Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Since 2004, the economic relevance of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the United States has steadily declined while large-scale enterprises' contributions have increased. Large-scale enterprises have maximized opportunities to engage consumers through social media and have created competitive advantages compared to SMEs. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the social media consumer brand engagement strategies leaders of SMEs used to positively affect their brands' equity. Relationship marketing and customer relationship management provided the conceptual framework for the study. Data were collected through interviews with 8 craft brewery business owners in the Southeastern United States and content collected from the social media pages of each business. Data were analyzed using within-case and cross-case techniques. Themes that emerged from data analysis included the cost-benefit of social media over traditional marketing platforms, the significance of establishing and maintaining relationships, and the importance of constant and continuous contact with customers. SME leaders may benefit from the results of this study by furthering their knowledge and understanding of social media consumer engagement strategies that positively impact brand equity. Findings may provide owners of small businesses with strategies that may result in social and economic benefits including new employment opportunities, increased revenue, and economic stability in local communities.