In this Oil & Gas IQ guide learn about the pivotal role social media can play in the energy, oil and gas industry, tips to building your social media strategy and how you can get the best results.
THE WORLD IS SOCIALLY ENGAGED – ARE YOU
Social Media. To billions of people across the world, social media is an integral part of their daily lives and a way to communicate and to engage with people and organisations that are important to them. But to the oil and gas industry these two words can often be perplexing and even terrifying!
A prevailing concern is why would the industry want to be in constant communication with the public? Especially a public that is often sceptical and occasionally hostile when it comes to the oil and gas industry. The thought of near instant and direct channels filled with potential anti oil and gas sentiments can leave many thinking that engaging in social media is just asking for trouble.But this is not the case!
What is interesting is that it appears that professionals working in oil and gas are generally already engaged in social media and see the benefits. A joint Microsoft and Accenture study revealed that close to 75% of oil and gas professionals appreciated the value of social media and collaboration tools in their work. This was an 83% jump compared to a similar poll the year before.
Of the 275 professionals profiled within national, international and independent oil and gas companies, 37% said social media and related tools boosts productivity, 95% claimed it helped them with work flexibility and over 36% said that social media helped them to complete projects on time and on budget.
Unfortunately while it seems oil and gas workers are on board with social media, it is not quite the case when it comes to embracing social media at the corporate level with half of those surveyed claiming their companies restrict the use of many photo-sharing and social networking services.
Just 11% of social media adoption is driven by the executive suite and predictably 39% were worried abut the ability to control or provide a secure environment.
“With fewer resources overall and colleagues scattered across continents, it is no surprise that oil and gas professionals are increasingly turning to technology to connect and share information. However, we recognize that securing company data and intellectual property are obviously key company priorities, and there are many corporate collaboration technologies today that achieve both goals.” Craig Hodges, GM of U.S. Manufacturing and Resources, Microsoft
“The survey shows that companies are not realizing the strategic benefits from their collaboration tools investments such as increased workforce performance, improved sharing of knowledge or skills across the work force... To realize the full potential of collaboration investments, companies need to change work processes and individual roles while training their employees on how to achieve improved business performance through collaboration.” Craig Heiser, Accenture
“The challenge we have with exploration is that we have people positioned globally to explore for oil and gas. Eighty percent of our teams are global teams, with members in multiple locations around the world. We must offer world-class collaboration capabilities so that our people can work at a global level.”
Johan Krebbers, Group IT Architect, Shell
SOCIAL MEDIA IS A GLOBAL PHENOMENON
At present over three billion people worldwide have internet access. Of that number, two billion are active social media users. Clearly this is not just a Western trend.
The rise of smartphones and other mobile devices has seen social media penetration increase in regions where internet adoption has previously been slower.
WHY OIL AND GAS CANT IGNORE SOCIAL MEDIA
Most people use social media whether it’s for communication or as a way to keep up to date with news and information. Many companies therefore view it as a means for friends and family and not for businesses. It can then be easy to understand why major industries including oil and gas have often dismissed social media.
There is a sizable population that is very cynical and sceptical when it come to the energy business.
Oil and gas companies should get involved in more honest and positive communication with this audience. This can sometimes open up difficult conversations but it is better to be seen talking about them then hiding. That will only further harm the industry’s image.
With contentious issues such as fracking or oil spill disasters, it is important that the oil and gas industry is seen as being actively involved in communicating with the wider public. Listening to their concerns and addressing them in a transparent and open manner. Oil and gas must view social media as an opportunity as opposed to a burden. An opportunity to clear up facts and to build trust with the community and not seen as a frustrating activity that has been forced upon them.
THE BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR OIL AND GAS
Ok you’ve read the stats but why should YOU use social media? Although a lot of business uses social media to sell products, the oil and gas industry has to think about how it uses social media in a different way. You can use social media to make money but it is perhaps more powerful for the oil and gas industry as a means to connect, educate and engage with the world.
This might not correlate to direct revenue but by using social media to improve your industry and community standing you can realise greater business success.
. Here are our key benefits of using of social media in oil and gas.
. Thought leadership
. Build awarenesspromote good news
. Navigate bad news & build image perception
. Empower employees
. Promote products and solutions