The use of social media in B2B marketing and branding: An exploratory study

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Abstract:

While the tools of social media are ubiquitous in contemporary consumer marketing, there is little evidence about the extent to which they have been adopted by business-to-business marketers. Although experts argue that B2B firms can and should use platforms such as FaceBook and YouTube, almost all of the popular examples used in mainstream seminars, conferences and the practitioner press are of consumer brands. Our exploratory study used content analysis and text-mining to look at current B2B marketing practitioner literature on the subject, and examined ten large B2B technology companies to profile their use of social media. We found that although large companies were extensive users of almost all the mainstream social media channels, the adoption of these tools was by no means universal. It seems that US-based firms are the furthest ahead in using social media for B2B marketing. The B2B social media pioneers are striving to use these tools to position themselves as 'thought leaders', to take a market-driving role in the sector and to build relationships with a range of stakeholder groups.

Keywords: BLOGGING; FACEBOOK; LINKEDIN; PODCASTS; SOCIAL MEDIA; THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/147539212X13420906144552

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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