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Social Media as a Communication Channel in B2B – A Case Study
2014 (English)In: Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit - PROCEEDINGS, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to enhance the understanding of social media adaptation strategies and their possible related benefits and challenges for business-to-business (B2B) firms. There is evidence provided by academics and supported by empirical studies thus far, accounting for social media as an advantageous medium in a business-to-consumer (B2C) context apart from the individual use. However, the focus and attention of academic research on adaptability of social media and social networks (SNs) to a B2B context is still under-researched. Previous research on social media usage and adaptation strategies emphasizes rather on adaptability of these communication tools to individual needs or a business-to-consumer context, whereas this paper attempts to demonstrate findings in adapting social media to the B2B domain. However, the results did not confirm any classification of SNs such as Facebook to be only a business-to-consumer medium within the commercial context.  In this respect, SNs appeared to be as effective and efficient for communication in the B2B context as in the B2C domain.

The second part of the study, focusing on the benefits offered and challenges posed by using social media, reveals the B2B corporations facing rather similar factors as in the B2C context. The study validates previously introduced benefits of social media adaptation to be advantageous in the B2B corporations studied in this research such as: building and developing direct relationships with customers, increasing website traffic, creating communities, distributing content and collecting customer feedback. On the other hand the challenges to corporations are explored to include external or internal negative word of mouth, leading to limitations in content control by the firm, as well as insufficiency of technical support, training and differences in stakeholders’ online behavior.  

This paper examines two global B2B corporations as cases demonstrating customized approaches towards social media communication. The study is assisted by an in-depth qualitative research method.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-220359OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-220359DiVA, id: diva2:1167579
Conference
Direct/Interactive Marketing Research Summit
Note

Key words: case study, business to business, social media, strategy, communication channel, benefits and challenges. QC 20171219

Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Digital Marketing Strategy: B2B and Stakeholders Communication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Digital Marketing Strategy: B2B and Stakeholders Communication
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Since digital media entered the business domain, many different tools and platforms have transformed the nature of business communications. This transformation has not been easy, since the journey has been accompanied by challenges from the marketers’ side against the adoption of the new platforms into the firm’s communication channels. Business to business marketers have also been engaged in such challenges by maintaining a slow adoption, which has motivated the researchers to study the adoption of different means and tools of digital communication in a business context.

Through this research, I contribute by exploring the adoption strategies of digital platforms in the B2B supply chain including B2B firms, retailers and end users. By digital media, I mainly refer to social media and beacon technology. First, I begin this thesis by identifying the adoption and integration strategies of social media and digital marketing into traditional marketing channels in a B2B context. In this part, I identify the B2B firms’ target audience and propose a model facilitating a B2B firm’s practical social media adoption strategies.

Second, to explore the benefits of different social media content sharing approaches derived from information accessibility resulted in the prior study of this thesis, I introduce and examine Public and Gated-Content sharing approaches. Thereafter, assisted by Social Power Theory and Resource Dependence Theory, I examine the effect of Public and Gated-Content sharing approaches on the target audience’s willingness to interact with the firm. The findings of this study reveal that Gated-Content approach can help the firms build closer relationship with the target audience and engage them in a co-creation process.

Third, by studying proximity marketing through the adoption of beacon technology in the retail context, I explore the current methods of usage, as well as the benefits and challenges of in-store proximity marketing adoption for content sharing purposes. I complete the thesis by presenting the different challenges of such adoption, which consist technical, human behavior, managerial perception, resource and privacy factors. Finally, I identify the need to integrate the physical aspect of place and location back again into the online digital communication channels within a retail context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 63
Series
TRITA-IEO, ISSN 1100-7982 ; 2017:13
Keywords
Digital Media, Proximity Marketing, Beacon Technology, Social Media
National Category
Media and Communications Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management; Media Technology; Information and Communication Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-220144 (URN)978-91-7729-639-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-01-15, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Retail and Wholesale Development Council
Note

QC 20171219

Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-16 Last updated: 2018-02-23Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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