Social Media Marketing in the Scandinavian Industrial Markets

Social Media Marketing in the Scandinavian Industrial Markets

Jari Salo (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland), Tuula Lehtimäki (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland), Henri Simula (School of Science, Aalto University, Finland) and Matti Mäntymäki (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7357-1.ch054
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Abstract

Limited attention is paid in the academic literature to how business markets and marketers have harnessed social media. The purpose of this study is to depict how companies in business markets have been using social media and what kinds of future strategic actions they have planned for it. The research is based on a literature review, six case studies and eight interviews with industry experts. The research shows that managers are hesitant to adopt and use social media mainly due to the challenges of creating compelling content and because open interaction within social media is perceived as a threat, although companies have run trial campaigns with limited success. For academics, this study illustrates areas for further research and theory development.
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Background

In the early 1990s, company websites were aimed at one-way communication displaying company information and an offer. Later, more interactive websites were developed which included feedback mechanisms such as direct email links, feedback queries and signups for newsletters, surveys and questionnaires (Perry & Bodkin, 2002). Today the new websites are designed based on responsive design principles which scale webpages to different device requirements and screen sizes (personal computers, laptops, smartphones, tablet computers). Samiee (2008) highlights that while the use of the internet no longer offers a competitive advantage, not having any presence on the internet whatsoever increasingly leads to a competitive disadvantage as for example companies are actively seeking alternative suppliers via search engines and land on the company websites and industry portals (Davis Kho, 2008).

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