PURPOSE : This study aims to explore if and how business-to-business (B2B) companies can use social media to influence the buying process. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : The study uses an exploratory approach into the existing literature related to the B2B buying process and its relationship with social media. FINDINGS : The study shows that companies in a B2B context can use social media as a means of influencing the stages of the buying process by means of using one or more of the seven functional blocks of social media.
RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS : The findings demonstrate the relation that exists between each stage of the buyer process in a B2B organization and the functional blocks of social media. This study opens the door for further research into the influence of each of these blocks on the buying process stages and the roles involved. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS : This study identifies how social media’s blocks influence the different stages and how organizations can use that to their benefit. ORIGINALITY/VALUE : Few studies have investigated the use of social media in a B2B context. However, not many have looked into the influence of social media in the B2B buying process and buying center. This study looks into the relationship between the buying process stages and social media’s functional blocks as related to the different roles of the buying center.