As I have recently stated in my previous post, many companies are jumping on the bandwagon of using social media to build shareholder relationships. Well, most isn’t everyone, and one of these companies not jumping on the bandwagon is BP. Now I am not saying BP does not use social media, they just do not use it with their shareholders. Everyone has heard of the BP oil spill that happened in the Gulf. This being one of the biggest disasters recently has caused multiple problems for BP and their investors. In a world today where we are technically savvy, it is easier and faster to get information, especially bad information out to everybody! Unfortunately for BP, when the crisis hit so did their relationships with their shareholders.
BP is currently working on improving their image, as well as getting more financial support. Currently, BP does micro blogging through Twitter, which is what they have been using to help with some of the problems the oil spill has caused. Unfortunately, problems can arise with using social media, like a fake account in the company’s name placing information on the page that could cause damage, which happened to BP on Twitter. However, damage control for this tends to happen fast. BP uses Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc., but only to talk to everybody but the shareholders. To me, this makes no sense. One of the biggest assets, the shareholders, receives no information via social media. BP, in a time of crisis you should be thinking how to build the relationships with the shareholders, especially with the way technology is being used these days to provide information. Shareholders are going to get BP through this mess, and so far BP has not done much to include their shareholders in the mainstream communication technology on the Internet. IR Web Report shows that companies are being ignorant by communicating to every audience via social media other than shareholders. Now I am not saying BP does not communicate with their shareholder on the Internet, on BP’s website, there is a section for investors, which helps to explain the current financial situation, but this does not allow for the investors to respond. A section for shareholders is nice, but I am sure they do not update this every day, nor does it allow for shareholders to respond using social media. I feel it is a necessity to include shareholders, especially when going through a crisis because the people who are putting their money into a company want to have a voice. By BP not using the advantages of social media to help build relationships again with their shareholders are causing themselves to stay stuck in their own mess.
Luckily for BP, some newspaper websites do have interactive areas for investors to respond to BP’s situation and decisions for financial purposes. From the online edition of The Daily Telegraph, the writers discussed the current financial situation of BP, and their state of trying to receive financial help. This is good because people can at least have some idea of the current financial situation, and investors could possibly respond to this if they want. This site can also be linked to social media accounts like Twitter. Unfortunately though, BP does not produce this, nor is it going to be constantly updated by BP. From a social media standpoint, BP is slow to get started. Though some financial aspects do not necessarily need to be on a social media website, BP should have a blog to constantly be updating those that are providing the money to help BP. BP does provide an entire section on their website for shareholders that consist of reports and earnings, but like I mentioned earlier, this does not allow for feedback, they are just reports. BP needs to realize that there shareholders need to constantly be updated and knowing every move because without them the company would have a hard time existing.