Do You Need Social Selling or Social Media Marketing? Spoiler Alert: Both!

Melissa Battista

February 4, 2020

You’ve most likely experienced social media marketing at some point in your career. Most companies have a robust strategy in place and have since 2010, when social media really erupted. You may or may not have heard of (or even worked at an organization that does) social selling. But what exactly is the difference between the two? Which is right for your company and  which team within the organization is responsible for these tactics?

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is utilizing social media (such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn) to aid in your marketing strategy. 

Social media is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your organization’s audience at volume. You can share content, images, and videos, or post questions to interact directly with your followers or promote new products/services. 

Social media marketing is also a highly effective way to help build brand awareness and recognition. It’s another way an organization can really define its brand voice.

In most cases, social media marketing is usually owned by the marketing team within an organization.

social media marketing

What is Social Selling?

Social selling is also done through social media, however, it’s MUCH more targeted. Social selling usually involves an initial relationship building message with an individual that has been chosen based on predetermined qualifications (such as industry, company, job title, etc.). 

Typically, a BDR or salesperson will reach out to connect with these prospects and try to convert them to qualified leads.

Social selling shows your target audience that your company is active and approachable. It’s a great way to interact directly with potential buyers on a one-to-one basis, and get immediate feedback by starting a conversation. 

While social selling can be done using any social media channel, LinkedIn is generally the most effective. In fact, LinkedIn reported that organizations that executed a social selling strategy attract 45% more opportunities than organizations that haven’t.

TLDR; social media marketing drives brand awareness, while social selling drives revenue.

social selling

Better Together

While social media marketing and social selling work well individually, when used together correctly the results are extremely positive. 

These two strategies complement each other, as the more Marketing posts on the company’s social media channel, the more Sales can interact with these posts through targeted relationship-building outreach. When Sales reaches out to prospects, prospects can easily go to the company’s page or salespersons page and get a good sense of what the company is all about and see that both the company and salesperson is actively engaged.

In addition, the more content Marketing posts, the more Sales can share this content with prospects during their conversations. It’s a win-win situation!

Ultimately, social media marketing is about delivering the right content at the right time, and social selling is about establishing a relationship with prospective buyers. Together, they have the power to positively impact your organizations bottom line.

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