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Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing

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Social Media Marketing: 

Social media marketing can be termed as a marketing strategy that is used to promote a product and develop an influential relationship with the customers via different Social Media platforms. Social media is a platform that is termed as simple as where users come and share content such as messages, videos, etc. But this is more than it seems, social media marketing helps to establish a relationship with the customer and make the presence of marketers on the web. Three modes are primarily used Blogs, social networks, and forums are used for this. The ways by which you can get Social media marketing can be achieved are start making a connection with the community and then sharing valuable content with them. The next way is by doing advertisements on social media known as sponsors ads. 

Advantages of Social Media Marketing:

  • Cost-Effective: Social media platforms offer cost-effective advertising options that can help small businesses reach a larger audience without breaking the bank.
  • Increased Brand Awareness: Social media platforms allow businesses to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness by engaging with customers and sharing relevant content.
  • Increased Customer Engagement: Social media platforms provide a platform for businesses to engage with their customers and build relationships, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention.
  • Targeted Advertising: Social media platforms offer advanced targeting options that allow businesses to reach specific demographics and target customers based on their interests, behaviors, and location.

Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing:

  • Time-Consuming: Social media marketing requires consistent effort and time to create and curate content, engage with customers, and monitor metrics.
  • Limited Control: Social media platforms are third-party platforms, and businesses have limited control over changes in algorithms and policies that can impact their marketing efforts.
  • Negative Feedback: Social media platforms allow customers to leave negative feedback publicly, which can damage a business’s reputation if not handled appropriately.
  • Limited Reach: Despite advanced targeting options, social media platforms may have a limited reach compared to other digital marketing channels.

Digital Marketing:

 Digital Marketing can be termed as a marketing strategy that is used to promote a product and develop an influential relationship with the customers via all digital and offline sources. Digital marketing is creating awareness about the product using digital channels. Digital channel uses the internet and the methods which are used by digital marketing are SEO, SEM, E-commerce, and Email marketing. Offline sources use radio, SMS, and television for marketing. When we use this strategy there are three different components which are Online marketing, Mobile marketing, and Social media marketing. This also focuses on the public likes as what is trending and how it is to be delivered to the consumer. 

Advantages of Digital Marketing:

  • Cost-Effective: Digital marketing offers a cost-effective way for businesses of all sizes to reach a larger audience and increase brand awareness.
  • Advanced Targeting Options: Digital marketing offers advanced targeting options that allow businesses to reach specific demographics and target customers based on their interests, behaviors, and location.
  • Measurable Results: Digital marketing provides real-time data and analytics that allow businesses to track the effectiveness of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
  • Flexibility: Digital marketing offers a variety of channels, including search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, email marketing, and more, allowing businesses to tailor their approach to their specific needs and goals.

Disadvantages of Digital Marketing:

  • Limited Personalization: Digital marketing can sometimes lack the personalization and human touch that traditional marketing methods offer.
  • Increased Competition: Digital marketing is highly competitive, and businesses must continually adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Overwhelming: The vast array of digital marketing channels and tactics can be overwhelming, and businesses may struggle to determine the most effective approach for their specific needs.
  • Ad-Blockers: Ad-blockers can limit the effectiveness of digital marketing efforts, as customers may not see the ads.

Similarities, including:

  • Both involve online marketing: Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing both take place online, using digital channels to reach a target audience.
  • Both aim to increase brand awareness: The primary goal of both Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing is to increase brand awareness and reach a larger audience.
  • Both involve targeting specific audiences: Both approaches involve targeting specific demographics and customer segments to reach a specific audience.
  • Both require data analysis: Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing both require data analysis to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and make data-driven decisions.
  • Both require content creation: Both approaches require content creation to engage with customers and provide value to the target audience.
  • Both can be cost-effective: Both Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing can be cost-effective compared to traditional marketing channels, making them accessible to businesses of all sizes.


Below is a table of differences between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing: 

S. No. Social Media Marketing Digital Marketing
1. Social media marketing uses social media platforms to create awareness about the product Digital Marketing uses online and offline channels to promote products to the customer.
2. This creates a limited reach in front of customers This creates a wide reach in front of the customers.
3. Content is the key aspect of this. Banners are used to create an impression of the product.
4. It is a component of Digital Marketing It uses all components.
5. Results are depended on the customer’s likes. Results are comparatively slow.
6. Platform used are Instagram, Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter etc. Platform used are SMS, E-mail, MMS, and Television etc.
7. Only social media platforms are used to target the audience. It reaches when visiting the websites, any associated social media accounts, email, and other digital platforms by the intended audience.
8. The success rate of social media marketing relies on posting new and unique content regularly on social media accounts for engaging your intended audience. The success rate of digital marketing relies on the usage of banner advertisements on various digital platforms. To exemplify, Television, the Internet, billboards for the promotion of your brand.
9. It is concerned with social media users. It is concerned with the users using different digital platforms.
10. Strategy planning can be carried out that is immediately effective. Strategy formulation takes time that works across different platforms.
11. It focuses on audience interaction using social media platforms and also measures customer engagement. It increases brand recognition to boost website traffic and evaluates the effectiveness of content, social media, and media.


While social media marketing is a powerful tool to engage with customers and promote a business’s products or services on social media platforms, it is just one component of a broader digital marketing strategy. Digital marketing involves a range of techniques and channels to reach and engage customers, drive traffic and revenue, and build brand awareness. 

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Last Updated : 19 Mar, 2023
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