Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

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Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing

In recent times, online marketing has become the driving force behind the success of your business as compared to the traditional ways of marketing. This does not mean that the traditional ways are ineffective, but the lead generation and conversion rate that digital marketing and social media marketing offer is incomparable. In the fight between digital marketing vs social media marketing, both are winners. 

Many people are of the notion that engagement on social media platforms is digital marketing. However, that’s not the case. Social media marketing is a part of internet marketing which is a subset of the umbrella term Digital Marketing. 

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing agencies have sprung up like mushrooms in every nook and corner each claiming to be the ‘best’ in town. Before you dive into the pool of words, you need to understand what digital marketing exactly is. 

Digital marketing is the use of the Internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, and other channels to reach consumers. Some marketing experts consider digital marketing to be an entirely new endeavour that requires a new way of approaching customers and new ways of understanding how customers behave compared to traditional marketing.” – Investopedia.

Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

What else, if not digital marketing in 2021? The importance of digital marketing became apparent to everyone with the advent of COVID-19. The reliability of consumers to search for products and services on digital platforms has grown manifold. Without any doubt or second thoughts, in the current times, it is necessary to have a social media presence. 

If your competitors are still making use of traditional marketing methods, you have an added advantage over them for embracing digital marketing. Several aspects fall under the umbrella of digital marketing – email marketing, online brochures, digital advertising, content marketing, website marketing, social media marketing, and so on. 

Digital marketing is not easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Its implementation requires proper planning and strategies for your business to reach the right kind of audience. 

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is the use of social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. This involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements.” – Buffer.

Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?

While forming social media marketing goals, these are the questions you should ask yourself:

  • What do you seek to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Digital Marketing VS Social Media Marketing

  • Digital marketing makes use of online as well as offline digital mediums whereas social media is confined only to online platforms. 
  • Digital marketing gives leeway to opting different channels for promotion like online advertisements, mobile advertisement, TV, SMS etc. While social media marketing can be carried out widely but only on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. 
  • Digital marketing focuses on banners, Internet, TV or billboards for promotion. Social media is strongly associated with your content strategy which requires content creation and promotion on social media platforms. 
  • The purpose of Digital Marketing is to drive traffic and increase sales while social media is majorly used for reaching out to customers and increasing brand awareness.
  • Digital marketing is more search centric based on the user’s need. The forms of digital marketing include blogs, forums, apps, Youtube, Google Ads etc. Social media is used to share content or communicate with the audience. Social media platforms include Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and several others. 

Why Focus on Social Media Marketing?

There are innumerable benefits of social media marketing and why you should not miss out on them. Interestingly, each year more and more people are using social media thus it becomes vital to showcase your business and expand your reach with the help of social media platforms.

Social media is considered to be the fastest way to spread a message as compared to TV or even radio. With this, you can sense the power of social media. Industry experts opine that you cannot ignore social media since it is the ideal way to find out what your customers need. As social media is interactive, posting about a product or service and keeping it open for people to like, comment, share or retweet will help you know the exact inclination of your target audience. 

Even though you spend a hefty amount on digital marketing, customers are likely to go and find out more about your brand on social media. 

Why Focus on other facets of Digital Marketing?

Without any doubt, social media is great, but that doesn’t mean you should undermine the long-term benefits of digital marketing. If yours is a new business, social media is a great place to start off. However, it’s not necessary that it will lead to higher conversion rates and you will not have the ownership of data while having to abide by rules of the social media platforms. 

Digital marketing gives you a pool of opportunities with SEO, Content marketing, PPC, email marketing etc. If you use digital marketing methods, there is a high probability of users reaching out to you which is the other way around in social media. Digital marketing may take time to reach your target audience but it will be more effective than the quick promotions on social media platforms.


In the game of Digital Marketing vs Social Media Marketing, both are equally important. Digital marketing is the future of marketing and is bound to grow in the online and offline world. While Social media marketing is comparatively new and it has the potential of changing the ways products are promoted, and new customers are found.

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1 thought on “Digital Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: What’s the Difference?”

  1. “Great share!”
    The way how you express Digital Marketing is wow. Your Blog is well structured and easy to read.
    Also, your blog will help beginners to know about digital marketing and SMM.
    Keep sharing such informative stuff!!

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