Strategic use of digital promotion strategies among female emigrant entrepreneurs in UAE
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the strategic use of social media and chat applications of women entrepreneurs to promote their businesses. Design/methodology/approach Because of the nature of the study and dearth of sufficient data in the Middle Eastern society on the women entrepreneurship, this study employed a qualitative research methodology. The research comprised of 20 in-depth interviews with immigrant women entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates. They were identified through personal contacts and referrals. Findings All the expatriate women interviewed are using social media and chat applications to promote their business. Facebook is used for brand creation and WhatsApp is used as a direct marketing tool to evoke purchase response. Though traditional promotional tools are far from redundant, their role is more supplementary. The increasing trend is a combination of traditional tools and digital tools. Digital tools seem to have an upper hand in their business promotions. Research limitations/implications This study is limited to SME sector in one industry and in one country. The qualitative nature of this study could affect the generalizability of the results. A more extensive study is needed and future research should be more diverse including widening the selection of respondents, industries and countries. Originality/value This study is a novel attempt to gauge an in-depth understanding of modern communication tools. It looks specifically at the integrative strategies pursued by the immigrant women entrepreneurs using Facebook and WhatsApp.