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Social Media Catching On at GPS 2012

Although social media platforms are considered a bit more ‘new school’ for your typical buttoned-up oil and gas execs, more and more of them are pulling out their smartphones to Facebook and tweet, especially at this year’s Global Petroleum Show. “I told HR to get on Twitter,” said a Cameron rep when I asked if they had a feed. Another one with FMC said he didn’t think they had a Twitter account at all. That’s the one I started following yesterday.

So even if a corporate communications or media relations person does maintain a small feed, others in the company aren’t even aware of it… yet. But they will be! It was shortly after my first picture tweet at the National Oilwell tent that we got a unique GPS follower. Then another. Then another… oh wait, that’s a spam profile for a porno website. Better block her! My point is, after making my rounds at the show and finding the #GPS2012 and #GPS12 feeds, connecting with industry pros was too easy.

Naysayers may be surprised to know that major producers like Shell and Husky maintain Twitter feeds to tens of thousands of followers. Even local companies like TransCanada and Encana have been tweeting since before I had my own account. And it doesn’t stop with the big players in downtown high-rises. There are manufacturers, distributors, service providers and administrators all throughout the industry sharing new technologies and concepts in 140 characters or less. People are uploading pictures, attaching websites and linking videos all related to North American oil and gas.

Some major companies in other industries are pushing to phase out emails all together, opting for more convenient means of communication like social media and instant messaging. Global tech services company Atos, which is phasing out internal emailing by 2014, is encouraging its employees to check their notifications instead of inbox. Let’s face it, a tech-savvy generation is more inclined to check updates and IMs on the go, saving desk time for projects and assignments.

It’ll be interesting to see what GPS 2014 looks like. Will we see more company banners with “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter” logos? Will traditional means of business correspondence get shelved for newer networking types of communication? Change is slow, but I think the explosive popularity of Facebook alone (my grandma even has an account) will push things in that direction. So, with that said – please follow us @SealweldCorp for new technologies and innovations in valve sealing and maintenance!

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