A growing number of Irish SMEs are adopting social media marketing techniques, a survey by the O2 Ideas Room suggests. To date, 15pc of companies have set up a Facebook page for their business.
The survey finds that almost a quarter (23pc) of senior SME executives are now members of a business/professional social media site. The study surveyed more than 300 owners or director-level executives in organisations employing between one and 250 people nationwide.
The most popular is LinkedIn, at 18pc. In addition, 15pc of Irish SMEs have their business on Facebook, rising to 20pc for technology-related companies. One in 10 SME businesses has a Twitter account.
Social media sparks SMEs’ interest
“We already know from discussion topics on the O2 Ideas Room blog that SMEs are becoming more interested in social media, so it’s great to be able to verify that through this research,” commented Jonnie Cahill, head of Communications & Sponsorship, Telefónica O2 Ireland.
“The findings suggest that social media is increasingly becoming part of how SMEs are marketing themselves,” Cahill said.
The study, which was conducted for the O2 Ideas Room by Behaviour & Attitudes, finds that almost one in 10 businesses (9pc) have a blog, up from 5pc last year.
It found that 11pc of technology companies blog, while 13pc of senior SME executives contribute to or respond to blogs.
“Blogging, having a presence on Facebook or other social media sites, can significantly boost a company’s visibility online”, added Cahill.
O2 set up the ideas room in 2009 to provide a platform for businesses to talk to each other online and to access expert advice on a range of different areas, from finance to marketing.
Most recently, it launched a series of podcasts, so as well as being able to share their views via written blogs, business people can now access podcasts offering expert opinions on a range of subjects.
By John Kennedy
Photo: Jonnie Cahill, head of Communications & Sponsorship, Telefónica O2 Ireland