Challenges associated with the adoption of social media: towards training needs analysis in the web-marketing sector

Alotaibi, Basma, Dafoulas, George ORCID logoORCID: and Loveday, Joanna ORCID logoORCID: (2015) Challenges associated with the adoption of social media: towards training needs analysis in the web-marketing sector. ICERI2015 Proceedings. In: 8th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2015), 18-20 Nov 2015, Seville, Spain. ISBN 9788460826576. ISSN 2340-1095 [Conference or Workshop Item]


The role of social media has been investigated in a number of sectors around the world, ranging from customer relationship management and marketing to sales and training support. It is quite common for multi-national firms to integrate the use of social media in business strategy, with dedicated budget and resources. Increasingly, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), although they face challenges in relation to their available resources and ability to adopt social media technologies and practices, they still show significant increase in the deployment of social media platforms.

There is a current gap in the literature in the field of SME adoption of social media as most work focuses on large corporations. This paper discusses how the authors have identified the need to investigate how the role of social media in SMEs depends on their readiness and maturity for implementing such solutions. The paper discusses a proposed framework for assessing SME readiness for social media adoption and determining the maturity level of an organisation for deploying and effectively using a social media.

The underlying research aims to test the outcomes of a multi-methodological approach involving the use of pilot studies in social media adoption in educational settings. The paper describes the way learning needs analysis for social media adoption helps to enhance learning experiences. As a result of preliminary pilot studies a proposed framework for assessing the readiness of organisations for social media adoption. The authors’ aim is to assess whether the framework’s dimensions and factors can be used in the investigation of training needs in the web-marketing sector.

The paper discusses findings from pilot studies in higher education involving students who have actively engaged in social media for web marketing and established corresponding web marketing strategies. The paper’s contribution is mainly through the identified dimensions, factors and criteria that can be used for training needs analysis in SME settings for the use of social media in the marketing industry. The discussion of the pilot study findings on social media adoption and the presentation of literature review findings justify the key dimensions included in the proposed framework.

The paper also provides a brief discussion on future work relating to the application of the framework on the marketing sector of SMEs in Saudi Arabia. This study is sponsored from the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia, aiming at supporting the adoption of social media at a national level and providing guidelines for its effective use.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 18110
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Depositing User: George Dafoulas
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2015 10:35
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:05

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