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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business Communication | 2016
Thesis number: 14671
How do business-to-business companies use Twitter? A case study of global forest and paper product companies' tweets
Author: Viinanen, Tuuli
Title: How do business-to-business companies use Twitter? A case study of global forest and paper product companies' tweets
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: yritykset; companies; business-to-business; business-to-business; sosiaalinen media; social media; yritysviestintä; business communication
Pages: 110
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14671.pdf pdf  size:4 MB (3555309)
Key terms: social media, Twitter, B2B, forest and paper product industry
Abstract:
The objective of this study is to find out how business-to-business companies are using social me- dia through a case study of global forest and paper product companies' use of Twitter. Previous social media research has placed focus on business-to-consumer types of organizations and this study aims to add to research of business-to-business types of organizations' use of social media through study of Twitter content.

The intention of this study is to answer two main research questions and two sub questions. The first main research question: (1) How do forest and paper product companies use Twitter?, is an- swered by two sub questions: (1a) What different types of content do forest and paper product companies publish on Twitter?, and, (1b) Do forest and paper product companies use elements that support interaction on Twitter? The second research question asks: (2) Are there differences between North American and Northern European companies?

This research project uses a quantitative content analysis to study the content of tweets and find differences between the chosen companies. This study looks at the 713 tweets published by 16 for- est and paper product companies from Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States of Ameri- ca. Dialogic principles are used to study the use of interaction supporting elements. The main use of Twitter as a communication channel is defined through three main categories composed of fif- teen individual tweet types.

The main findings of this study are: (1) forest and paper product companies use Twitter to in- form the public, (2) forest and paper product companies use interaction supporting elements in their tweets and (3) North American forest and paper product companies use Twitter to build rap- port and interact with the public and (4) Northern European forest and paper product companies use Twitter to inform the public.

These findings implicate that (1) the nationality of a company affects the use of social media, (2) Twitter is not used for mobilization of audiences and (3) business-to-business companies use in- formation messages to both inform and spread a positive image of themselves to the public.
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