Some 72pc of Irish SMEs are using online technologies to market their businesses, according to the latest Bank of Ireland MRBI survey of Irish businesses.
The study, published to mark the start of National Enterprise week, found that 82pc of SMEs in the Irish economy believe their businesses have stabilised or are growing again.
It found that 67pc of Irish SMEs are optimistic about the next 12 months and 61pc expect to grow their businesses in the second half of this year.
Over 43pc of SMEs reported that they recruited new staff in the last 12 months, with 32pc saying they will recruit more staff in 2014.
The study found that 72pc of Irish SMEs use online media/technology to market their businesses, with 68pc citing Facebook as a tool they use, making it the most popular ahead of search engine marketing (48pc), LinkedIn (40pc) and Twitter (30pc).
New Bank of Ireland Accelerator planned
“We want to be at the forefront in enabling enterprise throughout the country from providing credit to support working capital requirements and business growth to other activities that will help businesses progress,” said Gerry Prizeman, head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland.
“We want to be the enterprise bank for business customers.
“We are supporting SME’s in the technology sector through our sponsorship of the FinTech programme of NDRC (National Digital Research Centre) and will shortly be announcing our involvement in a new Bank of Ireland Accelerator programme.
“We are also supporting SME’s looking to use social media to engage with and broaden their customer base.
‘;To date over 500 SMEs have registered to participate in our Twitter partnership, which allows SMEs to access advice and tutorials online as well as offering them opportunities to win twitter credits.
“We recently announced a world first partnership with Facebook for SMEs to access support and guidance on using the world’s leading social media site to engage their customers,” Prizeman said.