Using Social Media to Extract Indirect Experiential Knowledge for the Internationalization of an Entrepreneurial Firm


  • Johannes Järviniemi
  • Heli Hallikainen
  • Tommi Laukkanen


Internationalization, Social media, Twitter, Market knowledge, Indirect experiential knowledge


Social media platforms have become popular and widely used, and they contain large amounts of knowledge hidden in the user‑generated content. This study, hence, suggests that analyzing the semantic meanings hidden within the user‑generated content on social media platforms enables the extraction of knowledge about international markets which has not been previously available, but that can enhance firms’ understanding of foreign markets. The study suggests that novel methods of content analytics, including sentiment analysis, can provide entrepreneurial firms with a cost‑effective way to acquire knowledge about foreign markets in general and about customers, competitors and other stakeholders operating in the international supply chain. To demonstrate this, we present a case study of a craft brewery and use sentiment analysis to extract knowledge of craft beer related discussions in general and of two brands currently operating in the pre‑specified target markets of a craft brewery. Based on an analysis of 20,153 tweets extracted in a two‑weeks data collection period from Twitter, the results of the study show that, in general, craft beer related discussions are positively rather than negatively oriented, and hence there may exist potential for the products of the case company. In addition, the results of the study provide insights into two competing brands currently operating in foreign markets. When comparing the tweets of the two competing brands currently operating in the target markets, the results of the study showed that the tweets related to brand B were more positively oriented and associated more frequently with positive sentiments, in comparison to brand A.



1 Jan 2020