Competitor analysis…don’t you love it? In marketing it’s always tempting to develop a strategy based on what someone else is doing (which is usually also based on what someone else is doing). There is rarely any independent assessment of marketing performance, what defines success, and who is doing a good job. But social media, with its publicly available metrics, allows us an insight into marketing activity and subsequent results.
Over the next few months we will look at how different segments in the shipping sector are performing on shipping’s premier business-to-business social media platform, LinkedIn. How well are you doing compared to your competitors? Which companies are getting this right?
Shipmanagers are well supported on LinkedIn with strong, and growing, follower numbers. Of the active companies monitored (those with a sufficiently large sample size of online activity), the average engagement rate was 0.47%. For a non-maritime comparison, of the 40 insurance companies we monitor, the average engagement rate is approximately 0.12%
The above figures were generated using a simple method to compare social media performance, focusing on engagement over a specific time rather than just measuring success in follower numbers. We believe engagement – someone taking an action because of your activity – is the true measure of success on social media. After all the whole point of social media is to be social and to connect with an audience. Looking at engagement as a percentage allows us to compare companies of vastly different sizes and resources. Out of all the sectors we monitor, the shipping community uses corporate social media to connect with companies and colleagues more than almost any other industries, and best-practice doesn’t always come from the biggest marketing team.
Anglo-Eastern is the stand-out performer in the shipmanagement sector. Their recent increase in activity has been rewarded with strong engagement, with one recent post receiving over 1,000 likes. Their corporate strategy, when it comes to LinkedIn, has put them head and shoulders above the competition. Are they perfect? Few are…but Anglo-Eastern deserve a golden thumbs up for their consistent effort, on-topic content, and their ability to connect with their online audience.
For a highly competitive, service orientated sector we expected performance to be higher. Activity may have been negatively impacted by consolidation in the sector with content mixing HR, corporate news, and operations. Keeping on topic seems to be a challenge.