B2B Social Media Marketing – it’s not just the same

Business to Business (B2B) Marketing is an often overlooked area in social media research (in fact many books don’t even mention it at all) – and also often treated as a second thought in many marketing courses. Yet, B2B is both profitable and uses social media – so it really is time to look at it in a bit more depth.

What does the article examine?
The article examines the use of Online Communities (OLC) in the specific B2B context.B2B Marketers are adopting the mostly B2C Social Media frameworks to meet their specific needs. Click To Tweet

Which concepts are discussed in the article?
The article draws on general B2B Marketing related theory (specifically highlighting the differences between B2B and consumer-oriented (B2C) marketing. It then takes the basic IMC model as a theoretical stepping stone to develop a B2B-oriented Online Community framework.

Where is the data from and what methodology is being used?
B2B marketing managers were interviewed in-depth for the article. The format followed was semi-structured interviews, which were then later analysed using thematic analysis.

What are the main outcomes?
The article sets out (and focuses throughout) on the differences between B2B and B2C marketing, and highlights how these affect different aspects of social media communication: particularly, having to deal with multiple stakeholders (rather than usually self-reliant consumers) is discussed frequently.Multiple but high-value high-value B2B stakeholders require modified marketing approaches Click To Tweet

What are the implications and why should you read it?
The authors give a good overview of the B2B complexity – and start moving the often far too B2C focused frameworks into a more B2B-specific context. As such, the paper provides a good first step for further research into B2B social media marketing for researchers. It could also serve as an easy to read and understandable introduction to ask students to read and discuss in either a social media or B2B marketing class.

Full Reference: Valos, M. J., Turner, P., Scheepers, H., Stockdale, R., Valos, M. J., Turner, P., & Scheepers, H. (2015). Integrating online communities within business- to-business marketing communications : an exploratory study, 7266(December). http://doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2015.1085891

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