Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Small business owners understand the advantages of using social media as a marketing tool; however, some of these owners do not leverage social media marketing strategies to increase sales. Small business owners who fail to implement social media marketing strategies minimizes the potential to gain new customers; thus, negatively impacting sales. The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore social media marketing strategies used by five small family-style restaurants in Maryland. Berry's relationship marketing theory was the conceptual framework for this study. Data collection included semistructured interviews, documents pertaining to social media marketing strategies, and social media pages and websites from the participating restaurants. These data were analyzed following Yin's 5-step analysis plan. Key themes that emerged were (a) social media platforms small family-style restaurant owners use to increase sales and were most effective, (b) employees' response to social media marketing strategies small family-style restaurant owners use to increase sales, and (c) relationship marketing. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase the knowledge of future entrepreneurs and show them how technology can help them launch and grow their businesses faster creating an atmosphere of better customer services. Increasing the demand for employment can have a direct impact on decreasing the unemployment rate within the United States, particularly in the state of Maryland.