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Impact of Social Media Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs

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Abstract

The main objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of social media applications on small business entrepreneurs. It also examines how small business owners are motivated to use social media applications. Social media has completely transformed the way businesses are done. Social media applications in the present time have become the most efficient and effective tool for small business entrepreneurs, and normally all small businesses use social media platforms for the advertising and publicity of their products and services. They make fan pages for their followers, and they warmly welcome their suggestions and opinions, which help in improving their businesses. However, based on literature review, we conclude that there is a positive impact of social media applications on small business entrepreneurs as well as they are highly motivated to use these platforms.
Volume 6 • Issue 3 • 1000203
Arabian J Bus Manag Review
ISSN: 2223-5833 AJBMR an open access journal
Research Article Open Access
Arabian Journal of Business and
Management Review
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ISSN: 2223-5833
Shabbir et al., Arabian J Bus Manag Review 2016, 6:3
http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2223-5833.1000203
Keywords: Social media applications; Small business; Motivated and
publicity
Introduction
e purpose of this paper is to determine the impact of social media
applications on small businesses and how social media can help
small businesses to spread out their businesses by using social media
applications. Now a day’s internet surfing becomes an essential
part of our life from shopping to electronic mails and education.
Internet is very beautiful progress of technology and when we talk
about social media networks it is extremely beneficial for every
type of businesses and entrepreneurs and it became very common
and widespread in past few years. In today’s world the majority
of businesses use social media to enhance their relationships with
consumers. Social media gives a new way to businesses that are
communicating with the customer’s; it’s totally transforming the
way of business. It is an online application that enables their users to
interact with each other’s. It includes creating and sharing contents
of their businesses. As compared to traditional media which only
deliver content social promote active user participation. There is
great variety of social media ranging from social networks (face
book, LinkedIn) private social networks (yammer, social cast, jive)
content sharing websites (YouTube, flicker) to wikis (Wikipedia)
blogs (blogger, word press) and micro blogs (twitter).
Social media networks are gateways for company to prot and grow
in the industry. Companies are increasingly keen to use social media
for business purposes in particular as part of their communication,
marketing and recruitment strategy. Social networking has become daily
practice in user’s lives. It is not only oering extensive opportunities
but also present signicant challenges for employers. Small business
entrepreneurs use social media applications to spread their businesses
by using large range of weak ties and the signicance of weak ties in
the network of small business owners are identied by Granovetter
[1] and Burt [2]. e purpose of weak ties is to collect information
regarding business by small business owners. And the reason for using
social media applications is to maintaining the connection with weak
ties. It will help in building a good reputation for business. It helps
to communicate between customers (current and potential) in term of
feedback, product development and denition and customer service
and support. Social media become one of the easiest ways to improve
productivity. However, Shabbir [3] elaborates that market innovation
is a comprehensive tool in order to meet the needs and wants of their
target customers.
Literature review
Since the inception of Social networks in 1997, with the launching
features of blogging and posting through web 2.0 named as six degress.
com. e basic purpose of this site was to facilitate people in terms of
social connectivity via LinkedIn, My Space as well as advance mode of
face book and other soware’s like Orkut, Google talk, Skype, Hangout
and what-up etc. Cheung and Lee [4] stated that, “the decision to use
online social networking technologies represents a social phenomenon
that largely depends on the interactions” and concludes observing that
“the driving forces behind online social networks are connections and
community, and the usage is largely depended on subjective norm and
social identity”. Mangold and Faulds [5] dened that “Social media is a
hybrid element of promotion mix because in traditional sense it enables
companies to talk their customers while in a non-traditional sense it
enables customers to talk directly to one another. e key factor behind
the performance of Management is based as team work, while the progress
of employee’s depending upon leadership of the management. However,
the term management is not only consisting on rm level but also for
Institutions, Economy and State levels respectively Shahzad and Rehman
[6]. With the help of social media people enjoying their lives smoothly and
remain connect with their love-ones, as well as it provides salient pieces
of information for dierent purposes [7], social media can be named as
consumer generated media, new media and citizen media.
Social Media eories and Laws
ere are many theories to explain the phenomenon of social
media that hit the individual’s life in or some other way.
Social cognitive theory
According to this theory, individual are good observers as they
learn from other via observation. For example in 1960s Albert Bandura
*Corresponding author: Malik Shahzad Shabbir, International Islamic University
Islamabad, Pakistan, Tel: 0343-6656850; E-mail: mshahzad786.pk11@gmail.com
Received January 04, 2016; Accepted January 20, 2016; Published January 27,
2016
Citation: Shabbir MS, Ghazi MS, Mehmood AR (2016) Impact of Social Media
Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs. Arabian J Bus Manag Review 6:
203. doi:10.4172/2223-5833.1000203
Copyright: © 2016 Shabbir MS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed
under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits
unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the
original author and source are credited.
AImpact of Social Media Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs
Malik Shahzad Shabbir*, Muhammad Saarim Ghazi and Atta Rasool Mehmood
International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan
Abstract
The main objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of social media applications on small business
entrepreneurs. It is also examined how small business owners are motivated to use social media applications.
Social media completely transformed the way of businesses. Social media applications in the present time have
become most efcient and effective tool for small business entrepreneurs and normally all small business use
social media platform for the advertising and publicity of their products and services, they make fan pages for the
followers and they warmly welcome the suggestions and opinions which help in improving their business. However,
based on literature review I concluded that there is a positive impact of social media applications on small business
entrepreneurs as well as they are highly motivated to use this platform.
Citation: Shabbir MS, Ghazi MS, Mehmood AR (2016) Impact of Social Media Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs. Arabian J Bus Manag
Review 6: 203. doi:10.4172/2223-5833.1000203
Page 2 of 3
Volume 6 • Issue 3 • 1000203
Arabian J Bus Manag Review
ISSN: 2223-5833 AJBMR an open access journal
the nontechnology and traditional organizations. Based on survey
results he nds application of social media by businesses is inclined
more towards communication to the customer in the traditional
sense like branding, public relations and lead generation rather than
communication with the customer, understanding the customer and
internal communications. e strategies of small business are to adopt
micro blogging to make direct connect with individual who has some
interest in their business Shabbir [13]. Gunther et al. [14] says that
social media helps small business entrepreneurs to build their small
community over that media for smooth interaction with their partners.
e motivation for adopting micro blogging by small business
entrepreneurs has been to make connections more appropriately
directed connection with people who have same or common business
interest and hence the businesses especially small and medium
enterprises are trying to adopt micro blogging as evident from the
studies of Gunther et al., [14], Meyer and Dibbern [15], Fischer and
Reuber [16], Riemer and Richter [17]. ere is a new trend of using face
book by small business users due to cost saving as well time saving in
order to promote their products as well as use face book for connecting
themselves with weak ties and career advancement. Fischer and Reuber
[16] say that “in the relatively few scholarly studies that consider how
such social media may benet rms, the majority has focused on social
media as marketing tools and also suggest that entrepreneurs who have
used twitter that “entrepreneur learned that he could connect to his
customers even more eectively than he had been doing”.
Now a days, small businesses use assortment of applications in
social media to enhance their business growth as well as for publicity.
As, large number of related eld join their pages that’s why they earn
more and share knowledge with each other’s, results in expansion
of their businesses. With the passage of time, no doubt in it that
technology is becoming faster and faster as well as making lives of
individuals easier, on the other hand the opportunists taking advantage
of this facility and brining new ideas on the facets. Entrepreneur will
use the face book to connect to its weak ties or try to increase contact
with existing strong ties. Small business use social media more because
it is all about socializing and sharing opinions. ese opinions can be
expressed as written entries in the form of blog posts or comments,
video presentations and votes on social media sites. ese opinions are
direct and unltered Shabbir [18]. e openness of these opinions is
one of the main changes social media introduced to the relationship
between business and customers.
Entrepreneurs use social media as a marketing tool because through
this tool they can build quickly a network of supporters which is vital
for business growth. Because these supporters keep bring a customer’s/
business for small business entrepreneurs by referring it to others. Social
media helps to create a long term relationship between businesses and
customers. But there is some issues related to social media in rst is that
worries businesses concerning the implementation of social media is
the lack of consensuses on how two implement dierent activities as the
platforms and the technologies are so dynamic and there has not been a
clear guideline for businesses as to how to utilize them. Mostly business
use their own experimental approach to achieve a better result and this
has somehow made the task more challenging. Second is implementing
Social Media is the task of setting a clear objective and large number
of businesses join the social media every year but those who maintain
their online presence eectively are relatively low, this is because many
of those businesses launch the social media campaign without clear
strategic goal. Gillin [19] explains probably most businesses want to
experiment the technology or maybe they are attracted by the low cost
[8] (a pioneer in social cognitive theory) argued that when people see
someone else awarded for behavior they tend to behave the same way
to attain an award. People are also more likely to imitate those whom
they identify.
e social presence theory
Relates to how much intimacy we can achieve using technology. In
1990 Fulk [9] argues basically that the more physical contact we have
the greater the presence. Greater presence causes greater intimacy. e
less the personal communication, the less social value it has. Examples
email, text messaging, chat rooms interaction will have less value than
phone which has less value than sitting across the table from someone.
Media richness theory
It is presented by Da and Lengel in 1986 [10]. And they argued
through communication problems/ambiguity can be solved. For
example a phone call will not be able to produce gestures. is makes
it less rich than video conferencing which is able to communicate
gestures to some extent but more rich than email.
Media Laws
Some of important Media Laws are as below.
Sarno’s law
David Sarno is pioneer of broadcasting business and a founder
of NBC presents this law. is law states that “the value of a network
increases linearly the more people on that network”. Which means a
network with one hundred participants is worth ten times more than
a network with only ten members. However, the drawback of Sarno’s
law is that it is applicable only for one-way media like television, radio
where there is no interaction between the sender and receiver.
Metcalf’s law
In 1980 Robert Metcalfe presents this law. is law states that
Value of network goes up when more and more nodes are connected
to each other. But according to Evans [11] the disadvantage of this
law is that it assumes interactions, and is only applicable to two-way
communications such as email and telephone conversations.
Reed’s law
Postulated by David P Reed, Reed’s Law is also known as “e Law
of the Pack” is a mathematical explanation of the power of a network.
Reed’s Law states that network value increased when new individual
join the same network. Evans [11] states that the value of a network
increases more than preceding two laws during the formation of groups
and communities via the inter-connections among themselves. He
states that Reeds law has considerably more coverage as it reinforces
a new layer of groups such as in social network sites which creates sub
groups and communities. According Evans [11], typical examples of
Reed’s Law are social media and the communities formed there in.
However a drawback of the absence of human elements in computer
networks is that it presumes unlimited number of senders and receivers
and complete interaction.
Social Media and Small Business
All most all business takes into consideration of usage of social
media in order to market / branding some product. Small businesses
use social media application as a marketing tool for the branding and
marketing of their products. A practical approach has been followed
by Karkkainen [12] investigating general companies to actually see
how much of the social media application has actually penetrated
Citation: Shabbir MS, Ghazi MS, Mehmood AR (2016) Impact of Social Media Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs. Arabian J Bus Manag
Review 6: 203. doi:10.4172/2223-5833.1000203
Page 3 of 3
Volume 6 • Issue 3 • 1000203
Arabian J Bus Manag Review
ISSN: 2223-5833 AJBMR an open access journal
of entry and he suggests experimenting is better than inaction, but
better to have a plan. Tuten [20] suggests if a business is to benet from
social media marketing, the rst step in the process should be to set
objectives for the campaign, as setting objective is a critical step in any
communication and marketing planning process. According to him,
any marketing campaign without an objective cannot be measured and
evaluated and unless we are able to measure the performance it can be
considered a waste of an eort.
eoretical Framework
e eoretical framework is shown in Figure 1.
However, the above theoretical framework elaborates that Small
business entrepreneurs treats as Dependent variable and Social media
applications such as (Google Plus, Face Book, Twitter, LinkedIn and
You Tube etc.) are independent variables [21]. It is noted that every
social media has its own importance in the market and it’s also
dependent upon usage and demand of the people. Some of small
business entrepreneurs don’t have their proper websites and they made
their business pages on these social media’s to catch the demands of
target customers in a cheaper way.
Conclusion
Social media applications in today’s world become most ecient
eective tool for small business entrepreneurs and normally all small
business use social media platform for the advertising and publicity of
their product and they make fan pages for the followers and they warmly
welcome the suggestions and opinions which help in improving the
business. Based on theories and laws it is clear that if small businesses
social media tools with right approach and clear goals they can easily
reach to their target customers and by using in right approach social
media helps to build a long term relationship with business and
customer. Social media provides an opportunity to both consumers
and business entrepreneurs to communicate eectively. Social media
can help small businesses to spread out their businesses by using large
range of weak ties but there is some issues with social media which is
faced by the small business such as technologies are so dynamic and
has not been a clear guideline for businesses as to how to utilize them
and they launch social media campaign without clear strategic goals.
So as per my observation by reading the literature review, social media
applications has positive impact on small business entrepreneurs and
entrepreneurs are highly motivated to use this platform because it
requires minimum budget or even free in most social media websites
to advertise their products and social media creates an interaction and
customer perception is inclusive and participatory and social media
provides real time feedback handling opportunities.
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Small business
entrepreneurs
Social media
applications
GOOGLE PLUS
FACE BOOK
TWITTER
LINKEDIN
YOU TUBE etc
Figure 1: Theoretical framework.
Citation: Shabbir MS, Ghazi MS, Mehmood AR (2016) Impact of Social Media
Applications on Small Business Entrepreneurs. Arabian J Bus Manag Review
6: 203. doi:10.4172/2223-5833.1000203
... ). There are several social media platforms, ranging from social networks to private social networks, blogs, and micro-blogs(Shabbir et al., 2016). Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WordPress, YouTube, Flikr, Google+, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, and Snapchat are just a few of the prominent and frequently used social networking platforms. ...
... Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber, WordPress, YouTube, Flikr, Google+, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, and Snapchat are just a few of the prominent and frequently used social networking platforms. Despite its start in 1997(Shabbir et al., 2016), social media had a surge in the year 2000, with a significant growth in the number of social networking sites(Kadam & Ayarekar, 2014). As a consequence, the way consumers P a g e | 19"Factors Leading to the Growth of Social Media Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh: An Empirical Study" ...
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Full-text available
Social media has revolutionized not only the means of communication among individuals but also the forms of entrepreneurship. A new paradigm of conducting business has emerged as a result of the use of this platform, in which anybody with the ability to start a firm does not require a lot of infrastructure, money, or risk to do so. This study aims to analyze "social media entrepreneurship" and the factors impacting the growth of social media entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. This study investigates the growth of social media entrepreneurship in the context of Bangladesh based on the predictors, i.e., technical adaptability, cost efficiency, network building, multi-channel of social media, accessibility of social media, promotion and branding on social media, and work-life balance. It is a quantitative study that considers 180 entrepreneurs from Bangladesh. A structured online-administrated survey questionnaire was utilized to collect data by using a non-probability convenience sampling technique. In analyzing the data, frequency distribution has undertaken to understand the demographic and business trends of social media entrepreneurs. Correlation analysis, regression analysis, and finally exploratory factor analysis have been carried out. The overall strength of the correlation between the explanatory variables and the dependent variable is highly significant, with an R value indicating that the regression model can explain 87.2 percent of the data. The six variables can explain 75.1 percent of the variance in Bangladeshi social media entrepreneurship growth, according to the adjusted R square value. The F value of the regression model is 78.314, showing a greater association between the independent and dependent variables. All the predictors have a significant effect on the growth of social media entrepreneurship, except cost efficiency and network building. The findings of the regression analysis, the Multi-Channel of Social Media (MCSM) is the most potent independent variable among the other independent variables, contributing significantly to the growth of social media entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. Finally, the results of the factor analysis revealed four more factors, the first factor is perceived usefulness; the second is social media performance expectancy; the third is the availability of entrepreneurial opportunities; and the fourth is social media real-time communication. Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Social Media Entrepreneurship, Correlation analysis, Regression analysis, Factor analysis.
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This publication contains reprint articles for which IEEE does not hold copyright. Full text is not available on IEEE Xplore for these articles.
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