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Use of Social Networks in Small and Medium Enterprises: The Case of Algarve

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Abstract

The present work aims at analyzing the use of social networks for the performance of SME (small and médium enterprises) in Algarve, having completed a questionnaire. The empirical study reveals that the collected data (from 70 firms) have good psychometric qualities. It validated that some firms already have an integrated business strategy with social networks, as well as a group of individuals within the enterprise responsible for its involvement in these networks. The data show that the most performed activities are: communicating with customers, being closer to potential customers, and marketing. However, these firms also use social networks for other activities such as: analyzing their competitors and behavioral patterns, knowing trends, cooperation, fidelization, internationalization, new products’ launching, new brands and businesses, opinion searching, new ideas, and recruitment. Data also showed that few SME are using social networks for promotions and technical assistance. Most entrepreneurs/managers consider that social networks enhance the performance of their firms, but few really measure the results obtained. The firms that most frequently accede to social networks are those whose entrepreneur/manager has a higher level of qualifications. In addition, the SME that most use these networks are from services and hotel/restaurant/bar sectors.

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  • Belo, Ana Gago & Castela, Guilherme & Fernandes, Silvia, 2013. "Use of Social Networks in Small and Medium Enterprises: The Case of Algarve," Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers 2013-8, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:cieodp:2013_008
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    1. Duque, José & Panagopoulos, Thomas, 2010. "Urban Planning throughout environmental quality and human well-being," Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers 2010-5, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve.
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    Keywords

    Social Networks; SME; Performance; Involvement;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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