Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Almost 50% of small businesses close within 5 years in part because of inadequate marketing strategies. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how landscape industry small business owners have successfully used social media marketing to help ensure business viability. The population for this study was landscape industry small business owners in central Alabama, who have been successful in using social media marketing. The conceptual framework for the study included adoption theory to understand the successful implementation of social media as a marketing tool, and social exchange theory to explain how social behavior results from the exchange process within social media. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 4 small business owner from the landscape industry and content analysis of the social media for 4 landscape industry small businesses. Data were alphanumerically and thematically coded. Analysis revealed 4 themes: (a) marketing strategy adoption; (b) primary social media types used; (c) social media content including aspects such as service, education, and holiday posts; and (d) benefits and challenges such as social media as a low-cost marketing option for improved visibility, but with a trial-and-error learning curve. Results may be used by small businesses to improve their long-term viability through social media marketing strategies, and to improve citizens' quality of life and the local economy through increased tax revenues leading to more resources for schools, public safety organizations, and other institutions in the community.