Bolat, Elvira, Kooli, Kaouther and Wright, Len Tiu (2016) Businesses and mobile social media capability. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31 (8). pp. 971-981. ISSN 0885-8624

Purpose: Mobile social media (MSM), an interaction, exchange of information and creation of user-generated content, mediated by mobile devices is becoming the locomotive that drives forward evolution of the online world. a limited number of academic studies touched upon the MSM subject with all the papers being of a conceptual nature to provide recommendations to B2B firms. This paper aims to explore how B2B firms use MSM in reality.
Methodology: This paper adopts the grounded theory approach to analyse interviews conducted in twenty-six B2B firms representing the UK advertising and marketing sector. Interviewees represent key decision-makers who understand the aspects of mobile technology use in their firms. Eighteen firms stressed the importance of social media as a trigger to adopt mobile devices. Follow-up data collection in these eighteen firms focuses on strategic orientation, processes, routines and skills required utilising MSM.
Findings: We found that marketing and advertising firms use MSM for branding, sensing market, managing relationships and developing content. MSM is treated by businesses as a strategic firm-specific capability that drives firms’ competitiveness, where imitation of such capability by competitors is limited because MSM skills are specific to individuals within organisations and MSM routines are manifested as a result of firm-specific MSM skills’ interactions.
Originality: This study is amongst the first to provide insights into B2B firms’ practices of using MSM. Additionally, the research is novel because it discovers that MSM capability is developed as a result of the overlap between individuals’ and organisational knowledge and memory, contradicting existing theory on the subject.

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