Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independ...
Dutch companies high users of social media10 July 2014, by Beatrice Clarke
A study by CBS Nederland has found that Dutch companies lead the way with social media use in Europe. Businesses in the Netherlands are increasingly using social media as a way to communicate with customers and partners, as well as simply to be visible. In particular, CBS reveals that the Netherlands has the highest proportion of businesses using Twitter out of all EU nations.
Dutch companies on Twitter
In the year 2013, 27 per cent of Dutch firms were using blogs or microblogging services such as Twitter. Countries with the next highest percantage of tweeting businesses were the UK with roughly 23 per cent and Ireland with just under 20 per cent.
Countries with the lowest Twitter usage were Poland and Hungary, both under 4 per cent. Average microblogging usage across the EU was just 10 per cent of all businesses.
Social networks most popular
In 2013, social networks were among the most popular form of social media, with 46 per cent of Dutch companies running an account on networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn. This is up from 35 per cent in 2012. In 2013 one in 10 companies became active for the first time on a social network.
Social media on the rise
All forms of social media increased among Dutch companies in 2013, although some increased more than others. In addition to social networks and microblogs, businesses also posted videos and photos on websites like YouTube, Flickr and Picasa with 23 per cent of enterprises using these platforms. Wikis proved less popular with a usage of only 7 per cent.
Why companies use social media
Social media is proving very versatile in helping Dutch companies achieve a variety of different goals. Another recent study showed that Dutch entrepreneurs who use social media are more successful.
The most popular applications include using social media to develop brand image and to market products (76 per cent of companies), to recruit staff (50 per cent) and to conduct business relations (44 per cent).
Other applications are to receive customer feedback, to involve customers in product development and innovation, and to exchange information within the company.
In all fields, except for receiving customer feedback, Dutch companies were making greater use of social media that the EU average.
Social media policy
According to the report, more than one in three Dutch companies (36 per cent) had established a formal policy for the use of social media in 2013. This is up from one in four companies in 2012.
An example of policy statement is that not all employees may post messages "on behalf of" the company.