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UK Companies Serve Up Social Media with a Smile…

by on August 14, 2010

Social media sites in the UK are engaging, friendly, and give visitors a wealth of information.


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. 

A July 30, 2010 Ritz London Facebook Post.


Virgin Atlantic

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:


Links from the Virgin Atlantic Facebook page. Virgin makes it easy to follow the company on several platforms and posts fun and engaging entries.


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, 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.


From → United Kingdom

  1. Great examples of British companies using social media effectively!

  2. Carolina B permalink

    Great job leigh!!!

  3. The examples you chose this week were really good to show how some brands in the travel industry in the UK are actively using social media to engage their customers on a personal level. I wasn’t quite sold on some of the broader conclusions about the UK market that you made from these examples, though, as it seems this could vary greatly by industry. Your opening point about how “Social media sites in the UK are engaging, friendly, and give visitors a wealth of information.” seemed very overarching and tough to prove. You might have been able to if you took the approach of looking at the most popular industry sectors and sharing examples from multiple places, but simply having examples from one industry was not enough to prove this premise. It would have been more accurate (and totally fine) to position your post more as being about how UK travel brands are using social media to better connect with customers. On the part about personal stories, I am a big fan of using them in a post, but make sure that you have a way of relating them to the point you want to make in your post. For example, when you had the travel issue in Barcelona, did you use social media to find where to stay? There needs to be some connection that can make the personal story like that work towards helping you prove your point – and those are the moments when it really works. (4)

  4. I got what you plan, thanks for swing up. Woh I am willing to reach this website through google. Thanks For Share UK Companies Serve Up Social Media with a Smile… 2010 Global Marketing.

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  1. Social Media with a Smile… « 2010 Global Marketing | London Hotels Information

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