Evaluation of Social Media as Promotional Tools for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria

Margaret Solo-Anaeto, Law Ojunta, Oyinkansola Lakanu


Enterprises (SMEs) are critical to the economy, especially in a developing country like Nigeria. This is because they provide jobs and income for many people, thus reducing unemployment and poverty rate. For SMEs to survive and grow in the competitive business environment, they need to promote and gain visibility for their products/services, attract new customers, and retain existing ones. To achieve this, all promotional tools need to be harnessed. It is with this insight that SMEs are increasingly adopting social media for promotional purposes.  Social media platforms provide SMEs access to large audiences, avenues for customer interaction well as brand visibility. Using the Uses and Gratification Theory and Technology Determinism Theory to drive the discourse, this study examined the effectiveness of social media as promotional tools for SMEs in Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria. Adopting the qualitative research method, 19 SME owners in Yaba were purposively selected and interviewed.  Key findings revealed Instagram is the most widely used social media platform for promotion, social media meet the promotional needs of SMEs and they are effective as promotional tools as they contribute to increase in customers. Many SMEs owners chose social media as their choice of promotion compared to traditional promotional media because they are easy to use, less expensive, and convenient.  It was recommended that SMEs should use more than one social media platform to improve visibility for their business and products and they should keep their social media pages active and vibrant by putting up posts daily, using attractive posts and engaging customers.

Keywords: Customers, Social media, Small Medium Enterprises, Promotion

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