An Exploration of the Role of Social Media Marketing For Irish Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Van-Geldere, Tallisa Delailah (2020) An Exploration of the Role of Social Media Marketing For Irish Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Masters thesis, Griffith College.

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The objective of this study was to explore the role of social media marketing on Irish SMEs by assessing the benefits and challenges of social media adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research was informed by the need to carry out an empirical analysis on the current state of social media usage amongst SMEs in Ireland, by discovering how well they used social media for business promotions and awareness, especially during the COVID-19 Era. Social media has become an essential tool in 21st-century marketing (Andzulis, Panagopoulos and Rapp, 2012). Due to its flexibility, ease of usage and ability to reach a wide range of individuals the tool has been adopted by a variety of industries. Reports have revealed that the adoption rate of social media by SMEs in Ireland is gradually on the increase, however, this cannot be compared to that of larger enterprises, this is due to certain challenges and weaknesses peculiar to SMEs (Bosua, Evans and Sawyers, 2013). This study thus tries to investigate the use of social media by SMEs as well as challenges faced by SMEs while adopting social media. The study builds on several pieces of conceptual literature concerning the adoption of social media, social media in crises and adoption of social media in Ireland. Furthermore, the study adopted the qualitative methodology which collects data from the conduct of semi-structured interviews. Five (5) interviews were conducted amongst SMEs owners in Ireland and analysis was made using the thematic process. Amongst the findings of the research, was that social media has been effectively utilised by SMEs in Ireland especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it aided communication, engagement and interaction with customers, it also enhanced business awareness further increasing the number of customers. The research discovered that the use of social media by SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly revolutionised the way business is carried out and subsequently increased sales and profits. The challenges faced by SMEs in social media adoption was prevalent due to existing government regulations on the use of social media for sales of some products during the COVID-19 era and also lack of usage of social media by older populations which limited the extent to which businesses could connect to older clients. The research thus recommends the effective use of social media by businesses especially through constant content creation and posting as social media is the 21st-century vogue of doing business.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social media marketing, Irish small and medium-sized enterprises.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Graduate Business School > MSc in International Business Management
Depositing User: Ms Tehseen Faisal
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2021 23:13
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2021 21:43

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