Predicting SMEs use of business related social media
Background: There has been dramatic growth in the use of social media over the past number of years. This has influenced not just individuals, but importantly the way in which business now carry out their daily day-to-day business activities. Marketing and advertising strategies are now using social media to promote products, services and brand awareness. However, Small-Medium-Enterprises may not be adopting social media fully and thus missing out of gaining new customers, market share, sales and competitive advantage. Aim: The overall aim of this research is to understand the impact of each key attitudes, perceptions and abilities of SME owner/mangers around using and adopting social media within their business activities, through an application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour model. An expanded model measuring the role of online trust, security and privacy drivers was conceptualised. Methodology: A mix-methodology employing cross-sectional qualitative (in-depth interview) and quantitative (online survey) approaches was formulated based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour model. In total six professionals took part in the interviews while 89 SMEs completed the survey. Findings & Conclusion: Analysis identified specific advantages and disadvantages in regards to using business related social media. Additionally, social pressures, barriers and facilitators experienced by owner/mangers were also identified. Statistically, the TPB had a significant impact on owner/mangers decision making processes around using social media; however trust, security and privacy had no significant impact. Importantly, owner/mangers social media usage was influence by their own decisions solely and not their personal abilities. . Overall, most SMEs used social media, however few were able to measure its return-on-investment for the business. The study identified a need for further research within this area and specific training around measuring return-on-investment. All findings were discussed in light of current research and literature.
- Theses - Business LYIT 
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