What is stopping Irish businesses from harnessing the power of Social Media?

We carried out a survey to find out.

As the Social Media Summit 2017 fast approaches, we decided to do a survey on how Social Media is used in Ireland. The survey was shared on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin during peak times when most business people would be online.  We wanted to get an idea of what people thought about other platforms from a business owner’s perspective especially. The age demographic who took part shows that it was mostly aged between 36 to 45 (45.16%).  (This might explain why Snapchat was not featured as prominently, although there are many in this age group active on this platform now).

Although it gives an idea of what platforms people like and use, most of the people who filled it in are on Twitter and Facebook so this might explain why this is their favourite platform. But some of the other results are very interesting!

Facebook (57.89%), Twitter (56.32%) and Instagram (20.53%) came out on top when asked what is their favourite platform, followed closely by Linkedin (16.84%). Not surprisingly, Snapchat has increased in popularity (8.95%) now compared to last year’s survey so that featured 5th in popularity.

Only 1.85% of respondents use Periscope (live streaming) which I thought was surprising. This is a powerful way to show your brand’s story and connect with your customers and followers. I would recommend you check these out. Live streaming and video are fast becoming THE way to connect with your customers. Facebook Live is attracting more Facebook users to live streaming so expect this to be much higher especially after the Social Media Summit!

Most respondents were in the 36- 45 age group followed by 46-55 age groups. This ties in with the demographic who use Twitter who are aged 35 -55 and the highest growing demographic are the over 55s. Was lovely to see that 2.85% of respondents were aged 66 to 75!

Last year we said this: ‘We also asked what social media platform people found most confusing. The answer was...Snapchat! Not surprising as it's mostly teenagers on this platform but now businesses and big brands are realising the value of Snapchat and are starting to use it more. So the demographic is changing fast. So this is one to watch.’

Well, as predicted, Snapchat has much more power now and brands are using it more for business. Check out @whitemoosecafe for example or @cocoabrowntan @unislim and @holosskinniamh

So what are people using social media for? Well, most people use it for either business (66.30%)  or socialising (71.27%) and building relationships (48.62%) and latest news as it happens (46.41%).

Most say they are on social media because their audience and customers are there.

The most confusing platform according to the respondents is Snapchat (42.20%) Strangely enough, Linkedin came second as most confusing with 24.86% saying they found this confusing. Third most confusing was Pinterest then Periscope.

77.65% of the respondents were female. 22.35% were Male.

As a result of this survey, it’s evident that here in Ireland we have so much to learn about social media. The popular platforms might not necessarily be where our customers and our audience are. It’s important to be where your clients are, not where you want to be.

So what is stopping Irish businesses from being more prominent on other platforms and why are the live streaming and video parts of the survey so poor? We think that fear plays a part and also a lack of training could be the answer. This is one of the reasons why Social Media Summit was founded.

The summit will de-mystify Snapchat and all the other important platforms with noted speakers and workshops showing how brands, companies and even the small business owner working from home can excel through effective use of Social Media to generate strong loyalty, advocacy and ultimately sales.

 *Survey based on 192 respondents

Samantha Kelly

Founder I Social Media Summit

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