How Sociable is the Oil & Gas Industry?

Social networking has taken many industries by storm, providing countless companies with a communication platform from which to leap into new opportunities and embrace new business relationships.

But exactly how embracing has the Oil & Gas industry been of this phenomenon?

‘Twitter’ celebrated its fifth birthday with the news that daily tweeting posts had risen from 50 million to 140 million in the last year. But despite the numbers are businesses yet to realise the income generating potential that social media poses?

Sceptics remain unconvinced that this new media can provide any lasting advantage or aid business development yet the advocates claim quite the opposite, attributing continued business growth and transformation to online communication.

The oil & Gas industry has been cautious in its approach to social media, with some companies dabbling at a very non-committal level with facebook pages and twitter accounts.

It could be argued that the very nature of the industry prevents service companies and oil and gas giants from being sociable. With tight confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements news and technology updates can be scarce and when you can’t discuss what’s happening what do you twitter about? And, if you’re potential clients aren’t yet using this channel then why join?

To be effective, social networking must be fully integrated into a marketing strategy. It’s cost effective, targeted and timely. So what’s not to like? Never have we had the ability to talk to our customers so informally or alter the way clients perceive us so simply and perhaps it’s these fast paced changes that make us tip-toe around the brave new networking world, terrified of poorly representing our businesses.

Really we are just communicating the same ethos that our businesses always had, just in a newer, faster, more experimental way.

Whether you’re a sceptic or an avid social fanatic it always comes down to considered, strategic, planned communication in business and this especially applies to social networking platforms.

The oil & gas industry have kept it at arm’s length until now but there is no doubt that it is on the minds of many an industry professional and the topic at various trade exhibitions and conferences. Rumblings of tweeting and status updates can be heard from afar so the industries launch into social media may well be on its way.

Cassandra Manning, Marketing Manager – Neopartners Ltd.

11th May 2011

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