Social Media Marketing in Trinidad and Tobago: The SME Context

Social Media Marketing in Trinidad and Tobago: The SME Context

Natasha Ramkissoon-Babwah, Shevaughn Darion Racha
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/JMME.2020070105
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The objective of this research was to examine the utilization of social media by SMEs as a marketing tool in Trinidad and Tobago. A review of the literature in the field was undertaken on themes such as social media marketing, the value of social media for SMEs, and the challenges to implementing social media campaigns. The empirical process consisted of 35 qualitative semi-structured interviews with SMEs throughout Trinidad and Tobago to examine the experiences and impact of their social media strategies. The participants had businesses in sectors such as food and beverage, clothing, health and wellness, and sporting goods. The study concluded by giving recommendations such as developing a formal system to manage social media performance, conducting a due diligence before social media channel selection, embarking on and developing a strategic marketing plan for SMEs when the decision has been made to incorporate the tools of social media as a significant marketing channel.
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Literature Review

A major advantage of integrating social media into a marketing strategy is that it allows a higher degree of customer engagement. In her study, (Garcia, 2011) noted that engagement has a vital role in the success of social media marketing and further explained that social media allows for the placement of content via the Internet which then produces engagement from within similar groups which then extends further into the overall social networking system because of the “two-way street'” interaction process. In addition, social media allows for customers to generate product and service reviews and make recommendations on products or services which functions as a feedback mechanism. This concept is known as the Social Media Integration Model and demonstrates the organic nature of social media.

In addition (Garcia, 2011) further emphasizes that once content is fed into the social media ‘eco-system’, then it will begin to grow organically on its own and then flows without deliberate influence. This, is made possible by the communication which takes place between consumers on the social media platform.

These views are further supported by (Fischer & Reuber, 2011) who explains that social media provides the opportunity for social interactions between consumers and firms and can further allow companies to create a relationship with their customers. Furthermore, social media marketing focuses more on creativity, community, and relationship building to achieve traditional goals utilizing non-traditional methods at a much lower cost to achieve marketing objectives (Toh & Shandre, 2016)

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