Over 100,000 Facebook fans across the planet are following Tourism Ireland (TI). New figures show the organisation now boasts 101,482 fans (at the last count). As part of its overall marketing strategy, TI is upping social media ante with fans across 12 key markets – including Great Britain, the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Australia, the Netherlands, India, Japan and the Gulf Countries. Fanbases in the US and Britain markets are the largest, with about 36,000 and 21,000 respectively. TI also has Twitter accounts in eight countries, with over 14,600 followers at the last count. Brian Harte, head of customer engagement for Tourism Ireland, said, “The impact of online word-of-mouth cannot be underestimated, particularly when it comes to travel and holiday decisions. Tourism Ireland aims to be part of a conversation about Ireland, to engage with fans and get them talking about the many great things to see and do here. This is part of our overall marketing strategy which increasingly uses social media to complement both our traditional and other e-marketing channels.”
Sites like Facebook and Twitter are also increasingly important as tools to listen, understand and respond to potential holidaymakers’ queries and issues. “Our Facebook pages and Twitter profiles are localised – translated into the relevant languages and carrying specific messages to meet the needs of individual markets. We respond to tweets posted about the island of Ireland, giving suggestions, offers from our partners, links and advice to potential visitors”, said Harte.