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Minister Flanagan highlights the value of social media for SMEs, at Facebook event

Minister Flanagan highlights the value of social media for SMEs, launching a Facebook hosted event for Irish & French SMEs

Highlighting the vital importance of exports to sustaining and growing the Irish economic recovery, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, urged SMEs to use social media to boost their business at a Facebook hosted event.

The Boost Your Business event was organised to coincide with the Web Summit. Minister Flanagan launched the event which was attended by other Ministers from Ireland and France.

He stated:

“Small and medium-sized businesses are critical to the success of the Irish economy, providing thousands of jobs all over this country. I urge Irish SMEs to boost their business by engaging with social media, these days an immensely powerful business tool, generating a global economic impact measured in the hundreds of billions.

“The dynamic, interactive process of social media allows businesses to develop and change in response to customer and public feedback and this is immensely valuable in today’s demanding business environment.”

Highlighting his own experience working with companies in his constituency of Laois-Offaly, Minister Flanagan stated:

“Small and Medium-sized businesses are critical to the success of the Irish economy, providing thousands of jobs all over this country. As a TD for Laois-Offaly, a largely rural constituency with some large towns and many smaller towns and villages, I appreciate and understand the importance of SMEs which are the lifeblood of many provincial towns. And as a passionate believer in geographically-balanced economic growth, I appreciate the value that social media companies such as Facebook can bring these companies. As the Digital Age evolves with increasing speed, successful businesses will only thrive if they exploit its potential to the full. That will be the core focus of discussions today.

He added:

“Today’s event is designed to help SMEs to use social media to reach clients in new markets. The 80 strong Irish embassy network is playing its role in helping Irish companies to succeed in overseas markets and I urge businesses to get in touch with our Embassies, our Consulates and our Trade Division here in the Departments’ Dublin headquarters.

“We are pleased to work closely with representatives of the Irish Exporters Association, IBEC, and the Irish Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Association to support indigenous companies exporting overseas.”

Minister Flanagan acknowledged the contribution of Facebook to the Irish economy and to creating an environment of innovation and of ideas. In particular, he commended its dedication to long-term investment in Ireland, as evidenced by its plan to build a new €200m data centre in Co. Meath in the near future.

Ends

Press Office

Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

2 November 2015