressure gas transmission system in the United Kingdom, and its distribution business delivers gas to 11 million homes and businesses. In the United States, National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island.
My pre evaluation on how the company will fare:
Before any researching on National Grid websites or social media websites, this is a company I’m very aware of and a name which most of the nation should be. As National Grid own and manage all the electricity transmission systems across England and Wales. therefore I’m expecting some form of communication between the company and the consumer market as National Grid are very much an important company in every day life in Great Britain, and also operate in America.
For this article I shall be taking a look at the UK website primarily, but will also take a look at the US website as a comparison on social media usage and differences etc.
On the UK website, the RSS Feeds are not so easy to find but they are there, just a quick search in the top search bar and there they are. there are various news feeds which can be subscribed to on the National Grid website, press releases, alerts on service changes, latest news etc.
As with the RSS links, the video links were also not so easy to find, but again using the search bar a lot of links were found for online videos, webcasts, presentations etc. Though there is a Media page, not all the related multimedia is located on that page, most of the videos are on separate pages which mainly made the videos hard to find. There are many videos available from Student Safety Campaigns, to videos on Energy and Services, and presentations on their World Cup 2010 campaign. All videos were professionally produced and very clear content.
There are various blogs available on the website, offering an extensive amount of information on each subject. On the Responsibility page, there is a link for Our Impacts, which contains various links for different subjects and areas that have been covered by the company as the non-financial impacts of their operations. there is various amounts of information available on each of the links for the blogs, but they have covered a wide area from Climate change, to energy efficiency, to Human rights. By doing this, they have shown the public and media that they have a keen interest on what affects their operations have on the environment and surrounding communities etc. there is lots of information to download from each link and mainly in PDF form.
National Grid have also included some use of social media tools. Though not visible or linked from their website, they have a Facebook page which is more than the usual Wikipedia description. They have included links to all latest news stories on their main website and have also included two videos. (correct at time of publishing). The interesting thing is, they have allowed users of the popular website to add comments, something which most high power companies seem to dismiss. Further searching the internet also brought up a YouTube channel for National Grid, mainly consisting of their videos which have been uploaded to the UK website but like Facebook links, they have also allowed comments to be added to their videos, they also contain very detailed descriptions in the description box. Thi shows they are interested in what consumers and users have to say about the company.
Could National Grid be doing more when it comes to providing information to people? Sure they have alot of multimedia and social media involvement, but important as they are to the nation I think they could have more involvement with consmuers, after all National Grid are who most of the nation rely on for electicity and in case of a power cut who do we need? Therefore I think more could be done to make comsumers involved with the company.
And as I mainly searched the UK website when looking for multimedia and social media tools, I also took a little time to search the US website for a comparison. All I can say is that they are relatively the same, with the US site is a little more corporate in that it only tends to include business summary information and information on what the company offers and how they operate. A quick search on the US website revealed no videos, no RSS, no blogs etc.
- More engagement with consumers through social media, most people are aware of the company but not everything they do as a business, maybe they could involve more social media to an advantage, for example a Twitter account to keep people updated with changes and alterations to service improvements in a certain area, so people in that area are aware etc.
- Make links easier to find on website and have feedback section or a FAQ section. For example it would be useful for other consumers with help on what to do in an emergancy or power cut etc, this information is on website but only has a small section on the bottom of the homepage.
What do you think?
Are you a customer or an employee of National Grid? Would you like to get more information on this post? Or maybe you work in Marketing or IT? I’d love to hear you thoughts on this review. Would you like National Grid to have more IT presence through social media? Or would you like to see more videos, webcasts or even podcasts? Share your thoughts on this post or contact us.
- Social Media Usage Amongst FTSE 100 Companies: Company Profile – International power
- Social Media Usage Amongst FTSE 100 Companies – Company Profile – Legal and General
- Social Media Usage Amongst FTSE 100 Companies – Company Profile – Kingfisher
- Social Media Usage Amongst FTSE 100 Companies – Company Profile – Investec
- Social Media Usage Amongst FTSE 100 Companies – Company Profile – Land Securities