The Value of Social Media Advertising Strategies on Tourist Behavior: A Game-Changer for Small Rural Businesses

Authors

  • Nory B. Jones University of Maine Business School
  • Patti Miles University of Maine Business School
  • Tanya Beaulieu University of Maine Business School

Abstract

Nature-based tourism represents a growing sector within the tourism industry, and these interests could help improve the conditions of economically disadvantaged rural communities. The new digital landscape, including Internet and social media usage, represents a critical strategic opportunity to inform, educate and reach these tourism segments. The present research examines the impact of social media advertising on nature-based tourism within rural communities. In this research, we utilize the COBRA (Consumers’ Online Brand-Related Activities) model (Muntinga et al., 2011) of consumer behavior to assess the impact social media advertising plays in generating Pre-Consumption, Consumption, Creation, Contribution, and Engagement in rural business. The results are significant, finding that incorporating digital strategies within rural firms is beneficial. According to our research, the careful placement of a social media advertisement can statistically increase engagement components by more than 50%. In theory, this can increase tourism and economic activity in these rural, economically disadvantaged areas.

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Author Biographies

Nory B. Jones, University of Maine Business School

Murphy Chair and Professor of Business Information Systems, University of Maine Business School, 5723 Donald P Corbett Business Building, Orono, ME 04469, njones@maine.edu. Dr. Jones’ research focuses on information systems strategy, rural small business and knowledge management.

Patti Miles, University of Maine Business School

Associate professor at the Maine Business School, University of Maine Business School, 5723 Donald P Corbett Business Building, Orono, ME 04469, patti.miles@maine.edu. Her main research interest is statistical analysis, corporate social responsibility, and most recently Grit, Resilience, and Hardiness of Navy SEALs.

Tanya Beaulieu, University of Maine Business School

Assistant professor of Business Information Systems, University of Maine Business School, 5723 Donald P Corbett Business Building, Orono, ME 04469, tanya.beaulieu@maine.edu. Dr. Beaulieu’s research focuses on crowdfunding and entrepreneur’s use of technology.

Published

2021-11-16

How to Cite

Jones, N. B., Miles, P., & Beaulieu, T. (2021). The Value of Social Media Advertising Strategies on Tourist Behavior: A Game-Changer for Small Rural Businesses. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 31(4), 64–75. Retrieved from https://libjournals.mtsu.edu/index.php/jsbs/article/view/2136

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Articles