Social Media in the sky

Have you ever boarded in a plane? Perhaps most of you have already boarded in a plane.

Well, in this case you know the boredom of waiting airplane and long flights.

What about gave customers exciting time instead of boring time by using social media?

Here is the good example.


The Dutch KLM airlines leads the competition among airliners actively utilizing social media. They used social media as a chance for communication with their customers. By communicating with their customers KLM airlines could secure loyal customers. KLM airlines is offering largely two kinds of utilizing social media services.

The first one is “Meet&Seat” service. “Meet&Seat” service is a service that if passengers put their information in Facebook or Linkedin, passengers can see each other’s information and interests. If they find someone who is sharing their interests, passengers can pick the seat beside the passenger who sharing the same interests. Interesting, isn’t it? Because each other’s profile as a public contact with each other, before boarding passengers can get to know and drink a cup of coffee. By offering this service, KLM airlines could lead to the satisfaction of the customers. This service is interpreted as CRM(Customer Relationship Management) which is a theory that provides a customized consumer demand.Image

Second one is “KLM surprise” event. “KLM surprise”. In November 2010 the KLM airlines surprised its customers. KLM’s Flight attendants browsed Twitter looking for people who mentioned that they were taking a KLM flight. Then, using the information the customer provided about him or herself on social media platforms, the flight attendants purchased a suitable gift and presented it to the passenger upon his/her arrival at the airport. This event spread like wildfire through mentions, tweets, retweets. In November, the KLM Twitter feed was viewed more than one million times. Only one event, KLM gave satisfaction to their customers as well as touched other people. This case can be explained by the theory of emotional marketing which can be differentiated brand image compared to other competitors and can strengthen brand loyalty. Also, As Keller said in his Cusomter-Based Brand Equity theory, KLM got “brand resonance” through this marketing strategy.


KLM airlines is the most active among all airliners to make use of social media. You can find the evidence through Twitter and Facebook. KLM’s Twitter account has 600,000 followers and the number of tweet is approximately 289,000.

On KLM’s Facebook account has about 5,400,000 fans and they post pictures which are related to trip. By using the social media actively, KLM airlines got not only competitive advantage compared to others airlines but also could meet beyond customer satisfaction to customer delight. I think that this social media strategy of KLM can apply in others markets. How about your opinion?

SOURCES (Meet&Seat service video) (KLM surprise video)

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4 Responses to Social Media in the sky

  1. julesponsolle says:

    Thank you for this article, I haven’t heard of that before, really interesting. It is funny to see how the airlines companies are trying to attract customers… Lots of airlines companies want to be different and to be special in the eyes of the customers.
    It is true that most of the time, your flight time is so long and you don’t know how to kill time. I think it is a good idea to further the exchange between people even if it can be disturbing, I mean: you can have the same interests than the person you will meet, but if you don’t really like the personality of him/her, the time will be longer than expected… in one point, it can be great in order to meet people and to share experiences, cultures but it can be dangerous too for the image of the company…

  2. maelaletorch says:

    Wooow! What a surprise! I have never heard about this before! This is a really good point for KLM they can be very proud of thier idea and innovation.
    I find this totally amazing and wonderful to have the opportunity to share a flight with someone who has the same interest as you and I can imagine how good it can be when you travel a lot or when you have a very long flght!
    What I find more crazy is the “KLM surprise”. It is a really nice and good idea from the company to do that, it puts some fun in the travel of their customers and can make them closer to the company.
    Well done KLM!

  3. rikupetseppala says:

    I can join the two previous commenters and say that I have not heard about these two examples earlier. Although I have seen some YouTube video’s about KLM for example about their Christmas Campaign in 2012
    As you mentioned this is a good example of emotional marketing and creating some kind of connection between the brand and the customer. The main emotion that KLM’s marketing events is probably joy. As flying might be boring every now and then KLM tries to bring the joy to the traveling and make it more fun. Have you find any statistics that have their marketing campaigns affect to the number of travelers with KLM?

  4. Thank you for your post! It is very fascinating how companies in such spheres attempt to use social media. The pace of adjustment of online marketing to technological development is much slower and here is an example of how companies tackle this problem. Besides, apart from the bonus systmes it is very hard to reach loyalty in airline business. As is said in the previous comment, KLM has found a very profitable way of using emotional appeal as means of creating stronger bonds with its customers.

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