RLCS, Revista Latina de Comunicacion Social
Revista Latina

DOI, Digital Objetc Identifier 10.4185/RLCS-2017-1153en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 72-2017 | Audio-visual explanation of the author |

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How to cite this article in bibliograhies / References

J Sixto García, N Aguado Domínguez, R Riveiro Castro (2017): “Presence 2.0 of Galician SMEs: participation levels and engagement with the users”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 72,
pp. 47 to 68.
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2017-1153

Presence 2.0 of Galician SMEs: participation levels and engagement
with the users

José Sixto García [CV] [ ORCID] Adjunct Professor, University of Santiago de Compostela, jose.sixto@usc.es

Nicolás Aguado Domínguez [CV] [ ORCID] Scholarship researcher of the agreement with Instituto de Medios Sociales and University of Santiago de Compostela nicolas.aguado@rai.usc.es

Reyes Riveiro Castro [CV] [ ORCID] Scholarship researcher of the agreement with Instituto de Medios Sociales and University of Santiago de Compostela- reyes.riveiro@rai.usc.es

Introduction. From the necessity of the organizations to adapt themselves to environments 2.0 because of the demand from the existing market, this research quantifies and analyses the presence and the participation of current markets of Galician SMEs in the social media. Methodology. For that purpose, we have analysed, from the qualitative and quantitative points of view, the amount and the quality of registers taking into account types of presence, actualization frequency, interaction levels and communicative strategies implemented to the attainment of a social dialogue between public-organization. Results and conclusions. The conclusions point to the supremacy of Facebook as the mostly used network; although half of SMEs use social networks as a communication channel, they reflect a testimonial and SEO positioning rather than a dialogic space, so that, the engagement levels are scanty and reduced to punctual cases, resulting in a not widespread tendency.

Social media; Social networks; SMEs; Channels 2.0; Engagement.

1. Introduction. 1.1. Evolution 2.0 in the web and in the companies. 1.2. Corporate social media and networks. 1.3. Research questions and objectives. 2. Research methodology. 3. Results. 3.1. SMEs’ Presence in social networks. 3.2. Corporate use of social networks. 3.2.1. Facebook. 3.2.2. Twitter. 3.2.3. LinkedIn. 3.2.4. Instagram. 3.2.5. Google +. 4. Discussion and conclusions. 5. Bibliographical references.

Translation by José Sixto García
(Adjunct Professor, University of Santiago de Compostela)

 [ Research ] [ Funded ] 
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1. Introduction
1.1. Evolution 2.0 in the web and in the companies 

Until a little more than two decades, in 1995, the number of Internet users in the world was about sixteen millions (barely 0,4% of world population), statistics from September 2016 demonstrate that around 3.675 million people are Internet users, meaning more than half of world population, according to Internet World Stats information.

However, Internet not only has evolved concerning the number of users –thanks, to a large extent, to a widening access to information and communication technologies (TIC) and the development of their own technologies–, but it have also progressed regarding their characteristics, potentialities and intrinsic and inherent functions.

Its first stage, currently known as 1.0, was, from the technical point of view, a network status which allowed the connection between machines and documents, and, from the usability point of view, a static and read-only web (Aghaei et al., 2012). The viability of that emerging web mode was questioned between the years 1997 and 2001 with the dotcom bubble bursting. The current economic models were discussed so far and it was thought to be that systems based on B2B were neither feasible nor profitable (Sixto, 2016).

It was from 2004 on when Internet entered on its second and–although with evidence of a third– until now, its last evolution phase. It was born the social web and together with it the reading concept was replaced by the reading-writing. In fact, the web 2.0 enables users to generate and share their own content on the web (O’Reilly, 2005), therefore, the navigation attitude turns into active and collaborative, and its role on the communicative process moves forward receivers which are also transformed into broadcasters and producers. Among the maximum exponents of the web 2.0, social media are found and, at the same time, inside that combination, social networks, blogs and wikis as well.

For just over 10 years, the use of Internet as a social tool of communication and organization started to be exploited by users in all areas, from both the individual and professional perspective, and, naturally, it was not omitted by the different organizations (Túñez, 2012), regardless of its philosophy of performance or if they had or had not profit. The current companies were hard-pressed to understand without a positioning 2.0 in the market.

However, it is no longer enough to stay on the web, but it is also necessary to know how to behave. How to behave 2.0 implies an active, collaborative and supportive participation as regards the community, that is to say, companies will not only create content for their users, but they should also get involved in a permanent and constant manner in the social interaction that generates such news, so that, an authentic social dialogue is created between the trademarks and their users (and potential users). That ‘compromise to engage with the community’ is what it is known as engagement. And, in fact, as the web 2.0 is focused on the user, the company 2.0 is focused on and directed towards the employee, customers and suppliers, encouraging the internal use of applications as much as the relationship with the foreign market (López, 2009). In other words, the company 2.0 is nourished by market, which is no longer conceived from a static or autonomous position, but it is completely interactive and networked, and a real worldwide networking where each participant has to contribute a personal and brand value.

The establishment of a dialogic model in companies has a direct effect on their organisational evolution. This means that the company may move from being a close entity per se to be a collaborative and active entity, which receives and shares information at the same time that it possesses full communicative nature with employees, associates and stakeholders (internal and public), with customers, in the stock-market, with suppliers and other companies (external and public). 

Nowadays, no one discuss that the vast majority of the large national and multinational companies already possess a philosophy which is sustained on a paradigm 2.0 because they have adapted to market demands and they have known how to take advantage of technology in order to achieve organisational objectives. However, what is happening with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?

According to informe e-Pyme 2015 –published by the National Observatory of Telecommunications and Information Society (ONTSI)–, a 98,4% of Spanish companies with ten or more employees have access to the Internet, a percentage that decreases to 68% in the case of microenterprises (between 0-9 employees).  As far as the implementation of a corporate website is concerned, among enterprises of ten or more employers, this fact is verified in a 76,6% of the cases, whereas an only 27,8% of microenterprises have it. Regarding the use of social media with business purposes, the implementation percentage decreases to 39,3% in companies with more than ten employees and it is similar to microenterprises –27%–.

In Galicia, according to the study entitled System of Indicators of Galician Information Society: enterprises (2015), carried out by Xunta de Galicia through the Observatory of Information Society and Modernization of Galicia (OSIMGA), the 98,7% of enterprises with ten or more employees have access to the Internet, whereas that percentage decreases to 57,9% in the case of companies with less than ten employees.

1.2. Corporate social media and networks

The web 2.0 and the social web provided enterprises with a repertoire of tools which can make real dialogue promises, transparency, agreement and mutual understanding with public.  In this sense, organizations have seen themselves forced to modify their way to understand communication, which, instead of being oriented towards information dissemination, now, it focuses on relationship and dialogue with public. That is to say, it concentrates on the engagement.

Navarro underlines that the exposition, the interactivity, and the ability to distribute provided by blogs, wikis and social networks facilitates the information exchange; they create a long-lasting communication process and generate a national and emotional compromise between organizations and their public. It is right. Social networks–and, by extension, social media– are relational marketing tools whose main goal is to promote customers and to attract new clients (Baamonde et al., 2012), so the use of this type of tools by companies have effects on the purchase/service intention, as well as on the intention to recommend that products to other users/customers (Sánchez et al., 2013).

Social media change the enterprises’ form of communication: they offer the possibility to communicate from one to many, or from one to one, allowing a level of adequacy of messages to public that up to now have resulted unattainable by traditional means (Costa-Sánchez & Fontela, 2016), so that, the message is at the same time more viral and personalised (Sixto, 2012). Andreu (2015), on his behalf, define three aspects in which social networks have/are going to have a great impact on business communication:

  1. The stakeholder engagement or the way that enterprises talk with their interest groups. The opportunity that companies have to make their product known in global markets, in order to know what is happening in countries where they operate and gain legitimacy is increased exponentially with social networks.

  2. Customer relationship. Social networks offer immense opportunities to expand conversation because they are immediate, they can create more personalised, efficient and agile help-desks.

  3. Social media allow the identification of risks that can have a negative impact on business reputation.

But the incidence on environments 2.0 not only affects outside of their doors, but internal communication has also been affected. Andreu (2015) considers that (1) it provides knowledge about their own employees, (2) they have the ability to break down silos inside companies and they allow a greater relationship among employees of different areas, and (3) they offer the potential to break hierarchy, as there is a relationship among equals in social networks. That is why, it can be said that social networks not only modify the way in which enterprises relate with their environment, but they change their own corporate culture.

Nowadays, the consumer not only buys, but also prescribes: he/she comments, judges, values (Pérez et al., 2013), so, it would be naive to think that organizations waste that instant market research and low cost. The interests of organizations to analyse the user’s behaviour (Hütt, 2012) have always been one of the irrefutable truths of any marketing practise, so it can be deduced that it exists a visible interest to reserve a space to the trademark on the participatory web channels.

The report Analysis of the Corporate Social Media Situation 2015 of the Online Business School (OBS) studied the penetration rate which have achieved social networks as communication tools, both for organization objectives and the performance of leadership positions. Such report concludes that more than 95% of enterprises use online channels to communicate with their target and that, besides, the 4,8% of those who say not to use online channels have, at least, a website, they operate on the market B2B and their executive body use some of the social platforms in order to perform their professional functions. The study indicates that the 68% of their professionals affirm to have their social networks integrated in their business strategy and that more than 50% of the enterprises counts with their own team of social media. Executives consider that the use of social networks have contributed an 80% to improve their personal and positioning visibility, and a 76% to generate professional networking.

According to the data of other research of OBS, Social Media 2015, Spain counts on the presence of an online population of twenty-three million people, which over 73% use social networks actively. The most used networks are Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: 88% of Spanish Internet users have a Facebook account, 59% in Google+ and 56% in Twitter.

In a globalised economy and under the umbrella of a network society typical of the Information Society, enterprises need to take advantage of that knowledge transferred both for their competitive improvement and the innovation of their products and productive processes (Miralbell, 2014), consequently, to recommend organizations to have a social presence is not more than a simple obvious remark. As Celaya says (2011) to maintain a stagnant posture towards the use of social networks only results in not to see the future or, to put it another way, it only serves as an excuse to avoid seeing the present time changing constantly.

The Annual Survey of Social Networks from Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) presents relevant data for our object of study, as regards the analysis of users’ relationships with trademarks in social networks. From it we extract that the 23% of Internet Spanish users use networks to become fan or to follow a trademark, another 23% participate in competitions and another 19% use networks to talk about products. Among the main motivations to start following a trademark, we find that the 47% do this in order to maintain themselves informed, the 36% to know the products offered, the 35% because they like the trademark, the 27% in order to participate in competitions and the 24% to obtain discounts in the trademark. The fact that every second users (47%) wish to be informed about what the trademark can offer them is, undoubtedly, a piece of information that confirms the utility of environments 2.0 in the dialogue with public and consequently, the repercussion on the business development.

However, one thing is to contact and another one is to remain there. To build loyalty is more difficult than to make an impact on (Sixto, 2015) and, according to IAB data, the loyalty reasons are related to the content published by trademarks on social networks: 42% of users because they publish content which is of their interest, the 39% to follow the current aspects of the trademark, the 34% because they publish special offers and advertisements, and another 30% because they show new products updates.

2. Methodology
2.1. Research questions and objectives

Do Galician SMEs have presence in the social media? What social means do they use with more frequency? How is the Galician SMEs participation in the social web? What is the purpose of Galician SMEs’ use of social media and networks? How they build loyalty with their public? What is more, do they promote loyalty?

The bibliographical revision and the data gathered in the cited researches of the aforementioned sections allow us to find certain evidences about the social presence of Galician business fabric, but more from a quantitative and qualitative perspective rather than specific one of the concrete area of SMEs. Besides, we consider that our research can contribute to a comparative approach with other studies which have already been carried out.
Therefore, the objectives that we expect to achieve with our work are the following:

  1. To quantify the presence of Galician SMEs in social media.

  2. To identify the types of social media that were chosen by Galician SMEs so as to communicate with public.

  1. To analyse and appreciate the relevance of Galician SMEs communication 2.0 quality from the quantitative point of view (quantity, typology and adaptation of presences from a technical perspective) as well as qualitative point of view (typology of interaction and contents and implementation of social dialogue.

2.2. Research methods 

So as to analyse the social presence of Galician SMEs we have used a sample of one hundred entities/units, in which they are represented the four Galician provinces which, therefore, it equates to the representation of the autonomous community of Galicia.

As regards the segmentation criteria of the whole universe of analysis, we use (a) the sector of activity (b) the enterprise size, taking into account for that purpose (b1) the number of employees, (b2) the annual turnover and (b3) the annual balance sheet total. The enterprise data were extracted from the Ardán database of the Consortium of the Free Trade Zone of Vigo.

First of all, as for segmentation according to the sector of activity, we resorted to the classical division into sectors: primary, secondary and tertiary. As regards the sample we discarded the primary sector because it is not pertinent to the case study, since the activities belonging to this sector in Galicia are not structured, in general terms, into entrepreneurial form. The secondary sector was divided into two blocks, industry and construction, in order that twenty enterprises of each group were selected. Finally, the service sector –the sector that, a priori, it should make a greater use of social networks, since its enterprise development necessarily implies a direct contact with final external public– it was subdivided into three subsectors: business, hotel industry and a third group which comprises the rest of services. There were also chosen twenty companies of each of them. Public enterprises have not been taken into account.

On the other hand, segmentation according to the number of workers results a sine que non condition in order to delimit the SMEs’ area of study. The Commission Recommendation of the European Union of 6 May 2003 considers SMEs as economic entities with legal or natural personality which does not exceed 250 workers, whose turnover is equal or lower than 50 million euros and the total of its balance does not exceed 43 million euros. According to the document, when an enterprise have less than ten workers on staff and when its turnover and balance are equal or lower than two million euros it will be considered as a micro-enterprise, whereas those which do not reach fifty workers and they possess a turnover as well as a total balance equal or lower to ten millions euros, they will be small-sized enterprises, being middle-sized businesses, consequently, those which reach these indicators.

In this sense, all chosen companies present less than 250 employees, but, on the other hand, due to the fact that the greater part of Galician SMEs (99%) have less than fifty employees –that is to say, they are small-sized enterprises–, the most part of chosen entities possess between 0 and 50 employees. Thus, we established the following category stretches:

  1. Enterprises with 0-10 employees (micro-enterprises): there were chosen 30 units.

  2. Enterprises with 11-50 employees (small-sized enterprises) there were selected 45 units because they constitute the nucleus of the Galician business fabric.

  3. Enterprises with 51-200 employees (medium-sized enterprises): there were chosen 22 enterprises which belong to this level.

  4. Enterprises with 201-250 (large medium-sized enterprises): although ‘the biggest’ Galician SME mean a small part of the Galician business sector, we value positively its presence in the research. Therefore, there were selected 3 enterprises belonging to this category.

Table 1. Study sample.


Size of the universe

10.000 units

Size of the sample

100 units

Sample location

(A Coruña, Lugo, Ourense and Pontevedra)


Ardán, Database of the Consortium of the Free Trade Zone of Vigo

Segmentation criterion

  1. Sector of activity.
  2. Size (number of employers).
  3. Annual turnover.
  4. Annual balance sheet total.

Confidence level


Margin of error


Source: own elaboration.
As regards the research techniques employed –apart from the database looked up and the relevant bibliographical review which contextualize the investigation (the state of art)– there were used, fundamentally, quantitative techniques, namely, the questionnaire/evaluation sheet and the media monitoring, although both instruments of investigation contemplate an inside analysis as much qualitative as quantitative of social presences. We have elaborated, thus, an evaluation sheet to assess the social participation of Galician SMEs according to:

  1. Elements of quantitative nature: social media presence, type of presence (corporate web 2.0, blog and/or social network); social networks which have presence and adequacy of that presence as regards technical criteria (page, profile, group, community or channel), number of users who follow the enterprise (or the ones followed by the enterprise, when applicable), actualization frequencies and interaction level with users. 

  2. Elements of qualitative nature: typology of interaction with users (active or passive) and characteristics of the disseminated content (corporate, promotional, sectorial and dialogic space) as regards the collection of symptoms which patented the level of dialogue reached between organization-public. 

All data have been collected between 1st September and 30th October 2016.

3. Results
3.1. Galician SMEs’ presence 2.0

The first item of analysis that we have considered is how many Galician SMEs have network presence, that is, how many SMEs count with its own website. Three out of four enterprises (74%) possess website, although the information is not radically equivalent to a presence 2.0, since some of the webs imply a testimonial value of network presence, but they do not present signs of being webs 2.0. That is to say, it means, in some cases, of static webpages, without space for dialogue or interaction with the user and with content of low informative value. However, there were also verified enterprises which have renew, updated and relevant websites at its disposal as well as they are appropriate to the current digital era:


When examining the presence and participation in spaces which are purely 2.0 –such as blogs and social networks- the percentages diminish. In fact, only one out of ten SMEs (10%) counts with a corporate blog, opposite to half of enterprises (51%) which have social networks presence:


Regarding the total number of enterprises with website, the 36,49% do not use any other tool 2.0 (neither blog nor social networks), although half of SMEs (50%) which its own website have also presence in social networks. Only a 13,51% of SMEs with website opt for a triple participation in web, blog and social networks:


When the Company opts for using networks the tendency is not to remain only in one. A 65% of enterprises registered in social networks have an account in two or more networks, whereas a remaining 35% percentage is present on a unique network:


Facebook is the most used network by enterprises: nine out of ten organizations with presence in networks have participation in this one (90%) and, on the other hand, the vast majority of enterprises, which only were registered in one network choose Facebook (83%). Secondly, it appears Twitter, which was used by slightly more than half of enterprises (53%), whereas LinkedIn and Google+ complete the podium of the most used social networks and they reach the third place (27% in both cases):


If we told that we appreciate the tendency to combine the parallel engagement over several networks, we ask ourselves what are the other social spaces where enterprises registered in Facebook would participate (network with the largest number of registers). Well, then, as regards the whole of SMEs present in Facebook, over half of them have an account in Twitter (57%) and a quarter (24%) resort to Instagram, LinkedIn or Google+. Other networks –such as YouTube, Pinterest or Foursquare as a whole- are used by the 28% (taking into account the global computation of all other networks):


3.2. Corporate use of social networks
3.2.1. Facebook

Of the total Galician SMEs, almost half of them (46%) have presence in Facebook and, of the SMEs with presence in social networks, nine out of ten (90%) opt for this network as their main option. Of such enterprises, a 89,13% confirm a correct participation, that is, they have an entrepreneurial page. Nevertheless, it is verified that one out of each ten SMEs (10,87%) ignores participatory and operating mechanisms in this network, so they have opted for personal profile to organisational presence, something that, apart from being incorrect, it expressly prohibits their own social network. The average of followers in pages is of 2.202,53 users.

The update inter of entrepreneurial pages of Facebook is dissimilar. An 80,49% develops a not regularly labour of updating: a 34,15% take more than one month without refreshing, a 14,63% update their account once a week and a 31,71% update less than four times per week. By contrast, only two out of ten (19,51%) update the content of the page more than four times per week: 


Regarding the level of interaction with users, it is below 25% of situations in three out of every four SMEs (78%), which equates to the fact that more than 75% users’ participation in network remain unanswered. The interaction is placed between 25 and 75% in 17,10% of enterprises and only a 4,90% of the cases is higher than 75% of users’ participations:


The interaction with users –in cases in which it exists and, consequently, it can be analysed- is active (beyond ‘Like’) in the 67% of practises, whereas in the remaining 33% it is passive and it is reduced to simple reactions (‘Like’ or ‘Love’) without going into engage a dialogue with the stakeholders:


Concerning the type of content published in Facebook pages (promotional, corporate, information about the sector or dialogic space), the option preferred by the majority of companies is promotional (53,65%). The corporate content appears in a 31,70% of the cases, whereas information related to business sector reaches a 12,19%, leaving the dialogic space relegated to a 2,43% of scenarios:



3.2.2. Twitter

Of the total Galician SMEs, a 27% of them are present in Twitter. The average of tweets published in their profiles is of 1.288,77, although their publications are generally texts and, indeed, tweets with audio visual content (photos and/or videos) mean an average of 221,51.

The general tendency is that companies preferred to be followed by users than having the enterprise account to follow users. In this sense, the average of users that are followed by enterprises is of 412,11 against the 770,59 followers of average that they possess.

As regards the update frequencies, accounts which take more than one month without updating represent the highest percentage, 33,33%; 7,41% of SMEs update their page once a week and those who update more than four times per week represent the 25,93% of the whole:


The interaction with users is below 25% in the majority of cases –61,53% of enterprises–, whereas the 30,77% reach an interaction level between 25 and 75%. Only a 7,70% make a greater interaction of 75%, consequently, the levels of full conversation are higher in Twitter than in Facebook (4,90%), in spite of the fact that they are residual in both cases:


As regards the typology of interactions, in cases in which the interaction is increased, 50% of them are active, whereas as for the other half (50%) responses are passive. The most widely used content in Twitter is promotional (46,15%) followed by information related to the sector (30,76%), the corporate content (19,23%) and the dialogic spaces, which are only registered in the 7,69% of enterprises. The 3,45% of companies with presence in Twitter have never updated their profile, therefore, these presences have not been taken into account for statistics about types of content:



 3.2.3. LinkedIn

In LinkedIn, as well as in Facebook, we can distinguish between entrepreneurial pages and user profiles reserved for people. The results of this investigation reflect a 15% of personal profiles in corporate presences, a fact that means a lack of awareness about the organisational use of network and, consequently, a serious error in the communicative strategy.

Pages (the correct participations), therefore, represent an 85% of presences and/or registers. As regards the update frequency, more than half of enterprises (58,33%) take more than one month without updating LinkedIn and one out of four (25%) has never refreshed it. Inside the remaining percentage –the one that corresponds to enterprises that use frequently the network- an 8,33% update more than four times per week and another 8,33% do it, at least, once every week:


Nine out of ten enterprises (88,88%) hardly interact with their followers (interaction inferior to 25%). The level of interaction increases within a range of between 25 and 75% in the 11,11% of the cases, but the most remarkable is that in this network this fact cannot be verified under no circumstances (0%) of enterprises with an interaction level with public superior to 75%:


When there is participation, it is active in the 100% of the cases. Nine out of ten enterprises use their LinkedIn page to divulge public corporate information about their own organization (88,88%), whereas the rest of them share promotional content (11,11%), which implies that there is never space for conversation (0%):



3.2.4. Google +

27% of Galician SMEs use Google+, the same percentage as the use of LinkedIn. The average of followers of entrepreneurial pages is of 19,36 and people in their circle of 56,73, which means, in the presence of a small number of followers and the ones followed, which is about presences purely testimonial that are related to the benefits for the organic or SEO positioning which entails the presence of being in Google. Furthermore, only a 7% of enterprises have opted for creating communities in this social network.

Google+ also counts with companies that take more than one month without uploading content to their account (57,14%); a 28,57% bring up to date less than four times a week and the percentage of enterprises that stay up to date their profile more than four times a week represent the 7,14%, the same as companies which have never updated it:


The interaction with users is inferior to 25% in all cases (100%). As regards content, Google+ is more varied than Instagram or LinkedIn: more than half of enterprises (53,84%) share corporate content, more than one third (38,46%) share promotional content and almost an 8% broadcast information about the sector they belong:


3.2.5. Instagram

Instagram occupies the fifth place among mostly used social networks (24%) by Galician SMEs. The enterprises registered in Instagram reach an average of 444,92 followers and they follow an average of 288,25 people, at the same time they publish an average of 203,5 photographs in their accounts.

Half of the enterprises (50%) take more than one month without uploading content to their profile, whereas one out of four (25%) updates its account less than four times per week and an 8% do it, at least, once a week. Lastly, there is a 16,66% that present a superior level of interaction because they upload photographs more than four times per week:


The rates of interaction with users, just like in the other social networks, become inferior to 25% in the majority of cases (66,66%). However, one out of four enterprises (25%) record an interaction level between 25 and 75% in situations which are likely to strike up a conversation and, even, it is documented that an 8,33% of enterprises possess a level of interaction superior to 75%. Just like it occurs in LinkedIn, almost all the cases in which the interaction can be studied, this one (100%) is active:


The analysis of the content that is published in Instagram results in a dichotomy of enterprises: those who use it to spread corporate information (33,33%) and those who share promotional content (66,66%):


4. Discussion and conclusions

Galician SMEs give prevalence to websites rather than social networks to their presence on the Internet: three out of four (74%) have their own website, whereas half of them (50%) appear in social networks. On the other hand, the blog is the least used resource 2.0 by SMEs, because only one out of ten (10%) resorts to its exploitation.
Those SMEs which count with website, the 36,49% use it exclusively, although the majority (51%) bet on combining this online presence with the use of social networks. Only a minority (13,51%) combine the participation in the web, social networks and blog.

Facebook is by far the mostly used network by SMEs (90% of the whole and 46% from those which have web). This means that it exists a generalised tendency to substitute the web for the presence in Facebook, although that directive is not confirmed in the case of entities that have opted for having a corporate website. Facebook is followed by the most extensively used networks, in order of preference, Twitter (27%), LinkedIn (14%), Google+ (14%) and Instagram (12%).

But, additionally, it is deduced from the investigation that enterprises which use social networks do not limit themselves exclusively to one, but they combine the simultaneous use of several networks. A 24% use two different social networks, a 14% opt for three networks, a 10% combine the use of four networks and SMEs that use more than four networks represent the 18% of the total. Facebook pages are the most followed by users, their frequency of updating is greater than in the rest of networks and they present the highest levels of active interaction (67%) among organization-public.

Nevertheless, the reason of the use of networks responds more to a testimonial presence rather than a real space of participation with the community of users. On the whole, the update frequency is low and, sometimes, non-existent (the 41,51% takes more than one month without updating and the 4,72% of the accounts have never been used). A 35,85% of SMEs are placed below four updates per week and only a 17,92% refresh their content more than four times a week. In the latter case it is demonstrated, at least, a first active attempt of engagement generation with the audiences.

This search for compromise through speaking (frequency of updating superior to four times per week) is reflected, mainly, in Twitter (25,93%), Facebook (19,51%) and Instagram (16,66%). In contrast, LinkedIn and Google+ are the least updated networks: a 58,33% take more than one month without refreshing in LinkedIn and a 57,14% without doing it in Google+.

Notwithstanding, the levels of interaction remain below the half of situations which are likely to strike up a conversation with public in the majority of cases (76,47%). When this interaction is produced, it is active and it goes beyond a simple Like in the 62,5% of the cases. Here, it exists engagement and we witness a committed attitude of organization to create, nurture and maintain a community of users, but, as we have say, it is delimited to less than a quarter of enterprises (23,53%) and it is reproduced, in the majority of practices, in Twitter, a network supported per se in an almost synchronous and dialogic model.

If we confirmed in the study by IAB of 2016 that the 47% of users follow a trademark in order to keep oneself up to date, we verify that Galician SMEs meet audience expectations, because they use networks to share mainly promotional and corporate content, although promotional publications are highlighted against the corporate ones (36,66%), which they are only the majority in networks such as LinkedIn (88,88%) and Google+ (53,84%), where, on the other hand, building a conversation is not verified under no circumstances (0%).

Thus, ultimately, among Galician SMEs it exists an awareness that the presence in a net is an essential element in order to participate in the current market, but they only know the theory while they do not succeed in the practice. So as to prove that presence they resort to websites and Facebook, principally, there are still cases (when they opt for single presences) which are replacing their own corporate website by this social network. 

It is not yet embraced the idea that networks supported by a model that goes beyond the testimonial and corporate presence and, that is why, their usage is relegated, in the vast majority of the cases, to non-dialogic showcases which serve to display and exhibit products that, especially in the case of Google+, they are used exclusively because they favour the SEO positioning and they involve other services such as Google Maps or Google My Business which ensure visibility, but they do not reinforce directly the interactivity. Thus, since the presences act mainly as merchandisers rather than permanent spaces of interaction, we cannot prove, for the time being, a systematized tendency of engagement generation but the compromise remains in ‘achieving the follower’ and, once they reach the objective, efforts seem to be kept to a minimum so as to maintain it and reaching the fact that the follower will engage with the trademark as well.

*Funded research. This article is a project funded by the Instituto de Medios Sociales under the collaboration of Convenio Empresa -USC, Santander Practices CRUE CEPYME 2015-2016.

-Initiation of the investigation: 1 June 2016.
-Finalisation of the investigation: 26 November 2016.


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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References

J Sixto García, N Aguado Domínguez, R Riveiro Castro (2017): “Presence 2.0 of Galician SMEs: participation levels and engagement with the users”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 72, pp. 47 to 68.
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2017-1153


Article received on 17 November 2016. Accepted on 20 January.
Published on 28 January 2017.