Social media use in B2B. A study on how social media is used in the initial phase of building relationships.
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
There has been scarce research into the topic of B2B in the context of social media. Due to this, the aim of this study was to explore how social media is used within B2B in the initial phase of building relationships. The research questions regarded; attracting new customers, which channels that were used and potential drawbacks of using social media. An analytical framework was presented with the factors reputation, familiarity, similarity and knowledge of alternatives from literature within attraction. In order to collect the empirical data, semi-structured interviews were conducted with consultancy agencies.
The results showed that social media was used to increase familiarity through third party sources, which was enabled by companies networks. Channels used for this were LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Regarding similarity, companies used social media to promote its personality that could attract customers both in a business and personal manner. The channels used for this were LinkedIn and Facebook. Furthermore, it was important that the type of information that was shared represented the company, and companies worked to improve this type of information. Further on, companies encouraged people in their network to share content in order to enhance reputation by third party sources. Channels used for this were LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Concerning knowledge of alternatives, social media were used as search-friendly channels, which enabled companies to remain on top in the search list, and make them a potential choice for customers. Channels used for this were LinkedIn and blogs. Furthermore, the major social media drawbacks for B2B companies were lack of resources in terms of time and lack of control over the information once it was posted online.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 54 p.
B2B, relationships, relationship building, attraction, social media
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-205686OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-205686DiVA: diva2:642455
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law