How Maersk Line Uses Social Media to Create Transprency and Engage Customers

Paul Fendley    February 8, 2015

MaerskLine-logo

Organisation Name: Maersk Line

Industry: Container Shipping

Name of contact if available: Soren Skou, CEO

Web references: When a shipping company creates transparency, empowerment and engagement through social media: the case of Maersk LineMaersk Line

Company Background

Maersk Line is a Danish container shipping company started in 1928 with 25,000 employees and operations in 125 countries,

Description of how social media is used for business performance

Maersk Line did not jump into the social media world until late in 2011.

In October 2011, Maersk Line finally got going with social media. Up until that point in time we had been in what we termed “a listening phase”, trying to digest what social media is about and decide whether or not it makes sense to be there for a B2B company like ours (maersklinesocial.com: ‘Why social media’).

In their first year Maersk Line attracted more than 400,000 Facebook users (today that number is 1,162,106) and established a presence on nine different platforms.  This led them to winning the European Digital Communication Award in September 2012.

Maersk Line uses different social platforms for different purposes.  Unlike other companies who post the same information across all platforms, Maersk Line posts targeted information to the different audiences on different platforms.  To do this Maersk Line mapped their audiences as shown in the figure below.

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Maersk Line uses Facebook to start conversations with their customers.  They post to Facebook on a daily basis with photos and videos of their containers being shipped all over the world.  Likes range from 500 to 3500 on each daily post.

LinkedIn is used to engage experts in the shipping industry.  Customers can find detailed information on shipping and logistics and be kept up to date on the latest events and stories.

Want to know the history of Maersk Line?  Subscribe to their YouTube channel and view their corporate video shown below.  Watch how they accomplish some amazing feats!

To communicate quickly Maersk Line needed a strategy and concept for how to use sound and music. Listen to Karstem Kjems, Chief AudioVisual Strategist from Chimney discuss how they did it.

Twitter allows Maersk Line customers first access to reports, news, press releases and event updates.  They also do live tweets with experts to discuss the latest news within the industry.

Follow Maersk Line on Instagram and see photos submitted by employees and followers. Many employees are seafarers and publish tons of interesting pictures of pirates and heavy weather at sea.  When founder Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller died there was a desire to find out more about the beginnings of the company.  Users from around the world were able to see pictures from the archives as shown below.  Users were clearly fascinated and showed great interest in the legend and myth.

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By using these different channels Maersk Line has gone from a closed organization communication wise to inviting stakeholders in as proactive co-producers of content.

Social Media has enabled Maersk Line to become publishers of their own story and not rely on outside media.  It has allowed them to respond to crisis by giving them access to tweeters locally in places such as Egypt where the ship Emma Maersk hit ground.  From that local access they were able to obtain and post pictures and make a statement and be in control of the situation before other media picked up the story.  Crisis averted!

Most companies use social media very narrowly for marketing and recruitment.  Mearsk Line uses social media strategically in the company’s external (and sometimes internal) communication, strengthening the relations and collaborations with stakeholders.  The value of their social media efforts has been to become wiser about the company faster and cheaper than ever before and with a cheaper result.

Lessons for Others

By embracing social media Maersk Line has become an open and transparent company engaging their stakeholders to participate on the different social media platforms.  Although you can’t copy and paste the strategy of Maersk Line, you can see how opening all aspects of your company to social media can deliver great results!

Submitted By: Paul Fendley

To contact the author of this entry please email at: Paul Fendley

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.