Social Media Use in Small and Medium Enterprises: A Case of Fashion Industry Growth

Gekombe Caleb, Elly Tumsifu, Dev Jani


This paper aims to examine how social identity, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use influence the use of social media and thus growth of fashion SMEs in Kenya. The study was informed by Social Identity Theory, Technology Acceptance Model and Theory of Planned Behavior. A survey of 394 SMEs owner-managers from Nairobi and Kiambu counties using a structured questionnaire was conducted and data analyzed using structural equations modeling techniques. The findings show that social identity and perceived ease of use bear a significant influence on the usage of social media whereas perceived usefulness showed no significance in influencing owner-managers’ intention to use social media. The use of social media on the other hand had a significant influence on SME growth. Social media usage is considered useful in business but according to the study, there’s no motivation towards usage by the owner-mangers. Policy makers can therefore provide an enabling environment to encourage social media promotion especially for SMEs. The fashion industry in Kenya was also found to be highly dominated by the females as opposed to males with most of them employing the use of Facebook as opposed to other social media platforms. Further studies could find out why fashion dealers prefer to use Facebook more than any other social media platforms. Most of the existing research into the use of social media in business has almost exclusively investigated its use by large corporations. However, as there are low barriers to the use of social media, this paper examines how SMEs can make use of social media in the same ways that large corporates can, without the need for extensive resources.


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[ISSN 1821-7567 (Print)  & eISSN 2591-6947 (Online)]