Marketing and communications in the oil and gas industry is advancing at a fast pace. Social media is beginning to play a major role in the industry by propelling communications and marketing forward.
Despite previous roadblocks by older generations for fear of the unknown, many oil and gas companies are taking advantage of social circles and are active on several digital platforms.
An industry that rarely had a clear and strong voice in the past is now using digital channels to effectively communicate.
The companies are able to not only promote their activities, but also educate and engage with key constituents, including governments, the public, media as well as other stakeholders.
Independents in the industry, with little no marketing staff are beginning to rely on third party digital companies to help with social media campaigns.
In as much as most international oil companies have dedicated teams that are prolific on several digital platforms, they don’t cut out oilfield services or national oil companies from the social media circles. National oil companies are also beginning to realize the need to educate the word for further investment into their countries. Digital channels offers a great platform for them to connect with investors as developed countries are very active on digital channels.
Messages vary from general company activities and recruiting for jobs to earnings releases and community news. More oil and gas companies are using social media for educational purposes on a wide range of topics such as hydraulic fracturing, oilfield thread protectors and the building of keystone pipeline, just to mention a few.
There is a lot of misinformation about the industry and digital communication paves the way for companies to communicate on relevant topics and respond faster. This has become especially critical in crisis management.
Companies that are keen on staying out of political discussions are focusing on recruitment and community relations.
They are often making online posts about jobs and other activities. Majority of the firms that contribute large amounts to charity are not only posting their charitable activities on web pages but are also actively posting photos of employees at charity events.
This has enabled oil and gas companies to be more active in the community than ever before through participation in community events and special programs.
Most large companies have social media structures in place but more are starting to invest in social training for their employees.
The main idea is to rely on employees to positively promote their brands. Those more advanced in social media are even starting ambassador programs and online feeds that show the daily working life of their companies.
As the industry’s workforce is aging rapidly, social media is offering a wonderful way to attract and engage the energy workforce of the future.
Niche online communities for professionals in the oil and gas industry are growing and helping to attract the younger generations into the industry’s workforce. Associations with student chapters and on-campus industry recruitment programs are using social platforms to engage and educate students about the facets of working in the industry. It’s time for the industry to fully embrace what digital channels have to offer.