KLM Winning The European Airlines Social Media Battle


Peter Claridge

August 8, 2014 3 min read

Updated on September 18, 2019

With interesting posts, quirky social media campaigns, more fans, higher fan growth rates and a whole lot of social media love, KLM are the undisputed European kings of social media for airlines. Their latest campaign, encouraging people to ‘stewardess’ themselves (Ryan Air take note: you can use stewardesses, get huge publicity and not have to resort to innuendo) and in the process got well over 55,000 new fans in just 7 days, encouraged people to share their snaps and invite their friends to try it out for themselves.

The campaign itself is a lot like past social media campaigns like Yearbook Yourself where you take a photo and it digitally inserts it in to a scene and using a few basic brightness / contrast controls you can make it very nearly almost look like you as a stewardess or a pilot.

As an idea and execution it’s not unique but it seems to have caught the imagination of loads of people as the fan growth rate for KLM has shot up since the campaign was launched and people’s willingness to put their own face in to a KLM air stewardess uniform certainly means that there is positive engagement going on.

KLM Airline Growth Rates

How Effective Is Facebook’s Talking About This?

KLM are also leading the way when it comes to getting people really engaged. Now, if you were to look at the chart below you might disagree with this statement because clearly Lufthansa have far more people talking about them as a percentage of fans (and kudos to them!).

Talking about this for airlines

Further investigation reveals the limitations of the simplistic Talking About This metric because we don’t think we could find a social media expert that will claim that a like, comment and share have the same engagement value (although if you do disagree, tell us in the comments and we’ll give you a soapbox to explain your opinion). Using our Engagement Comparison chart we can see that KLM are clear winners when it comes to getting more valuable engagement from the fans.

European Airline Engagement Scores

This means that KLM are getting comments and shares on their posts than all the other airlines. We believe that a Share is super valuable because the person really wants to associate themselves with your brand and wants to let their friends know that they are positive about your brand.

It’s also apparent that Air France and Alitalia are struggling to engage people on the same level as the other three big airlines, whether this is because the local populations are not as Facebook obsessed as the other countries is unknown, but they could probably do with posting more often as the chart below indicates.

Airline posts

It’s interesting to note that only BA refuses to allow people to post on their wall and their engagement is quite low as a result, maybe they don’t know how to handle criticisms all that well.

Keep Your Seatbelts Fastened Until The Plane Has Come to Complete Halt

Oh, and purely in the spirit of thoroughness and research for this article, it was a mandatory requirement for me to try out KLM’s Stewardess Yourself app, so here you have it, a 29 year old bloke dressed up like a stewardess. Maybe I missed out on my true calling!

Peter The Pilot

Peter The Stewardess

Peter The Stewardess

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