Open Access Subscription Access
Social Media Marketing and SMEs:Is it a Winning Combination in Singapore? An Analysis
Increasing technological innovation and shrinking borders have resulted in stringent competition and have forced companies into seeking new ways for developing a competitive advantage. Since its introduction in 1989, the internet has taken over the globe as a storm. As of April 2018, the active internet user base has increased to 4087 million while active social media users have touched 3297 million users (Statista, 2018). Gone are the days when marketing was a one-way communication feeding method feeding customers with selective information (Ahmed, 2015). Internet and social media have now become an avenue for companies to target wider consumer base, interact with them and plan their marketing mix accordingly. With increasing penetration of internet across the globe, companies have started investing in digital marketing space to communicate with customers and enhance brand visibility. While internet penetration and social media usage have been on a high, the use of social media platforms as a marketing tool is still at a nascent stage. While companies have been exploring the benefits of social media; developing social media marketing strategies, having access to right talent, understanding digital consumer space, lack of clarity on evaluating ROI on social media and limited marketing budgets have been some of the major roadblocks that SMEs tend to face. The objective of the study is to explore if and how SMEs can win over the internet, the benefits of social media marketing and the challenges they face in implementing a well-defined social media marketing strategy. Considering high digital penetration and being a country with one of the highest active user bases, the Authors have zeroed in on Singapore as a target market to evaluate the objectives of the study.
Small Medium Enterprise, Social Media Marketing Strategy, Adoption, Social Media Usage.
- Ahmed, M. (2015), Social Media Today. [Online] Available at: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/masroor/2015-05-28/social-media-biggest-influencer-buying-decisions [Accessed 19 November 2017].
- Andzulis, J., Panagopoulos, N., & Rapp, A. (2012), “A Review of Social Media and Implications for the Sales Process”, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Vol. 32(3), pp. 305-316.
- Ashworth, C. (2011), The Impact of Social Media on SME Online Retailing in the Fashion Sector. Liverpool: Patterson.
- Babbie, E. (2011), The Practice of Social Research. 13th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
- Baker, M. J. & Hart, S. (2016), The Marketing Book. 7th ed. New York: Routledge.
- Barnes, D. et al., (2012), “Web 2.0 and microbusinesses: an exploratory investigation”. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 19(4), pp. 687-711.
- Bodnar, K. & Cohen, J., (2012), The B2B Social Media Book: Become a Marketing Superstar by Generating Leads with Blogging, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Email, and more.. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Brancheau, J. & Buckland, B., (1996), “Adoption of Information Technology among Small Businesses: Compating Classical and Knowledge-Based Diffusion Models”. UUnpublished Paper, p. 38.
- Bryman, A. & Bell, E., (2015), Business Research Methods. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bulearca, M. & Bulearca, S., (2010), Twitter: A viable marketing tool for SMEs?. Global Business and Management Research. An International Journal, Vol. 2(4), pp. 296-309.
- Casalo, L. V., Flavian, C. & Miguel, G., (2008),” Promoting Consumer’s Participation in Virtual Brand Communities: A New Paradigm in Branding Strategy”. Journal of Marketing Communications, Vol. 14, pp. 19-36.
- Casteleyn, J., Mottart, A. & Rutten, K., (2009), How to use Facebook in your market research. International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 51(4), pp. 439-447.
- Channel NewsAsia, (2015), Channel NewsAsia. [Online] Available at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/smes-to-get-more-help-for-innovation-digital-and-mobile-marketin-8269958 [Accessed 30 November 2017].
- Chu, S.-C., (2011), “Viral Advertising in Social Media: Participation in Facebook gropus and responses among collegeaged users”. Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 12, pp. 30-43.
- Diamond, S., (2008), Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth. 1st ed. Illinois: Sourcebooks Inc..
- Dornyei, Z., (2007), Research Methods in Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Evans, D., (2012), Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. 2nd ed. Indiana: John Wiley & Sons Inc..
- Facebook, (2017). Facebook. [Online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/business [Accessed 8 December 2017].
- Falls, J. & Deckers, E.,(2012), No Bullshit Social Media - The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. 1st ed. Indiana: Que Publishing.
- Fauser, S., Wiedenhofer, J. & Lorenz, M., (2011), “An explorative study about using the social web for influencing purchase decisions”. Touchpoint Social Web, 9(1).
- Fischer, E. & Reuber, A., (2011), “Social interaction via new social media: How can interactions on Twitter affect efffectual thinking and behaviour”. Journal of Business Venturing, Vol. 26, pp. 1-18.
- Gambetti, R. C. & Graffigna, G., (2010), “The Concept of Engagement”. International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 52(6), pp. 801-826.
- Gilmore, A., Carson, D. & Rocks, S., (2006), “Networking in SMEs: Evaluating its contribution to marketing activity”. International Business Review, Vol. 15(3), pp. 278-293.
- Gordhamer, S., (2009). Mashable Asia. [Online] Available at: http://mashable.com/2009/09/22/social-media-business/#A78_hD0L8iq4 [Accessed 11 November 2017].
- Grandon, E. & Pearson, J., (2004), “Electronic commerce adoption: an empirical study of small and medium US businesses”. Information & Management, Vol. 42(1), pp. 197-216.
- Guesalaga, R., (2016), “The Use of Social Media in Sales: Individual and organizational antecedents, and the role of customer engagement in social media”. Industrial Marketing Journal, Vol. 54, pp. 71-79.
- Hanna, R., Rohm, A. & Crittenden, V., (2011), “We’re all connected: The Power of the Social Media”. Business Horizons, Vol. 50, pp. 39-48.
- Hays, S., Page, S. & Buhalis, D., (2013), “Social Media as a Destination Marketing Tool: Its use by national tourism organisation”. Current Issues in Tourism, Vol. 16(3), pp. 211-239.
- Heinonen, K., (2011), “Consumer Activity in Social Media: Managerial approaches to consumers’ social media behavior”. Journal of Consumer Behavior, Vol. 10, pp. 356-364.
- Holloman, C., (2012), The Social Media MBA: your competitive edge in social media strategy development and delivery. 1st ed. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Hubspot, (2016). The State of Inbound 2016. [Online] Available at: https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/53/HubSpot-State-of-Inbound-Report-2016.pdf [Accessed 30 November 2017].
- Ismail, N., (2015). Marketing Interactive. [Online] Available at: http://www.marketing-interactive.com/online-shoppers-demand-flexibility/ [Accessed 30 November 2017].
- Kaplan, A. & Haenlein, M., (2010), Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, Vol. i(53), pp. 59-68.
- Keating, R., Hendy, H. & Can, K., (2015), “Demographic and psychosocial variables associated with good and bad perceptions of social media use”. Computers in Human Behavior, Vol. 57, pp. 93-98.
- Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P. & Silvestre, B. S., (2011), “Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media”. Business Horizons, Vol. 54, pp. 241-251.
- LeBoeuf, M., (2008), How To Win Customers and Keep Them for Life. Revised ed. s.l.:Berkley.
- Leeflang, P., Verhoef, P., Dahlstrom, P. & Freundt, T., (2014), “Challenges and solutions for marketing in a digital era”. European management journal, Vol. 32(2), pp. 2-12.
- Lin, Y. & Toh, R. Y., (2017). Straitstimes. [Online] Available at: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/12hr-42min-connected-for-hours [Accessed 30 November 2017].
- Mangold, W. & Faulds, D., (2009), “Social Media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix”. Business Horizons, Vol. 52(4), pp. 357-365.
- Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N. & Christodoulides, G., (2011), “Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands”. Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 40(7), pp. 1153-1159.
- Palmer & Lewis, (2009), “An experiential, social network-based approach to direct marketing”. Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3(3), pp. 162-176.
- Ryschka, A., Domke-Damonte, D., Keels, J. & Nagel, R., (2016), “The Effect of Social Media on Reputation during a Crisis Event in the Crusie Line Industry”. International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, Vol. 17(2), pp. 198-221.
- Safko, L. & Brake, D. K., (2009), The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success. 1st ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
- Schaffer, N., (2013), Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide in Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Successs. 1st ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
- Sernovitz, A., (2015), Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. 4th ed. US: PressBox Publishing.
- Siamagka, N., Christodoulides, G., MichaelidoU, N. & Valvi, A., (2015), “Determinants od Social Media Adoption by B2B organizations”. Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 51, pp. 89-99.
- Sigala, M., (2012), “Social networks and customer involvement in new service development (NSD): The case of www.mystarbucksidea.cim”. International Journal in Hospitality Management, Vol. 24(7), pp. 966-990.
- Silverman, D., (2015), Interpreting Qualitative data. 5th ed. London: Sage Publications.
- Singapore Digital Marketing Statistics, (2017), Digital Influence Lab. [Online] Available at: http://digitalinfluencelab.com/singapore-digital-marketing-stats-2017/ [Accessed 30 November 2017].
- Statista, (2017), Statista - The Statistic Portal. [Online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/277229/facebooks-annual-revenue-and-net-income/ [Accessed 29 October 2017].
- Statista, (2017), The Statistics Portal. [Online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/ [Accessed 28 October 2017].
- Stelzner, M., (2017), 2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses, s.l.: SocialMedia Examiner.
- Tan, Angela, (2017), The Business Times. [Online] Available at: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/consumer/7-in-10-singaporeans-use-social-media-on-mobile-double-global-average-survey [Accessed 19 November 2017].
- Techcove, (2017), Digital Marketing, Facebook Advetising. [Online] Available at: https://techcove.org/digital-marketing/singapore-smes-startups-companies-use-facebook-advertising/ [Accessed 3 December 2017].
- Toh , M. H. & Shandre M, T., (2016), Productivity In Singapore’s Retail And Food Services Sectors: Contemporary Issues. Singapore: World Scientific.
- Trusov, M., Bucklin, R. & Pauwels, K., (2009), “Effects of word-of-mouth versus traditional marketing: Findings from an internet social networking site”. Journal of Marketing, Vol. 73(5), pp. 90-102.
- UPS Connect,(2016), 2016 State of Small Business, US: Wasp Barcode Technologies.
- Weinberg, B. & Pehlivan, E., (2011), “Social Spending: Managing the Social Media Mix”. Business Horizons, Vol. 54(3), pp. 275 - 282.
- Weinberg, T., (2009). The New Community Rules:Marketing on the Social Web. 1st ed. California: O’Reilly.
- Williams, C., (2007), “Research Methods”. Journal of Business & Economic Research, Vol. 5(3), pp. 65-72.
- WOMMA, (2015), Influencer Handbook: The Who, What,When, Where,How and Why of Influencer Marketing. 4th ed. Chicago: Paine Publishing.
- Wu, J.-J., Chen, Y.-H. & Chung, Y.-S., (2010), “Trust factors influencing virtual community members: a study of transaction communities”. Journal of Business Research, Vol. 9-10(63), pp. 1025-1032.
- Yam,Shirley, (2016). TongyLab. [Online] Available at: https://www.tangylab.com/top-3-social-media-in-singapore/ [Accessed 30 November 2017].
Abstract Views: 330
PDF Views: 30