This article forms part of a study on social media usage amongst FTSE 100 companies.
Each company in the FTSE 100 index was reviewed on its usage of such social media tools as RSS feeds*, blogs, online video, podcasts and social media platforms like Flickr and Facebook on its main website and on occasion, on websites of well-known subsidiary companies.
*RSS feeds are a simple way of delivering fresh versions of a website’s content to online readers automatically.
According to the Guardian.co.uk Business Glossary:
“The FTSE 100 index comprises the 100 most highly capitalised blue chip companies on the London Stock Exchange, representing approximately 81% of the UK market.”
Here’s how mining conglomerate, BHP Billiton (BLT.L) measured up.
|FTSE 100 Company||RSS||Podcast||Blog||Online Video||Audio||Facebook, Flickr, etc|
Online Video/Webcasts: Yes, on homepage!
Usage of Social Media platforms: No
(Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, del.icio.us, Twitter, Digg etc)
According to Yahoo! Finance:
“BHP Billiton, one of the world leaders in the production of diversified resources in the mining industry sector … is one of the main producers of chrome and manganese. ”
My pre-evaluation expectation of how the company will fare:
This one is probably going to be a little like Antofagasta’s evaluation. At the time, Antofagasta offered a lacklustre Flash-based site that inspired the following statement:
“There is very very little to engage the average consumer with this site. Perhaps that is the intention.”
Still, here goes.
Well, was I in for a pleasant surprise!
BHP Billiton’s home page features an online video demonstrating the relationships it has with the communities it operates in. The video is actually a video podcast and can be download directly or from iTunes. Pretty impressive. RSS feeds implicitly provided.
There must be a catch.
Well, there is … and there isn’t.
BHP Billiton is sponsoring the Beijing 2008 Olympics, quite possibly the biggest sporting event so far this decade. In fact, the minerals in the Olympic medals come from their operations in Australia and Chile.
It makes sense that BHP Billiton have created a highly engaging corporate website to reach consumers discovering them through their involvement with the world’s largest sporting tournament.
- Start a CEO or high level executive blog – BHP Billiton are in the middle of trying to buy another mining conglomerate, rival group Rio Tinto; making overture after overture after making a $147 billion hostile bid in February.
The company website’s homepage has warm and inviting pictures and videos featuring CEO, Marius Kloppers in conversation. It also features a prominent link to a page offering visitors more detail about the ‘Offer For Rio Tinto’.
The simple addition of a corporate blog featuring articles on the Rio Tinto bid by the CEO and other executives might go a step further to demonstrate how much they are listening to stakeholders.
If there had been a blog of any description on the BHP Billiton website, I would have gone out of my way to read it.
What do you think?
Are you a customer, employee, shareholder or stakeholder of BHP Billiton? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this review. What would you like to see BHP Billiton doing more of in terms of social media? More online video about its history? More high level executive blogs, maybe?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Need any help?
Do you work for BHP Billiton and want some insight into some of the ideas published here?
Or perhaps you look after marketing for BHP Billiton and would like a quick chat about putting some of those recommendations into practice. Contact us.
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