How British B2B companies use social media: Anglo American

This is the first in a series of posts looking at how some of Britain’s biggest B2B companies are using social media within their organisation. 

Anglo American Logo

In January 2012 the British mining giant announced via YouTube it would be entering the world of social media to “have conversations with people” and “to show what we’re about.” What does this actually mean though?

Facebook

On Facebook almost every post features a high quality image and a question. Each post offers a nugget of information related to the mining industry and appears to be pitched perfectly for a Facebook audience where many fans of the page may have a passing interest in the mining industry without having great technical expertise. Did you know Metallurgical coal is primarily used in the steelmaking industry, making such items as cutlery?

A nice touch on the Anglo American Facebook Page is that the company profile picture changes each month to feature a different company employee. With 100,000 employees in the business it will take 8,333 years to feature each employee on the Facebook Page. I wonder if Facebook will have fixed the search facility by then?

Anglo American Facebook Page

 

YouTube

The company YouTube channel has a diverse mix of videos including some from an annual report, highlights of some CSR programmes and some “getting to know you” videos with the Chief Executive. While the majority of videos are in English, there are a number of videos in Spanish showing the global nature of their operations. All the videos are well made and the whole channel feels like it has been created by a company that really understands the purpose of a corporate YouTube channel.

I would have posted one of the videos here to show you the look and feel of the videos but for some reason Anglo American have disabled video embedding on their channel. This is a shame because I’d really like to show you this video.

LinkedIn

Over on LinkedIn the Anglo American company page has one pretty big focus: recruitment. Unsurprisingly for a company with a 100,000 strong workforce, attracting staff is vital to their operations. As such, the LinkedIn company page offers would-be employees everything they need to know about what a career within Anglo American is like.

Under the products section you can find a separate product listing for each of their core products including metallurgical coal (primarily used in the steelmaking industry, dontchaknow?) and diamonds, the latter of which has a review from one LinkedIn member stating “Gem Stones are massive!”. Good to know.
LinkedIn review for AngloAmerican Diamonds

Twitter

The company Twitter page is where we get a feel for what the company means when it says it will “have conversations with people”. Checking the company’s very active timeline for the last three weeks I found no signs of conversations with people at all. There were certainly plenty of tweets mentioning the company during that time (by no means were they all positive) but the company never responded to any of them. In fact, the only reply in the three week period was a tweet to @UNWomenUK. Hardly a sign of a company wanting to join the conversation.

In summary

Overall the social media presence of Anglo American is strong. For a company operating in what is not a particularly glamorous industry, their Facebook presence is actually pretty good. The community managers on there manage to make the page engaging without resorting to cheap edgerank boosting tactics (“Like if you love Fridays”). The LinkedIn company page has a clear purpose and that seems to be a tool for recruitment which absolutely makes sense for a company of this size with such a large HR operartion. I’d be interested to hear more about the online recruitment programmes within Anglo American (If you work in Anglo American’s HR department, drop me an email). The YouTube channel gives viewers and stakeholders a look at the diverse nature of the business with well-produced, web friendly videos (no thirty minute powerpoint presentations here). Unfortunately the Twitter page, despite being very active with a good range of news updates and industry insights, doesn’t live up to the promise of the 2012 “We’re going social” video which claimed they were joining the conversation. If this is what they consider to be joining the conversation, I wouldn’t want to meet Anglo American at a cocktail party.

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