Date of Conferral







Teresa Lao


In small businesses in the United States, specifically those with fewer than 10 employees,

leaders may be skeptical of and resistant to the use of social media in their management

operations. Management literature does not indicate clear and effective guidelines and

policies detailing small marketing firms use of social media. The purpose of this

qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of small marketing firm leaders

about the resources and knowledge needed for effective use of social media as a

management tool. Emerson's social exchange theory grounded the study. The study

targeted owners and managers of small marketing firms in Dallas, Texas, with three to

five years of experience and firms who use social media in their firm management or

operations. Twenty-three participants satisfied the criteria. Data were collected through

interviews, questionnaires, and document reviews. Yin's 5-phase analysis was used to

analyze the data. The primary result of the study is that small businesses that use social

media in the Dallas, Texas, area reported various gains, including increased awareness

about their business, valuable customer feedback, and customer retention. The study may

have a positive social change impact by providing information on strategies and benefits

of using social media as a management tool not only to small marketing firms in Texas,

but also to very small businesses in other sectors.