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The use of social media platforms can facilitate the internationalisation and the sales processes of international entrepreneurial ventures

  • Economy and society

In her dissertation study M.Sc. Sara Fraccastoro provides understanding on how entrepreneurial firms that operate in international markets use social media platforms for their internationalisation and sales management processes. Specifically, it shows that the use of social media integrated with traditional networking methods and sales communication methods can facilitate the internationalisation and the sales management processes of international entrepreneurial ventures. Public examination online on 23.10. at 12 noon (GMT +3) at

During the last decade, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn have arisen as important communication channels. Their characteristics of global online reach and the possibility of improving interaction among users in an inexpensive way are leveraged in many business functions of firms operating internationally.  However, evidence shows that firms are often concerned about how to use social media and why.

The study shows that especially young entrepreneurial ventures can use social media to build network connections needed when entering foreign markets and later, to expand their foreign penetration. Leveraging the social media characteristics of being cost-efficient and providing global visibility helps firms becoming embedded in foreign business environments and thus overcome financial and organisational resource limitations. These are typically faced by small and medium-sized firms when conducting business in foreign markets, and often referred to as liabilities of smallness, newness, and foreignness. The study conceptualises social media use as a firm-specific capability and it shows that when used in tandem with other internationalisation channels, it enables firms to acquire important learning about foreign markets and intensify international operations.

From an international sales perspective, the study shows that given the needs of dynamism, flexibility, and cost-reduction faced by internationalising firms and the challenges related to technological advancement, business-to-business sales processes focus on three main phases. In these, international entrepreneurial firms seek diverse combinations of social media tools integrated with digital and traditional sales communication methods to reach a wider scope of business in terms of geographical reach and adaptation to customers’ needs.

The dissertation consists of three essays and adopts a qualitative methodology that is used consistently throughout the thesis in order to generate new theoretical understanding. Accordingly, the three essays follow a single-case study, a multiple-case study, and a grounded theory method conducted on firms from Brazil, Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, and Sweden.

The doctoral dissertation of MSc Sara Fraccastoro, entitled Social media use in international entrepreneurial ventures. An international network and sales perspective will be examined at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Per Servais of the Linnaeus University, and the custos will be Professor Mika Gabrielsson of the University of Eastern Finland.

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The doctoral thesis is available online at

Further information: Sara Fraccastoro, +358 50 328 2952, sara.fraccastoro(at), UEF ConnectLinkedIn, Scholar