Most Irish businesses using social media but online sales still low

New figures show 67 per cent of enterprises are using Facebook

Approximately 32 per cent of Irish firms said they used Twitter

Approximately 32 per cent of Irish firms said they used Twitter

 

Almost two-thirds of Irish companies use social media to promote their businesses and communicate with customers, the second highest number in Europe, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In 2017, 69 per cent of Irish enterprises employing 10 or more people were using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, compared with an EU average of 47 per cent.

The figures also reveals that the use of social media by Irish businesses rose from 64 per cent in 2015 and 67 per cent a year later.

Malta had the largest percentage of enterprises in the EU-28 using social media at 74 per cent, while Poland had the lowest usage at 27 per cent.

Facebook was by far the most popular social media platform used by Irish businesses to connect with customers, with 67 per cent of companies saying they used it, up from 65 per cent last year and from 62 per cent in 2015. In addition, 32 per cent of Irish firms said they used Twitter, with 23 per cent using YouTube. This compares with usage rates of 30 per cent and 21 per cent respectively in 2015.

Customer relationship management

Irish businesses are also ahead of the curve in using customer relationship management (CRM) software, with 34 per cent of companies saying they availed of it to capture, store and make information available for other functions. This compares to an EU average of 33 per cent.

Germany and the Netherlands had the largest percentage of enterprises using CRM at 47 per cent while Hungary and Romania had the lowest take-up rate at 14 per cent.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) was used by 29 per cent of businesses, the figures show.

Over 12 per cent of Irish enterprises reported that they shared information electronically using Supply Chain Management (SCM) in 2017. The most popular method was via websites or web portals.

Unsurprisingly, large enterprises led the way in terms of conducting sales electronically. However, almost all businesses said they made more online purchases than sales online.