Irish design agencies could use Twitter for competitive advantage

Irish design agencies are under-utilising the full potential of Twitter, according to a recent study which aimed to establish how Irish Graphic Design Consultancies (IGDCs) can use the platform to secure a competitive advantage.

The study, which was conducted by recent masters graduate and graphic designer Charlotte Marillet, shows that IGDCs could be using Twitter as a marketing tool in a more sophisticated way than is currently the case.

The study also draws up a framework of best practise and management for agencies who wish to take the plunge into Twitter. The study recommends that the company sets Twitter objectives in line with the overall company strategy, ensures their audience is on Twitter and identify other social channels to complement Twitter.

Management buy-in and support is also crucial, as well as some dedicated resource that is comfortable on the platform. The company should not forget to set measurable goals to measure ROI and avoid frustration or lack of understanding of the effectiveness of their Twitter strategy.

Charlotte Marillet said that finding a central repository of IGDCs was quite difficult: “I had to do a lot of research through institutions and organisations linked to graphic design as well as through organic keyword searches in Google to determine and ringfence my target audience,” she said.

“I wanted to ensure that the design agencies I was examining were of a similar nature, I focused on agencies who deal primarily with visual identity and print, not on those who are also involved in marketing.”

“Twitter is difficult to evaluate solely on numbers, there are other factors that influence the research so I had to set the research criteria very carefully,” she continues. “But it does transpire that most of the agencies do not use Twitter strategically, it’s more of a toe in the water approach, only three or four were attempting a strategic approach.”

Ms Marillet makes the point that those types of design agencies are not primarily focused on marketing and that they often run a small, multi-tasking team. “In economic boom times they don’t need to search for work, but when the going gets tough, that’s when they need a marketing strategy.”

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About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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