Social Media Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What’s the Difference and Which is Better for Your Business?

Abby is a Jr. Marketing Writer at WebFX. She specializes in creating content for various industries including fashion and retail, construction, healthcare, and digital marketing. When Abby isn't writing, she enjoys movie nights with lots of snacks, yoga, and reading a good book.

Both social media marketing and digital marketing can help you boost your brand awareness and promote your products and services to more consumers online.

But, what’s the difference between social media marketing vs. digital marketing, and how can you decide which is best for your business? If these questions are currently on your mind, we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’ll go over the basics of social media marketing and digital marketing. Plus, we’ll answer some common questions, including:

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Social media marketing vs. digital marketing: What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the marketing or advertising of a business, product, or service using online channels and digital technology.

Here are a few examples of digital marketing strategies:

With digital marketing, you can increase your online visibility and reach more members of your target audience on search engines, websites, emails, and more!

Social media marketing vs. digital marketing: What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses social media networks to connect and engage with your target audience, as well as to promote and advertise your brand, products, and services.

It’s important to note that social media marketing is actually a part of digital marketing. Several digital marketers and digital marketing companies use a social media marketing strategy to promote brands, products, and services to more consumers online through social media platforms.

A social media marketing strategy is an excellent way to promote your brand to more than 5 billion active users on social media platforms and boost your brand awareness. Plus, you can easily communicate with your audience to earn more leads and conversions for your business.

Not happy with your social media engagement?

We’ve got just the blog post for you.

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Social media marketing vs. digital marketing: What is the difference between social media marketing and digital marketing?

So, what is the difference between social media marketing and digital marketing? While social media marketing is a part of digital marketing, there are several differences between the two, including:

1. The online channels

One of the most significant differences between digital marketing and social media marketing is the online channels that are used to promote your products and services.

Social media marketing

A social media marketing strategy focuses on one online channel: Social media.

There are several social media platforms you can choose from for your business, such as:

With 74% of consumers using social media to make purchasing decisions, focusing on this online channel can be an excellent way to increase your conversions and sales.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing enables you to expand your reach through multiple online channels, including:

Because digital marketing focuses on several online channels, you can reach more members of your target audience all over the Internet.

Whether your ideal consumers are researching products on Google or browsing through their email inbox, digital marketing can help you get your brand in front of them.

2. Audience targeting

While both digital marketing and social media marketing enable you to create targeted marketing messages for high-value consumers, how they do so can differ.

Social media marketing

You can create engaging posts on social media platforms and share attention-grabbing content to show off your company’s personality and encourage more users to follow your brand.

You can create targeted social media ads if you want to reach more social media users who don’t currently follow your business. These ads can appear right in a user’s newsfeed as they scroll through their updates.

You can use social media ads to target specific types of consumers based on their:

That means you can get your brand in front of the social media users who are most likely to purchase your products and services.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing also helps you target your ideal consumers in multiple ways. With digital marketing, you can create personalized marketing messages on social media, plus other online channels like search engines and websites.

Here are a few ways you can create targeted messages with digital marketing:

  • Invest in PPC ads to target users based on the keywords they search for on search engines
  • Use emails to promote your new products to your email subscribers
  • Create custom content that targets users based on their pain points
  • Create ads that target users based on their interests and hobbies on multiple online channels
  • And more!

With a digital marketing strategy, you can maximize your online presence by creating targeted advertisements that will resonate with specific groups of consumers across multiple online channels, boosting your sales and revenue in the process.

3. Audience engagement

Engaging with your audience is a crucial part of building relationships with both your current and potential customers. However, digital marketing and social media marketing can help you engage with your audience in different ways.

Social media marketing

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to communicate and engage directly with your audience. That’s because 96% of users who follow their favorite brands on social media also interact with them on a regular basis.

You can engage with your followers on social media by:

  • Responding to their comments and messages
  • Answering their questions and providing more information about your business
  • Asking for feedback
  • Holding a contest
  • And more!

Social media makes it easy to communicate with your audience frequently and make adjustments based on their feedback and comments to make improvements for the future.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing strategies also allow you to engage frequently with your target audience. For example, email marketing can help you provide more information about your business to your leads. Plus, you can send personalized emails to shopping cart abandoners to help you snag those sales.

You can also create content that communicates your expertise to current and potential customers. Content marketing is a great way to explain the benefits of partnering with your business and purchasing your products and services to your ideal consumers.

Social media marketing vs. digital marketing: Which is better for your business?

Now that you know the answer to “what is the difference between social media marketing and digital marketing,” let’s discuss how you can choose the perfect strategy for your company.

Deciding whether social media or digital marketing is a better fit for your business can be determined by several factors, such as your marketing budget and current business goals.

You may want to consider social media marketing for your business if you:

  • Want to focus on a single online channel
  • Want to increase your brand awareness on social media platforms
  • Want to reach more users on social media
  • Want to engage and frequently communicate with your audience

You may want to choose digital marketing for your business if you:

  • Want to maximize your online presence
  • Want to reach consumers across a variety of online platforms
  • Want to focus on several strategies to boost your online visibility across search engines, websites, social media, and more
  • Want to use a variety of targeted advertisements to expand your reach

If you want to boost the success of your business and earn the highest possible return on investment (ROI), investing in digital marketing strategies is a must.

Your digital marketing strategies will work together to maximize your reach across several platforms and reach the consumers who are most interested in your products and services, boosting your sales, revenue, and growth in the process.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

See More Results

WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

$3 billion

In client revenue

7.8 million

Leads for our clients

5.2 million

Client phone calls

Take your business to new heights with social media and digital marketing services from WebFX

Are you ready to start driving more sales and revenue for your business with effective social media and digital marketing strategies? That’s where WebFX comes in!

At WebFX, our award-winning team of over 450 digital marketing experts has already driven more than $3 billion in revenue with our innovative social media and digital marketing strategies.

And we can develop, implement, and manage custom strategies that will drive serious results for your business too.

Speak with one of our strategists today by calling 888-601-5359 or contact us online to learn more about how our social media services and digital marketing services can boost sales and revenue for your business.

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