If there’s one thing to love about social media, it’s this: no matter how many millions companies like Shell throw at it, they’ll never crack it. Because they don’t control the message -- you do.
Shell spends a ridiculous amount of money on advertising worldwide. It claims to have 1.5 million fans on Facebook, but wiser internet gurus have told me they suspect these hordes are mostly robots.
I’m not fussed about the fans, but I really want to know if Shell’s mega-million social media operation is also run by robots. The only real way to know is to ask them some simple questions.
We learned a couple of astonishing facts this week and we want Shell to answer questions about them. This week Shell asked users on Facebook to fill in the blank: "I use Shell fuel to power my _______" We think the company's answer might be 'social media robots', so we're running a test.
Put your answer on their post or ask one of the questions below. We'll see if they get back to us.
So here we go:
1. Do you honestly think that a drillship that runs aground in a “stiff breeze” when supposedly at anchor is safe to drill in the extremely challenging Arctic conditions?
[Shell’s Arctic driller - a 46-year-old rust bucket called the ‘Noble Discoverer’ - slammed into a beach in Alaska over the weekend after they lost control of it in calm conditions.]
2. You say that it’s “easier to get to the moon than to drill in the Arctic.” Are you aware that your so-called “state-of-the-art” drillship was built around the time Neil Armstrong was just starting astronaut school?
[This week a Shell executive in Mexico boasted about how difficult Arctic drilling is. And they, err, want to use the creaking 46-year-old Noble Discoverer, which was involved in a similar incident in New Zealand recently, to do it.]
Copy and paste one of the above questions (or ask both of them) on this Facebook post. We’ll be keeping a close eye on how long they take to respond - most importantly - whether they’re real people or robots.