No conversation about B2B social media would be complete without a mention of Maersk Line.

The shipping company has managed to do the seemingly impossible and make social media an important part of its marketing mix.

To find out more about Maersk Line’s social strategy I interviewed Davina Rapaport, who is the company’s Pulse and Social Media Manager.

Davina was hired to extract bottom-line benefits from the business’ social media assets and is responsible for more than 30 marketing channels.

She will also be speaking at the Festival of Marketing in November in the B2B stream...

Please briefly describe your role at Maersk Line.

I am Maersk Line’s Pulse and Social Media Manager which means that I am responsible for Maersk Line’s 30+ global and local social media channels.

More specifically, I was hired to extract bottom line benefits from Maersk Line’s social media assets. 

How is your global social media team structured?

I am based at Maersk HQ in Copenhagen and drive our commercial focus from there. I have a Community Manager based in Mumbai and we have a Creative Team split between Copenhagen, Mumbai, Manila.

Which social channels are most important for Maersk Line? Do people really buy shipping via Facebook?

Our social media strategy relies on the fact that our social media channels work together as an ecosystem, as well as working in tandem with other marketing channels, like events and emails.

As a B2B brand, LinkedIn is an important platform for us to reach key decision makers when they’re in the right mindset. 

Facebook is too big to ignore and an important channels for us to reinforce our message in a more subtle way. 

And finally, our audience on Twitter has several specific demographics and therefore plays an important role.

Maersk Line has more than 30 social accounts. How much autonomy do local teams have in the content strategy?

Alignment, both in terms of communicating the brand proposition and look and feel, is important to Maersk Line. 

To ensure that our local markets are communicating a consistent message we have devised a number of guidelines, training sessions and support functions. Provided our local marketing managers adhere to a few guidelines, we respect that local audiences may have different needs and we like to give our marketing managers a bit of creative freedom.

Which departments are involved in the global content strategy? How do you come up with ideas?

Our industry has traditionally been very inside out, assuming that what we want to talk about is also what our audience wants to hear. 

Of course this is not the right approach.

We have devised a number of processes through which we can tap into what is relevant for our customers utilizing our Business Intelligence Team, our Customer Insights Team as well as our Social Media Team.

A very simple example is what we call ‘Special Cargo’. Special Cargo is cargo that is too large to fit into a standard container, such as a railway carriage, a yacht or even a giraffe. 

While we call this ‘Special Cargo’, the industry calls it ‘Out of Gauge’ or ‘Break Bulk’. 

How do you track the success of social activity? What tools do you use?

I’m a firm believer that social media work towards the strategic goals of the organization. 

Any social media marketer who fails to do this will face massive internal credibility issues and subsequently will face an uphill battle for resources.

At Maersk Line social media sits within the Commercial Division so our focus is generating leads. 

That is not to say that secondary metrics (such as impressions, CTRs, engagement and followers acquired) aren’t important, but these metrics are more illustrative of how well our content is performing, rather than how well the social media team is performing.

Oracle is our provider for our social suite, Oracle Eloqua is our marketing automation system and is integrated with our CRM system, Salesforce. 

Have you cracked the ‘post to purchase’ loop? How do you track it?

We have successfully tested the relationship between our various systems and have cracked the ‘post to purchase’ loop. 

As with many other areas of marketing we are continually optimizing and testing to increase volume and quality of leads.

Another aspect that we’re exploring is the value of social media’s influence on a purchasing decision. 

From our research, we have found that the average customer consumes 10.4 pieces of online content before even picking up the phone and calling a shipping company. During this time 67% of the decision making process is made. 

As marketers, our job is to ensure that Maersk Line content is as much of that 10.4 as possible. 

It is important that we can measure the value of social media if it accounts for the lion’s share of consumed content, but converts after a call from a sales rep.

Finally, to what extent do senior management still need to be convinced of social’s impact on the business? Is that an ongoing battle, or has there already been a cultural shift within the business?

Maersk Line’s senior management is very supporting of our social media efforts. This is because I understand that Maersk Line is very metric driven and I never walk into a meeting without finite data in a language that they can understand. 

If I went into a meeting and only spoke about engagement rates and impressions, they would probably ask me ‘ok great, 100,000 impressions, what’s that in dollars?’

Leads, opportunities and containers sold are all metrics that Maersk Line understands. 

I find that the more I speak the same language as the organization, the less internal selling I need to do – they get it.

You can learn even more about B2B marketing trends at our two day Festival of Marketing event in November. Book your ticket today and head to the B2B stage for help in adapting your marketing strategy and tactics to move beyond generating sales leads.

David Moth

Published 9 September, 2015 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (2)

craig simpson

craig simpson, Ecommerce Marketing Executive at Thompson & Morgan

unfortunately, all that this tells us is that there present on all social media networks, and probably spending huge amounts on time on then, sorry to be negative, but I was hoping to see some specifics for B2B social marketing.

almost 3 years ago

Mick Dickinson

Mick Dickinson, Owner at BuzzedUp

The article is thin - it doesn't say anything about what tactics make up the success quoted. She talks of £££ metrics but there is actually no substance here — a shame, as I expect Davina is doing a great job, we just didnt get to hear how.

over 2 years ago

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