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Social media applications in external B2B transactions: An empirical analysis of the Finnish technology industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: connecting the knowledge dots
Place of PublicationBari
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-96687-07-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceInternational Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Period1/01/00 → …


Despite the popularity of the topic, social media research is still limited and focuses largely on the role of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) domains (Volpentesta and Felicetti, 2012; Michaelidou et al., 2011). In many aspects, B2C social media practices are not directly useful for inter-organizational and business- to-business (B2B) purposes. The main aim of this paper is to increase the understanding of the current applications of social media in external B2B transactions. This is carried out through an extensive survey of companies in the technology industry which are operating purely in B2B markets, having only other companies as customers.
We wanted to understand how industrial B2B companies currently apply social media in their own inter-organizational applications, what potential they see for social media in this context, and what kind of support they need to better adopt social media together with

their customers and partners. A population of 2488 Finnish decision makers from the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries were observed. Based on the answers of 143 different companies, 125 companies were found to wholly (100%) represent B2B markets, and these were chosen as the sample of this particular study.
Studies on social media, especially survey-based studies, have not focused soley on B2B companies, particularly on the inter-organizational applications of social media in B2Bs, except for the B2B-marketing oriented study of Michaelidou et al. (2011) and the study of social media utilization in B2B relationships by Pettersson et al. (2014). This study extends these previous studies by creating new understanding of the maturity of social media integration in businesses, organizational business problems that companies perceive can be solved with social media, and approaches that can support social media adoption in B2B companies.
Managerially, the results can be used, for instance, to better understand the various possibilities of applying social media for inter-organizational use in B2Bs, which are currently only superficially understood by a significant portion of managers. This can help support and facilitate external social media use in B2Bs.


  • social media, business-to-business, enterprise social, survey, inter-organizational

Publication forum classification