Is Social Media a Passport to SMEs’ Foreign Market Entry?

Amélia Maria Pinto da Cunha Brandão, Inês Faria, Mahesh Gadekar

Abstract


Social media has provided opportunities for businesses to develop close relationships with customers leading to customers’ engagement as it influences loyalty and satisfaction, and assists in expanding the markets. While small and medium enterprises (SME) are at a disadvantage compared to large firms, establishing management control in a foreign market remains a challenge. In addition, a considerable number of studies on foreign market entry mode choice have concentrated on large firms. Moreover, social media has become increasingly relevant for SME to “level the playing ground” with large firms. However, little is known about the SME role in engaging with their customers and especially in how SME use social media capabilities.  We respond to this gap in the literature by exploring how SME use social media platforms to connect with customers in a foreign market. A qualitative analysis was conducted through in-depth interviews with six Portuguese firms. The findings indicate that social media provides a distinctive pathway to SME to connect emotionally with customers in a foreign market.


Keywords


customer brand engagement; social media; foreign market entry; SME; qualitative.

JEL Codes


F230; M310; M370.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.47743/saeb-2019-0016

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