The Role of Social Media in Building Value for the Reseller in B2B Marketing
Studies argue that the adoption of social media sites in business organisations in the Business-to-Business (B2B) environment is perceived as an irrelevant digital tool used by businesses. However, an enormous amount of literature also argues that social media is a beneficial tool that should be used by B2B businesses, as it helps businesses to create profitability for their firm by letting B2B customers to engage with them over a virtual format of social media and helps to nurture customer relationships for building brand loyalty. This gap in B2B social media is significant to B2B marketing literature today as knowing the importance of B2B businesses embedding the tool of social media into their marketing strategy and how these marketing efforts are perceived by the B2B resellers can further create profitability for the business in the near future.
Therefore, this study will explore the role social media plays in B2B organisations and the value of social media from a reseller as a customer (buyer) perspective, as previous literature fails to explore the value and role of social media from a national context of New Zealand. To do this a qualitative research approach of face-to-face semi-structured interviews is employed with sales managers and managing directors across four reseller firms who are existing customers of a B2B firm. By exploring the role that social media plays in B2B markets, this study will develop a conceptual framework to understand the usage of social media in the highly engaged B2B marketing environment.
The findings showed that the four resellers of the B2B firm of Frucor beverages perceived the marketing efforts of Frucor beverages products in a positive manner as they were fond of the utilisation and interaction of social media efforts used by the B2B firm such as; Facebook , Instagram and LinkedIn. This was because the resellers, found that the interaction and communication between them and the B2B firm of Frucor Beverages was easier and it created speed and efficiency in information exchange which benefitted both their company and the B2B firm. Moreover, social media antics used by the B2B firm was perceived by the four reseller businesses in a positive era as they believed that trust and loyalty was more easily built when the B2B firm used social media and Web 2,0 to create profitability for their business through advertising on social media , promotions in store and speed and efficiency in the exchange of information.
Thus, the study is relevant to B2B marketing literature as it explains and defines the importance that is placed on B2B businesses that should embedd the digital tool of social media and Web 2.0 into their business and how the utilisation of social media sites such as, Facebook, Instagram and Web 2.0 can create a positive and healthy relationship with B2B resellers. By contributing into B2B marketing literature it is beneficial to know how utterly important the digital world of social media has become in the B2B society today as the digital world is forever growing.