Social Media network usage over the past five years and can see a large increase in Active users online using social media. This may also be of use for students gathering information on Social Media for assignments.

In a report on Social Networking Quarterly from IPSOS MRBI (Appendix 4) it shows the largest Social Media penetration in the Irish Market: Facebook 61%, Twitter 29%, LinkedIn 24% Google+ 24% Instagram 18%

Social Media Networks

Social Media Platforms play an important role in how businesses target audiences make decisions. In a report published by (Nielsen 2015) 60% of consumers researched products through multiple online sources learning about a specific brand or retailer through social network sites. Consumers are more likely to read reviews online with 3 out of 5 creating their own reviews on products and services. Women are more likely than men to review online: 81% female vs. 72% males.

Consumer reviews are a more preferred source of research on a brands product or service. 41% of reviewers say they receive discounts for sharing brand experiences online. Social media users say they trust recommendations from social media networks, knowing that they have come from like-minded people. Consumers now write reviews to help protect others from bad experiences and 1 in 4 say they

share their negative feedback to punish companies.It has been established that 42% of 18 -24year olds expect customer support within 12 hours of a complaint being made through businesses social media platforms. (Nielsen 2015) 

Customers are now becoming brand advocates with 53% following brands through word of mouth recommendations, writing reviews and giving acknowledgment to the business for a great experience received. This now show the relevance the consumers have to a brand and the shift in power from the company pushing out their message to the customer who is now in control. (Nielsen 2015)