Lebanon’s area is ranked 170th in the world (CIA, 2014). It is smaller than the size of Connecticut, one of the smallest states in in america. Moreover, Lebanon is one of the few democratic countries at the center East region. Regarding its economy, Lebanon is a free market economy buy twitter account and has a very long tradition of laissez-faire economics. In addition to its coast location on the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond shoreline, Lebanon is considered as the central ‘window’ of the Middle East to Europe, North Photography equipment, and all of those other world. Because of this, its economy is now through some very prosperous times and was even once called the ‘Paris’ of the Middle East before the state’s 15 year-long weakling municipal war which ended in 1990.
Also, although Lebanon is tiny, it is also one of the most diverse nations in the world. Christians, Muslims, Druze, and other fraction sects are spread all over the small nation and even Lebanon’s political system is based on sectarian power sharing.
However, this diversity had played a crucial role in the state’s problems. This diversity was a required condition of the place’s sectarian municipal war and currently plays an important role in its political paralysis, although other factors (mainly foreign) are the culprit as well. There is currently no acting Us president and the place’s rival political parties keep bickering and preventing rather than assisting the place’s development.
Furthermore, Lebanon’s distance to Israel has made it a foreign policy/proxy battleground for foreign nations, each using Lebanon for its own selfish ends.
The sad political facts of the country have significantly hurt the place’s economy. Also, since Lebanon is a service-based economy, this particular sector has had the largest hit.
Vacation plays a significant role in the state’s economy. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Economy & Trade (MOET), “Tourism has been one of Lebanon’s leading economic sectors” (Economic Research Unit, 2010).
Furthermore, The world Travel & Vacation Local authority or council estimated that the travel & vacation sector in Lebanon contributed over $4 thousand dollars in 2013 (World Travel & Vacation Local authority or council, 2014).
The travel & vacation sector made up about 10% of the economy in 2012 but that share dropped to 9% in 2013 (ibid, p. 14). This is due to the political situation in the country as well as some other factors. Moreover, the number of tourist arrivals in the country kept decreasing from 2011 to 2013.
Since the vacation industry has been somewhat floundering in the past few years, the room for error becomes really small for businesses in this industry. The political & economic situations are squeezing tourist-related (TR) businesses in Lebanon. This means that these firms are forced to do more to replace with increasing losses (or decreasing profits) and with fewer resources. There is no telling when the political & economic situation in Lebanon will improve especially since the municipal war in nearby Syria shows no signs of abating.
There are many methods Lebanese TR businesses can adapt of these times such as implementing downsizing policies and lowering on marketing & advertising budgets. When economic recessions and tough times affect businesses, the first things to get eliminated are usually marketing budgets. But especially since TR businesses should do more marketing to replace with lost businesses, this isn’t always a good idea.
One solution to this problem is to take advantage of Social media marketing strategies simply cost little to no resources, perfect for the current economic situation in Lebanon. Social media marketing allows TR businesses to overcome obstacles of limited budgets and decreased business.
During the past few years, the positive effect of social media on business has been extremely high (Kaplan et ing., 2010; Stelzner, 2010; Treem & Leonardi, 2012, p. 143; Baker & Green, 2014).
Moreover, Facebook and Twitter fans of a specific brand are greatly predisposed to recommend and get from these brands than non-fans (Cruz & Mendelsohn, 2011). But, we don’t have to be sure of social media’s affect business through scientific studies. For social media users, together with over 30% of the world, this simple truth is known. More and more businesses are inserting Social media marketing tools into their marketing strategies and, in some cases, have even become a fundamental element of their overall business strategy.
Naturally, one would expect that Lebanese businesses would quickly adopt Social media marketing as a key role in their overall marketing strategies but this is not the case. When it comes to the middle East and especially Lebanon, the spot is far behind the Western side in social media usage. Not only that, when it comes to businesses active in the vacation industry, there is much room for growth. Little investment in technology is keeping tourist businesses away from exploiting marketing opportunities given by social media.
The Lebanese vacation industry is not taking advantage of social media marketing tactics even though the advantages of doing so are apparent. This presents a great problem especially since the economy is going via a very rough time.
Moreover, Lebanese TR businesses and businesses in Lebanon in general are not implementing social media tools as they should. This presents a huge problem in the waste of resources as well as significant missed opportunities as a larger target audience can be reached via social media enabling businesses that adopt social media marketing tools gain a better chance of success and prosperity.
Function of the study
The fruits and advantages of social media marketing tools may take significant time to come about in Lebanon if we are ignorant of the factors that have led to the prevention of widespread social media marketing adopting.
Also, as long as no study assumes the issue of effectively implementing a social media marketing campaign in the Lebanese context, many TR businesses may be lost even if they decide to adopt social media marketing tools.
Additionally, even though there have been numerous studies in the Western side about effectively implementing social media marketing campaigns, the results of these studies may or may not affect the Lebanese context. Therefore, it is also the intention of this study to find out those factors related to effectively implementing social media marketing among Lebanese TR businesses.
At the end, there is no doubt that social media marketing plays an extremely important role in the marketing campaigns and even in the overall success of tourism-related businesses.
Lebanese Tourist-Related (TR) businesses fall far behind the developed world in investing and using SMM. Since there are many benefits of SMM, why is this so? Also, to catch up to all of those other world, what is the best way for Lebanese TR businesses to deploy an SMM campaign? So, it was the study’s purpose to find reasons associated with such low investment & use of SMM by Lebanese TR businesses and to help guide these firms in effectively using SMM.
The intention of this study is twofold. This study aims to find out exactly what those factors are that are preventing the widespread adopting of social media marketing tools among Lebanese TR businesses. The philosophy used is interpretivism, for an inductive approach to go from specific to general research, the strategy is ethnographic, and the technique is qualitative. In-depth job interviews are used with ten participants from ten different companies. Five companies had high social media ‘visibility’ and the other five didn’t. So, the participants’ answers provided very useful information and solutions for the research problem.
The results found that among the most relevant factors of little SMM investment & use by Lebanese TR businesses are that many don’t see benefits to using SMM and so don’t support it.
The results also provided useful information on factors for effectively implementing SMM by Lebanese TR businesses including the acceptance of SMM by ownership/decision-makers and the incredible importance of these people in seeing the benefits of SMM. Also, problems with implementing SMM include negative comments from customers and inter-departmental power struggles.
Recommendations include communicating the benefits of SMM to Lebanese TR businesses which is of such high importance to cause them to use SMM. There should also be an SMM plan with a consistent schedule outlining the periods to add content to social media sites as well as comprehensive monitoring of SM user comments about the business.
At the end, it is the researcher’s hope that the study helped shed light on important facets of SMM and its relation to Lebanese TR businesses. It is also anticipated that the recommendations be looked at by Lebanese TR businesses.
Baker, S., & Green, They would. (2014, February 20). Social media will vary your business. Business week.
CIA World Factbook 2014. (2014, December 11). Total Area — sq km 2014 country comparisons, ranks, By Rank.
Jones, B., & Mendelsohn, J. (2011). Why social media matters to your business. Recovered from Chadwick Martin Bailey
Economic Research Unit. (2010) Vacation. Ministry of Economy & Trade Newsletter, (5)
Kaplan, Andreas Michael. and Michael Haenlein. 2010. “Users of the World, Bring together! The Challenges and Opportunities of Social media. inch Business Horizons 53: 59-68.
Stelzner, Michael. (2010). Social media marketing industry report: how marketers are using social media to grow their business.