KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has been a leader in using social media in creative ways for quite some time … at times to far ahead of the curve … but presently they’re using the tools they have available to push the boundaries of traditional customer interaction. This time around KLM took a bet via Twitter to launch a non-stop fight from Amsterdam (AMS) to Miami (MIA) for the Ultra Music Festival, March 25 to March 27.
The bet between KLM and the Dutch Dance Industry was straightforward. If the Dutch Dance Industry could get enough people to reserve a flight before the 6th of December, via a specially created website, to fill a flight between Amsterdam and Miami, the airline would fly the route non-stop. Five hours after the clock start ticking on the bet 351 people had reserved their seats and the bet was settled.
Many airlines are working to increase their customer interaction via social media channels, but KLM making a bet with a group of dance fans via Twitter has to be a first … on many levels. It is nice to see airlines not only interacting with their passengers, but also shedding the concepts of conventional interaction and marketing. Social media requires the understanding of interaction and relationship building on multiple levels … and few get it right in the airline industry … so it is great to watch one airline not only truly embrace social media, but also grasp its possibilities.
*For disclosure, I have previously worked with KLM in regard to social media execution and Twitter strategy development. I am not presently involved in KLM’s social media*