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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

Article publication date: 5 June 2017




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.


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.


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.


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.



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


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.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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