Social Media Marketing Versus Social Sales

Social selling and social media marketing focus on authentically adding value to relationships and earning the right to engage in further communications and a rapport. Below are a couple of definitions to further understand the difference between social selling and social media marketing.

Social Selling

  • Social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople will provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy. (Hubspot)

  • "Social selling is my ability to listen to your conversation, engage you on topics that are of interest to you and provide you with great content on that subject that will ultimately lead you to doing business with me." Marki Lemons Ryhal

Social Media Marketing

  • Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networking websites as a marketing tool. The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden customer reach. (

  • Social media marketing is the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it across their social networks. The resulting electronic word of mouth (eWoM) refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet (e.g., web sites, social networks, instant messages, news feeds) about an event, product, service, brand or company. When the underlying message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, this form of marketing results in earned media rather than paid media. (Wikipedia)


  • 54% who used social media tracked their social media usage back to at least one closed deal. (Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)

  • 6% of salespeople using social media outperformed their sales peers. (Social Media and Sales Quota Survey)

  • 61% of US marketers use social media for lead generation. (IBM)

  • 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (MediaBistro)

Take Aways

  • Get started in training your sales and marketing personnel in social skills and tactics.

  • Ensure your social intent is aligned with your technique, and learn from mistakes.

  • “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (The Golden Rule)