Factors Influencing the Adoption of Social Media Marketing by Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) of the Maldives and its Impact on MSME Performance


  • Ahmed Abdul Rasheed Maldives Airport Company Limited
  • Abdulla Nafiz Villa College




micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, social media marketing, firm performance


This paper aims to investigate factors affecting the adoption of social media marketing by Maldivian Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and their impact on MSME performance. Based on previous international research and local contextual knowledge, the study hypothesises that relative advantage, cost effectiveness, interactivity, top management support, and competitive pressure influence the adoption of social media marketing, which consequently impacts MSME performance. Hundred-and-Eight MSMEs from the Greater Malé region in the Maldives participated in the study. Pearson correlation, and simple and multiple linear regression were used for data analysis. Results indicate that all of the individual hypothesised factors have a positive significant impact on social media marketing adoption. The regression analysis model shows that relative advantage and interactivity have a significant positive impact on social media marketing adoption, whereas cost effectiveness, top management support, and competitive pressure do not have a significant positive impact on social media marketing. The study concludes that the adoption of social media marketing has a significant positive impact on MSME performance. Despite social media marketing being in its infancy among Maldivian MSMEs, this study supports the benefits of social media marketing as an ideal platform of marketing for MSMEs.


Abed, S.S. (2020). Social commerce adoption using TOE framework: An empirical investigation of Saudi Arabian SMEs. International Journal of Information Management, 53, 102118.

Agarwal, R. & Venkatesh, V. (2002). Assessing a firm’s web presence: a heuristic evaluation procedure for the measurement of usability. Information systems research. 13(2), 168-186.

Ahmad, S. Z., Abu Bakar, A. R., Faziharudean, T. M., & Mohamad Zaki, K. A. (2015). An empirical study of factors affecting e-commerce adoption among small-and medium-sized enterprises in a developing country: Evidence from Malaysia. Information Technology for Development. 21(4), 555–572.

Ahmad, S.Z., Bakar, A.R.A. & Ahmad, N. (2019). Social media adoption and its impact on firm performance: the case of the UAE. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25(1), 84-111.

Ainin, S., Parveen, F., Moghavvemi, S., Jaafar, N.I. & Shuib, N.L.M. (2015) Factors influencing the use of social media by SMEs and its performance outcomes. Industrial Management & Data Systems,115(3), 570-588.

Akram, A. & Shahid, A. (2020). Social Media Use and Impact during Maldivian Travellers’ Holiday Planning. International Journal of Social Research and Innovation [online]. 4(1). 34-55.

Al-Qirim, N. (2007). The adoption of e-commerce communications and applications technologies in small businesses in New Zealand. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications. 6 (4), 462-473.

Asian Development Bank (2018). Inclusive Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Development Project. https://www.adb.org/sites/default/ files/linked-documents/43566-013-mld-oth-01.pdf.

Alam, S.S. & Noor, M.K.M. (2009). ICT adoption in small and medium enterprises: An empirical evidence of service sectors in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and management. 4(2), 112-125

Ali, Z., Ejaz, S., Aleem, A., Saeed, M.U., Tahir, F.A. & Kashif, M. (2015). Understanding E-marketing as a Firm’s Promotional tool and Its Impact on Consumer Perception. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences. 5(3), 365-379.

AlSharji, A., Ahmad, S.Z. & Bakar, A.R.A. (2018). Understanding social media adoption in SMEs: Empirical evidence from the United Arab Emirates. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. 10 (2), 302-328.

Atanassova, I. & Clark, L. (2015). Social media practices in SME marketing activities: A theoretical framework and research agenda. Journal of customer behaviour. 14(2), 163-183.

Barker, V., Dozier, D. M., Weiss, A. S., & Borden, D. L. (2013). Facebook friends: Effects of social networking site intensity, social capital affinity, and flow on reported knowledge gain. The Journal of Social Media in Society. 2(2), 76-97.

Beloff, Natalia, & Pandya, P. (2010). Advertising models on social networks for SMEs-An advertising methodology. 2010 International Conference on Internet Technology and Applications. 1-6.

Chatterjee, S. & Kar, A.K. (2020). Why do small and medium enterprises use social media marketing and what is the impact: Empirical insights from India. International Journal of Information Management. 53, 102-103.

Congxi, C., Lan, X. & Pengfei, G. (2010). Internet Marketing and Innovative Strategies: A Study of China’s Travel Agencies. In 2010 International Conference on Management and Service Science.

Das, S. & Das, K.K. (2012). Factors influencing the information technology adoption of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME): An empirical study. International Journal of Engineering Research and Applications. 2(3), 2493-2498

Edgett, S. J. (1991). The Development of New Services: New Product Development in the Financial Service Industry A Model of Successful Determinants for NDP. PhD thesis, University of Bradford.

El-Gohary, H., Trueman, M. & Fukukawa, K. (2008). E-marketing and small business enterprises: A review of the methodologies. Journal of Business and Public Policy. 2(2), 64-93.

El-Gohary, H.O. (2010). The impact of E-marketing practices on market performance of small business enterprises. An empirical investigation. Doctoral dissertation, University of Bradford.

Fornell, C. & Larcker, D.F. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research. 18 (3), 382-388.

Gutierrez, A., Boukrami, E., & Lumsden, R. (2015). Technological, organisational and environmental factors influencing managers’ decision to adopt cloud computing in the UK. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 28(6), 788–807.

Halligan, B. & Shah, D. (2009). Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Hair, J., Ralph, A., & Ronald, T. (1998). Multivariate data analysis (5th ed.). London: Prentice-Hall.

Hsu, P.F., Kraemer, K.L. & Dunkle, D. (2006). Determinants of e-business use in US firms. International Journal of Electronic Commerce. 10(4), 9-45.

Hsu, P.F., Ray, S. and Li-Hsieh, Y.Y. (2014). Examining cloud computing adoption intention, pricing mechanism, and deployment model. International Journal of Information Management, 34(4), 474-488.

Jafari, S. M., Shiham, I., & Arianfar, M. (2015). Factors Influencing the Adoption of Social Media as a Medium of Public Service Broadcasting. 17th International Conference on Business and Information Engineering (ICBIE 2015), Paris, France.

Jiang, Z. & Benbasat, I. (2007). Investigating the influence of the functional mechanisms of online product presentations. Information Systems Research. 18 (4), 454-470.

Jiang, Z., Chan, J., Tan, B. C., & Chua, W. S. (2010). Effects of interactivity on website involvement and purchase intention. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 11(1), p.34.

Kajongwe, C., Chinyena, E., Mugutso, R. & Mambo, R. (2020). Social Media and Marketing Performance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Harare Metropolitan Province, Zimbabwe. Journal of African Interdisciplinary Studies. 4(4), 66–77.

Kaplan, A.M. & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons. 53(1), 59-68.

Kaplan, D. (2017). Facebook Starts 2017 with 65 Million Local Business Pages, available at: https:// geomarketing.com/facebook-starts-2017-with-65- million-local-business-pages.

Kemp, S. (2020). Digital 2020: Global digital overview. We are Social and Hootsuite. https://datareportal. com/reports/digital-2020-global-digital-overview.

Kemp, S. (2021). Digital 2021: The Maldives. Available from: https://https:// datareportal.com/reports/digital-2021-maldives.

Khoa, B. T. (2020). The antecedents of relationship marketing and customer loyalty: A case of the designed fashion product. Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 7(2), 195–204.

Kietzmann, J.H., Silvestre, B.S., McCarthy, I.P. and Pitt, L.F. (2012). Unpacking the social media phenomenon: towards a research agenda, Journal of Public Affairs, 12 (2), 109-119.

Kumar, B., Al Asheq, A., Rahaman, M. and Karim, M. (2019). Determinants of Social Media Marketing Adoption among SMEs: A Conceptual Framework. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal. 23(3), 1-6.

Kwok, L. & Yu, B. (2013). Spreading social media messages on Facebook: an analysis of restaurant business-to-consumer communications. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. 54 (1), 84-94.

Lin, H.F. (2014). Understanding the determinants of electronic supply chain management system adoption: Using the technology–organization– environment framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 86, 80-92.

Low, C., Chen, Y. & Wu, M. (2011). Understanding the determinants of cloud computing adoption. Industrial management & data systems, 111 (7), 1006-1023.

Maduku, D. K., Mpinganjira, M., & Duh, H. (2016). Understanding mobile marketing adoption intention by South African SMEs: A multi-perspective framework. International Journal of Information Management. 36(5), 711–723.

Malthouse, E.C., Haenlein, M., Skiera, B., Wege, E. & Zhang, M. (2013). Managing customer relationships in the social media era: introducing the social CRM house. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 27 (4), 270-280.

Magal, S.R., Carr, H.H. & Watson, H.J. (1988). Critical success factors for information center managers. MIS quarterly. 413-425.

Meske, C. & Stieglitz, S. (2013). Adoption and use of social media in small and medium-sized enterprises, in Harmsen, F. and Proper, H. (Eds), Practice-Driven Research on Enterprise Transformation, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin. pp. 61-75.

Ministry of Economic Development (2021). SME Registry. https://business. egov.mv/SMERegistry [20 August 2021].

Ministry of Economic Development and United Nations Development Programme (2020). Rapid Livelihood Assessment. Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis in the Maldives. https://www.trade.gov.mv/uploads/12/ newweb/reports-and-publications/1598369482.pdf.

Nakara, W.A., Benmoussa, F-Z. & Jaouen, A. (2012). Entrepreneurship and social media marketing: evidence from French small business. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business. 16(4), 386-405.

Nguyen, T.H., Newby, M. & Macaulay, M.J. (2015) Information technology adoption in small business: Confirmation of a proposed framework. Journal of Small Business Management. 53(1), 207-227.

Nunnally, J.C. (1978). Psychometric Theory. McGraw-Hill, New York, NY.

Odoom, R., Anning-Dorson, T., & Acheampong, G. (2017). Antecedents of social media usage and performance benefits in small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(3) 383-399.

Oliveira, T. and Martins, M.F. (2010). Understanding e‐business adoption across industries in European countries. Industrial Management & Data Systems. 110 (9), 1337-1354.

Omer, M.M. (2015). Marketing communication through social media: An exploratory case study of SMEs in Pakistan. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review. 5(5), 1-3.

Premkumar, G. & Roberts, M. (1999). Adoption of new information technologies in rural small businesses. Omega. 27 (4), pp. 467-484.

Qalati, S. A., Li, W., Ahmed, N., Ali Mirani, M. & Khan, A. (2021). Examining the factors affecting SME performance: the mediating role of social media adoption. Sustainability. 13(1), 1-24.

Qashou, A.M. (2017). Factors Affecting the Implementation of E-marketing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Palestine (Doctoral dissertation, An-Najah National University).

Ramdani, B., Chevers, D. & Williams, D. (2013). “SMEs’ adoption of enterprise applications”. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 20(4), pp. 735-753, available at: http://doi.org/10.1108/ JSBED-12-2011-0035.

Reijonen H (2010). Do all SMEs Practice Same Kind of Marketing? Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development. 17(2), 279–293.

Rodriguez, M., Ajjan, H. & Peterson, R.M. (2014). CRM/Social media technology: impact on customer orientation process and organizational sales performance. Ideas in Marketing: Finding the New and Polishing the Old. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science. Springer, Cham, 636-638.

Rodriguez, M., Peterson, R.M. & Krishnan, V. (2012). Social media’s influence on business-to business sales performance. Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management. 32 (3), 365-378.

Sajny, A. (2019) Impediments to SME Growth in Small Island Developing States -The Case of the Maldives. http://www.mma.gov.mv/documents/ Research%20and%20Policy%20Notes/2019/Impediments%20to%20 SME%20Growth%20in%20Small%20Island%20-%20The%20Case%20 of%20Maldives.pdf.

Samat, M.F. (2020). SME Performance: The Effects of Social Media Marketing Adoption and Competitive Intelligence. https://www. europeanproceedings.com/files/data/article/10046/12981/ article_10046_12981_pdf_100.pdfdoi:10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.05.71.

Schaupp, L.C. & Belanger, F. (2013). The value of social media for small businesses. Journal of information systems. 28(1), 187-207.

Shareef, M. A., Mukerji, B., Dwivedi, Y. K. Rana, N. P. & Islam, R. (2017). Social media marketing: Comparative effect of advertisement sources. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 46, 58-69.

Srinivasan, R., Bajaj, R. & Bhanot, S. (2016). Impact of social media marketing strategies used by micro, small and medium enterprises on customer acquisition and retention. Journal of Business and Management. 18 (1), 91-101.

Syaifullah, J., Syaifudin, M., Sukendar, M.U. & Junaedi, J. (2021). Social Media Marketing and Business Performance of MSMEs During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business. 8(2), 523-531.

Tajvidi, R. & Karami, A. (2021). The effect of social media on firm performance. Computers in Human Behavior. 115, 105174.

Tornatzky, G. & Fleischer, M. (1990). The processes of technological innovation. The Journal of Technology Transfer. 16(1), pp. 45-46.

Trainor, K.J., Andzulis, J., Rapp, A. & Agnihotri, R. (2014). Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: a capabilities-based examination of social CRM. Journal of Business Research. 67 (6), 1201- 1208.

Varadarajan, R., Srinivasan, R., Vadakkepatt, G.G., Yadav, M.S., Pavlou, P.A., Krishnamurthy, S. & Krause, T. (2010). Interactive technologies and retailing strategy: a review, conceptual framework and future research directions. Journal of Interactive Marketing. 24 (2), 96-110.

Walsh, M.F. and Lipinski, J. (2009), The role of the marketing function in small and medium sized enterprises, Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 16 (4), 569-585.

Wang, Y.M., Wang, Y.S. & Yang, Y.F. (2010). Understanding the determinants of RFID adoption in the manufacturing industry. Technological forecasting and social change. 77(5), 803-815.

Wong, C.B. (2012). Facebook usage by small and medium-sized enterprise: the role of domain-specific innovativeness. Global Journal of Computer Science and Technology. 12(4), 52-59.

Zeiller, M. & Schauer, B. (2011). Adoption, motivation and success factors of social media for team collaboration in SMEs. Proceeding of The 11th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies, Graz, September 2011.

Zhu, K., Kraemer, K., & Xu, S. (2003). Electronic business adoption by European firms: a cross-country assessment of the facilitators and inhibitors. European Journal of Information Systems. 12(4), 251–268.

Zhu, K., Dong, S., Xu, S.X. & Hally, M. (2006). Innovation diffusion in global contexts: determinants of post-adoption digital transformation of European companies. European Journal of Information Systems. 15 (6), 601-616.

Zhu, K. & Kraemer, K.L. (2005). Post-adoption variations in usage and value of e-business by organizations: cross-country evidence from the retail industry. Information systems research. 16(1), 61-84.



How to Cite

Factors Influencing the Adoption of Social Media Marketing by Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) of the Maldives and its Impact on MSME Performance. (2022). International Journal of Social Research & Innovation, 6(1), 47-73. https://doi.org/10.55712/ijsri.v6i1.50