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2012/06/05/(Tue)

Social business networks: A work [Shipping Line]

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Social media holds huge potential for future internal communication, so work is underway to develop a suitable strategy to enable “social business”.

A number of social media pilots will be conducted this year for an accurate assessment of the phenomenon’s value to the Maersk Group, as thousands of employees use it both to save and waste time.

While a strategy for external social media is progressing nicely, with hundreds of thousands discovering Maersk like never before via Facebook, a more purposeful approach is being taken internally.
“We are looking to provide focus and are defining pilots to gain experience and to better handle this project over time,” Head of Group Relations, Steen Reeslev, told Mærsk Post.

“We are not just going to provide and hope. We understand that there is a huge opportunity out there and understand that companies are jumping on board, but we know that many are going to fail,” he says.
About 25 managers from across the business units will take part in the first pilot, with their content and idea sharing recorded over an extended period, while a second will seek to align 50 HR recruitment executives
across growth markets.

Facebook booming
The Maersk Group and Maersk Line Facebook pages have each attracted 200,000-plus likes in less than 12 months.
Maersk Line customers account for about a fifth of its Face-book fans, and staff account for a third, putting them all on the same information-distribution page in a new challenge for communications staff.

“Of course it has been fantastic and very encouraging to experience this huge interest in our company,” Jonathan Wichmann, Maersk Line’s head of social media, says.

“We get many things from social media, like better press coverage, higher employee engagement, more brand awareness and even insights from shipping experts. So far we’re live in nine channels, but it was a very deliberate choice that we started on Facebook because that’s where you can grow a big and broad following that jumpstarts your presence elsewhere.”

APM Terminals followed suit by recently launching its own page, after a proactive Safmarine member of staff helped resolve a customer complaint on the Group’s site.

Yammer growing organically
About 10,000 Maersk staff have joined Yammer, a Facebooklike platform for companies, by entering their work email address at Yammer.com.
At first, the unsecure platform seemed like a big waste of time. But not to savvy users like Maersk Line trainee, Azali Sukmawan in Indonesia.
His recent Yammer appeal for help on a client inquiry regarding US ports was answered by more experienced colleague, Carl Irish, an American in Charlotte, the following day.

“I recalled having similar questions in the days I worked in documentation, where customers required delivery at certain terminals within a port complex,” Irish, a Maersk employee of 17 years, recalls.
Steen Reeslev, Head
of Group Relations:
“We are looking to
provide focus and
are defining pilots to
gain experience and
to better handle the
this social business
project over time.”

“Now, with an application like Yammer it is easy to float a question out there and receive fairly quick feedback.” But the overall value is still uncertain.

Increasing rise of social business
Individual business units are also experimenting with social media.

At the time of writing, Maersk Line’s Operations outfit was about to launch an internal, custom-made platform for cross collaboration and knowledge-sharing based on On Time Delivery and reliability.

Called the On Time Delivery Community, it will seek to help about 2,000 staff spanning different functions and Local Operations Centres share information that adds both internal and external value.

“It’s about cross-collaboration and best practice sharing, things we’re really longing for,” says Maersk Line Communications Director Klavs Valskov. “We need something like this in order to optimise the way we work and improve the OTD.”

“Also, the On Time Delivery Community is custom made, meaning it gives us a true Maersk Line environment. It looks really cool and it’s actually a much cheaper solution than a ready-made one like Yammer.”

Damco too is trying to grow its internal network and business via a platform called Jive. With the aim of unifying the commercial organisation to unearth business opportunities and share content across regions, the “Damco People Network” had 2,740 members by mid-April, a month after its launch.

Posted at 19:07

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