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Are Social Selling and Social Commerce the same?
Last updated on 
April 5, 2022

Are Social Selling and Social Commerce the same?

This question is a little tricky to answer. At first glance, both Social Selling and Social Commerce seem to be the same thing as they both encourage social shopping. There are some differences however, and it’s important to know what those differences are before you take the plunge into either one of these channels.

What is Social Selling?

Social Selling

Social selling is about using social media as a tool for capturing value from customers. You do this by telling them compelling stories about your products and services through engaging posts and visuals. This entices people to buy from you instead of someone else.

In other words, Social selling is the process of influencing a buyer through digital channels and different social shopping platforms. It occurs when a seller engages a customer through a social media platform and directs them to their online or offline store for the final purchase.

What is Social Commerce?

Social Commerce

In social commerce you use social media as a marketing and sales channel for e-commerce products. It's about using your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other networks to make the purchase process as frictionless as possible for your customers.

In other words, Social Commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services from one person or company to another directly on social media platforms such Facebook, Instagram etc.

Social Selling Vs Social Commerce

Social Selling Vs Social Commerce
  1. Social selling does not involve making any sale, while social commerce does involve the sale of goods or services.
  2. In social selling, the salesperson does not have to make any money from the transaction; whereas in social commerce, both parties have to make money for it to be successful.
  3. In social selling, the target audience are prospective customers; whereas in social commerce, the target audience are people who are interested in purchasing goods or services.
  4. Social selling relies on the use of social media to create awareness about the product whereas social commerce relies on the use of social media for both creating awareness and generating sales.
  5. Social selling is a type of marketing strategy that can be used to promote a product or service, generate leads, and convert prospects into customers while social commerce is a form of e-commerce that relies on social media platforms to sell products and services.
  6. Social selling is often more indirect than other forms of marketing because it does not involve direct sales or advertising; instead, it relies on engagement with potential customers to generate leads. Social commerce is often more direct because it involves sales through social networks and the use of targeted ads to drive traffic to online stores.
  7. In social selling you are trying to get your product out there so as many people as possible will know about it, in social commerce you are trying to generate an actual sale through a network of friends or followers.
  8. Social selling and social commerce is that the former focuses on marketing while the latter focuses on selling.
  9. Social selling is a form of marketing that relies on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest to sell products. Social commerce is a form of e-commerce that relies on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest to sell products.

How Does Social Selling and Social Commerce Help Your Business?

Social Selling and Social Commerce Help Your Business

While Social Selling and Social Commerce are two different things they work together hand in hand. This helps your business to grow its customer base by reaching out to potential buyers on social media.

The first step for your business to use Social Selling or Social Commerce is to ask yourself if you have an online presence already. If the answer is yes then you need to create an online profile for your company on popular social media platforms.

Popular Social Selling And Social Commerce Platforms

Social Selling And Social Commerce Platforms

Social media has become one of the most valuable channels of marketing. It has provided marketers with a way to reach out to their customers and prospects, connect with them on a personal level, and get feedback on their products. Marketers are using social media not only for branding but also for generating leads, traffic, and sales.

Many businesses use social media platforms for selling their products. Sites like Instagram and Facebook have made it easier for people to buy products online and provide a great opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to grow their audience and increase their revenue.

It is not limited to one platform. These platforms are designed to allow users to share photos, videos, posts of products they like with other users in their networks. Consumers are becoming comfortable with using these platforms for their shopping needs.

Facebook

The most popular social media network is Facebook with 1.37 billion active users worldwide in November 2021. Facebook can be used for advertising but also to generate sales by creating events or creating groups that allow people to interact with each other or create communities that interest them.

Instagram

Instagram is another popular social media platform that allows marketers to post pictures and videos of products they sell.

Pinterest

Selling on Pinterest is one of the most prominent social commerce channels. They have a wide range of audience demographics and they have a lot more female users than male users on their platform. The company's goal is to democratize the shopping process with an easy-to-use interface that makes it possible for anyone to find anything they want in a few clicks. Pinterest's new "Buyable Pins" allow shoppers to purchase items they see on the site without leaving it.

Twitter

Another popular platform is Twitter which allows advertisers to promote products on their timeline with linked cards or embedded ads from retail partners. This makes it easier for consumers to connect with brands and purchase items without leaving Twitter or going back to their browser or mobile app. Brands like Nike and Levi's have used the hashtag #shopping to share images of their products, directing followers to click on links for direct purchases.

TikTok

This app has seen an increase in influencer-led marketing campaigns over the past year, with brands like Calvin Klein and Tarte Cosmetics using hashtags like #shoptok to promote items sold on tiktok.com.

Evolution In E-Commerce

Evolution In E-Commerce

The growth of social commerce is the next step in the evolution of e-commerce. In this new world, retailers can advertise their products by leveraging social media networks, influencer marketing and word-of-mouth. The rise of social commerce has created a new market that is constantly evolving as new platforms are released every day, but it's always been an important part of e-commerce as well as offline social retail experience. Social shopping will be the future of E-commerce.

Benefits of Social Selling

  • Buyers can communicate with sellers before making their purchasing decision.
  • Businesses can reach out to potential customers without the need for expensive marketing campaigns.
  • It provides a personal touch of customer service that traditional marketing cannot provide.
  • Social selling generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies like cold calling, emailing, or direct mailings.
  • Social media platforms are free and businesses can use their own time to generate leads.

Benefits of Social Commerce

  • It is easy to set up an online store with a social commerce platform.
  • Setting up a social commerce online store is more cost effective.
  • Users can buy items from retailers with a few taps of a screen.
  • Social commerce provides a new outlet for sales for small-medium businesses.
  • Customers have an easy way to share their shopping experience with others on the social media platform.
  • Brands have a new way to market their products on a platform where they can reach out to potential customers in real time and provide them with personalized services.

Final Words

Social selling is a form of marketing and sales where the seller leverages social media to create awareness for their product or service. It is done by using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. The seller can use these platforms to share content, engage with people and build relationships with potential customers. On the other hand, social commerce is the process of buying or selling goods and services through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Social commerce is a relatively new concept that has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years due to its convenience.

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