The Social Networking Sites within the Belgian SMEs at international


  • Elodie Deprince Université de Mons, Belgique
  • Emna Moalla ESSCA School of Management


Réseaux sociaux numériques, usage informationnel, usage relationnel, PME, Internationalisation


Social media have become essential tools for companies both internally and externally. These tools are often mobilized to communicate, facilitate knowledge transfer, gain visibility, collect information, develop, and maintain collaborations. However, most studies dealing with the use of social media have analyzed the individual perspective and, to a lesser extent, the firm perspective. This paper therefore enhances the research on the use of social media by companies. More specifically, it examines the use of social networking sites (SNS) in the international development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through the main internationalization theoretical approaches, we identify the criteria of SMEs internationalization and analyze their impact on the use of SNS. We thus highlight the relationship between internationalization approaches and the use of SNS. The quantitative study conducted in this research is based on a survey of 359 internationally active Belgian SMEs. The results showed that SNS are widely used during the international expansion of SMEs. The age, performance and the SME’s perception of distance define the place of SNS in the internationalization strategy. Our analyses also indicate that SNS are used for both informational and relational benefits.

Author Biography

Emna Moalla, ESSCA School of Management

Professeure associée


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Empirical research