KLM like to regard themselves as masters of social media but they do have a habit of putting their clogs in it.
During the World Cup, they caused a storm on Twitter by making some childish/racially offensive posts (depending on your sensitivity) about the Dutch football team’s opponents. An airline from a small country depends even more than most on foreign customers and this was such an obvious no-no, they really should have known better.
Last week they promoted a video which became a huge Youtube hit showing their Beagle dog, Sherlock who is used to search aircraft for lost property. It was meant to be an example of the extra lengths KLM goes to in looking after its passengers. Except no data was produced to show that lost property is any safer with KLM than anyone other airline.
The video clip got a great deal of publicity in the US (where Beagles are a particularly popular breed). Several sensible travel writers used it as an example of an airline that was actually going the extra mile to look after its customers.
Just one problem. The whole thing was a fake. KLM do not have a fleet of Beagles to search their aircraft and Sherlock was hired for the day – and that is probably not his real name either.
Stand by for a lot of annoyance – no least from the travel writers who were taken in.
KLM’s social media gurus really need to learn there are two things people feel passionately about – football and dogs. Mess with either at your peril.