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Paper info: We Have the Technology: An Exploratory Study of Business-to-Business Social Media Branding

Title


We Have the Technology: An Exploratory Study of Business-to-Business Social Media Branding

Authors


Robin Croft and
Ross Brennan
Middlesex University
United Kingdom
Ross Brennan

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.

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Abstract


While the tools of social media are ubiquitous in contemporary consumer branding, there is little
evidence as to 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 examined ten large B2B
technology companies to profile their use of social media, having first examined the practitioner
viewpoint as set out in recent articles. 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: non-US firms were far less likely to have engaged with the new branding tools,
despite often having enabled these technologies to come on stream in the first place. The social
media pioneers, though, were successfully developing their brands in terms of thought
leadership, taking a market-driving role in the sector and continuing to build relationships with
a range of stakeholder groups.