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Irish firms embracing social media, according to report

Graeme Parton

Figures released recently by the Central Statistics Office have shown that businesses in Ireland are among the European Union’s biggest users of  social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Researchers found that almost half of Ireland’s businesses which have 10 or more employees are using the sites, with the EU average sitting at just 30 percent.

In terms of individual countries, the table showed that Maltese firms use social media the most, with 55 percent, while Latvia had the lowest usage figure, 15 percent.

More than 30 percent of the Irish businesses claimed to use a mix of social platforms to sell their products or build their brand image, while 15 percent said they look for new employees on the sites. There has been something of a surge of companies using sites like LinkedIn and even Facebook to find new talent, although the trend is in its early stages.

Across the 28 countries surveyed by the CSO, 22 percent said they took to social networks to build their image, while only nine percent use them for recruitment purposes.

Surprisingly, just 45 percent of the large businesses questioned had an e-commerce option, with online sales accounting for 43 percent of all sales. In terms of medium-sized companies, 43 percent offered products online, with e-commerce representing 19 percent of sales.

All kinds of businesses across the UK and Ireland have taken to their computers to reach customers, with social media becoming a crucial part of the modern marketing strategy. However, the latest figures from Ireland show that some companies are still playing catch-up.

It is important to note that having a presence online is no longer enough. In order to make the most of platforms like Twitter and Google+, businesses need to build relationships with their customers, using a mix of engaging content and great customer service.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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