Identifying the benefits and challenges of using social media as a promotional tool for social enterprises

Hiu Kan, Ada WONG, Wing Lam, Felix TSE

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The lack of marketing expertise and resources among social enterprises is a well-noted problem. It has generated much attention from researchers, who have studied ways for improving the marketing performance of social enterprises. With the rise of social media channels for daily communication, an opportunity has surfaced for social enterprises to use such channels as a promotionaltool. This study aims to investigate how social enterprises may use social media for promotion to improve their marketing performancein Hong Kong. In-depth interviews were conducted with five social entrepreneurs or the relevant marketing staff. Interviewees generally agreed that social media is a low-cost channel thatis effective in increasing public awareness and stimulating customer interest. Further benefits of social media as a marketing tool for social enterprises include the relatively low cost of marketing, the quick-response platform for customer queries and the possibility to run low cost CRM. However, interviewees also reported that social enterprises have to compete with an enormous amount of channel-level competitors that are also conducting marketing activities through social media, which has diluted the effectiveness of the online advertising effort. Nevertheless, the benefits of using social media as a promotional tool are still significant to the business model of social enterprise and should be adopted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Marketing and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Facebook
  • marketing activities
  • promotion channel
  • social enterprise
  • social media


Dive into the research topics of 'Identifying the benefits and challenges of using social media as a promotional tool for social enterprises'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this