The role of social networks in the internationalization of Tanzanian SME

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University of Dar es Salaam
Social networks are essential in the internationalization process of the entrepreneurial firms specifically SMEs. The Use of internet is growing and social networks is a platform for SMEs to go global but not many businesses are using social networks for business which leads to having many firms operating locally while there are other business opportunities globally. Five companies were studied closely on their ways of using social networks in the whole process of internationalization. The study was exploratory and requires qualitative data, thus, data for the case of this paper was collected through personal interviews with the top managers of the company. Through social networks, SMEs can position their products efficiently to their desired market, increasing its customer base, provide customer service, be informed of the things that go on in the online industry and it’s the only inexpensive way of penetrating the foreign market. The choice of social networks to use have to be strategic and of benefit to the organization. There are a lot of social networks over the internet and customers are all over the place thus it is necessary to choose few networks to focus on instead of wasting time in a lot of sites. The common social networks are Skype, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Websites and LinkedIn. They should set clear objectives, strategies, stay focused on business and a clear distinction between personal and business matters. It is necessary for business skills and common business sense to be part of the qualification of the SMEs. Through social networks people network, but the conversation has to be taken out of the social networks for the business circle to complete. SMEs are responsible for reaching out to their existing and prospective customers, thus are responsible for their own growth.
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Social networks, Small business, Internationalization, Tanzania
Lazaro, N (2012) The role of social networks in the internationalization of Tanzanian SME, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. (Available at