How Serco Leisure Delivers Social Media Marketing & Customer Service

Serco Leisure manages over 60 facilities on behalf of Community Leisure Trusts, Local Authorities, Universities and the Ministry of Defence. Some of the organisation’s most high-profile facilities include Bisham Abbey and Lilleshall National Sports and Conferencing Centres, National Water Sports Centre and Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex in Northern Ireland.

Over 60 leisure facilities

Leisure centre visitors

Facebook pages

Social media users

The Background

When it comes to technology, Serco Leisure is always one step ahead. It was the UK’s first leisure operator to offer a mobile bookings app. Over 66% of the company’s web traffic is now generated through mobile devices, and they were one of the first leisure organisations to appoint a dedicated Digital Media Manager.

The Challenges

  • Create a distinct & positive brand identity across all leisure contracts.
  • Manage 95 Facebook pages across 18 different territories.
  • Support 70 staff, managers and marketing professionals to deliver real time updates.
  • Build rapport between managers, class leaders and the public at large.
  • Keep customers informed of last-minute changes to classes or the progress of building works.
  • Maintain a “bird’s eye” monitoring and management function.
  • Evaluate progress.

In a nutshell

“The search was on for a technology partner that shared our dynamism and could provide the right solution to underpin an effective social media marketing strategy.”

After evaluating the marketplace, Serco Leisure selected SoCrowd for its advanced security functionality and attractive dashboard.

Furthermore, as the only UK company to appear in industry analyst Forrester’s Top 10 for social risk and compliance solutions, SoCrowd was a more attractive proposition than its US competitors. In addition, Serco Leisure understood the crucial regulatory and legal differences between Europe and the rest of the world.

“Using SoCrowd, we can deliver a highly personalised and interactive service that boosts customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. What is more, a complete audit trail along with advanced security features, enable clients to protect and grow their brand reputation and ensure that compliance regulations are consistently met.”

 How we got here

The story behind the reopening of Wet ‘n’ Wild Waterpark in North Shields, Tyne & Wear underlines the positive impact of a successful social media management strategy backed up by clever technology.

When Wet ‘n’ Wild went into administration, Serco Leisure were appointed to take over the reigns and the marketing team began to plan for the re-opening.

It was important that the team stayed on top of what the local community were saying about the facility, enabling a robust brand building strategy to be implemented, whilst safeguarding corporate reputation. SoCrowd buzz and geographical listening tools helped the team keep up to speed with what was being said online across a variety of social media networks.

The marketing team also found that they were spending up to four hours a day answering questions from customers on proposed prices and opening times. Communication was successfully managed by quickly responding to social media comments and enquires within the single dashboard facility of the SoCrowd platform, ensuring that time wasn’t wasted by multiple people answering the same query.

Serco Leisure could keep in touch with visitors to Wet ‘n’ Wild in real-time, advising them of waiting times for peak activities, whilst promoting off-peak opportunities. SoCrowd helped to manage customer expectation, releasing significant time savings to the overall business.


By the time Wet ‘n’ Wild was re-launched, Serco Leisure was able to reach a viral audience of 69,000 in a matter of minutes, with special promotional posts that made the re-opening an instant commercial success:

  • Increase in Facebook fans from 5,000 to over 30,000 by the time of the re-opening.
  • Successfully protected corporate reputation with rapid response to comments and customer enquiries.
  • Unprecedented visitor numbers on the first day.

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