Social media as a strategy for enhancing competitiveness among online SME's in Nairobi County, Kenya
Information technology has influenced the way in which business is conducted globally, resulting in, for example, a faster turnaround of products and production, smart products, and 24 hours of shopping around the world. Some small business owners in Nairobi have embraced use of social media platforms to enable them improve their customer experience and advertise their products and services on a relatively low budget. As a result, those SMEs with online presence and on social media, have managed to enhance their competitiveness over their counterparts who have not mapped their business on social media. Unfortunately, many small businesses online do not see the importance of using social media for their business. The purpose of this study was to establish how social media strategy has helped to enhance competitiveness among online SMEs in Nairobi to grow their business and use social media to engage consumers. A survey is conducted that engages with the small business owner, and accompanied by an analysis of the business‘s views on social media usage and performance. The results of the survey reveal that a number of small business owners are still ignorant of using social media to boost their business and assist them acquire competitiveness over fellow SMEs on social media. The study concludes with a discussion of the lessons learned from the research. The research tries to find how social media can be used as a strategy for enhancing competitiveness among online SMEs in Nairobi County, Kenya. The research is based on the assumption that we are in a ―knowledge economy‖ with exposure to ICT technology in terms of mobile phones with internet and computers. The most important asset in the new economy is knowledge, which is what businesses sell online and customers buy. The products are more knowledgeable and the customer demands are sophisticated. Businesses still need to invest a lot of time to exploit social media and be ahead of their competitors. The findings from the SMEs replies to the questionnaire reflect the need for further investigation on how SMEs can achieve understanding of the knowledge economy and the effect social media on it. The majority of participants agree that to a large extent they rely on technology to run their businesses such as using email accounts for communication and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter for sourcing of new clients, and some admitted to have internet access.