Social Media for Business: An Initial Scoping Exercise for Sri Lanka

As Sri Lanka steps into a phase of development where digitalisation of services is being prioritised (government services, business procedures, etc.), the role that social media platforms play as enablers of business activity should not be underestimated. Particularly for segments such as MSMEs and youth, social media platforms are increasingly becoming the primary engagement platform for business activities such as advertising, selling and delivery. In this context, a preliminary scoping study of the social media landscape for business (limited to Facebook and Instagram) is carried out using both quantitative and qualitative components. An online survey was conducted to extract information from a sample of 40 social media businesses belonging to three broad categories: food, retail and services. The study found that the predominant demographic for these firms was young, female, and urban; delivery and payment methods employed were still basic; and business owners felt that the current policy ecosystem supporting such firms was weak.

Research team

Harini Weerasekara
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Kithmina Hewage
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Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka