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Analysing the social media communication of SMEs in the fashion retail industry: A case study of Bangladesh

Ahammed, Amit (2022) Analysing the social media communication of SMEs in the fashion retail industry: A case study of Bangladesh. Doctoral thesis, York St John University.

Text (PhD thesis)
AHAMMED AMIT FINAL THESIS (1).pdf - Published Version
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This study analysed Facebook communication activities of SME fashion retailers in Bangladesh to identify the most effective Facebook communication strategies for consumer
engagement. A growing number of SMEs are operating in Facebook in Bangladesh. Social media scholars acknowledged that consumer engagement is important for businesses to survive in virtual marketplaces, but several studies reported that the level of consumer engagement is

This research adopted a pragmatic philosophy for answering the research question by utilising three different data collection instruments, namely netnography, archival review, and semistructured interviews. A netnography research was conducted over four months by observing 20 fashion retail SMEs’ Facebook activities whilst 2409 Facebook posts were archived along with the number of likes, comments, and shares received on each post. Finally, 12 semistructured
interviews were conducted with the owners and managers of Bangladeshi fashion retail SMEs. Both netnography and interview data were analysed using thematic analysis whilst
the archival data was analysed using multiple statistical tests.

The findings of this research make three substantial theoretical contributions, namely reconceptualization of salesperson interpersonal communication theory, remodelling of media richness theory and development of a strategic framework for Facebook consumer engagement and growth. The findings of this research also make several empirical contributions to Bangladeshi fashion retail SMEs. Findings revealed that most SMEs in the sample generally adopted orthodox marketing techniques (e.g., advertising and sales promotion) whilst some used emerging and interactive communicational tools such as Facebook Live. This research
identified that sales-focused one-way communications received a lower level of consumer engagement than interactive and relational posts. Mixed orientated Facebook communication received the highest level of consumer engagement. However, the generalisability of the findings may be limited to Bangladeshi fashion retail SMEs due to the small sample size considered in the research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Status: Published
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5428-5429.6 Retail trade
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/6988

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