Case Study Paper on Maersk Line Social Media Situation Analysis

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Maersk line is a part of the Maersk Group which is a collection of shipping and energy containers. Maersk Line is considered one of the world’s largest shipping container companies. According to their website, “As a group, our business success is built on a number of strengths: our size and global research, our financial strength, our talented employees, our time-honored values, our approach to sustainability, and our drive to innovate. Combined, these strengths form a unique platform for our continued success and future growth.” This motto shows they are willing to continue their success and grow with the times to stay successful in the future.

With social media playing a major role in society, it’s different than the traditional way of advertising. A few ways in which it is immediacy, permanence, cost, quality, frequency, and reach. There is a ton of well-known social media platforms and for a long time, they were used for B2C (Business-to-Consumer) interactions. As social media has become prominent in society, B2B (Business-to-Business) interactions have grown as well. Since social media is still relatively new, B2B companies see challenges. “The biggest challenge is that many companies see social media as a cute promotional activity when it can be a strategic marketing activity,” Says Christine Moorman.

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B2B however can also have positive impacts. Brand awareness, connecting with customers and prospects, establishing companies as thought leaders, and at times even increasing sales. Wichmann from Maersk line before taking off on his social media adventure for Maersk wanted to look more into all this information. Wichmann decided to look into two successful companies that have exceeded the social media world, Dell and General Electric. Both companies have been extremely successful in their social media efforts. Dell has a success rate of 98% and dissatisfied customers went from being demoters to promoters while General Electric put a face to the company with Megan Parker.

Wichmann later became a one-man team when trying to promote his Maersk Line social media journey. He started in late 2011 but it wasn’t until 2013 in which he began having some more people on board. At first, Wichmann began by only devoting 50% of his time to working on social media but in 2012 he made the full-time switch. Skepticism internally as well as externally flew over Wichmann's head but he continued to push. When developing the social media line for Maersk, the four areas which were being targeted were communications, customer service, sales, and internal usage. The overall goal of this whole journey was to get closer to Maersk’s customers. Wichmann wanted social media to be about communicating with customers not marketing and engaging not pushing. When beginning Wichmann focused on the key communication and building aspects of Maersk's presence and then turned to all four areas.

The strategies that Wichmann used were like no other and very different. He decided to start with Facebook which was typically not the first move for B2B companies. He started with boring posts but later found pictures and stories unique to the Maersk line. Posting these pictures instantly attracted people with them liking and commenting on pictures. Wichmann decided to now add the involvement of people and encouraged them to take pictures of Maersk ships around the world adding comments of the person who took them. A poll was taken to find out who these people liked the pictures and comments. Many were employees but this was a part of Wichmann's plan in engaging employees to be a part of something bigger.

Within 11 months 400,000 people were attracted to their Facebook page and this only continued to grow. Followers included NGOs, employees, potential employees, competition, suppliers, regular bodies, and shipping enthusiasts and fans. Wichmann’s lesson that he stands by from learning was telling stories of who you are rather than manufacturing stories from the inside. Regardless of the stories, all were told even the negative ones and this was important to all followers.

Facebook began the social media platform of Maersk Line but by the fall of 2013, Maersk Line was existent on 10 different social media platforms and each platform had its own agenda. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram/Flickr, Google+, Vimeo/YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr are the 10 platforms involved. Facebook was used to engage in visual and controversial ways, LinkedIn was to reach customers and Twitter was initially used as a news outlet. Wichmann also created Maersk Line Social, this was a place in which posts were more in-depth and personal and it was a site Maersk Line called their own

Looking back at Twitter it began as a news line but after adding other platforms and seeing who the followers were, Twitter became a place where a variety of content was shared from shipping news to photos of animals on top of containers and boats. LinkedIn became a site to target customers and a way to tie the customers closer to Maersk Line as a company. Instagram was used as a “fun app” for Wichmann and it consisted of photos with the #Maersk. All kinds of pictures were posted and tagged worldwide.

Flickr was used for a more functional purpose of grouping high-resolution photos and distributing them to whoever needed them. A link was given directly to the page. Google+ was used to connect openly and directly with customers, shipping professionals, and experts. Vimeo was Maersk Line's primary video channel where all videos were uploaded for all viewings and YouTube was used for more business purposes internally. Pinterest and Tumblr are the last of the 10. Pinterest was used by pinning pictures on boards and this translated through different parts of the world. Tumblr is the last of the 10 and was initially a blog to promote and display Instagram photos but it shifted this and shared Maersk Line stories instead.

All social media platforms were a part of the engagement for the Maersk line. The social media adventure that Wichmann started out on Bean by attracting attention and storytelling, and the fact on Wichmann was one of the first to hit social media platforms was also a plus. Money wasn’t an issue for Wichmann and he and his team barely spent any. Maersk engagement was 4x higher than the average B2B brand that number may even be higher according to Wichmann.

He also believed that followers and fans shouldn’t be the main focus but instead keeping it real and creating bottom value was the ultimate goal. As for overall engagement, all the social media platforms held customer service out the most. Before customer service could answer a question on social media, customers and fans jumped in to solve the problem or give an answer. Social media and its engagement helped Maersk Line move from a culture of protecting knowledge to one of sharing. The engagement of Wichmann and all the fans and customers really helped Maersk Line take off in the social media world. Wichmann didn’t give up and was positive this would help take the company to the next level and with the help of everyone around the world between posting, liking, commenting, or retweeting it has exploded.

Skyum-Nelson is looking forward to the Maersk Line and she wonders what can be done to continue this trend. What more can be done to unleash the ultimate power of social media in the Maersk Line company? She has major shoes to fill but Wichmann set her up to success in many ways.

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Case Study Paper on Maersk Line Social Media Situation Analysis. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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