HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Developing Social Selling Influence: An Archetypal Examination of Content Strategies and Influence Tactics

Document Type

Article

Date

2018

Publication Title

Journal of Selling

Volume

18

Issue

1

First Page

47

Last Page

69

Description

This research utilizes a mixed-method study to examine the role of content marketing and influence tactics in establishing social influence for sales personnel engaged in social networking. From content evaluations of leading social media influencers, cluster variates and survey instruments were derived in search of a behavioral structure that represents the inspirational appeal and consultation style of leading social influencers. A k-means cluster analysis was then conducted using measurements of inspiration, entertainment value, tactical guidance, credibility, empathy and engagement generosity as the cluster variate. A four solution cluster resulted from both a self-administered survey of 171 leading social influencers as well as from author examinations of the influencer’s content. Both support a two tiered typology epitomized by the type of inspirational appeal (impassioned or envisioned) and consultation style (engaging or enlightening) exhibited by the influencer. Cluster solutions suggest that sales personnel can best grow their social influence as Edu-tainers (impassioned inspiration and enlightening consultation), Motivators (impassioned inspiration and engaging consultation), Strategists (envisioned inspiration and enlightening consultation) or Mentors (envisioned inspiration and engaging consultation).

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