University of Oulu

Hurmelinna-Laukkanen P., Haapanen L., Holma S. (2020) Social Media and Small Entrepreneurial Firms’ Internationalization. In: Schjoedt L., Brännback M., Carsrud A. (eds) Understanding Social Media and Entrepreneurship. Exploring Diversity in Entrepreneurship. Springer, Cham.

Social media and small entrepreneurial firms’ internationalization

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Author: Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia1; Haapanen, Lauri1; Holma, Saara2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, P.O. Box 4600, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2University of Oulu, Oulu Business School / Duunitori Oy; Hämeentie 15, 00500 Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-06-04


Small entrepreneurial firms often need to be quite creative when allocating and deploying their limited resources. Especially in grasping international opportunities, social media provides a seemingly affordable and far-reaching medium. However, challenges—such as the controllability of the content and the outcomes of using social media—become apparent as the reach of social media marketing expands beyond certain threshold limits. In this study, we rely on data from multiple case studies to evaluate to what extent and under which conditions social media can support small entrepreneurial firms’ international expansion. Thereby, we contribute to research on SME internationalization and business implications of digitalization. Our findings indicate that small entrepreneurial firms face somewhat different social media–related challenges in the international business environment compared to domestic settings. The controllability of the contents comes with new tones. Furthermore, small firms’ resources, both in terms of social media use and in different functions, play an important role in determining the extent to which the use of social media supports these firms’ internationalization.

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Series: Exploring diversity in entrepreneurship
ISSN: 2567-7357
ISSN-E: 2567-7659
ISSN-L: 2567-7357
ISBN: 978-3-030-43453-3
ISBN Print: 978-3-030-43452-6
Issue: 2
Pages: 141 - 168
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-43453-3_8
Host publication: Understanding social media and entrepreneurship : the business of hashtags, likes, tweets and stories
Host publication editor: Schjoedt, Leon
Brännback, Malin E.
Carsrud, Alan L.
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: Foundation for Economic Education.
Copyright information: © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Understanding Social Media and Entrepreneurship. Exploring Diversity in Entrepreneurship. The final authenticated version is available online at