How can you use social media in B2B in a way that it will contribute to your online engagement with your customer? This was the main question during the webinar SPOTONVISION organized on June 5th.
Jonathan Wichmann, Head of Social Media at Maersk Line, explained how Maersk reached incredible successes in social media with minimum efforts. At Maersk Line they implemented a social media strategy only six months ago.
During the SPOTONVISION webinar many questions were asked to Jonathan. Read his answers to the most frequently asked questions in this article.
Q. Do you have KPI’s incorporated in your strategy today?
Jonathan: “No, we don’t. We deliberately skipped those because we didn’t want to get too focused on numbers at this early stage. We need to find our way around and explore first. Besides, good targets in terms of numbers are very difficult to define when you have no data from earlier years to benchmark against.”
Q. You are an international company. Do you only communicate in English on social media platforms or do you also communicate in different languages to reach more countries?
Jonathan: “We’re discussing these type of challenges right now. My feeling is that we will end up with a policy where we primarily communicate in English. However, if the local language is the primary one in the local communication with customers and other stakeholders, my colleagues can also choose their local language.”
Q. Do you use a content calendar?
Jonathan: “No, we don’t use a content calendar. We don’t believe in too much pre-planning. I feel that it is about being responsive, flexible and improvisational in your approach. Things like guidelines and calendars should always be in the back of your mind.
I’m scared that things will become too robotic when all content is planned to the minute. I think that how we function in social life is very much based on our ability to improvise. When we speak, act – even when we listen. Pre-planning what to say to whom at what time will make you an actor of some sort. We don’t want to act, we want to be real and authentic. Otherwise, our fans/followers/connections/friends will smell the rat.”
Editors note: As Jonathan describes, there could be a reason why you don’t want to use a content calendar or make an editorial planning. However, we are convinced that there are many reasons why you should use an editorial calendar.
- Clear overview of when you will publish what content on which platform.
- It helps you to get insight in the content you can recycle and what content needs to be renewed or updated.
- You won’t forget to keep an eye on deadlines, marketing- and sales targets.
- It gives you insights in the use of key words for SEO.
- It is the best way to keep an eye on the big picture. But, as you can read, the opinions about this may vary ;).
Q. How important is the combination of printed media and social media?
Jonathan: “I don’t think they are very far apart. People are focusing a lot on digital media these days. But really, social media is primarily about ‘social’. And printed media could serve that purpose too.”
Q. Why does Maersk Line feel that social media is about communications and not marketing?
Jonathan: “I think communication is about saying something, either because you truly want to give people something, or because you would like to get to know them better. As opposed to marketing, where you’re saying something because you want to sell something. We don’t want to sell through social media. And I also think it’s actually much more valuable to be there to connect, listen, talk, learn etc. And nothing more.”
Editors note: By the way, SPOTONVISION believes that marketing is all about listening, connecting, communicating and learning.
What are the take-aways from Maersk Line on social media?
- Social media is not an add-on, but a part of your business as usual
- Take good care of your fans/followers/customers. Be generous and listen
- It is not about the quantity but the quality of your relations
- Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it
- So …just do it!
You can view the Slideshare presentation or download the recording of this webinar.
Would you like to read more about this topic? Recently we wrote the blog post ‘Online engagement in B2B marketing – plenty of reasons to get started’. And shortly, we will launch the first of three B2B Marketing Pockets (in Dutch). One of these three pockets will be all about Online Engagement in B2B. Keep an eye on our website!