Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing

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

Social Media Marketing vs Digital Marketing

The difference between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing is that Social media marketing is the promotion that is done on online social sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc while digital marketing is the promotion that is done with or without the internet like e-commerce, email, TV, radio, SMS.

Social Media Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSocial Media MarketingDigital Marketing
MeaningThis one makes use of 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 the use of all digital platforms i.e. the internet and the non-internet-based channels alike.
PurposeIt aims at revealing the finest details about the product. This is to convince the targeted audience to at least make plans to make a purchase.Is merely intended to raise the awareness of a person to the existence of a particular product, promotion, or offer. It does not really require tangible response.
Tools EmployedEmploys paid advertisements, photos, sharable links, and other online tools to reach out to an audience. These are designed to make it easier for the target to respond positively.Makes use of pop-ups, banners, and click sounds to draw the attention of a client towards a particular product, good or service.
ScopeMakes use of social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach out to a target market.Uses the 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 and detailed contents, coupled with less intrusive nature, the 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 the promotion of products and services typically 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 content that is sharable and then sponsors it on the stated channels.

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

It is, therefore, a good 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 is the promotion, advertising, and marketing of goods and services via the various digital platforms available.

Examples of these are e-mails, smartphones, digital displays, search engines, and third-party websites. The marketing itself may take the forms of the banners, pop-ups, ads, sharable 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 wider than social media marketing. That is because it encompasses all the social media platforms as well as numerous digital platforms and tools.

It is therefore capable of impacting areas and aspects of a typical market base that its counterpart cannot.

Content Lengths

The lengths of the contents that are employed by these two marketing platforms differ considerably. As noted, the 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.


To generate content to post on these two platforms, a great deal of skill and expertise is employed. The extent and complexity of these skills and expertise, however, differ markedly.

Being the more complicated of the two, 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 wider outreach options, digital marketing will ordinarily reach out to a wider potential market base compared to social media marketing.

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


These are the various means and ways through which the advertising and promotional tasks may be undertaken. Digital marketing avenues are more in number than those of the social media marketing approaches.

They include the social media platforms themselves plus 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 promo.

As such, it contains scanty pieces of information. The 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 great role in drawing clients to your premise.

It almost does nothing to convince them to place an order. Social media marketing, on the other hand, does lead to higher rates of conversion.


You will find the digital marketing approach relevant for those circumstances which require that you simply let a would-be client know about the products and promos you have on offer.

The 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 levels of orders.

Digital marketing is only awesome for making yourself known to a targeted audience. It is wider 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 the use of only a limited number of channels at a time.

Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/dddmp.2009.7
  2. https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MD-10-2015-0450/full/html
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