If you had your doubts about social media being profitable for your business, then KLM should make you reconsider. The popular air carrier reported $25 millions in revenue, directly attributed to its (very) successful social media strategy.
It all started as a matter of necessity. Back in 2010 they famous Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted causing mayhem on air and on the ground. Distraught KLM passengers, unable to communicate with their carrier, turned to social media to get updates and talk with its representatives about all the updates. The airline recruited 100 volunteers to deal with the crisis and a new case study was born.
Today, 150 employees are occupied full-time in KLM’s social media centre and they are contributing around $170,000 each to the company’s cash flow spreadsheets. How is this possible? The answer is simple.
We all know that social media account for indirect revenues; building a strong brand reputation, performing client services activities and pushing updates contribute to this scheme. However, KLM -which serves its followers in 14 languages- took a brave step forward. It now allows people to book their flights directly from its social networks.
Followers can get info about desired flights and destinations and upon agreeing on the fare, they can request a direct link to a payment page. And because we live in the data era, all this information is stored and processed by KLM which uses it both on ground and on air to make the whole travel experience more personal.
This is no easy task though; through strategic and robust governance, KLM pushed a big stream of its business to social media (talk about digital transformation!). Employee’s main goal is to make the air carrier’s customers feel safe and heard – from lost bags, to updates on schedules and crisis management, the company has been steadily focused on a “feel-good” strategy that yields results.
Well done, KLM.
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