KLM Makes Travel More Social With Crowd-Sourced Map


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is amping up its digital engagement with KLM Must See Map, a friend-sourced destination map that combines social and print. 

Users create a map for a destination and ask friends for travel tips via Facebook, Twitter and email. Facebook check-ins show which friends have already visited the destination, their tips on favorite places and their locations. You can add your own tips, then order a copy of the map in print and receive it for free.

Up and running in 24 countries, the application comes from Dutch agency Code d’Azur. “One of the biggest challenges was to ensure that the physical map was a perfect representation of the destination, with the tips provided by friends,” said Nik Nieuwenhuijs, Code d’Azur.[more]

In this case, KLM’s goal is to enlarge its global e-mail database. “The KLM Must See Map campaign perfectly fits KLM’s ‘little act of kindness’ social media strategy,” says Viktor van der Wijk, Director Digital Marketing, KLM. “Participants get a free personalized city map delivered at home and we receive their e-mail addresses in return. That makes two winners and that’s what we always strive for.”

The Must See Map is just one more step in KLM’s plan to conquer the social web, which was spurred by the 2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano. “From the ash cloud we learned that, as a company, we could tackle a crisis situation effectively using social media,” notes the KLM blog.

Based on that natural disaster, KLM created “Live Reply,” a one-day event on Twitter and Facebook where the brand replaced its usual typed responses with a living alphabet as 140 deputized employees gave unique replies to tweets and posts, assembling live answers for a 24-hour period.

In 2011, the airline introduced the social-fueled “Meet & Seat” service, pairing seats according to shared interests of travelers who chose to link their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to their check-in information.

Other social campaigns have included “KLM Fans,” which invited filmmakers to promote the KLM Facebook page and “KLM Surprise,” where passengers who checked in using Foursquare or Twitter received small gifts.