The Dutch airline KLM has recently made an announcement which could be a game changer in social media. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is offering a whole new standard of service through the increasingly popular social media service LinkedIn which could have a big impact on the travel industry.
KLM ups LinkedIn ante
The multibillion-dollar airline will now be offering its patrons 24/7 customer service via LinkedIn. This will apply to common customer requests such as tickets, recordings, see reservations or any queries regarding flights.
While KLM believes this to be the first arrangement of its kind, opportunities for travel-related companies to use social media are already being widely exploited. LinkedIn is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world, and a multitude of the world’s largest tourism-related companies already utilise its services.
LinkedIn Qualities feed Business Interest
There are a variety of pressing reasons for travel companies and tourist boards to use LinkedIn actively, aside from the sheer weight of numbers that the website has attracted. Firstly, statistics released by Econsultancy indicate that LinkedIn is four times more successful than Twitter and Facebook at sending customers to your homepage. While Twitter and Facebook both have huge user bases, their more frivolous nature perhaps means that information transmitted through their fora is taking a little less seriously.
The image of LinkedIn is also more serious and business-oriented. This factor is reflected in the fact that LinkedIn themselves claim that 60 percent of its users are interested in industry insights. What this means for tourist boards in particular is that industry-related information posted on LinkedIn has a much better chance of reaching its target audience. LinkedIn provides an opportunity for businesses to seriously engage with a committed audience.
Given that every fortnight there are as many tweets posted as people on the planet, it is clear that to get heard on that platform is rather challenging. You may have a vast number of Twitter followers, but how much attention are they really paying to you?
By contrast, a single post on LinkedIn is expected to reach 20 percent of your followers. This may not sound particularly outstanding, but in social media terms it does represent a significant proportion. Businesses and organisations that post regularly on LinkedIn can expect to reach a much higher percentage of their audience, and certainly a far greater proportion than is possible through Twitter or Facebook.
Not only can LinkedIn help you to reach a more serious target audience, but it also enables you to connect with your employees at the same time. The chances of an employee following their employer’s Twitter feed is pretty romance; by contrast, statistics show that 70% of employees will follow their employer on LinkedIn.
KLM Targets Quality over Quantity
When one considers the advantages of LinkedIn, it is perhaps not surprising that KLM has decided to utilise it more extensively. While the airline has a number of LinkedIn followers (74,330) that may seem fairly insignificant compared to the astronomical numbers that they attract on Twitter and Facebook, they know that quality counts for as much as quantity.
It is this facet of LinkedIn which has already attracted NTOs to communicate through the social media site. For example, both the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Australia use the corporate-oriented site to post useful information and attract commercial interest.
While LinkedIn is not yet a household name in the same way that other social media sites are, the fact that it is the third-fastest growing social media site in the world suggests that this perception is changing rapidly. It is certainly a serious and quality social media site, which offers vast opportunity to tourism-related companies and organisations all over the world.
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