Lebanon’s area is ranked 170th in the social media marketing world (CIA, 2021), smaller than Connecticut, one of the smallest states in America. In addition, Lebanon is one of the few democratic countries in the Middle East. As for Lebanon’s economy, it is a free market economy and has a long tradition of illogical economics. In addition to its coastal location on the Eastern Mediterranean coast, Lebanon is considered the central ‘window’ from the Middle East to Europe, North Africa, and other parts of the world. once called the ‘Paris’ of the Middle East before the bloody 15 years of civil war that ended in 1990.
Although Lebanon is small But it is also one of the most diverse countries in the world. Christians, Muslims, Druze, and other sectarian minorities are scattered across small countries, and even Lebanon’s political system is based on sectarianism.
However, this diversity plays an important role in the country’s problems. This diversity was a necessary prerequisite for the civil war in the country and today plays a key role in political paralysis, although other factors (mostly foreign) are to blame. There are currently no acting presidents and rival political parties of the country to fight and defend against, rather than facilitate the country’s development.
Additionally, Lebanon’s proximity to Israel makes it a foreign policy / proxy battleground for foreigners, with each country using Lebanon for its own selfish purpose.
The country’s sad political reality has had a profound impact on the country’s economy. Moreover, since Lebanon is a service economy, this sector is the most affected.
Tourism plays an important role in the social media marketing country’s economy. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade (MOET), “Tourism is one of Lebanon’s most important economic sectors” (Economic Research Unit, 2010).
Social Media Marketing for Businesses
In addition, the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that Lebanon’s travel and tourism industry generated more than $ 4 billion in revenue in 2013 (World Travel & Tourism Council, 2014).
The travel and tourism sector accounted for about 10% of the economy in 2012, but that share fell to 9% in 2013 (page 14) due to the domestic political situation and other factors. The country continued to decline from 2011 to 2013.
As the travel industry has been in trouble in recent years, the room for error for businesses in this industry is minimal. The political and economic situation is forcing tourist-related (TR) companies in Lebanon, which means they are forced to do more to make up for growing losses. (Or lower profits) and with fewer resources, It was not said when the political and economic situation in Lebanon would improve, especially as the neighboring Syrian civil war showed no signs of relief.
There are a number of ways Lebanon’s TR business has been able to adapt during the period, such as implementing a downsizing policy and cutting marketing and advertising budgets. When an economic downturn and troubled times hit businesses, the first thing to eliminate is often the marketing budget. But especially since TR companies need more marketing to make up for the loss of businesses, this may not be a good idea.
One solution to this problem is to take advantage of a social media marketing strategy as it uses little or no resources, making it ideal for Lebanon’s current economic situation. Social media marketing helps TR companies overcome the barriers of tight budgets and diminished businesses.
In recent years, the positive impact of social media on companies has been very large (Kaplan et al., 2010; Stelzner, 2010; Treem & Leonardi, 2012, p. 143; Baker & Green, 2014).
Additionally, Facebook and Twitter fans of a particular brand are more likely to recommend and buy these brands than non-fans (Cruz & Mendelsohn, 2011), but we don’t need to monitor their social impact. More and more companies are adding social media marketing tools to their marketing strategies and in some cases even becoming an integral part of their overall business strategy.
Normally, we expect Lebanese companies to quickly adopt social media marketing as a key role in their overall marketing strategy. But that’s not the case When it comes to the Middle East, and especially Lebanon, the region follows the West in its use of social media. Not only that, when it comes to companies related to the travel industry, there is still a lot of room for growth. Small investments in technology prevent travel companies from exploiting their social media marketing opportunities.
The Lebanese tourism industry is not benefiting from a social media marketing strategy, although there are benefits to it. This is a huge problem, especially as the economy is struggling.
In addition, Lebanese TR companies and Lebanon companies generally do not use social media tools as they should. This poses a huge problem in resource wastage and significant missed opportunities as it can reach large audiences through social media, giving companies using social media marketing tools the opportunity to: More success and wealth
The fruits and benefits of social media marketing tools can be significant in Lebanon if we are not aware of the factors leading to the widespread protection of social media marketing adoption.
In addition, as long as there are no studies on the effective use of social media marketing campaigns in the Lebanese context, many TR companies could lose even if they decide to use a social media marketing tool.
In addition, there are many studies in the West on the effective use of social media marketing campaigns. But these results may or may not apply to the Lebanese context. Therefore, the aim of this study was to find out the factors that play a role in the effective use of social media marketing in the TR activities in Lebanon.
Ultimately, there is no doubt that social media marketing plays a very important role in marketing campaigns and even in the overall success of the travel-related business.
Lebanon’s tourism-related business (TR) follows the developed world of SMM investment and adoption. Why is that because of the many benefits of SMMs? In addition, to pursue global social media marketing tracking, what is the most efficient way for Lebanese TR companies to deploy SMM campaigns?
The purpose of this study is twofold. This study aims to find out exactly what those factors are that are preventing the widespread adoption of social media marketing tools among Lebanese TR businesses. The philosophy used is interpretivism, for an inductive approach to go from specific to general research, the strategy is ethnographic, and the methodology is qualitative. Five companies had high social media ‘visibility’ and the other five didn’t. So, the participants’ answers provided very useful information and solutions for the research problem.
The results found that among the most relevant factors of little SMM investment & use by Lebanese TR businesses are that many don’t see benefits to using SMM and so don’t support it.
The results also provided useful information on factors for effectively implementing SMM by Lebanese TR businesses including the acceptance of SMM by ownership/decision-makers and the importance of these people in seeing the benefits of SMM. Also, problems with implementing SMM include negative customer feedback and inter-departmental power struggles.
Recommendations include communicating the benefits of. SMM to Lebanese TR businesses which is of such high importance to get them to use SMM. There should also be an. SMM plan with a consistent schedule outlining the days to add content to social media sites as well as comprehensive monitoring of SM user comments about the business.