With over 1 billion Facebook users, it is clear that this is the place where people are hanging out online. Along with the millions of location updates, baby pictures and recipes, Facebook is proving to be a viable marketing tool for many businesses; including the mining industry. Utilizing social media for mining companies is a fast growing need for those wanting to stay in the public eye. Keep in mind that when it comes to social media networking, Facebook isn’t the only major player. There are many social media platforms that can prove to be helpful for mining marketing. Here’s how these websites can be put to work for mining operations:
Every person, business, group, and even television show can have their own Facebook page. The status updates posted by the page’s administrator will be sent out to everyone who “likes” the page. The more followers, the greater your message’s reach will be. One of Facebook’s greatest attributes is that it is extremely user friendly. The ability to post photos, videos and documents is not only easy, but instantaneous. The Australian Institute of Mining and Mineralogy (AusIMM) has created their own Facebook group where they are actively sharing news and articles that would be of interest to their followers. They are also able to stimulate conversations about various mining industry concerns. Facebook can also be used by mining operations to create a platform where employees, working across various shifts, can stay connected and share information.
In the social media arena, LinkedIn has proven itself to be an effective networking site for business professionals. It is similar to Facebook in that you set up a profile and can add connections of friends and companies. However, there is less random posting as the information shared on LinkedIn is much more focused. The details of a LinkedIn profile act as an online resume. This enables LinkedIn users to network with companies who are hiring and grants the interested employer instant access to their applicable job history. Many recruiters are using LinkedIn to find new hires. Using this attribute of LinkedIn could help the mining industry find the next generation of engineers and geologists.
Like Facebook, Twitter is all about the “status update.” However, because the message is limited to 140 characters or less, it has to be direct and to the point. Just because the Tweet is limited doesn’t mean you can’t include links. Many businesses use Twitter to announce special promotions or company news. By including a link with a short description or catchy title, you engage your followers who can then open the link to view the complete article, case history, press release, etc.
YouTube can be used for more than just watching cat videos or pranks. Companies and individual users can set up their own YouTube channel and post educational videos such as safety videos, training videos or even company news. For many, being able to watch a video instead of reading a long article or safety manual will allow the information to be more easily understood and retained. Online videos are also easily accessible, even for remote mining operations. For some examples of how mining machine manufacturers are using YouTube, see how Joy Mining Machinery and Thiess Mining are utilizing this social media platform. If your company is using social media as part of company operations, you need to establish posting policies for your employees. They are free to post their personal news on their own pages, but if they are speaking for the company, they should have a unified voice. The mining industry should take advantage of the opportunities that social media provides. Due to the mining industry often having a negative public image, it is extremely important that mining companies be more proactive in communicating with key stakeholders such as environmentalists, investors and the government.