A question and answer session on the social media channel attracts a knowledgeable audience.
Last Friday, Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP, hosted a live Q&A session to discuss the energy giant’s just-published 2017 Energy Outlook.
Mr Dale, based in London, answered questions for an hour on the trends identified in the report: eg, the future of oil and gas supplies, the impact of electric vehicles and China’s changing energy landscape, etc; as well as the validity and reliability of BP’s forecasting.
The session attracted knowledgeable questions from industry specialists. Some questions were challenging, but there was no ‘trolling’ or inappropriate comments that have overwhelmed other online corporate forums. Probably inevitably for a session on LinkedIn, Mr Dale was even asked how to get a job on his team, which may have been part of the point. The Q&A panel was still receiving comments four days after the session closed.
Several usability problems with LinkedIn detracted from the experience, however – including a link not working, the confusing display of two panels where users could post questions, and difficulty in seeing new questions unless the screen was refreshed. We also had trouble with the ‘see more’ links to expand the comments. It is not just LinkedIn – we have found bad usability to a problem across social media channels, and we are not sure why.
Usability problems aside (and which are probably out of BP’s control), LinkedIn is an appropriate channel to speak ‘expert-to-expert’ and maintain the company’s reputation with industry professionals and jobseekers.