KLM Airlines: When social media goes awry

Travel industry pros are encouraged time and time again to leverage the power of social media to connect with their client base. In fact, studies have proven that strategic use of social media chnnels via online channels can even mitigate negative feedback.

Unfortunately, the public and instantaneous nature of social media can also backfire, as it did recently in the case of Dutch airline KLM. In theory, the scrolling feed of a Twitter hashtag on their website was supposed to showcase a new viral promotion touting “how happiness spreads” and “little acts of kindness to suprise our passengers.” Not so much.

Tweeters using the hashtag #klmsuprise instead issued a series of damning tweets that ran live on the company’s website. Bitter Wallet has a screenshot of the feed, which was pulled from the site shortly after the negative feedback was discovered. It appears that Twitter may have yanked the feed as well – a search around 9 PM EST on Tuesday shows that “older Tweets are unavailable.”

What are your thoughts? Was it smart of the airline to remove the negative comments, or should they have tried to respond to the “haters” with a public statement via social channels? Could this Twitter Fail have even more negative reprecussions in the future for KLM?

[Image via Bitter Wallet]