Social media marketing and domestic tourism performance in Uganda
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The intense rise of social media usage today has opened up new possibilities for marketers to connect with their customers and attract new potential markets. Social media marketing facilitates a lively platform to reach potential customers, interact with them, understand their needs and influence their voices for greater impact on the performance of any practicing business. For a country Like Uganda that enjoys a 15% mobile and internet penetration with great social media adoption among mostly the youth that constitute over 70% of the national population, promotion of any product or service domestically using social media channels, therefore, would be a reliable channel to reach the local market. Adoption and absorption of such a product or service however would be at the mercy of other factors other than publicity. This study assessed the potential of social media marketing in promoting domestic tourism performance in Uganda, through examining the effect of social media marketing on tourism firms’ domestic market performance. A cross-sectional study design was adopted among tourism firms in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Quantitative techniques of data collection were used. A total number of135 tourism marketing managers was interviewed, randomly selecting one marketing manager in each firm. SPSS version16 was used to analyse quantitative data. The study variables included Social Media Marketing, Tourism supply Chain, Tourism Resources (Attractions) and Domestic Tourism Firm Performance with emphasis on market share, market sales, and profitability. Analysis was done at bivariate level to test the association between social media marketing and each of the study Variables. Further analysis was done at multivariate level to test the statistical significance of the associations. Mediating effect of tourism supply chain and destination attractions (Resources) was analyzed using SMARTPLS. Findings revealed that 99 (73.3%) of the tourism firms use social media platforms for tourism marketing. About 40% of firms mainly use Facebook platform. At bivariate analysis, the study found a significant positive relationship between social media marketing and: firm’s domestic tourism market share (r=.595**: p< 0.01), market sales (r=0.691**: p<0.01), firms’ profitability (r= .689**: p< 0.01). At Multivariate Analysis, the regression model predicted the existence of a statistically significant contribution of market share, market sales and profitability on the firm performance (F=45.013; p<0.01). A combination of market share, market sales and profitability on firm performance are capable of predicting 79.6% change in a tourism firm’s domestic market performance. The Mediating effect of Tourism Supply Chain and Tourism Resources (Attractions) in the relationship between Social Media marketing and domestic tourism firm performance is not significant (β = 0.333, p>0.135) and (β = 0.303, p>0.154) respectively.