Using social media to market a promotional event to SMEs: opportunity or wasted effort?

  • Published December 14, 2016
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    Volume 14 2016, Issue #4 , pp. 76-82
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    9 articles

Much has been said about the advantages of using social media in the marketing of brands and products of companies. Marketing, as we knew it in the past millennia, has changed dramatically and is evolving at a faster pace than ever. Traditional media, such as print and broadcast, are becoming more obsolete and largely replaced by social media platforms. These platforms are growing and expanding in leaps and bounds and have become potent instruments of marketing. It is up to organizations to use these platforms to market their brands, services and business, as it can have a profound effect on the success and growth. This is even truer in the case of entrepreneurs who are generally younger and more technology savvy and who use social media for all means and purposes. The purpose of this research study was, therefore, to investigate the use of social media among institutions that focus on specific events such as a business plan competition and to establish to what extent the use of these social media tools were used or effectively used to communicate the event to SMEs. A web-based self-administered questionnaire was distributed among the respondents of a business plan competition. A total of 992 useable responses were received. The findings mainly revealed that institutions that use social media in their marketing drive either do not plan properly for the use of it, or is careless in their approach to these tools. The results pointed to a large number of respondents (55%) who were not even aware that social media tools were used in the promotion of the competition.

Keywords: social media, SME, special event marketing, marketing, usage, promotional mix elements, South Africa.
JEL Classification: M13

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