What are the differences between Digital Selling and Social Selling?



Digital transformation is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular in every company department.

From administration to marketing, from accounting to human resources, each department has changed, and is continuing to change, their internal processes and ways of working in order to facilitate a faster and more profitable transition to digital.

Those who manage the sales activities of a company know how the transition to this new corporate phase has had an impact on the sales department, and continues to have it: sales methods continue to grow and branch out, even through new platforms such as social networks.

In particular, in recent years, we have seen a significant increase in sales of products and services through the integration of social networks within the sales process, thus coining the term “Social Selling”.

So what is Social Selling? How does it differ from Digital Selling? What distinguishes these two ways of selling?


Digital Selling

Digital Selling is the use of digital resources to identify the right target, engage with it, and generate revenues from buyers.

Through digital, elements of the entire business organization guide shoppers into an experience that leads to greater engagement and, consequently, greater profits.

Digital Selling includes Social Selling and also many other resources such as data analysis, sales intelligence, and automation, digital documents, remote customer relationship management, online presentations, remote offer configuration, contract signing and more.

In this era of digital transformation, the sales department has been slower to change and adapt than other business departments: for example, marketing has evolved much more rapidly over the past decade through digital marketing.

However, this transformation has accelerated a lot in the last 5 years, reaching its peak in the period in which we find ourselves, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and all the actions aimed at combating it.

As with any transformation, forward-thinking multinational organizations have led the way while more cautious small and medium-sized enterprises have observed, learned and adapted.


Social Selling

Social Selling is a tactic, an approach to the sales process that involves the construction of a relationship, by a seller, towards a specific potential customer, thanks to social networks.

This new type of sale highlights a key factor, an internal company trend that will grow more and more in the coming years: the line that divides the sales department and the marketing department is becoming increasingly thin as the two departments interact more and more with each other.

But Social Selling is not about popularity and connecting with thousands of people who don’t know each other. It is not even about sending content that is not relevant to the needs of the people who follow our social channels.

Social Selling is about building meaningful relationships through social news; it involves listening to the audience, identifying triggers to interact, connecting with them, and coherently sharing content to help their network through decision making.

Each salesperson can work on Social Selling with their own approach, however we can summarize the 3 main activities of Social Selling in the following:

  1. Approaching prospects with “pull” techniques instead of “pushy” invasive ones, for example by interacting in communities.
  2. Interact with potential customers through the areas made available by social platforms, therefore not necessarily via direct message.
  3. Publish valuable content that is interesting to your audience.

Social Selling therefore means creating an advantageous position in valid sales negotiations, regardless of the sector, both for those who need to create B2B sales opportunities and for those who work in B2C.

Precisely for this reason it is necessary to train one’s sales force both on Digital Selling and on Social Selling as key elements for the development of ongoing relationships, aimed at customer loyalty and grow profits.



  • Digital Selling is the use of digital assets to identify, engage and generate revenue from buyers, guiding them in an experience that leads to greater engagement and, consequently, greater profits.
  • Social Selling sees the integration of the use of social networks in the sales processes, and consists in building relationships through them. It involves listening to the audience, identifying, connecting and sharing content to help them choose.
  • Digital Selling and Social Selling are key elements for the development of continuous and profitable relationships with customers.

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