Social Media – Social networking above the clouds

In a world of rapid technological innovation and much more rapid changing user behavior mean to every business that each must anticipate and innovate with great zeal and velocity. One thing is staying one step ahead of consumers to cater not just for their needs today, but for tomorrow and there search, information and purchasing behavior in the future.

It’s important to take a holistic view of the behavioral patterns of current consumers, and those who may turn to a business in the future.

In my last few articles I mainly focused on online and local retailers. Today I like to write about the travel business.

The social web contains a huge amount of information about the users, users’ behavior, users’ experiences with products, brands, and companies but also about their networks and their networking.

Since a while KLM is using Social Media data - ‘Meet & Seat’. Meet & Seat enables passengers to pick seatmates by checking out social media profiles of fellow passengers who link to their profiles during check-in.

The basic concept is that passengers will be able to find out about interesting persons who will be on board their KLM flight, for example other passengers attending the same event at the destination. As far as I know this social seating feature has been launched on flights between Amsterdam and San Francisco, Sao Paolo and New York City with plans to extend it to other intercontinental destinations shortly. The concept of the ‘social flight’ in itself is not entirely new. In opposite to the former concepts by Estonian Air and Malaysia Airlines to use these features, KLM took a step further, as until now social media users could only connect with their friends before a flight, while KLM allows anyone to connect with anyone. 90 days to 48 hours before departure passenger can visit their ‘manage my booking’ side on the KLM website and choose Meet & Seat if they want to register to share their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles with other passengers. Then the passengers can edit his / her profile and photo, and thus share only the data that s/he want to provide other passengers.

The seating map shows the seat choices and Facebook or LinkedIn profiles of other passengers who have decided to participate in Meet & Seat, and the passenger can contact the seatmate before the flight and choose to sit next to them if the seat is available.
When additional passengers select the Meet & Seat option and share their social-network profiles, participants get an e-mail notification.
If a participating passenger become aware of before taking off that s/he is sitting next to someone s/he don't want to chat with during an eight-hour flight, s/he can change your seat and even withdraw his / her social-media profile. And what is very important the profiles get deleted after the flight.

The good news - Social media can connect us in ways that were never before possible. The bad news - But it could also destroy the chance or luck of in-flight romances and social connections