Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Godwin Igein


Social media marketing influences consumer trust in businesses, and trust accounts for about 37% of consumer purchasing decisions. The purpose of this multiple case study research was to identify the barriers to social media marketing that owners of small retail clothing businesses must overcome to be competitive. The conceptual framework was the technology acceptance model. Collected data consisted of company documents and semistructured interviews with 3 small retail clothing business owners in Chicago, Illinois, who had experience with social media marketing. Data analysis consisted of an open coding approach and member checking. The study revealed the small business owners who participated in this study had not experienced insurmountable barriers to their use of social media marketing. However, participants cited difficulties relating to the cost and time involved in social media marketing and the lack of suitable training. The 4 main themes that emerged relating to the perceived benefits of social media marketing were cost, convenience, ability to reach a large audience, and benefits relating to visual marketing. The study has implications for the success of the small business sector as well as the U.S. economy because data yielded insight into effective practice in social media marketing in the small retail clothing industry, as well as the types of barriers and difficulties that small business owners must overcome. This study has potential for social change because knowledge about the barriers to social media marketing could empower small businesses, especially in Chicago, to adopt strategies to overcome barriers, thereby remaining competitive and adding to the stability of small businesses as a significant source of jobs and economic growth.