The Social Media and Entrepreneurship Growth (A New Business Communication Paradigm among SMEs in Nairobi)
Jagongo, A. O.
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Social media is a new phenomenon that has changed how the business environment operates. Businesses are able to gain access to resources that were otherwise not available to them. It has also helped businesses to increase their worthiness, cultivate strategic partnerships and increase their contact with customers and suppliers. It has become important for business owners and marketers to understand how social media work as a communication and marketing tool and how they can significantly grow their businesses. The study focused on establishing the effect of social media on the growth of SMEs in Nairobi. This was done by determining the effect of social media on the market access, customer relationship management, innovativeness and pricing of products of SMEs in Nairobi. The study used descriptive research design. Questionnaires were administered on 246 SMEs in Nairobi, with the respondents being either the owners or managers. Cluster sampling was used to divide the population of interest and then simple random probability sampling technique was used to further identify the specific businesses to be used for the study. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected and then analyzed using SPSS. The results of the study have been presented in tables and figures for easy interpretation. The study established that social media tools offer greater market accessibility and CRM which in turn have a significant impact on the growth of SMEs. On the other hand, the pricing of products and innovativeness aspects offered by social media have had very little impact to cause any growth in the SMEs. It revealed that geographical barriers can be broken down by the use of social media tools. Additionally, social media allows businesses to communicate speedily and cheaply with customers as well as allow them to construct a database that can be used to generate business leads that may translate to increased sales and thus grow the SMEs. The study recommends that policy makers such as the government should be keen on the current trends of technological adoption by SMEs to come up with policies that encourage best practices for the growth of the SME sector. Issues of copyright and privacy should also be addressed, and training of social media and provision of business solutions that would bridge the gap and encourage more SMEs to adopt the use of social media tools which would lead to their growth.