BP is the fuel behind everything that keeps our lives moving. From oil and natural gas exploration, to the simple installation of everyday items, BP are there every step of the way. As well as this, being a sustainable brand is very important to BP and they aim to generate low carbon energy to protect future generations and the current one.
BP however is not just a brand that provides fuel, they give us the ability to move into the future. They are a brand that very much care about the past, present and future and how adapting technology has allowed for a very different world today. They represent geography, history, science and many social elements of the world today.
So how do BP put all this across on social media? BP have Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Google+ accounts, plus several accounts spanning across different countries. However, they do not have Instagram, which came as a missed opportunity from my personal point of view, but we will have a look into that further on in this case study.
[Update: BP now have an Instagram account which you can see here.]
What makes BP a stand out and futuristic bran on social media?
Twitter – creativity:
Being visual is becoming increasingly important across all social networks. Even social media that was never originally intended to be visual is slowly transforming into this category. So, BP are using this in their social strategy. Pairing this with creativity, they have been able to create some innovative videos and images for their Twitter feed. This works well with what they do because it brings a creative side to electricity, architecture and technology that has the ability to engage and fascinate people.
— BP (@BP_plc) September 15, 2015
Thought provoking content:
I rarely see content that provokes interesting questions about the world and the way it works on social media. BP make sure that with almost every bit of content that they curate, they will ask a stimulating question along side. Whether this be about yourself, about BP or about the world/the people within it…it creates discussion because you start to wonder about the answers and possibilities. This is how to create engaging content and how to keep followers engaged long term.
— BP (@BP_plc) September 11, 2015
Which one are you? pic.twitter.com/8hqGWY0ZMl
— BP (@BP_plc) September 4, 2015
— BP (@BP_plc) August 28, 2015
Data and statistics can often be categorised as boring, but BP find a way to bring out the fun with creative visuals such as graphs, charts, maps and infographics. This allows all demographics to understand complicated data and see it more clearly from a visual perspective. This makes content both shareable and entertaining.
— BP (@BP_plc) September 11, 2015
Customer service and interaction:
BP understand that their customers need to come first and Twitter provides an easy way for followers to contact BP and also vice versa. BP make sure to personally reply to people who either have a problem or something important and relevant to say. This also includes when asking questions and if people reply/guess the answer, BP provide them with the correct answer and factual information. However, BP could be a tad more personal with replies just to show a bit of extra effort, even though there is a lot of people to answer to! Throwing in a name or 2 just shows they are investing a bit more time into their customer service, which they do occasionally anyway:
Helping out when people are guessing answers to questions:
@FurzyFolfsky It's an elevated view of the cracker at the Shanghai Ethylene Cracker Complex (SECCO) Chemical Plant in Shanghai, China.
— BP (@BP_plc) September 10, 2015
@Ollie2220 Glad you enjoyed it. Will you be going back for the Cosmonaut Exhibition which starts 18th September?
— BP (@BP_plc) September 8, 2015
Personally attending to customer service:
@ChrisPooleCP Hi Chris, Sorry you had a bad experience, which site were you at so we can look into this for you?
— BP (@BP_plc) September 16, 2015
BP have over 1 million followers on LinkedIn. As soon as you get to the page you a greeted with a bright photo of happy workers thanking their followers for hitting 1 million. It just adds a great visual element to the page that other companies seem to lack. Their description is concise and to the point but also provides the right information and facts to know enough about what they do and what they want.
Their content is mostly different to what they put on Twitter and is it based more on employees, opportunities, events and technology updates. It takes a more serious approach but this is toned down through the use of visuals with every single post.
Images seem to do really well on LinkedIn especially for BP and also seem to get the most engagement. This is because brands are so used to being professional on LinkedIn, they get nervous to take a risk and take a little step back. Images are still professional, they are just a different way to display information and people respond better to things they can actually see and not have to think too much about. The post below got over 1600 likes! Sometimes, simplicity is key on LinkedIn.
Another thing I think brands forget on LinkedIn is that it is a place to build a community and to engage in conversation and discussion. People tend to think of community more on Twitter and Google+, but LinkedIn provides a platform for strong relationships and interaction. BP realises this and takes advantage of their huge amount of followers by again asking questions and asking for comments. People listen and want to get involved.
Again, BP sometimes cross post but also post unique content onto their Facebook page. A trend I have noticed is the use of video, whether it be timelapse or just a normal one, there are always plenty of videos on BP’s Facebook page. Whether its about construction of a BP site, an event/awards ceremony, employees discussing their role in BP or something about the Paralympic Games, it is always informative, visual and entertaining. Again, it seems to be that social networks are becoming increasingly visual:
BP have over 17,000 subscribers on YouTube and judging by their video content on their other social media channels, there is a good reason for it’s popularity. What I love about their channel is the categories that the videos have been divided into, making it simple and easy to understand which videos are about company culture, which are about site construction and which are about technology. You can easily find what you want without having to look through hundreds of videos. What is great is they incorporate human opinions in their video so they are informative and creative at the same time. You get to hear people speak about BP, what they do and what they are trying to change in the world – a series called ‘our stories’.
Overall, BP are unique on social media. For a company within the energy industry, it can be difficult to capture the attention of an audience and keep them engaged in the long term. They manage to make all their content interesting and this is through two key concepts being creativity and visuals.
They don’t forget about their customers and always want to encourage interaction and engagement between them and their followers.
I think it would benefit BP to get Instagram seeming as their visual content is the secret behind their social success.
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