Guest Post: James McDavid On Mojitos And Minimal Techno At 35,000 Feet

Our London-based Interactive Marketing Research Associate James McDavid chimes in with this great tale of how listening to and embracing your fans in social media can create powerful word-of-mouth marketing:

As every dance music aficionado knows, Miami is the place to be every March as it hosts the Winter Music Conference (WMC), an event that brings together leading lights from the industry to party, share records, and make fun of Paris Hilton. So when Dutch airline KLM announced they'd be launching a new route between Amsterdam and Miami at the end of March 2011, a couple of Dutch DJs tweeted KLM to see if the airline could move the flight forward a week to coincide with the WMC. The DJs claimed that they could fill a flight from Amsterdam to Miami solely with revelers and ravers. KLM, seeing a great opportunity to show off their social savvy, offered the DJs a challenge — if they could get 150 people to register in seven days, then KLM would move the inaugural flight forward — and, as a bonus, let the DJs spin some records in the cabin.

It turns out the DJs didn't need the full seven days. In fact, using a microsite and a Twitter feed to market the challenge, the DJs got the required 150 registrations in a matter of hours. A few weeks later, the Twitter-powered flight set off for Miami in time for the WMC, filled not just with eager clubbers but also members of Dutch radio and television stations ready to spread the word about both the party and about KLM’s open-arms approach to engaging with social media. For more information about this rather novel approach to booking a flight — and getting your fans to do your social media marketing for you — check out these great videos.