As I'm making my way in the big bad digital marketing industry in the UK, I'm going to give a big shout-out to my home country in the form of this blog post.
The Irish nation is typically a very chatty and social culture in its own right, so I would like to investigate how social the Irish are online.
Having recently moved to the UK, my greater knowledge base of digital marketing lies within the Emerald Isle. I do believe though, that small as Ireland is, it doesn’t mean that socially savvy countries cannot learn from others, especially the digital hub of Europe.
So I’ll write this post with facts and figures and in true Irish fashion, sure we will see how we get on. Although a small population of 4.5m people, digital technology has become a utility that is crucial in supporting the Irish economy. The government itself helps to champion this industry through supporting research and innovation, and by helping scale digital enterprises through funding.
Many of the multi-national tech companies choose to settle in Ireland as their EU base, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google. Tech companies and start-ups are commonplace, with Enterprise Ireland providing very generous funding to support these businesses.
Indeed, they are in phase 1 of the National Digital Strategy for Ireland which aims to have ‘optimal economic and social use of the internet by business, government and individuals’.
Digital contributes 4.4% to Ireland’s GDP and has a growth rate of 16% per year, more than 10 times the rate of growth of the economy as a whole. The digital industry already supports almost 95,000 jobs both directly and indirectly in the Irish economy.
These figures just go to show how important digital is to Ireland, and how it is at the heart of the economic agenda.
With all these statistics, it would stand to think that Ireland is socially sociable. So I’m going to throw a few more numbers at you by focusing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The state of social in Ireland
In the country of Ireland, the top social media networks are Facebook (52%), and Twitter (23%) followed by LinkedIn (20%). The largest group of social media users in Ireland are people between the ages of 25 and 34.
Only 3% of Irish social media users are older than 65 years old. As of May 2013, 37% of the Irish population is not on any social networks.
Facebook has more than 2m accounts in Ireland, which is 44% of the country. Growth with Facebook has doubled over the past two years, and even though the company has seen a decline of younger users on the social network, these stats are showing how the demographics are changing.
Statistics from The Irish Digital Consumer Report:
Almost 1.7m use Facebook on their smartphones.
Irish people have an average of 280 Facebook friends (worldwide - 130) and like 79 pages.
The Irish spend on averageof 5 hours per month on Facebook (3 hours on Google sites).
Circa70% of Irish users return tothe site daily.
The Irish population shares 10m wall posts, 20m photos and 7m status updates per month.
70% of Irish businesses use Facebook.
The top Irish brands on Facebook in Ireland are;
Penneys: 520,704 likes
Lyons: 260,575 likes
Mr Tayto: 259,384 likes
Guinness: 419, 132 likes
Centra: 161,358 likes
The list of top 25 brands on Facebook in Ireland only contains eight Irish brands, compared to Twitter’s 14.
Ireland has 600,000 daily users of Twitter, with 1m tweets a day. Ireland actually has the 10th highest number of Twitter users per capita in the world.
It is said that Twitter is where the younger Facebook users are migrating to, so I suspect these figures will rise in the coming months.
Statistics from The Irish Digital Consumer Report
10-11pm is the busiest hour each day on Twitter in Ireland.
Users are active from 12 midday onwards.
27% of the Irish population over the age of 15 uses Twitter.
53% of 15-24 year olds useTwitter, compared to 46% of 25–34.
Dublin and Cork users post almost halfof all Irish tweets.
Top Irish brands on Twitter in Ireland
Discover Ireland: 39,833
Brown Thomas: 34,579
Met Eireann: 29,448
Meteor Mobile: 28,501
Aer Lingus: 27,277
The total number of users of LinkedIn is 1,005,000 – 21.75% of population.
LinkedIn is growing at a much faster than Facebook – in percentage terms at least (11% versus 4%).
LinkedIn has issued statistics showing that Holland at 38.2%, USA at 36%, and Ireland at 27% has the highest penetration of LinkedIn users per work-force capita. This is significant for business networkers, recruiters and job seeker.
The majority of Irish LinkedIn users are at entry level 22.1%.
21% of the population over the age of 15 now has a LinkedIn account.