46% of companies posting over once a day but split over the economic benefits
97% of companies believe Twitter will become more important for business

3, Ireland’s fastest growing mobile network today detailed results of a recent survey it completed of Irish businesses using Twitter. The key findings of the survey highlight that the majority (69%) of Irish companies use Twitter to build an online community enabling them to develop a greater knowledge of their customers and potential customers and also create an audience for them to promote company news too.

Company staff at all levels (29%) are involved in updating and managing their respective Twitter pages with do it yourself Managing Directors/Company Founders accounting for 31% of updates, followed by Marketing and IT Personnel accounting for 14% and 11% of activity respectively. As regards frequency of activity over 13% of companies detailed that they update their Twitter feed on an hourly basis, with the majority 46.2% updating on average more then once a day.

Over 80% of businesses believe that their ‘followers’ are made of up potential customers with 55% stating that this audience is also made up of competitors keeping an close eye on activity.

In terms of bottom line impact of an active Twitter presence, Irish businesses were split with 31% suggesting that it had delivered less then €100 whilst 17% indicated a return of between €750 -€1000. A lucky 5% detailed a contribution of €5,000 upwards.

One aspect all businesses could agree on is the growing importance of Twitter for Irish business with a whopping 97% in agreement. Those surveyed also ranked a number of social networking tools in order of importance to business.

Ranked in order of Importance to business

1: Twitter

2: Facebook

3: LinkedIn

4: Boards.ie

5: Igopeople

6: Bebo

10% of respondents did however feel that LinkedIn was vitally important to their business, reflecting the needs for their particular service offerings.

Commenting on the survey, David Riley, Head of Communications at 3, “Today’s survey results with start to create a better understanding of why Irish companies are using Twitter. The growth of the Twitter tool over the last twelve months has been astounding. Tuesday’s announcement by Twitter to allow advertisers access is just another indication of its growing importance within the business sphere. We believe that we are only scratching the surface at developing a full understanding of the benefits and uses of Twitter for both consumers and businesses. The findings of this initial survey will hopefully educate some businesses who are currently weighing up the options of developing a presence on Twitter.”

The survey of 65 businesses, conducted during August is aimed at developing an initial understanding around the rationale and benefits for Irish companies using Twitter. A second more detailed analysis of Irish Businesses utilisation of social networking tools is planned by 3 for later this year.