CUSTOMER services staff at Yellow Buses have won an international award thanks to their use of social media.

The Bournemouth company beat off dozens of other entries in the Innov & Go Challenge, run by parent company RATP Dev, which has more than 50 other businesses around the world.

Customer services manager Gareth Edwards and Fiona Harwood-Smith picked up the prize in Paris for their Gloing For Gold entry, which highlighted their use of Facebook and Twitter to engage with passengers and keep them informed.

Managing director Andrew Smith and others from the company also travelled to Paris for the ceremony.

Gareth Edwards said: “Our use of social media is very important and will become increasingly so as more people use it to get information.

“It means that passengers can speak to us in real time so we are able to respond quickly to problems or suggestions. We named our entry Gloing for Gold after our Glo smart cards.”

The inaugural Innov & Go Challenge saw more than 100 entries from a dozen countries.

Mr Smith said: “We place great emphasis on customer services and it’s satisfying when our efforts are recognised.”

Their prize was a tour of Paris in an open-top bus and lunch on a river boat on the Seine.