We are all too painfully familiar with the controversies surrounding hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but did you ever think about the digital ramifications of fracking? Makovsky & Company Inc., a global integrated communications consultancy, has and details its digital insights in a new report.
The report reveals that 57 percent of U.S. consumers surveyed believe fracking is one of the three most important environmental issues today. Furthermore, 71 percent of respondents hear about the issue at least every week — with 79 percent getting their information primarily from social media. The survey was actually conducted via social media, leveraging geographically targeted Facebook ads to solicit responses from 1600 people.
Social media has become one of the top sources of public information on fracking, among other topics, and Makovsky found that most of the conversation is happening on Twitter facilitated by anti-fracking activists and groups. Analyzing 1.3 million Twitter mentions of fracking from January through July 2014, Makovsky found that anti-fracking advocates are generating 2,000 percent more impressions than those supportive of the issue.
or companies and associations in oil and gas who are trying to acquire a “social license to operate” — reflecting the local community’s acceptance or approval of a project or presence — effective use of social media is emerging as a critical success factor for resource development.
“One of the most underutilized (and undervalued) tools for earning a social license in the oil and gas industry is social media,” said Andy Beck, executive vice president of Makovsky’s Energy and Sustainability Practice. “Oil and gas companies that choose to use outmoded tactics — such as massive spending on TV advertising — can expect less than stellar results”
Just 18 percent of respondents said they hear about hydraulic fracturing from television ads.
To acquire a social license using social media, Makovsky recommends that oil and gas companies better understand activists, identify influencers, look for and predict behavior patterns, refine messaging, and create more shareable content.