These two words are used interchangeably. To me there really is a major difference.
Both are important and serve their purpose. I came across the following article, “4 Tips for Using Social Media to Sell” and these two words really stood out for me as a part of this article.
Connecting helps you keep in contact with others and recognizes the value of people who you do business with, respect or want to learn more about.
Connecting with others allows you to find the right people to share various topics about.
Also, check out this statement on connecting from Inc. Magazine.
Social selling is about engagement, and that comes from effective interaction. Posting material in any form and simply waiting for your connections to respond is not engagement
I really like this definition from Inc. Magazine:
If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem that you can solve or a question that you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging.
As you can see connecting and engaging are two important and different terms that marketers need to recognize if they are going to be effective on social media sites. I would really recommend that you read the rest of this article. Some great points are made regarding selling on social media sites. Here are the topics that are discussed in the article.
1. Getting more “followers” is not a goal.
2. Connection is not engagement.
3. Buyers signal by declaring problems.
4. You are not in control.
Some great points here for all marketers.