Digital Marketing · Social Media

Small Irish Businesses Succeeding Pt 1

Ireland is an incredible place; home to over 4.7 million people in 2016 and exported $128.1 billion worth of goods around the World in 2016. It’s not always easy for Irish businesses to make it abroad, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. In the days before the internet, a physical brick and mortar presence was imperative and the location had to be near perfect to get the right foot fall into the business in order to survive and grow.

When social media first arrived in the mid 2000’s, it became a standard tool for businesses, and changed the way businesses advertise forever. Many companies are now working out of a warehouse/office with a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page to keep in contact with the general public and to help market the Business, along with an online store to sell to potential customers. (Amazon the largest online retailer in the World, only opened their first physical store this year!!)

With the help of smartphones, tablets and laptops, small Irish startups are able to get their name across the Globe, to potential customers and investors. Many things have changed in Business throughout the years, but they still have to have a high quality product, at an affordable price, know their customers better than they know themselves, and be able to effectively market their products.

The businesses focused on here, and in the coming posts, are “small” Irish businesses that have firmy grasped the marketing concept of knowing your customer and figuring out what they want, rather than producing a product, and convincing the public they need it. Customers come first with these businesses.

Keogh’s Crisps

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Keogh’s Farm have been growing potatoes in North County Dublin for over 200 years, and have recently diversified into the crisp making business. Since setting up they have won numerous awards for their line of crisps including Small & Emerging Exporter of the Year at the Irish Exporter Awards, and are constantly expanding with new flavours being announced regularly:


Keogh’s recent flavour “Chorizo & Cherry Tomato” was launched as a limited edition item, to boost sales and create hype. The flavour proved to be hugely popular and was voted to stay by the general public:

Keogh 97%.PNGThe use of starting a hashtag (#keoghrizo) and getting the public to vote on the future of the flavour is clever, and gives the public a sense of purpose and link to the business; customers aren’t just viewed as cash cows, they have a real say here.

Keogh’s have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page and are all are updated frequently; usually 5 posts a week on Twitter and Facebook, and frequent postings on Instagram too:

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Their Insta. postings are bright and colourful, and mostly highlight the community and family vibe of the business, along with pictures of Keogh’s Crisps “out and about” at various locations such as Aviva Stadium, to show the brand is about fun and not too serious:

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Their content is mostly pictures, and could do with a few short videos of the farming and farming process just to vary the content, and to really hit home these crisps are straight from potato to crisps. Their full line of flavours are all gluten free, and all though this is expressed on the packaging, further highlighting could help convert potential customers to lifelong consumers.

Keogh’s have a great Twitter account, and really do their best to engage the public and get the brand name trending:

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They reply to, and retweet a large amount of the tweets they’re mentioned in. They ask questions of their followers and do giveaways too (The post below alone got 50+ replies, which is natural, non-paid advertising as each person is mentioning Keogh’s in their tweets, or using ‘#keoghrizo’ and helps create greater brand awareness). This helps to really push their latest flavour Chorizo & Cherry Tomato, and again gets ‘#keoghrizo’ into the public eye and helps to boost sales:

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A genius “Call-to-Action” Keoghs use is “Spud Nav“. Each packet of crisps has a field name printed on the back which shows you exactly where the potatoes used in that particular pack came from, and the type of potato used. The location and source of their main ingredients/flavours are also shown, which gives consumers peace of mind. This CTA helps lead consumers to their website and aids trace-ability; consumers like knowing where the food that they’re putting into their body comes from:

Spud Nav

Only minor flaw, in my opinion, is they need to use the “Milestone” feature better on Facebook, as they have won numerous awards. It’s incredibly hard to find out what accolades they’ve achieved based solely on their social media. These are hugely important and they deserve the recognition for winning these; you really have to go searching to find them. This could be improved. Overall, a great family business, with outstanding, award winning products.

Skelligs Chocolates

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Skelligs Chocolates make delicious handmade chocolate, and is Ireland’s only open plan chocolate factory. Located in South West Kerry, beside the beautiful St. Finians Bay overlooking the Skellig Islands; it’s hard to find a more picturesque location for a coffee shop and chocolate factory!

With over 7,000 likes on FB, over 2,000 followers amassed on Twitter and Instagram; this little chocolate factory is sure making an impression. They routinely update their Facebook with everything from showcasing their latest line of chocolates, funny quotes, to the brand out-and-about promoting at different events:

They frequently run competitions for the public, to further create brand awareness and strengthen brand loyalty, it’s also a nice gesture to give back to their loyal customers:

Skelligs Comp

On Twitter, they have an excellent presence. They retweet and reply to a large volume of tweets they are mentioned in; they show the customer is being heard, and their opinions are being taken into account. They tweet a lot of different types of content, such as competitions, tweets about South Kerry tourism & The Skellig Islands, and showcase their products with links to their online store:

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They do social media very well, but could do with captioning their actual photos on FB, and not just writing posts with the photos. Due to the high volume of posts, it’s difficult to find the story behind certain photos, as the original caption is lost unless you’re on the original post:

Skelligs Error
What was the backstory behind this branded shoe??

They routinely change their FB cover photo for seasonal events such as Christmas, Halloween & Easter etc; they try and highlight the impending celebration and showcase how their chocolate can help make this celebration better for you and yours, and possibly make Skelligs chocolates part of your tradition for the future:

Further linking in with this, Skelligs offer seasonal & celebratory chocolate selections, such as Eater Bunny’s and eggs, chocolate shoes, and personalised gifts for all occasions:

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Their Instagram page is bright and vibrant, with an array of content to keep followers interested and up-to-date with the business. Pictures are mostly used, but short videos frequent too. With posts of The Skelligs, the brand out and about, chocolate & links to their competitions, no two posts are alike:

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With a mission statement of “To provide the best chocolate experience in Ireland”; it’s not hard to see why Skelligs Chocolates are successful!

Disclaimer: This is neither an ad nor a sponsored post; just my view of some interesting businesses, doing things well!

If you would like to get in touch, please feel free here!

Shane C


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