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Social media use in B2B context

A multi-case study on the use of social media by B2B companies

Written by D. Poblete, S. El-Tahan

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis

Subject

Business Administration>Marketing & Sales

Year

2017

Abstract

Thesis: The importance of social media in B2B Cheverton (2004) defines marketing as “forecasting, identifying and satisfying customer needs and making profits”. With the development of social media and the increase in the number of users, companies have become more involved and regard social media as a related marketing tool (Siamagka et al., 2015; Järvinen et al., 2012). Social media is being used as an effective tool for B2B marketing activities. More and more marketers are using social media to achieve marketing goals, such as attracting new customers, identifying business partners, and creating new business advantages (Siamagka et al., 2015; Gusalga; 2016; Järvinen et al., 2012). Recently, social media has become an important platform for individuals and organizations. According to Siamagka et al. (2015) The company is using social media to help create capabilities and higher performance. B2B companies are beginning to explore and understand the importance of social media and its consequences (Siagmagka et al., 2015; Guesalga, 2016). In a recent study, Lacka & Chong (2016) pointed out that social media platforms are used as two-way communication between buyers and sellers​​. It enables B2B marketers to improve performance in building strong relationships with customers and business partners. However, more research is still needed on the use of social media in the B2B environment (Guesalga, 2016; Lacka & Chong, 2016; Siagmagka et al., 2015). Companies and individuals are increasingly using social media platforms for different purposes, such as; building brand awareness, building deeper relationships, sharing and exchanging information about products or services, advertising, recruiting employees, comments and feedback, Customer service and building customer satisfaction (ibid.). Every year, more companies and individuals participate in the adoption of social media (Keating et al., 2015; Järvinen et al., 2012; Rodriguez et al., 2012; Gusalga, 2016). Obviously, many authors point out the importance of social media platforms in different organizations and the consequences of social media use, whether positive or negative, which is why it is important for companies to understand how to implement the knowledge required in this area. According to ( Guesalga, 2016) stated that different social media platforms are used for various purposes, such as improving communication between buyers and sellers, building word-of-mouth and increasing customer base (ibid.). Research also shows that social media can influence decision making. 2.1.1 What are the social media platforms? Lacka & Chong (2016) pointed out that if B2B marketers seek to adopt social media sites, their perceptions of the usability, usefulness, and practicality of social media platforms in a B2B environment are important. Marketing. There are many companies that have their own presence on social media, the most commonly used platforms are; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (Keating et al., 2015; Gusalga, 2016). Different platforms provide different functions and require the attention of many companies, and different platforms are used according to the purpose of the organization (ibid.). Why are these platforms important to businesses? Guesalga (2016) believes that companies that use social media can quickly provide and exchange valuable information, and they can develop and increase opportunities for deepening and long-term relationships with customers. This confirms that it can help customers, enterprises and individuals interact in a more direct way of communication and simplify the way of interaction in a variety of ways (Siagmaka et al., 2015; Keating et al., 2015; Guesalga, 2016). Different social media platforms are related to each other to some extent, but they have different functions (ibid.). According to Järvinen et al. (2012) Facebook is a website that helps individuals and organizations share different content, such as pictures, videos, memories, exchange information with other platforms, and provide companies and individuals with various details about products or organizations through inboxes and fan pages. Information, customer service (ibid.). Fischer & Reuber (2010) mentioned that all such information held by Facebook can be private or accessible to everyone, because individuals and organizations can manage their privacy settings. In addition, Facebook has the ability to share posts and experiences with each other to increase brand awareness among organizations and individuals and enhance customer engagement (Järvinen et al., 2012; Fisher & Reuber, 2010). In terms of B2B, Facebook and LinkedIn are the most powerful platforms, and different platforms can be used to find detailed information or information about any potential customers when hiring employees (ibid.). Both platforms are believed to increase the likelihood of building relationships, meeting new customer organizations, and qualified potential customers (Rodriguez et al., 2012; Järvinen et al., 2012; Fischer & Reuber, 2010). Twitter is a Weibo website where businesses and individuals can have the opportunity to advertise from products to companies, share news about their business or products, update their customers, reply to comments, and share their thoughts and experiences. Read Less