Last week, while updating our database of airline Facebook pages, it made us SimpliCurious that one airline kept appearing over and over again, but each time with a different local page. Initially, we did not think much of it since the airline in question, KLM, is well known for having a dominant media presence. But when we ordered the list alphabetically we realized that KLM’s local pages accounted for 18% of the total, with 43 pages out of 237, something way out of the ordinary.
It did not end there
The number quickly got our attention and, digging a little deeper, we realized that the second highest number of pages belonged to KLM’s other half, Air France, that owns 10 more pages, bringing the total for the AF-KLM group to 53 pages. Let me repeat that once more: 53 airline pages for one single airline group!
Further investigation also revealed that very few airlines use local pages. Moreover, those that do usually have between 3 to 6 pages depending on their size and marketing strategies.
The benefits of having a local Facebook page are mostly to do with the ability to target a specific audience with content that is relevant to them in cultural, social and linguistic terms. The downside, however, is that local pages divert the focus away from the main brand page and handling them requires more resources.
Finding the right balance
While each brand must find its own balance between these factors we believe that KLM’s approach might be somewhat extreme. Furthermore the new Facebook targeting features now allow brands to target posts by location and language, thereby reducing the relevance of local pages by making the post visible only to a certain audience.
In KLM’s case, what surprised us was not only the sheer number of the pages but also their variety and detailed breakdown of markets with, for example, three separate pages for Switzerland (in English, German and French) and dedicated pages for less-popular destinations like Kazakhstan and Suriname. That said, if someone from KLM is in listening, we’d love to be proven wrong and find out if there are some interesting synergies that are being gained through this strategy.
KLM’s Facebook pages: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dutch Caribbean, Ecuador, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Switzerland (in German), Switzerland (in French), Switzerland (in English), Singapore, South Africa, Suriname, Sweden, Thailand , Turkey, UK, Ukraine and USA.
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