Social Media Networks And SME Performance In The International Arena A Case Of SMEs Operating In Kamukunji Area of Nairobi County, Kenya
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The Internet has significantly changed the world and so has social media. Social media has offered a free for all stage for using social network and friends to create awareness and SMEs can leverage on this and advance their business in the international arena. The general objective of the study was to analyze the effect of social media networks on SME performance in the International Arena, with special focus on those operating in Kamukunji area of Nairobi County, Kenya. The study aimed to achieve the following specific objectives; to assess the influence of use of social media networks in customer relations on SMEs Performance in the International Arena and to analyze the influence of use of social media networks while sourcing for inputs on SMEs Performance in the International Arena. Theories underpinning this study included Social Exchange Theory and Social Penetration Theory. The study employed a descriptive research design. The target population of this study comprised of 838 SME firms operating at Kamukunji in Nairobi County. Since the study population was large, the study considered 10% of the population. The researcher interviewed 84 respondents from the shops selected using stratified random sampling technique. Questionnaires were used to obtain important information about the population. Data collected was both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Descriptive statistical tools helped the researcher to describe the data and determine the extent used. Analysis was done quantitatively and qualitatively by use of descriptive statistics. This included percentages, mean and standard deviation which were presented using tables and charts to give a clear picture of the research findings. Results showed that social media platforms have the potential to promote customer relations as well as to source for inputs. Utilization of social media platforms was found to have enhanced SMEs performance in the International Arena to a great extent. The study concluded that customer relations and sourcing for inputs all have significant effects on SMEs performance in the International Arena. The study recommended that in order to promote SMEs performance in global arena, SMEs must invest in building stronger customer relationships especially through utilization of social media platforms Further SMEs should seek to learn and adopt social media tools that provide an opportunity for growth of the business through increased sales, profits and providing employment for Kenyans.