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Exploring Social Media Use of B2B Companies in The Icelandic Fisheries Industry

Júní 2014

With the rising power of new web 2.0 technologies, consumer market companies are racing to be the first to reach consumers through new social media channels. A recent survey shows that Icelandic companies are in general early adopters of social media, but there are some limitations in the degree to what extent companies solely engaged in business-to-business relationships perceive social media. Research from high tech
industries shows that early adoption of successful strategies between sectors can, if implemented correctly, help companies gain competitive advantage over their competitors. Social media is already popular for internal and external use in various
consumer based industries, but has yet to establish itself in the more traditional industries involving business-to-business companies. Recent literature from B2B marketing academics shows that marketing tools such as branding can be of great utility within corporations to help enhance a corporate brand. Therefore, there could be potential for B2B companies to incorporate strategies from established consumer companies.
In this paper, it is researched to what extent business-to-business companies in the Icelandic fisheries industry are making use of social media as a medium for external or
internal use. Semi-structured interviews of 10 decision makers within Icelandic businessto-business companies in the fishing industry were analyzed along with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of social media usage in the business-to-business sector. Participants varied from being sales managers to CEO’s and average industry work experience was 17 years while the average age of participants was 46.5 years.
Results show that Icelandic B2B companies are in the initial stages of incorporating social media platforms for internal or external use, but that they seem to lack resources, time and a general understanding of the subject. Moreover, the study
shows strategic direction, formal objectives and procedures are needed in order for the respective companies to make effective use of social media. However, much potential remains, since companies are aware of and interested in using social media. For marketing purposes, there is huge potential for companies in Iceland to make use of social media for market entry into new markets, building of a strong corporate brand online or simply to enhance image marketing with cost-cut alternatives such as company blogs, social networks or multimedia platforms.
Keywords: Social Media, Branding, B2B, Marketing, Icelandic Fisheries.


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