UK Companies Serve Up Social Media with a Smile…
I think UK-based organizations are using social media sites to their fullest potential. As I research my week-long trip to London, I am seeing timely, creative, and engaging messages, posts, and links from a vast array of industries that are making me want to take that next step of “joining” or “following” This level of interest is a first for me. I realize that many UK-based companies, particularly those in the service industry, are really attempting to engage the visitor with in-the-know and useful information.
When I travel, I always research to find the best hotels in each city. I also have a “thing” for checking out a country’s airlines. I don’t necessarily stay at these hotels or fly on the airlines. I just like to have the information. Most importantly, if I have a problem, I know a great hotel is a safe place to land. I started to visit the social media sites of various airlines and hotels that are UK based.
The Ritz London
I went in to this search thinking the older, more classic hotels might not have social media strategies. I was wrong. The oldies but goodies are in full swing.
As I looked up the top hotels in London, I chose to focus on The Ritz London, as I had been to a partner hotel in Barcelona (now called Hotel Palace Barcelona) while in a pickle. I left Marbella on my way to Nice with a stopover in Barcelona. When I showed up at the gate, I learned that the Nice airport was closed due to a strike. I got in a cab, and in my sad, broken Spanish asked to be taken to a hotel “bella.” (Thanks, summer course in Madrid that did nada.)
The Ritz London Facebook page, with 1,122 fans, is updated with timely, upbeat, and personalized information. The posts range from a happy-birthday-to-me post letting me know the hotel is turning 104 and a farewell to departing employees to explaining a menu pairing with Billecart-Salmon, “a medium-sized champagne house in Mareuil-sur-Ay, France. …” The posts are interesting in that they make me feel part of something, and the hotel does not fail to remember to post a link to its Twitter account on the Facebook page and to place its contact information front and center.
Though I settled on a British Airways flight due to pricing, I did research Virgin, and the company and its CEO, Richard Branson, is utilizing social media brilliantly. I can imagine that comparable ad campaigns for the information posted would be millions of dollars or pounds. Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America have Facebook pages, yet I stuck to Atlantic to keep focused. The page has 31,989 fans, and the posts are not just informative and fun, but focus on interaction with and benefits to its customers.
Posts on Virgin’s Facebook page:
- Travelers on Virgin Airlines Will Earn Virgin Points/Miles on All Four Airlines and the Chance to Win a Trip to Necker Island.
- App-solutely essential for all globetrotters! – Our new ‘Flight Tracker’ and ‘Jetlag Fighter’ iPhone apps!
- Richard Branson’s video blog.
- Travelers on Virgin Airlines Will Earn Virgin Points/Miles on All Four Airlines and the Chance to Win a Trip to Necker Island
- Ever wondered what it’s like to be Virgin Atlantic cabin crew for the day?
- Announcing our brand new and cutting edge, A330 Inflight Entertainment systems and partneship with Panasonic
According to a blog post written by We Are Social, “a new kind of agency that combines an innate understanding of social media with digital, PR, and marketing skills,” the use of social media in the UK is up 159% in the past three years. According to www.internetworldstats.com, 51.4 million people are online in the UK, totaling more than half of the population. What am I seeing as the take away? After researching social media sites for several hotels, airlines, and events, including Wimbeldon’s Facebook page (boasting 352,911 fans), I see a drastic difference between pages I have been viewing from the US and those stemming from the UK. Those from the UK are all encompassing, consistent, personal, and interesting. They make life easier for the customer. This is a lesson learned for someone like me who will planning to implement social media strategies.