Journal of Public Relations Research Middle East
Scientific Refereed & Open Access Journal
ICR IF 2021/2022=1.569 , Arcif IF 2023 = 2.7558 Q1, IF of the Supreme Council of Universities = 7
ISSN Online: (2314-873X) ISSN Print: (2314-8721)
| Vol.11
The Role of Innovation Social Media Strategies in Supporting Small Businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study , Vol.11 , Special Issue (Forty-seventh) about: Media and Mass Communication

Associate Prof. Dr. Layla Hasan Al Saqer-Associate Prof. of Public Relations & Media,Department of Mass Communication, Tourism & Fine Arts,Faculty of Arts,Bahrain University

This paper analyzes the role of social media in supporting small businesses in Bahrain during the COVID-19 pandemic by studying the case study of the “Ezwa” campaign. The paper aims to analyze the planning process and the innovation strategies used by the campaign in social media and how the target audience interacted with these strategies. The researcher conducted a content analysis of the campaign’s posts on Instagram in addition to focus groups with the campaign’s team. The researcher used Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory (1983) and McGuire’s (1989) dynamic theories matrix to analyze the data. The paper found that the campaign used a strategic plan based on research and strategic goals and objectives. The researcher found that the team used written messages with graphic backgrounds in 34.5% of the Instagram posts, written messages with photos in 9.5% of the posts, graphic design in 44% of the posts, and 12% of the posts used videos to convey the message. The researcher found that 70.2% of the posts used “offer” messages, while 29.8% of the posts used “demand” messages. The results demonstrated that the team used five significant innovation strategies on Instagram posts. 58.3% of the posts used a stimulation strategy, 23.8% of the posts used a noetic (attribution) strategy, 8.3% of the posts used an identification strategy, 4.8% of the posts used an empathy strategy, and 4.8% of the posts used a teleological strategy. The researcher found that all the posts (100%) got “likes”, 78.6% of the posts had comments, while 9.5% of the posts got “mentions”. The findings showed a high interaction with the campaign’s innovation strategies. The paper recommends that further research should be developed to study the impact of social media campaigns in solving social and economic problems in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era using multiple qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Key Words:
Social media, Innovation, Communication Strategies, COVID-19 Pandemic, Small Businesses, Strategic Planning.

Research Language:
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