Purpose: The social media have enabled companies to reach out to global markets and provided them with the opportunity to customize their strategies and offerings in an unprecedented way. Given the scant empirical evaluation of social media use in the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) business-to-business (B-to-B) context, this paper aims to offer a comprehensive description of the antecedents and consequences of social media use in international B-to-B SMEs and the way in which this use affects their export performance. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a sample of 277 British B-to-B SMEs and uses positivist research with a quantitative approach, adopting a survey strategy through questionnaires and structural equation modeling. Findings: The results reveal that the use of social media influences export performance through the quality of international business contacts – understanding customers’ views and preferences, brand awareness and knowledge of the competition in various international markets. This study contributes to the emerging literature on B-to-B SMEs digital marketing by determining the mechanism through which B-to-B SMEs may benefit from using the social media in their efforts to export. Originality/value: Despite the promising potential of the social media, especially for export-oriented companies, very limited attention has hitherto been paid to the relationship between the use of social media and export performance. This study attempts to fill the gap by investigating the extent to which actual use of social media impacts on the performance of exporting firms.
- Export Performance
- Social media marketing
- Structural equation modeling (SEM)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management