State of the Nation
In a recent study, Facebook was declared the most popular social media platform in Ireland, with 1.3m people using the website. The research was conducted by global digital behaviour analysis firm GlobalWebIndex. The study concluded that when compared with global trends, Ireland’s usage of social media platforms such as the aforementioned Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, shows greater penetration rates than global averages.
Social media has infiltrated the minds and lives of every major demographic group on our island. Exposure to these platforms can occur at our desks, on our televisions and even from our pockets!
Some quick facts
The 2012 Social Media Marketing Report provided information that businesses operating in today’s world dare ignore to their detriment:
1. 94% of all businesses with a marketing department used social media as part of their marketing platform.
2. 85% of all businesses that have a dedicated social media platform as part of their marketing strategy reported an increase in their market exposure.
3. 58% of businesses that have used social media marketing for over 3 years reported an increase in sales over that period.
But not every business has the means to support a marketing department…
At first, it may be a bit perplexing to see a local butcher, a corner-shop or even an establishment as reverent as a funeral home donning the iconic symbols of Facebook or Twitter on their storefront, imploring customer or passersby to “Like” our page or “Follow us”. When looking at the above statistic from The 2012 Social Media Marketing Report, one might deduce that such small and traditional businesses need not bother themselves with digital marketing as they do not operate sophisticated marketing departments. And besides, what interesting subject matter could a local accountancy firm or a florist possibly want to project to the online masses.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, offer an attraction to small businesses as it is a quick, easy and free means of creating an online presence and exposure. The necessity for coding and HTML skills is eliminated. Having a website designed for small, localised businesses can be prohibitively expensive and very unlikely to attract hordes of new customers, so such businesses can use Facebook to build up a local community of fans who may be customers, future customers or other local supporting businesses. It is a very easy way to get your phone number and address out there, and also a forum for reaching out to your customers.
The butcher wishing the local GAA team all the best in their upcoming final, a small accountancy firm posting an explanation about a new government tax scheme, a local shop promoting the discounted goods of the week or a fishing equipment store posting information about the tides. The possibilities for content which interests and benefits your customers is endless.
As previously mentioned, joining these social media platforms is quick, easy and free. However, harnessing the true potential of these social networks to enhance the profile of your business and fully utilise the tools available can be challenging. By devising a focused digital marketing strategy, small businesses can reap huge benefits ranging from increased exposure and sales to being associated with local community initiatives to ensuring your business stands out from the crowd.
Contact us today to enquire about our tailored digital training courses which are geared towards businesses of all shapes and sizes!
Written by Martin Gaffney.
Martin currently lives, studies and works for a large multinational in Cork City. He holds a Higher Certificate in Business and is currently studying a Bachelor of Business in Management at Cork Institute of Technology. Martin is an avid technophile and his interests range from engaging digital content to market research. Electronic music and Cork City FC are Martin’s other love interests. You can find him on Twitter @GaffKiiid.