How a shipping company earned 650,000 Facebook fans in a year

A look at how Maersk’s social media manager, operating solo, engages fans on 10 social networks without bottom-line sales or gimmicks. He just tells stories.

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“You can’t fake it,” Wichmann says.

Wichmann was a consultant for the company at the time. After joining Maersk full-time, Wichmann stepped up to handle everything virtually single-handedly.

In the year since that initial meeting, the company has accrued 650,000 Facebook fans and won awards for the social media campaign of the year and best community presence at the European Digital Awards. Maersk pulled that off in such a short time with what Wichmann calls an “insourcing” approach.

Slow start

For years, executives at Maersk weren’t exactly champing at the bit to get involved with anything social media related.

“It’s a really conservative industry,” Wichmann says. “For that reason alone, it’s not the first thing they think about.”

Even three years ago, the company just wasn’t ready for social media, he says. It took an evolution of its mindset—having a new CEO come on board a few years ago helped—to get people thinking that the company’s core values of care and uprightness could be linked to a certain openness in a field marked by a kind of secrecy.

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