Application areas of social media in external B2B transactions - An empirical analysis of Finnish technology industry

Jari J. Jussila, Hannu Kärkkäinen, Heli Aramo-Immonen, Salvatore Ammirato, Alberto Michele Felicetti, Marco Della-gala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Despite the topic popularity, social media research is still limited, and focuses largely on the role of consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-consumer (B2C) domains. In many parts, the B2C social media practices are not directly useful for inter-organizational and B2B purposes. Main aim of this paper is to help to understand the current application areas of social media especially in external B2B transactions. This is carried out by an extensive survey to companies representing 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, which types of potential they see in social media in this context, and what kind of support they experience their companies to need for better adopting social media together with their customers and partners. A population of 2488 Finnish decision-makers were observed from the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries. From the answers of 143 different companies, 125 companies represented wholly (100%) B2B markets, which were chosen as the sample of this study. Researches on social media, especially survey-based studies, have not focused particularly on B2B companies only, especially on the inter-organizational applications of social media in B2B’s. Except for the B2B-marketing oriented study of Michaelidou et al., (2011), and study of social media utilization in B2B-relationships by Pettersson et al. (2014). This study extends the previous studies especially by creating new understanding on the maturity of social media integration to business, organizational business problems that companies perceive that 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 types of possibilities of applying social media in the inter-organizational use in B2Bs, which are currently only superficially understood by a significant part of managers. This can help to support and facilitate external social media use in B2Bs
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication10th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics
Subtitle of host publicationCulture, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: connecting the knowledge dots
EditorsJ.C Spender, G. Schiuma, V. Albino
Place of PublicationBari (IT)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-96687-07-9
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 The Authors


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