Written by: Wael S. Basri (Northern Border University, Arar, Saudi Arabia) and Mohammed R. A. Siam* (School of Business Management, University Utara Malaysia)

Businesses are well known for devising novel techniques of business development, marketing strategies and enhancing brand awareness among their customers. In recent years, social media has emerged as an interesting opportunity for businesses to use it as an advertising platform for their business promotions, developing a brand awareness, educating masses about their products and their features. Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have become strategic components of marketing and business promotion activities.

As an entrepreneur of a SME, one must understand the value of strategizing and planning. It is important to prepare a detailed strategy in order to keep focus on the business, its product or services. One of several strategies that have emerged is to establishing the brand in the minds of the customers. It is recommended that startups must align their social media approach with their company culture, portraying their product or service.

Social media has a proven capacity to produce an impact in a number of ways like brand popularity, content distribution, community interaction, lead generation or customer acquisition. Startups that have lower budgets, lesser influence in comparison with the established companies can really make the most out of the social media platforms and utilize its immense benefits. However, despite such benefits, only a small number of startups are able to exploit social media to its fullest capacity.

Social media networks can provide a long-term growth to startups and SMEs. Entrepreneurs running small businesses and startups have limited resources and budgets; therefore, social media networks are used to promote their brand at very little financial cost. Moreover, social media has also proved to be a strong word-of-mouth advertising tool to market products and brand awareness.

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