The social media is the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution. In this article we primarily discuss about the formation of social media, the changes in marketing area, Communication, sales and Customer services, Then we discuss about the usage of social media in maritime transportation industry, After that we will talk about the Maersk line as a case study in usage of social media. The changing trends rate tremendously increased and the condition for survival every organization is the better perception of these changes.
Organizations usually choose one of the below approaches to face these shifts:
Organization with reactive and traditional approach; These Organizations do not understand these shifts and most of the time they are unaware about these changes hence they do not change their policies and strategies since they imagine current market trend will go ahead, i.e. The most of the photographic film producers which did not notice to technology life cycle and advent of digital cameras, all bankrupted, These Companies attention is much focused on internal weaknesses and strengths and they rarely follow the industry pioneers.
They do not receive an advantage from the other companies mistakes, as if these are in vacancy without pay attention to macro environment.
2- Companies with proactive approach; These companies study technological and environmental trends carefully to select appropriate strategies regard to these shifts.
3- These organizations also use proactive approach, But there is a difference between type2 and type 3 organizations., Third type organizations could affect in shifts and the future of industry and market, They not only do strategies planning to face these shifts, but also they try to create some parts of these shifts.
Since it is mentioned the social media is the biggest shift sine the industrial revolution, which emphasize to the role and the effects of social media in maritime transportation industry.
The companies with reactive and traditional approach do not pay attention enough to social media, The maersk shipping line as the market leader in container transportation ,perceived this shift well, Maerks line garnered over 1 million fans one facebook, 40,000 followers on twitter and 22/000 on instagram, They also launched and become active on other social media networks such as linkedIn and Google+and created a social media home base for Maersk line by maersklinesocial.com address.
Social networks in maritime transportation industry have focused on different areas; Communications, customer service, sales, branding.
The aim of social networks usages in maritime industry is getting closer to customers.
Getting better press coverage, gain higher employee engagement, develop more brand awareness, all and all are functions of social networks.
Shipping companies customers are from different social groups hence every customer uses particular social networks, usually four groups follow shipping companies: Fans, customers, employees, experts.
Shipping companies by creating their own social network could publish articles and stories about the company in a less formal manner, usually social network department operates independent from marketing department.
Although marketing department try to affect on social network department.
Users of every social networks regard to type of that social networks behave in a particular way, for example people who use facebook for their businesses usually connects to companies and people who they knew before.
Many firms may look to social networks as the promotional tool, although the social networks are strategic marketing activities, The use of social networks can increase brand awareness, connection with customers and other industry influencers and potentially even increase sales.
The social networks are used in B2B and B2C forms, i.e. Dell computers company has been touted by social networks, the company developed an online community on facebook that includes messages boards, news, …
Dell also setup its listening and customer relationship center which customers can follow their requests, problems and complaints and they achieve a high success rate of 98 percent in this case, as customer service handled complaints in public, they turned dissatisfied customers from demoters to promoters, The biggest success.
Maersk line`s entry into social media began in 2011, at the beginning company thought no one and no business would follow them but all these changed by focusing on four fields to get closer to customers, communications, customer service, sales and in eternal usage.
The usage of every social networks in regard of its function is different, also pay attention to the social networks which our target market presence on, is so important.
The facebook much used in B2C form when most of your customers are individuals.
i.e. the maersk in facebook started to use from its archive of different photos from containers, vessels and terminals.
Stories from voyages, pirates, … were posted in this site, followers took memorial photograph where ever they faced to any vessels or containers from maersk line and then uploaded on the facebook web site.
They use twitter to post company and maritime transportation industry news.
They use linkedIn as a platform to communicate with customers in a professional way , they also post much formal and serious news on twitter in comparison to facebook ,The most of their customers in direct contact have noticed that they like to follow them on linkedln , also the other purpose of linkedIn usage is ensuring that customers to know what the company have to offer and understand their reasons for e.g. liking the rates, also listen to them and discuss with them.
Maersk line uses 10 different social media platforms for different purposes:
Facebook, twitter, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr.
At the end, I noticed you, by arising social media nowadays, the commercial and trading equations shift.
Disregarding these new trends will cause big losses not only in market share and income but also in branding.