Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing

New-age marketing is done online, and in the online world, there are multiple mediums by which marketing can be done.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Social media marketing promotes products or services through social media platforms, while digital marketing encompasses a broader range of online marketing channels, including websites, email, and search engines.
  2. Social media marketing leverages the power of social networks to engage with target audiences and build brand loyalty, while digital marketing aims to reach potential customers through multiple digital touchpoints.
  3. Businesses can use social media and digital marketing strategies to optimize their online presence and achieve their marketing goals.

Social Media Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Social media marketing, is a specific type of digital marketing that involves the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and others, to promote products or services. Digital marketing is the promotion of products or services using channels such as search engines and social media.

Social Media Marketing vs Digital Marketing

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSocial Media MarketingDigital Marketing
MeaningThis one uses blogs, web forums, and social media sites to create brand awareness and spread the news of their existence to a potential target base.Digital marketing, on the other hand, entails using all digital platforms, i.e., the internet and non-internet-based channels.
PurposeIt aims at revealing the finest details about the product. This is to convince the targeted audience to at least make plans to purchase.It is merely intended to raise a person’s awareness of the existence of a particular product, promotion, or offer. It does not require a tangible response.
Tools EmployedEmploys paid advertisements, photos, shareable links, and other online tools to reach an audience. These are designed to make it easier for the target to respond positively.Makes pop-ups, banners, and click sounds to draw a client’s attention toward products, goods, or services.
ScopeMakes use of social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach out to a target market.Uses paid adverts, banners, e-mails, search engine results pages, backlinks, hyperlinks, banners, pop-ups, and other offline digital avenues to target a potential buyer.
Response RatesGiven the rich, detailed content and less intrusive nature, social media platforms are more likely to evoke faster and more prompt responses.Many people choose to ignore them as they are more intrusive. As such, they evoke limited impressions and lower response rates.

As noted above, social media marketing refers to promoting products and services via social media networks or platforms.

What is Social Media Marketing?

These include YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, and Twitter. Under this approach, you create sharable content and sponsor it on the stated channels.

It serves not only to acquaint the would-be buyer with the existence of your product but also sheds more light on the product itself.

It is, therefore, an excellent avenue to introduce a new product. Also, this avenue comes in handy when you have to alter the character of your product somehow.

Social Media Marketing

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is broader in scope and reaches when weighed against the social media marketing approach. It promotes, advertises, and markets goods and services via digital platforms.

Examples are e-mails, smartphones, digital displays, search engines, and third-party websites. The marketing may include banners, pop-ups, ads, shareable links, hyperlinks, backlinks, and audio prompts.

Unlike the social media marketing approach, this one aims at merely drawing the attention of a would-client to the existence of a particular product, promo, or offer, nothing more! The texts are subsequently shorter and more eye-catching.

Digital Marketing

Main Differences Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing


Digital marketing is broader than social media marketing. That is because it encompasses all the social media platforms and numerous digital platforms and tools.

It can therefore impact areas and aspects of a typical market base that its counterpart cannot.

Content Lengths

The contents lengths employed by these two marketing platforms differ considerably. As noted, digital marketing approaches aim at merely familiarizing the targeted audience with the existence of a product, promo, or offer.

Social media marketing, on the other hand, offers detailed explanations. Its content lengths are hence longer.


A great deal of skill and expertise is employed to generate content to post on these two platforms. However, the extent and complexity of these skills and expertise differ markedly.

Being the more complicated, digital marketing requires higher skill levels, tools, and approaches.


This refers to the highest number of people who these networks may impact at any given time. Given the more comprehensive outreach options, digital marketing will ordinarily reach a broader potential market base than social media marketing.

This is only if many channels and avenues are engaged at a time.


These are the various means and ways to undertake advertising and promotional tasks. Digital marketing avenues are more in number than those social media marketing approaches.

They include social media platforms, web-based ads, mobile apps, radio, television, search engines, foreign websites, and so on!


By its sheer nature and intent, digital marketing is mainly designed to make a would-be client aware of the existence of a product, an offer, or a promo.

As such, it contains scanty pieces of information. Social media marketing is, however, intended to provide more information about a product.


The impacts that these two approaches bring about also vary. Digital marketing mainly plays a significant role in drawing clients to your premise.

It almost does nothing to convince them to place an order. On the other hand, social media marketing leads to higher conversion rates.


You will find the digital marketing approach relevant for circumstances requiring you to let a would-be client know about the products and promos you have on offer.

Social media marketing will come in handy when you want to convince a would-be buyer to place an order.


When viewed from the cost-benefit angle, social media marketing carries the day. That is because it costs less to come by yet brings in higher orders.

Digital marketing is only excellent for making yourself known to a targeted audience. It is broader in reach and visibility, though.

Cost Implications

Given the need to post your adverts across several channels at a time to yield any meaningful hits, digital marketing is the more costly of the two.

Social media marketing is, however, cheaper as it entails using only a limited number of channels at a time.

Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing
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