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Open AccessArticle

Gaining Trust in the Digital Age: The Potential of Social Media for Increasing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises

1
Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
2
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, 11080 Belgrade, Serbia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Oliver Meixner
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1884; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041884
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 9 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Consumer Behavior and Food Marketing)
Trust in information originating from a company is becoming essential, as consumer preferences are increasingly versatile and oriented towards credence attributes. Social media, which emerged as a dominant means of online communication, might help increase consumers’ trust in companies. The paper empirically investigates a conceptual trust-building mechanism that could occur on companies’ social media pages. A survey was conducted among social media users in Belgrade (Serbia). The collected data were analyzed using covariance-based structural equation modeling. It confirmed that in an interactive environment of companies’ social media pages, trust can be built towards two objects. The first one is trust among consumers, and the second one is trust towards a company. The results also confirm a connection between trust and an intention to purchase, both being also related to a consumer’s willingness to obtain information. Therefore, the result can serve as a basis for creating more effective marketing campaigns where a company is the source of information regarding credence (added-value) attributes of its products. View Full-Text
Keywords: consumer behavior; purchase intention; trust; social media; small and medium enterprises consumer behavior; purchase intention; trust; social media; small and medium enterprises
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rajković, B.; Đurić, I.; Zarić, V.; Glauben, T. Gaining Trust in the Digital Age: The Potential of Social Media for Increasing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises. Sustainability 2021, 13, 1884. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041884

AMA Style

Rajković B, Đurić I, Zarić V, Glauben T. Gaining Trust in the Digital Age: The Potential of Social Media for Increasing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises. Sustainability. 2021; 13(4):1884. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041884

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rajković, Borislav; Đurić, Ivan; Zarić, Vlade; Glauben, Thomas. 2021. "Gaining Trust in the Digital Age: The Potential of Social Media for Increasing the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises" Sustainability 13, no. 4: 1884. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041884

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