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What Is the Difference Between Traditional Digital Selling vs. Social Selling?

What Is the Difference Between Traditional Digital Selling vs. Social Selling

Both social selling and digital selling are methods of educating and interacting with potential buyers online in an attempt to sell your product. Social selling falls within the broader scope of digital selling. That being said, they are distinct strategies and not interchangeable.

Let’s take a close look at the similarities and differences between digital selling and social selling, their effectiveness, and the benefits of each strategy.

Social Selling

Social selling is not the same as social media marketing or social media advertising. It is the act of using a brand’s social channels to connect with prospective clients and develop meaningful connections with them. It’s about engaging with potential leads as a tactic to help a business to increase its sales.

Social selling is very similar to the traditional sales tactic of cold calling a prospect and developing a relationship with them. However, as times change and commerce changes with it, social selling is an opportunity for businesses to keep up with trends and interact with their prospective buyers where those buyers are already doing their due diligence: online.

The basics are simple. You promote your product or service as the solution to a pain point that your target audience is experiencing through social media content. You’re likely already doing this! The pillars of social selling are well summarized by something called the Social Selling Index (SSI).

The Social Selling Index

Introduced by LinkedIn in 2014, the Social Selling Index outlines four key elements to successful social selling for brands on LinkedIn. However, the principles can be extended to all social media channels.

  1. Establish your professional brand
  2. Find the right people
  3. Engage with insights
  4. Build relationships

Using these foundational steps, you can reach the right audience with the right content and use social media as a powerhouse tool for your brand through social selling techniques.

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Digital Selling

Digital selling, on the other hand, is a more comprehensive sales technique that encompasses various aspects of online business, including social selling. Digital selling combines sales, marketing, and customer service to produce one revenue-generating unit.

Similar to traditional sales techniques, digital selling guides prospective clients through the various stages of the sales journey to increase meaningful engagement and yield higher conversions. Digital selling, as the name implies, generally follows traditional sales techniques, only online.

Unlike social selling, digital selling is more than marketing. It involves creating an entire digital ecosystem and organizational structure of content and research, in which the content consumption of prospective buyers can be measured. All departments – not just marketing – create, organize, and distribute digital content.

Comparing Social and Digital Selling

Social and digital selling are techniques that you can – and should – be used to increase your company’s online engagement and generate qualified leads. Social selling is the act of using social media brand profiles and content to develop a relationship with your audience and create meaningful connections. It is one subsection of digital selling, a more all-encompassing selling ecosystem that leverages all of your business’ assets, both online and offline.

WEB ROI are experts in the ins and outs of both social selling and digital selling and industry-specific digital marketing strategies. Contact our team today to discuss the needs of your business and how we can work together to improve your online presence to increase sales.


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