Picture this: an empty hangar, 500 pilots, stewardesses, mechanics and other uniformed KLM staff, a DJ, five cameras, a white carpet, and a Twitter and Facebook stream. Put them all together and you have a great concept for a unique social media experiment. Welcome to KLM #LiveReply!
I know it’s been a few weeks, but I still wanted to post a blog about this fun event. It was Monday, September 19, when we gathered around 11:30 in Hangar 12 at Schiphol East. We were going to reply to posts on social media, just like we do every day. But for one day, we thought we’d do so a bit different. During the next twelve hours, we were going to show the world that our replies are given by real people in real time, 24 hours a day. How? On video!
Operating in three shifts (and a twelve hour roller coaster for me and some other crew members), we answered dozens of posts on Twitter, Facebook and the Dutch social network Hyves. The crowd was roughly split in three groups: editors, directors, and the uniformed staff. The editors would filter incoming messages and write the replies, the directors would organize and film the replies, and the uniformed staff would express them.
Some metrics: During the twelve hours of the campaign, KLM received nine times more tweets, and five times more Facebook posts than on a regular Monday. The buzz was spreading quickly across the web, and within hours the hashtag #LiveReply was trending topic on Dutch Twitter. We recorded around 75 videos, 64 of which were uploaded to YouTube. Within the first 24 hours, they reached a total of 35.000 views.
Let me share some of the coolest replies we did that day, including an occasional deliberate typo…
@KLM could you summarize what customer service means to you in 140 chars ? (need a cool video for a future post 🙂 )
— Bertrand Duperrin (@bduperrin) September 19, 2011
Let’s wrap up with the official making-of video, that was released days after the event. I’m the guy with the white cap, writing the replies to be filmed.