Maersk Line: From communication to commercial

Ever wondered how to turn communication into commercial? With over a million followers on social media the Danish shipping company Maersk Line turned their very successful communication into commercial.

 At Super Content Marketing 2016 in Stockholm Davina Rapaport, Pulse and Social Media Manager at Maersk Line Denmark, gave us her best tips for a blooming social media strategy.

Identify your customers and their needs
To begin, you need to know who your customers are and what they want. When Maersk Line started off with their social media strategy they had no idea who their followers were. Through a social media order the company found out that they had five key demographics and that their audience were interested in regular updates from the company. More specific they were interested in news from within the company and the industry, opportunity to discussion and service updates.

Identify your customers’ social media habits
After identifying their customers the Danish company wanted to learn more about their social media habits. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter proved to be the main channels used by their customers.

LinkedIn was recognised as the “jewel in the crown” where almost 20 per cent of the followers belong to their key demographics, compared to six per cent on Facebook.

Rapaport also stated that LinkedIn’s key features are their demographics, the functionality, the sophisticated targeting and the mindset that people are in when using it. On the platform Mearsk Line communicates to their customers and also reinforces their brand positioning.

In addition to their official presence on LinkedIn the company also started to use Pulse as a blogging format for their chief commercial officer where he talks about what is topical in the industry, as requested by their customers.

Facebook serves in a very different way to LinkedIn. Rapaport explained:“[Facebook] is a inherently personal platform, so you need to be a bit more settled and a bit more entertaining in your approach.”

Facebook has therefore become a way of supporting the, sometimes, direct messages on LinkedIn but in a much more entertaining way. It is also used in order to engage with their employees, followers and fans.

With 122 000 followers on Twitter the channel serves as the best way to communicate with their customers, the media and their fans. It has also become a vital platform for service updates and dicussions among their audience.

Listen to your customers
A key element behind successful communication, according to Rapaport, is listening. She said: “I think we tend to forget that 50 per cent of communication is listening and perhaps it’s the most important part.”

Attract customers to your landing pages
To conclude, Rapaport talked about the importance of attracting your customer to the company’s landing pages. Likes and follows on social media will not generate any money and therefore all visitors need to be referred to the landing pages, where they can engage with your services or products.

By transforming their communication into commercial Maersk Line has increased their social media presence by almost 50 per cent, which is reflecting directly on their PR efforts. Even though the improved numbers, Rapaport believed that their biggest achievement is the way they have affected the shipping industry. By introducing social media into the industry they have moved it from being closed and analogue to being more open and engaging with its customers.

3 Key take-aways

  1. Get to know your customers! Listen to their needs and requests in order to create content that matches their requirements.
  2. Adapt your content to the different media channels. Let all channels work in an eco-system where they all have their own function. Find the right function for each channel.
  3. Likes, follows and shares on social media will not generate any money – make sure to bring your audience to the pages that can.