Irish marketing executives noticed major opportunities and risks in using social media, according to the latest State of the Net quarterly bulletin.
The 2011 Irish Digital Marketing Sentiment Survey published by AMAS in partnership with the Marketing Institute of Ireland, examines trends in how the Irish marketing community treats social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter in its overall marketing mix.
Some 79pc of marketers said social media helps them understand audiences better, 68pc believed it provides opportunities to make valuable connections and 46pc reported it helped cost savings.
Eighty-four per cent said they mainly used social media for relationship building, 76pc revealed they used it for creating brand awareness and for following online conversations about companies, and 66pc of marketers said they used it for brands and people.
Sixty-one per cent of respondents reported it has increased their workload, and 51pc have concerns about damage to a company’s reputation. Some 52pc find a challenge in keeping up to date with what is happening in the social media space and 39pc have a fear of making mistakes that can’t be corrected on social media sites.
“The survey is a barometer of changing marketing behaviour in Ireland,” said Aileen O’Toole, managing director of online consultancy AMAS, which publishes State of the Net. “The results show that marketers are continuing to move their budgets online. Some traditional forms of advertising are losing out to advertising across a bewildering array of digital channels.”
In the survey, 43pc of the sample had moved their marketing spend away from newspapers, while 41pc had moved it away from direct mail. TV, radio, cinema and outdoor have proved to be more resilient.
The survey was conducted by AMAS in collaboration with the Marketing Institute of Ireland (MII). More than 400 Irish marketers participated in this year’s survey, and three out of five have budgetary responsibility for their business’ marketing function.
Other trends in the current issue of State of the Net, which is published in association with the Irish Internet Association, revealed more than half of Irish nine to 16-year-olds are now online every day. It also shows that 23pc of Irish businesses online sell electronically, and just less than half have client extranets.