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Oil and Gas Going Social: Will Our Industry Ever Reap the Benefits of Social Branding?

By Mary Faucett

Rig-ChatThere’s no denying that online social media platforms have transformed consumer brands. But can social technology really be valuable to the oil and gas world? With critics and opposition loudly voicing their opinions through social channels, our industry has been among the last to jump on the Twitter-Facebook-Instagram-Pinterest bandwagon.

Without an obvious strategy for the oil and gas industry to directly connect with consumers in a meaningful way, adapting to this trend will continue to prove challenging. While McDonald’s, Red Bull and even CHANEL have become the social media darlings – using Twitter and Facebook to expand their popular reach – oil and gas companies have continued to see their opponents successfully use these channels to spread misinformation and attack campaigns.

Many industry leaders ask, “Where’s the shareholder value for oil and gas? What’s the bottom line? How can we really impact consumer opinion?”

The answer to these concerns might lie with business-to-business and secured social platforms, rather than traditional social media sites. One platform that enables companies to have this opportunity is Rig Chat. This start-up website is hoping to become the oilfield go-to social platform and the singular resource for product reliability information.

“We have developed Rig Chat so communication silos can be broken between the office and the field,” said Steven Plake, co-founder of Rig Chat. “This approach will help companies continue to grow with the right information at their fingertips.”

In addition to communicating over a secure site with a select audience (member companies control who their employees can “chat” with), Rig Chat members gain access to crowd-sourced oilfield product and service reviews. Similar to systems used for online shopping, product reviews and ratings can be incredibly helpful when users are looking for the right tool to get the job done.

“Many companies today are working in silos, and those silos are what deter the right people from seeing the right information,”

Plake said. “When information can’t easily be shared, then the proper business decision cannot be made.”

So where does the branding opportunity come in? Tåhis is where rubber meets the road for service companies. Secured social platforms allow direct business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing and branding enhancement. Just like popular brands have used social platforms to garner consumer input and manage their reputation, service companies can do the exact same thing on a secured social platform.

“At Rig Chat we hope to see consumer feedback grow on our site, not only producing reviews on products and services that deliver unbiased information to the end user, but our hope is that this site will also give service providers a solid audience to introduce their newest technological innovation” Plake said.

Mary Faucett is the Public Relations Director for Rig Chat.

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