Here is an interesting video that has been created for/by the airline KLM on its social media strategy which I got from one of my local friends David Turner – so hat tip to him.

I have to admit when I opened it and saw it was nine and a half minutes long, I thought there is no way am I watching this, but I actually stuck it out for once and it was fairly impressive.

I have worked for a couple of airlines before and I like to follow what they get up to in the social world as you never know when you will be asked to take part in some blogger outreach programme or some kind of competition. The airlines always tend to have good budgets and seem to have embraced social – mostly because of the whole Jet Blue debacle.

This video seems to be a series of three videos stuck together on three separate elements of the airline’s social media strategy. The first video gives each KLM employee a letter from the alphabet and the real team walk around on screen holding the boards up to respond to tweets to the KLM twitter stream which is just a nice publicity stunt.

The second part/video is monitoring of KLM’s social feeds and the KLM staff reading people’s twitter and social media profiles and then buying the customers small rewards depending on their actual interests stated online. Now this feels a little bit staged to me and a bit for the camera rather than part of a dedicated rewards programme but I like the idea of rewarding your communities and this is what I advise my clients all the time – why should they follow and engage with you when there is another brand down the road that is giving their fans 50% off?

So I like the idea of directly rewarding people with what they are actually writing about and doing. With that in mind I have always loved KLM and think New York is lovely this time of year – ha ha. However, this responding and rewarding people has, according to the video, managed to reach more than 1,000,000 impressions just on Twitter which isn’t too bad. I like to use monitoring tools to help people that aren’t engaging with us already too and that is probably the next step of KLM’s programme looking for people before they purchase and finding a nice way for the brand to interact with them.

However, my favourite part of this video, is the last of the three videos, in which two dance DJ’s tweet KLM and ask them about flying to the Miami music conference which is a big event in the dance music world. The airline apparently doesn’t travel direct and the KLM team decided to challenge the DJs to get enough dance music fans to sign up to the flight and then they would make it a non-stop journey to Miami.

I really like this because this is getting people to campaign for you rather you campaigning for yourself and we all know that a self fulfilling community is what we are all looking for. The strategy adopted here is not only good customer service but is also a great PR exercise. If I were KLM i would have exposed this one to the maximum and that is what they did. There is a photo-shoot of the DJ’s beat matching on the flight whilst it is in the air and lots of scenes of keen fans getting and dancing on the plane – brilliant. They found out that it was the first time an airline had changed its scheduling following a request from a customer through twitter – again another brilliant news hook. But the PR team went further and went for the (oldest PR trick in the book) Guinness Book of Records for the highest ever dance party – this was a really nice move.

The only downside to this video really is some of it felt a bit too staged and why couldn’t it have been three separate videos and/or all the three but much shorter than almost 10mins.

What do you think? Impressive or too staged?


About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.