The craic that is social media

Usually we have to drag clients and potential clients kicking and screaming to the table of social media.

We believe that social media offers a veritable smorgasbord of opportunities for business and how they communicate with their customers and world at large – particularly in these straightened times when social media provides such a low cost entry to market.

However, in companies where the boards are dominated by middle-aged men convincing them of the merits of social media – whether it be a Twitter account or a blog or even a Flickr account – is seen as tantamount to inviting them to take up skateboarding.

So we are delighted to be working with Fitzgerald Group, one of Ireland’s leading leisure companies, which has completely embraced what social media can do for them.

They have just launched a new website which takes in Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Facebook. It’s also rich in user generated content written by happy customers who have stayed at its hotels in - The Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Arlington Hotel and Arlington Temple Bar Hotel.

Stephen Williams, Group E-Commerce Manager at Fitzgerald Group has been an early adopter of social media and uses Web2.0 tools to engage with its hotel guests and customers of its pubs which include The Quays, Temple Bar, The Stag’s Head and Ireland’s Bar of the Year Grand Central on O’Connell Street.

It is now working with LouderVoice where guests can now review their experiences directly on the site and provide valuable feedback and opinion. Those looking for reviews of the hotels no longer have to trawl the web trying to find random information, but can read genuine reviews by real guests on the hotel sites themselves.

Recent research has shown that more than a third of internet users rate peer opinions and User Generated Content (UGC) as the most trusted and credible.

Reviews don't just appear on the hotel sites, they are also aggregated to the LouderVoice reviews website, its mobile phone applications and the use of Facebook and Twitter logins means that guests can recommend the hotels to their friends on their favourite social networks.
Conor O'Neill, Chief Executive of LouderVoice says: "The businesses that will survive and thrive in the current economic climate are those that listen and react to their customers' needs. The Fitzgerald Group embraces this and understands that customer reviews are a key part of that strategy."

So well done Stephen. Well done Fitzgerald Group. Others should look and learn because since we started working with them their UK internet traffic has risen by more than 25 per cent as a result of good old deadwood PR and online PR activities.