Nov 2, 2017

Digital marketing vs Social media marketing

Written by Avantgarde
Reading time: 3 mins

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In the new era of marketing, modern marketers need to utilize all the tools at their disposal to identify and capture net new leads. This starts by understanding the difference between digital marketing and social media marketing and how the two work together.

Digital marketingisbuilding awareness and promoting a brand or product online using all available digital channels. As an umbrella term it is used to encompass all marketing efforts used to build awareness and increase engagement on digital platforms. Including: blogging, email marketing, web marketing, SEO, SEM, mobile marketing, online banners andsocial media marketing whereasSocial media marketing is the latest addition in digital marketing and includes promoting messages and engaging on Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat and Tumblr.

While the two encompass different components, it needs to be clear that social media marketing is a part of digital marketing. However, while digital marketing will include promoting across multiple channels, social media marketing is limited to internet based social media platforms.

Digital marketing VS Social media

It should be clear after reading the above definitions that social media is a major component of Internet Marketing which is part of Digital marketing.

  • Digital marketing goes beyond the Internet and tries to reach people in the off-line world using digital means while social media is limited to the boundaries of the Internet.
  • A Digital marketing campaign may include one or more components (Internet Advertising, Mobile ads, TV, SMS etc.) while a social media strategy may include one or more social media platforms (Facebook, twitter etc.)
  • Social media is strongly associated with a content strategy i.e. you create content and use social media to promote it while a digital marketing can concentrate entirely on banners (either on the Internet, TV or billboards) for promotion.

Which is more important digital marketing or social media?

It depends on the type of brand, products or services you want to promote. There are cases where other forms of digital marketing will be more appropriate to build awareness than social media. Social media is a must of every product, brand or service that has a wide audience.

For example, if you are selling a software product, social media can help you find new customers, educate your existing customers (by sending them tips and tricks) and keep them informed about new updates, upcoming releases etc.

If on the other hand, you are selling custom tools for farmers you can use social media as a resource to find out more about the products but your main selling point will be billboard ads on rural areas and Radio ads.

Social media marketing is topromotea product or service through the various social media channels. In general there are two ways to perform a social media marketing campaign.

The first way is free and has to do with attracting followers, fans or connections by sharing useful content,running contestsand generally engaging with users.

The second way is through paid advertising. You can use Facebook ads, Google Adwords or Twitter promoted accounts to advertise your product or services on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter respectively.


It is important to know the differences between the different marketing theories so that you can select the most appropriate tools to use in your campaigns.

Digital marketing is the future of marketing and will gradually gain more ground in the online and offline World.

Social media on the other hand, is the new way to connect with other people, it is part of digital marketing and it’s here to change the way we find new customers and promote our products.

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