Without electricity, Xcel customers feel the power of social media


In a twist of the perils modern times, Xcel Energy customers without power have had good luck getting information through social media.

KARE 11 reports that aside from working to restore power, crews are also working "24/7" online to keep customers abreast with updates.

"This has been extremely valuable for us," Tim Laughlin, Xcel Energy's social media manager, tells KARE. "This has been a way to connect one-on-one with customers."

A utility company actually homing in on one-on-one service? Can't be true, can it?

For Xcel it is. Since Friday, the station reports, the Xcel "social media team" has responded to thousands of direct messages via Twitter and Facebook. They have sent out dozens of up-to-the-minute tweets every hour.

Xcel Energy's Facebook page and Twitter site have seen an influx of thousands of new followers, says KARE, with residents wanting information about power in their specific neighborhood.

"Customers want answers," Laughlin says, sounding like an actual human. "This weekend has shown that it's been incredibly effective not only for us to communicate critical information with our customers but for our customers to do the same for us."

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