Social media guide

Latvia FlagSocial media guide for Latvia

Latvia is one of the Baltic states along with Lithuania and Estonia. Being a small country most of the activities are concentrated in the capital and social media is also concentrated in Riga and the internet is very popular. The rate of internet penetration was about 73% in 2011 according to the statistics Standard Eurobarometer 76 ‘Media use in European Union’ Report, issued in March 2012. That means that more then 1.5 million people are using the internet in Latvia.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular in Latvia and a lot of companies are using them for promoting their businesses and maintaining contact with their customers.

There are over 1 million active users of social media networks in Latvia and the growth rate is high. In accordance with the aforementioned report, the use of social media in Latvia is high (55%), placing the country in second place among European countries after Netherlands (56%).

At the same time, the internet is the second most popular information source in Latvia after television. Even though penetration and usage rates are already at a high level, significant growth is still happening, especially in the business and education fields.

The most popular and useful social media network in Latvia is Draugiem. This local network was created in 2004 and currently has about 2.6 million registered users. It is used in daily communications with business contacts, family and friends and for some it has replaced email.

The top three pages and brands present in social media from Latvia, according to Analytics PRO, are Vanilla Travel, Samsung Latvia and Riga Spirits & Wine Outlet.

The Latvian government has also decided to use social media in its communication strategy with citizens.


Active social media users form more than half of the population with home usage having the largest (86%) proportion. It is also noted that families with children tend to be more active online, suggesting that the younger generations tend to be accessing the internet and engaging with the online networks more regularly. On the other hand, internet access from the workplace is only about 34%, suggesting that the majority of businesses are yet to maximise their use of the internet for business development.

The youth age group seems to dominate internet usage with the vast majority of 15 to 19 year olds regularly accessing the internet. However, the ‘silver surfers’ are catching up and the highest growth rate is attributed to users in their 50’s. Those users in their 60’s tend to be only marginally represented and only about 12% of these are engaged on social media, which seems to be a common characteristic of Eastern European countries.

The mobile internet has reached only about 44% of total internet users and it is dominated by people in the 20 to 29 age range, despite 91% penetration of mobile phones. Only 26% of youngsters aged 15 to 19 have used WAP services on their phones.

Women are very active on social media networks, who tend to have adopted as a replacement for Facebook. Other social media networks frequently used by women include, which is used a a forum to discuss topics related to children and motherhood; and, Latvia’s oldest and largest forum dominated by female contributors (more than 70%).

Popular Latvian blogs/forums:

  • – Blog detailing Latvian events and news.
  • – Technology Blog (Internet, Social media, Apple, Google, hardware and software)
  • – Lifestyle Blog (Music, Games, Technology)
  • – Technology (visited by IT specialists)
  • – IT forum about new advances in telecommunication, hardware and software, Internet, and other technical issues.

Organizational use

Large numbers of companies have setup Facebook pages and created profiles on other social media networks to get in touch with their customers and advertise their business. Travelling, studying and working in Europe is considered a means of connecting Latvia with other countries. For Latvians who live abroad and for foreigners that are interested in Latvia, various website, portals and blogs were created to showcase Latvia and provide access to opportunities. Latvians Online is the biggest global site for information about Latvia. As with many other European countries, Latvian government is investing heavily in digital literacy skills, aiming to contribute to the Digital Agenda in Europe. See for more details:

Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business

Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics:

Before you start the course please complete this short MOOC entrance survey.

How to develop a personal brand online (1/12)

  • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference.
  • Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you.

How to use Twitter (2/12)

  • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile.
  • Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far!

How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12)

  • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services.
  • These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation.

How to use social media for international business development (4/12)

  • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with?
  • Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks.

How to use Facebook (5/12)

  • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual.
  • Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them.

How to use YouTube (6/12)

  • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project.
  • Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile.

How to use LinkedIn (7/12)

  • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries.
  • Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile.

How to use Google+ (8/12)

  • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013.
  • It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine.
  • Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles.

How to use copywriting online (9/12)

  • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text.
  • Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here.

How to stay legal on social media (10/12)

  • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access.
  • Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online.

How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12)

  • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online.
  • How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements.

How to blog (12/12)

  • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms.
  • Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC.
  • Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag.

Please complete the MOOC exit survey.

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