Capital One and the American City Business Journals are working together to sponsor a contest to see which businesses are the best at social media, called the Social Madness contest. The contest is designed to measure how successful local businesses are with using social media to interact with their customers. Now obviously I’m very interested in Social Media because it is a big part of how Texas Electricity Ratings talks to consumers and shares news about the Texas electricity market. As a result, I was interested to see that three different retail electricity providers in Texas are entered into the contest.
Here is how the contest works in the local phase:
Three different competitions based size of company
Small: 1-100 employees
Medium: 101-500 employees
Large: more than 500 employees
At the end of the open phase, the 8 companies with the most points move to the next phase.
Companies are seeded based on their finish in the open phase. (i.e. company with most points will be #1 seed)
In this head-to-head match up companies receive points (same as open phase). At the end of the week the companies with the most points moves on. In the event of a tie the company with the highest votes on bizjournals.com moves to the next round. If a secondary tiebreaker is necessary, companies with highest total Facebook Likes, LinkedIn Connections and Twitter Followers determines winner.
After each round, the votes on bizjournals.com are reset to 0 but Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter points are cumulate from the start of the challenge.
Each local market will have 3 different competitions (brackets) – large, medium and small size companies.
Round 1 – one week – 8 companies in the bracket
Round 2 – one week – 4 companies in the bracket
Round 3 – two weeks – 2 companies in the bracket
After round three, a winner will be named in each company size bracket. The winners automatically move in to the national competition.
21 companies with highest points in each bracket size, that did not win their market will also move to the national phase.
Now, of interest to Texans in this competition is that three Texas electricity providers are competing, and they’re across the three different company sizes. Bounce Energy is competing in the small business category in Houston, Spark Energy is competing in the medium sized category in Houston, and TXU Energy is competing in the large business category in Dallas.
TXU Energy: TXU is the largest retail electricity provider in Texas, and they have more than 18,500 likes on Facebook and more than 1300 followers on Twitter. They use their Facebook page to promote their sweepstakes and special offers to their customers, as well as share conservation tips and various news with their fans. They use their Twitter account similarly, but they also have a #TXUhelp hashtag where customers can try to get their account problems solved over Twitter. You can vote for TXU in the large business category here: http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/exclusives/socialmadness
Spark Energy: Spark Energy is a medium sized electricity company, and their Facebook page for Texas has more than 4800 likes on Facebook and a Twitter account for Texas with more than 2200 followers. Spark uses their Facebook and Twitter accounts to share green energy initiatives and energy conservation tips with their followers and to share places and where Spark Energy is visiting and promoting. You can vote for Spark Energy under the medium business category here: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/exclusives/socialmadness
Bounce Energy: Despite being in the small business category, Bounce Energy has embraced social media in a big way. Their Facebook page has more than 53,000 likes, and their Twitter account has more than 3400 followers. They’ve also won awards for creative web design. They use Facebook and Twitter to resolve and address customer complaint issues, to announce and promote the different charities they support using social media, and to draw attention to the Bounce’s special offers for customers. They also host different prizes, scavenger hunts, and other activities centered towards social media. Bounce even uses traditional advertising like billboards to direct people to their Facebook and Twitter pages. You can vote for Bounce Energy in the small business category here: http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/exclusives/socialmadness
I’ll keep everyone updated on how each company is faring in the contest as the weeks go by, but it will be interesting to see how the Texas electricity market stacks up against other similarly sized businesses in other industries.