Social media as a resource in SMEs’ sales process

Roberta Bocconcelli (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy)
Marco Cioppi (Department of Communication Sciences, Humanities and International Studies. Cultures, Languages, Literatures, Arts, Media, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy)
Alessandro Pagano (Department of Economics, Society, Politics, University of Urbino, Urbino, Italy)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of social media (SM) adoption in upgrading and innovating selling processes by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) facing complex and rapidly changing market scenarios.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this goal, the paper undertakes an exploratory case study of Gamma, a mechanical company, by actively using SM to start and open a new market. The case-study is analyzed through the industrial marketing and purchasing (IMP) approach, which emphasizes the role of interaction and the interdependencies of resources.

Findings

The adoption of SM resources helped Gamma to tap into new markets and thus survive and face the downturn of its original market. SM displayed its effects in combination with other resources: a simple and not expensive machinery, capable human resources, effective production and logistical resources. SM represented a strategic resource to implement an effective business networking effort.

Originality/value

This paper provides novel empirical evidence and conceptual development over the role of SM as a resource in SMEs’ sales processes, using the IMP perspective on combination and development of resources.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Authors wish to thank Giancarlo Virgilio for his support in the collection of data.

Citation

Bocconcelli, R., Cioppi, M. and Pagano, A. (2017), "Social media as a resource in SMEs’ sales process", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 693-709. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-11-2014-0244

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.