It could have been a turbulent journey! However, by keeping true to KLM’s customer-first ethos and by utilising local expertise, KLM’s innovative social media-driven campaign ensured engagement turned to conversion, offering a full customer journey and making the airline one of the first to successfully break ground on WeChat.
KLM aims to become the preferred Western airline in China. Using WeChat to achieve this goal was a logical step which matched their digital strategy. We knew social commerce could and should play an integral role in the collaboration. Allowing users to book directly via a simple, effective and transparent online payment system would not only help convert casual browsers into customers, but would also prove the brand progressive and tech-savvy, as well as reinforcing their position as a caring company that values existing customers as much as future fliers.
We analysed past post-performances and KLM’s brand values. We wanted approachable and entertaining content with a social TOV that stayed true to KLM’s biggest selling point: a caring nature. Historical data on seasonal trends and festivities plus existing flight routes, enabled us to produce effective native content, including weekly stories about KLM and cool travel trips, all of which helped to drive awareness about the brand as well as its social commerce innovations.
This smart strategy, combined with full-time Chinese natives on staff, enabled us to master moment ads and also introduced us to the world of Chinese influencers – Key Opinion Leaders. This enabled us to tailor our content. With a funny voice and style, we utilised key trends and words to achieve a higher CTR, as well as adapting well-performing organic posts to fit the new strategy.
The KLM WeChat persona was taken to heart by Chinese users who even gave it a nickname: ‘Da Lan’ or ‘Big Blue’. This perfectly symbolised the establishment and maintenance of the ‘close friends’ relationship KLM seeks.
KLM became the first non-Chinese airline in the world to offer 'WeChat Pay': next-level social commerce that makes buying a ticket seamless, easy and transparent. A mini-program was also set up, ‘Price Alerts’ – the first of its kind on the platform – which sends users a personalised message when prices for selected destinations drop to their desired budget. Story continues in 'overige informatie'
Among the airline companies operating in the Chinese market, KLM now boasts some of the highest view numbers for their organic content (10K-15K per post). At the same time, social media posts and tags show the brand’s ‘caring’ key value has taken hold for Chinese users, becoming a first-order association in their minds.
Besides receiving a lot of positive comments on the WeChat platform, some of the results have been quantified:
- 670K+ enthusiasts per month
- Monthly growth of 6K+ new followers.
- 300K monthly KOL reach