Seaspan Ship Management Ltd., the largest independent containership owners in the world, is using Facebook to showcase its culture and influence youngsters to join them.
The effectiveness of the world’s largest social network, Facebook is defined by the way we use it. However, most of us have the notion that with Facebook being more of a personal space, it is a perfect platform for B2C engagement. But the truth is that B2B companies can use Facebook effectively as we have seen some brilliant examples earlier such as Aditi Technologies, Capegemini, etc.
Seaspan Ship Management (SSM), with a community of more than 50K on Facebook, is the latest example to disprove the myth that Facebook is not the right platform for B2B. SSM, a global company having operations in Vancouver, Mumbai, etc. joined Facebook in October, 2011. The primary reason for its flourishing community can be attributed to its clear-cut objective on Facebook.
Objective to be on Facebook
SSM’s Facebook page clearly states it’s objective – the Facebook page focuses primarily on Seaspan seafarers and recruits.
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Welcome to Seaspan Ship Management Ltd.’s Facebook Page. Seaspan welcomes everyone to join us on Facebook, but keep in mind that most of the content on this page is for Seaspan seafarers and recruits.[/pullquote]
The company walks one step ahead stating clearly that most of the content would be aligned with its objective. Companies that are planning to jump onto social media should brainstorm on why they should be present on a particular network and simultaneously think what is their objective on it. Businesses need to be very clear in defining objectives first before thinking about strategies. If one understands this then one can drive a meaningful community like SSM is doing at present on Facebook.
Strategy Implemented on Facebook
1. Focused Content: From day one i.e. November 11, 2011, SSM has focused majorly on the content. The content shared is focused on revealing the company culture, achievements by employees and sharing the fun side along with major developments.
In short, as a fan of SSM you would be reading content that was promised unlike random updates from Bollywood, Cricket, etc. that I come across regularly in most of the brand pages. Nevertheless, the secret to awesome content lies in your objective that I’ve highlighted before.
In addition to this, SSM keeps mixing its content so that fans don’t get bored, keeping in mind the objective. The below screen grab is one such example:
SSM also makes sure to share content showing the achievements of its employees as seen in the below screen grab:
This helps boost the morale of the employees leading to positive word of mouth since the employee will be sharing or talking about it with his friends or colleagues. In addition to this, it also highlights that the company respects and rewards its employees, thereby motivating others to join too. Social media is all about being transparent and real rather than emoting someone else.
2. Right choice of apps: Having Facebook apps is not a must but having the ones that either make sense only to the developers or are not tested properly will fail to have eyeballs. So if you want your fans to spend time on Facebook apps, then there is one more lesson to be learnt from SSM’s Facebook apps.
SSM has a set of simple Facebook apps that are quite essential. Apps like ‘Contact Us’, ‘Community’, ‘Apply Now’, etc. fulfills Seaspan’s objective on Facebook. Apps like this help to bridge the gap between brand and its fans. Out of these apps, ‘Our Culture’ stands out since it talks about the culture of the company in the form of videos. The app which has two videos for now, is good way of showcasing the company’s culture and I am sure SSM will add more with time.
3. Effective engagement: Simply having a presence is not the need of the hour but it is about responding to the community you have. At the same time, engagement doesn’t mean responding to each and every comment posted by fans. The idea should be responding to the ones that are rational and need a look. SSM is well aware of this art of engagement.
SSM definitely has raised the bar for effective engagement for a B2B company. I wish more B2B companies follow the footsteps of SSM and be open so that fans can reach out easily. These are still early days but I can sense that the intent is there for others too.