The Port of Montreal consolidated its position on social media in 2015. It now has more than 10,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

“We are using social media to communicate and interact directly with the general public, our clients and our partners in the port, transportation and logistics communities,” said Mélanie Nadeau, Director of Communications for the Montreal Port Authority (MPA). “More than 7,000 new subscribers registered on one or more of our social media platforms in 2015 alone.”

The Port’s social media platforms allow it to strengthen ties with its clients and partners, enhance its role as a responsible corporate citizen within the community, and raise awareness of its facilities.

Clients, partners and the community are able to access photos, videos, news and history about the port, and information on the port, shipping and logistics sectors.

“The key to a successful social media program is to generate the right content opportunities to engage with people,” said Pablo Stevenson, President of Ressac, the digital agency that helped the Port develop its social media strategy.

The Port had been active on the LinkedIn business network and on YouTube before increasing its presence on social media by launching a Facebook page and opening Twitter and Instagram accounts in November 2014.

“The Port wanted to go online, and go online in a strategic way,” Mr. Stevenson said. “We worked together to find the right angle. Some companies want to go online and improvise. We wanted to avoid that as much as possible. We developed a strategy to examine the objectives that the Port wanted to achieve.”

Mr. Stevenson said social media networks are part of an ecosystem. “They can be accessed by almost everyone, but not everyone is on the same network at the same time,” he said. “LinkedIn is the best choice for business. Twitter is between LinkedIn and Facebook.”

Indeed, the Port opened its Twitter account to reach a specific audience.

“You don’t publish the same content on Twitter that you publish on LinkedIn or Facebook,” Mr. Stevenson said.

“LinkedIn is based on generating business opportunities,” Mr. Stevenson said. “On LinkedIn, you want to start establishing relationships with potential business customers and other partners in the supply chain business and logistics.”

The Port of Montreal has a corporate LinkedIn page. But to enhance its international networking system, the Port created a Showcase page in 2015 entitled ‘Trading with the World’ and its French counterpart ‘Commercer avec le monde’ on LinkedIn. The international community of trade and logistics experts enthusiastically welcomed both. In fact, about a year after their launch, the sites have almost 3,400 subscribers.

“The ‘Trading with the World’ LinkedIn Showcase page is a way to engage in dialogue with our targeted publics on a global scale while passing on our key messages,” said Yves Gilson, the MPA’s Director of Marketing and Cruises. “It provides quality and pertinent information – not advertising – to our target audiences.” This information includes professional business content and articles, and information on market tendencies.

The Port will continue to develop its LinkedIn strategy to reach the industry with targeted messages adapted to geographic realities. “Our ‘Trading with the World’ LinkedIn Showcase page will allow us to boost branding opportunities for business, push information to LinkedIn members who fit our target profile, and provide a forum for high-level exchanges,” Mr. Gilson said.

The Port’s Instagram account shows for the most part photos of port activity past and present, while its YouTube channel has information and promotional videos as well as videos of port activity.

Mr. Stevenson said each social network has its particularities, and each needs to be used as much as possible, targeting the right audience as much as possible.