Is Social Media Marketing Really Working?: Its Impact on the Relationships among Market Orientation, Entrepreneurial Orientation, and Business Performance

Is Social Media Marketing Really Working?: Its Impact on the Relationships among Market Orientation, Entrepreneurial Orientation, and Business Performance

Felipe Uribe Saavedra (Universidad EAFIT, Colombia), Josep Rialp Criado (Barcelona Autonomous University, Spain) and Joan Llonch Andreu (Barcelona Autonomous University, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6114-1.ch061
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Abstract

Online social networks have become the fastest growing phenomenon on the Internet and firms are beginning to take advantage of them as a marketing tool. However, the strategic importance of social media marketing is not yet clear, given the novelty and the difficulty of measuring its impact on business performance. This study uses data from 191 Spanish firms from several sectors to measure the impact of the intensity of use of social media marketing on the relationship between the dynamic capabilities of market orientation and entrepreneurial orientation, and business performance. The results provide evidence of the moderating effects of social media marketing intensity on the strength of the mentioned relations and the importance of a strong and committed marketing strategy on digital social networks for businesses.
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Introduction

The rise of online social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google +, My Space, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, has changed the way people communicate through the Internet. Companies have realised that their clients are part of online social networks and this awareness has increased the interest of marketers to explore them as a new marketing tool (Katona, Zubcsek & Sarvary, 2011). However, the strategic importance of online social networks as a marketing tool is not yet clear given the novelty and the difficulty of measuring their impact on business performance. In fact, marketers are so concerned at the present time because there is a complex problem to monetise and measure the actions carried out in the online social networks (Clemons, 2009).

Given the novelty of the phenomenon and its popularity, many firms have begun to use social media as a marketing tool, some of them even without any kind of strategy or plan. It is not clear if social media marketing could help firms to have better results, and our aim is to contribute with the crescent, but still limited study of the use of online social networks as a marketing tool and their impact over business performance. This study analyses the social media marketing intensity as a moderating variable between the constructs of market orientation, entrepreneurial orientation and business performance.

The remainder of this article is structured as follows. The first part presents a review of the literature on social media marketing, dynamic capabilities, market orientation, entrepreneurial orientation and business performance relation. The second part focuses on the research methodology, showing the data collection process and methodology used for this study. The third section shows the main results from an investigation among 191 Spanish firms from several sectors and sizes. Finally, we present the main conclusions, implications, limitations and future research.

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