Even today, it is a fairly common argument in business-to-business companies, especially in traditional industrial companies, that social media is only useful in the business-to-consumer sector. The perceived challenges, opportunities and social media use cases in business-to-business sector have received little attention in the literature. Therefore, this paper focuses on bridging this gap with a survey of social media use cases, opportunities and challenges in industrial business-to-business companies. The study also examines the essential differences between business-to-consumer and business-to-business in these respects. The paper starts by defining social media and Web 2.0, and then characterizes social media in business, and social media in business-to-business. Finally, we present and analyze the results of our empirical survey of 125 business-to-business companies in the Finnish technology industry sector. This paper suggests that there is a significant gap between the perceived potential of social media and social media use with customers and partners in business-to-business companies, and identifies potentially effective ways to reduce the gap.
Jussila, J.J., Kärkkäinen, H., Aramo-Immonen, H. (2014), “ Social media utilization in business-to-business relationships of technology industry firms”, Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 30, January 2014, Pages 606-613. ISSN 0747-5632, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2013.07.047