The strategic role of social media in business-to-business contexts

Purpose of this study is to provide a framework which helps to understand how a business-to-business company can use the social media to ‘strategize’ by making other business actors share meanings about the position this company wants to occupy. We use LDA topic modelling on a large sample of tweets (N = 1,059,731) by 16 business-to-business companies. We first analyse the official tweets sent by the official account of a company and compare them to the non-official tweets shared by other Twitter users and mentioning that company. We analyse gaps between the vocabulary and subjects identified in the corpus of official and non-official tweets and discuss the strategizing action of a company through social media. Findings shows the importance for business-to-business companies to consider the halo effect generated by social media as part of their omnichannel strategy and carefully monitor the amplification, confirmation or mitigation effect generated by actor networks shared meanings so to continuously align their intended strategic position.

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