Social media platforms play a vital role in digital marketing strategies, and even people working in the marketing industry are under the impression that social media and digital marketing are interchangeable components. Whilst those two marketing aspects are related to one another, they are, in essence very different.

What is the difference between digital and social media marketing?

In short, digital marketing is an umbrella term, including email marketing, SEO, and social media. Whilst social media, makes up the biggest part of online marketing, it is only one of the many platforms and channels included in digital marketing. Let us take a closer to identify the main differences.

Digital marketing includes both offline and online activities, to create brand awareness, promote products or increase sales. Online elements include email campaigns, paid ads and blogs, whilst offline aspects include text messages, TV adverts and many more. Social media, on the other hand is limited to online targeting through social platforms like Facebook, forums, and blogs.

Should I focus on digital or social marketing?

Both marketing aspects contribute to your campaign in a different way. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic life in lockdown has become the norm and whilst restrictions start to ease, social media has become a vital part in reaching customers outside the typical work environment. Even more traditional companies have now taken to posting both organic and paid content on their social media platforms to connect with their target audience. Internet users spend almost 30% of their online time on social platforms. Engaging in social media marketing activities, therefore helps you capture a greater audience and customer information. It also increases interactions and response rates. With the option of both organic and paid content, you can spend as little or much time and budget on social media marketing as required.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, uses a wide range of tools and platforms to reach customers. As mentioned before, this takes place both online and offline through a variety of media and technologies. Whilst using a variety of digital channels helps you to target more customers, using and implementing all available platforms is not a smart move. Depending on your goals, industry, and target audience, not all channels will help you achieve your objectives. To make the most of available digital marketing assets you need to set clearly defined and measurable goals. Finding the right mix takes some time and requires testing, implementing changes and retesting. You can then determine which digital marketing channels help you achieve required growth or ROI.

Digital marketing is the future of marketing and plays a vital role in purchase decisions and how consumers buy their products and services. Since social media is a part of digital marketing, it can help us find and connect with new customers and promote our products.

To get the most of your digital marketing strategy you need to align social and other digital channels to reach the most potential customers and ensure maximum growth and ROI.

Digital Marketing and Social Media Programme

If you would like to learn more take a look at our CIM recognised Digital Marketing and Social Media Programme. This course helps you devise digital marketing campaigns and search marketing; social media and strategisation; website usability and responsive design; and more. You will complete the course with an understanding of core digital marketing tools, how to implement them in your own marketing, and how to measure the performance of your campaigns. You can book your course online or contact us for more information. We are here to support you. We look forward to guiding you further.

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