Many companies used creative measures on social media during the pandemic. This is not the case for SMEs. In her thesis "The Use of Social Media in the Communication Policy of SMEs in the Covid-19 Crisis", ISM alumna Rebecca presents the key problems SMEs face when using social media during the crisis and shows: Many opportunities remain untapped.
The opportunity to build relationships was neglected by many SMEs during the pandemic. Although SMEs consider social media indispensable, only a few have succeeded in replacing physical proximity with digital proximity. One reason for this is the lack of strategies and controlling approaches. The communication of SMEs is rarely oriented towards customer needs and channels. Instead, one message is used for different channels and target groups. The lack of resources is another reason. In the SMEs surveyed, the managers are responsible for social media, which, according to Rebecca, severely limits the companies' perspective on social media and is negative for the company's success. "There are positive examples, such as the baker who used social media to raise awareness of his yeast and flour stocks and was able to minimise losses. However, many bosses believe that social media is something you can do along the way because it's just part of the game." Regardless of the Covid-19 Crisis, guidelines need to be set for employee's participation in social media.
To find out how SMEs used social media during Covid-19 Crisis and how customers received their presence, Rebecca interviewed three SMEs and conducted an online survey for customers. Her study has now been published in the e-Journal of New Media. To read the whole study click here.